5 Huge Divorce Mistakes

 

Below are five of the biggest divorce mistakes you can make in getting a divorce in the State of Florida. As an attorney and having handled over 2,500 divorce cases in Central Florida, I can tell you that these can be life changing and devastating.

  1. NOT CONSULTING WITH AN ATTORNEY BEFORE TELLING YOUR SPOUSE YOU WANT A DIVORCENot consulting with an attorney means that you will not have an understanding of Florida law and how it applies to the various areas that must be settled or dealt with by the Court in a divorce action. Everyone knows 12 people who have been divorced and most people will always try to relate their case to the person they work with who was just divorced last year. This is impossible as every case is different and every set of facts is different. By not consulting with an attorney you will not understand Florida law and how it applies to:
    • Finances, meaning money, assets and debts
    • Children, including parenting plans, contact, access and visitation, and child support
    • The Court system, how it works, what will be expected of you and what you can and cannot do
    • Pre-planning, what you can do to minimize the financial effects on your divorce and what you can do with respect to children’s issues
    • Alimony, what is it, what types exist in Florida, and how does it apply to your set of facts.
  2. NOT USING AN ATTORNEY FOR YOUR DIVORCENot using an attorney for your divorce would be like taking out your tonsils without using a doctor. The difference in using an attorney and not using an attorney is dramatic in most cases. One small sentence put in or left out of an agreement can be devastating with respect to money, debts, real estate, children, child support, and alimony.
  3. NOT SEPARATING ASSETS AND DEBTS PRIOR TO TELLING YOUR SPOUSE THAT YOU WANT A DIVORCEOne of the best things you can do prior to indicating to your spouse that you want a divorce is to separate assets and liabilities. This means putting vehicles in separate names, credit cards not being joint, and evaluating your financial picture from the standpoint of what can be done financially to minimize the financial impact upon you, the person filing for the divorce, at the time of filing. IN MOST COUNTIES IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA, THERE IS A “STANDING ORDER”. The standing order usually states that once the divorce petition is filed, you cannot pay off debts, transfer monies, sell assets, and do 14 other things that may improve your position in the divorce. Therefore, it is important to talk to an Attorney prior to telling your spouse that you want a divorce, so that you and your attorney can do “pre-divorce planning”. The difference can be night and day.
  4. TELLING YOUR SPOUSE THAT YOU HAVE HAD AN AFFAIRMany people believe that they have to “unburden” themselves of the guilt. All you are doing is creating anger on the other side of the equation and anger will do nothing more than make your divorce take longer and make your divorce more costly. There is no upside to discussing with your spouse, an affair. Again, there is no upside. There is nothing positive about it and nothing good will ever come from it. DON’T DO IT.
  5. NOT PREPARING FOR AND UNDERSTANDING THE LAW AS IT APPLIES TO YOUR CHILDRENMost people, going into a divorce, have little concept of Florida law as it applies to parenting of the children, contact with the children, time sharing with the children and other things such as how child support works, health insurance for the children, daycare, etc. Knowing this ahead of time can save you a massive amount of money and can allow you to do certain things that will set you up to be in a proper position to get the time that you want with your children without having to fight for it in the divorce.

For any and all discussions about divorce or any questions, please contact Charles Dehlinger Law at (407) 496-8687.