Divorcing? Critical Errors You Should Strive To Avoid

Most couples arrive at the decision to divorce only after months or even years of unhappiness and turmoil. For many of these couples, the process of the divorce will offer a turning point and a chance to begin rebuilding their lives. 

For others, the legal process itself can become just as stressful as the period leading up to their decision to divorce. This is especially true when one or both of the spouses make critical errors during the divorce process that can affect both the divorce and their opportunity for happiness long after the legalities are completed.

If you are considering a divorce, avoiding some critical errors will help you make the process as fair and amicable as possible. 

Sharing representation with your spouse

Spouses who approach divorce on relatively amicable terms may find themselves considering a shared legal representation approach, especially if they have been respectful in their dealings with each other through the marriage. While technically acceptable on a legal basis, even the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct includes wording that seeks to discourage one attorney from representing two clients who are in opposition to each other. 

Divorcing spouses sometimes pursue this type of representation, often believing it will offer them a less expensive or time-consuming divorce process. But the process can become less amicable as it moves forward, especially if there are difficult decisions that must be made. Parties who do not feel satisfied with the results of shared representation are more likely to find themselves filing for modification in the years after the divorce becomes final.

If money is an issue, divorcing couples may want to consider mediation, instead of filing for divorce using a shared attorney. Mediation involves an experienced mediator, who may also be an attorney, who has been specially trained to facilitate the process by assisting couples in reaching mutually beneficial agreements related to the dissolution of their marriage. 

Filing pro se to save money

Filing pro se essentially means that someone is representing their own interests in the divorce. Many court systems supply printable paper forms that divorcing couples can use to fill out and file their divorce case when using a pro se process.

Much like many other DIY processes, the potential for problems to develop can be very high, especially if there are children's custody and support or difficult financial issues to decide. Since fixing the damage done by a bad pro se divorce agreement can take years and thousands of dollars in legal fees, it should only be considered by divorcing couples who are terminating a very brief marriage that involves no property, children, or other complicating factors. 

Considering any agreement as only temporary

Feeling weary and just wanting the divorce to be over and behind you is a feeling that many divorcing spouses go through, especially if the legal process has been long and difficult. Unfortunately, spouses who feel this way may decide to agree to sign off on unsatisfactory agreements just to get the divorce finalized. Doing this often happens when the weary party to the divorce assumes they can easily go back to court and make changes later. 

Unfortunately, it can be incredibly difficult and expensive or even impossible to get a legal divorce modification later. A better, more secure plan is to work closely with your attorney to make sure that legal agreements on financial support, child custody, property dispersal, and other critical issues are acceptable in the original agreement. 

The legal process of divorce can include many problems and issues along the way. Opting for representation by a qualified divorce attorney is the best way to protect yourself from critical errors and help you regain peace and happiness in your life. Learn more from a firm such as Katzman Logan Halper & Bennett.