Mistakes When Getting a Divorce: It’s a Journey Filled With Plenty of Potential Missteps
Some divorcing couples may look back on their marriage as a big mistake, but there are plenty of ways to make mistakes when getting a divorce in Colorado as well. Coming as it does with so many emotional, financial, and practical challenges, the end of a marriage can lead spouses to act in irrational or ill-advised ways that hurt their own interests and that of their children. Even those who keep their emotions in check and keep conflict to a minimum can trip themselves up because they don’t understand Colorado divorce law or their rights.
Mistakes when getting a divorce in Colorado can have serious long-term implications on critical issues in a divorce proceeding - custody, visitation, and property division, among others. Poor decisions by a spouse can cause a judge to make adverse decisions against them. Bad behavior can also add to the already high level of conflict and anger between spouses, making it that much harder for the parties to reach a negotiated agreement about contested matters.
The last thing you want to do during the middle of a divorce is making a difficult situation even worse by engaging in self-defeating behavior. As you work your way through the process towards a better future, avoid these four common missteps that can trip you up on your divorce journey.
1. Mistakes When Getting a Divorce: Using Social Media as Revenge or Therapy
Understandably, you may want to vent your frustrations, anger, disappointment, or other emotions raised by your divorce. You may even feel a desire to drag your soon-to-be-ex through the mud and let the world know how awful they are. But if you use your social media accounts to provide an outlet for all of that negativity, it will come back to bite you.
Every picture, comment, or post you make on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or elsewhere can and will be used against you in a Colorado court of law. Simply put, if you wouldn’t want the judge in your case to read what you post, you shouldn’t post it.
Even if you don’t say one bad thing about your spouse, your social media use could lead a judge to question your fitness as a parent or make you appear irresponsible. If you are in a custody dispute, for example, and your social media profile portrays pictures of you out partying every night, that will not help your cause.
2. Weaponizing Your Kids
Most parents do an excellent job of keeping their eye on the ball during a divorce, making concerted efforts to shield their kids from the trauma, hostility, and arguments that are so often a part of the process. But even the most committed mom or dad can get caught up in their emotions. When this happens, it can be tempting for a parent to see their kids as a tool for gaining leverage in the divorce or as a way to hurt their spouse.
Such conduct will not only make life more difficult for the children, but it will also make life harder for the wayward parent when it comes time for the judge to decide issues such as child custody, visitation, or support. If one parent continuously tells their kids how awful their other parent is or tries to alienate their kids from that parent, a judge will hear about it and be none too pleased.
3. Ignoring Court Orders
A judge’s orders are not suggestions or recommendations. Following those orders must be taken seriously. Disregarding an order regarding custody, visitation, support, or other matters because you think they are inconvenient or unfair will not end well for you.
Judges don’t take kindly to parties in a divorce who ignore their orders and won’t hesitate to punish such violations, both in the short-term and in their final decisions. If you have an issue with the substance of an order, you can petition the court to modify it, but you simply can’t take matters into your own hands.
4. Not Hiring an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
Do you need to hire an attorney to get a divorce in Colorado? No. But just because you can represent yourself in your divorce doesn’t mean you should. Even in amicable splits, attempting to go it alone is one of the most damaging mistakes when getting a divorce that you can make.
Divorce law is complicated. Even for the best Colorado Springs family law attorneys who practice in other areas of the law, the unique and detailed statutes, rules, and procedures involved in Colorado divorces can be unfamiliar and confusing.
Complex formulas, factors, and calculations govern issues like child custody and support, visitation, spousal maintenance, and property division. If you don’t know the law and how things work, and if you don’t know what you don’t know, you can find yourself quickly steamrolled by a lawyer who does understand every aspect of divorce law.
Don’t expect the judge to treat you with kid gloves either. They will expect you to understand the process and follow the rules just as a lawyer would. Representing yourself in your Colorado divorce is like going into battle armed with only a toothbrush, while your spouse has armed themselves to the teeth.
There’s Too Much on the Line to Make Mistakes When Getting a Divorce. Speak with an Experienced Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney Today
So much is at stake during a divorce. With your future and that of your kids hanging in the balance, it is no time to take chances or risk making mistakes that could cast a long shadow over that future. Working with a committed and compassionate Colorado Springs divorce attorney is the best way to ensure that turning the page on your marriage will lead to a bright new chapter for you and your children.
I’m Colorado Springs divorce attorney Bryson Perkins. If you are considering or facing the prospect of divorce, I welcome the opportunity to assist you. Please contact me today to arrange for your free initial consultation.