It’s commonly said that nobody wins in a divorce, but a person can certainly lose.
The stakes in divorce can be quite high, and unfortunately there are many things you can do during the process to shoot yourself in the foot.
During divorce, it’s always a good idea to have an attorney in your corner who specializes in family law that you can turn to help you come up with a gameplan for your case. They’re going to know the ins and outs of your state’s divorce and child custody laws and they’ll be able to warn you about potential costly mistakes that would not have otherwise crossed your mind.
Here are some common mistakes guys frequently make during divorce that they inevitably end up regretting.
Making a big purchase
One of the most pressing questions most people have during divorce is figuring out how much the entire process is going to cost. Since the circumstances of each case are so unique, the total cost can vary widely from case to case.
With that in mind, it is extremely reckless to make a major purchase before your divorce is final. For one thing, there is a chance that whatever you buy will be considered marital property and subject to property division.
If you’re in a dispute over child support or alimony, you should consider how a major purchase is going to look in the eyes of the court. You can’t in good faith argue that you can’t afford those payments if you just went out and bought a new car or big-screen TV.
The fact of the matter is that divorce is typically a big financial hit and is going to take some careful budgeting to get yourself back on track. That fiscal responsibility needs to start way before your divorce decree is issued.
Abusing alcohol or drugs
Emotionally, divorce is grueling. So many things are up in the air – everything from your finances and living situation to the amount of time you’re going to get to spend with your kids. When you’re under so much stress and dealing with so much grief, it can be tempting to turn to alcohol or illegal drugs in order to cope.
This is incredibly dangerous. Consistently downing a few beers to take the edge off can quickly develop into something that is more habitual and harmful. In addition to the harm it does to your health, you are unlikely to receive custody if it can be proven that you have a substance abuse problem.
Recent research indicates men are more likely to turn to drinking after breakups than women. That decision can be especially destructive since you’re already in a vulnerable emotional state and alcohol is linked to depression.
Booze and other substances can offer temporary relief, but end up making things much worse in the long run. As difficult as it is to keep yourself up and going during this time, you need to channel your energy into taking care of your physical and mental health. That’s the best thing you can do to help you move on after divorce.
Venting on social media
We’re living in the social media era, and it’s common for people to share seemingly every intimate detail of their personal life on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. That’s all well and good if you’re sharing pictures of your family vacation, but if you’re going through divorce it’s best to log off and power down.
It is common for social media postings to be used as evidence in divorce and child custody cases, which means pictures that show you doing anything irresponsible or posts you’ve made disparaging your ex can be used against you.
“When deciding to post images or comments on your social media page before, during and even after your divorce, ask yourself certain questions,” said Cordell & Cordell divorce attorney Cassandra Pillonel. “Ask yourself, ‘Would I want this comment to be seen by a judge? Would I want this photo to be seen by a courtroom full of people? Would someone understand this comment if they were reading it out of context?’”
When you get frustrated, it’s tempting to let loose and write a 700-word Facebook rant about all the hell your ex is causing. Don’t do it. Find a close friend or family member you trust as a confidant who you can vent to instead.
Leaving the house
Perhaps the single biggest mistake that guys commonly make during divorce is moving out of the marital home. Although the thought of living with your ex through the divorce process might sound like a nightmare, moving out can put you at an automatic disadvantage.
If you have kids, leaving can hurt your chances of receiving custody because courts often make decisions that maintain the child’s established custodial environment. Moving out also hurts your chances of gaining possession of the home in until the court issues the final decree and in the meantime you will lose considerable control over the property inside the home.