A divorce case can be high-stress and extremely emotional, and these two factors can cloud many people’s judgement when going through a divorce. To better understand what to not overlook in a divorce case, here are three common mistakes that happen in a divorce.
1. Not Looking for Alternative Options
The number one mistake I see is not considering Mediation or Collaborative Divorce and going straight into a litigated adversarial divorce process. Many people do not know that Mediation or Collaborative Divorce is an option. It is quite common for one party to seek justice and wanting that voice to be heard and think that a litigated case will be the ultimate victory. Unfortunately, that is not always true. If it is true, then it is a dubious victory because litigation involves a high price tag. To be victorious in that battle, you may lose something much more in return such as a good co-parenting relationship and that would not benefit the children. A collaboratively handled case can help you and your family settle more amicably.
2. Not Doing Your Homework
California divorce laws require that parties be transparent with their finances and completing the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure (PDD) is a requirement before a divorce judgment can be obtained. Many people would rather sidestep this requirement, partly because they do not want to do the work of gathering the financial documents and partly because some find it difficult to be transparent. These issues should be addressed early in the process; if not, problems can occur down the road, even after the divorce. Throughout the divorce process, producing the pertinent financial documents is a must. Neglecting this requirement will delay the process and make the divorce more expensive.
3. Not Addressing the Implications of the Divorce Settlement
In a divorce case, each party is so focused on the things they want to have that they don’t think about the ramifications that may entail. It is important to know all the facts about the things you want to take responsibility for, such as a house which includes maintenance, insurance, and property taxes. For some, if they have been a stay-at-home parent throughout the marriage, they may have left all the financial matters to their spouse to take care of. After the divorce that will have to change, since one is now in a situation where he or she needs to get the proper financial knowledge needed to handle the finances. That is one of the advantages of the Collaborative Divorce process. The neutral financial professional can help the parties sort through the financial information and help them to understand their post-divorce financial reality.
Divorce can be confusing, but with proper knowledge and preparation, it does not have to be. If you are considering divorce and would like to understand your options, contact us at Kim Mediation and Law Center for a free 15-minute phone consultation.