I was recently asked what are the most common mistakes people make when going through a divorce. Here is a list of some of them not in any particular order, but as fertile as the mind is there are certainly many more.
1. Being unreasonable. Your case will take longer, cost more, drain you emotionally and perhaps give you a worse result.
2. Using your divorce case to punish your spouse. Judges and lawyers want cases to conclude. Clients who because of their anger or emotions use the courts to get even often have the same problems as the unreasonable clients.
3. Alienating the children with the hope that they will not want a positive relationship with the other parent. No explanation needed.
4. Concealing and/or selling assets, lying under oath. If the judge thinks that you are lying the judge may not believe you even when you are telling the truth. Your credibility with the court is critical.
5. Unnecessarily prolonging the case without any good reasons. Some clients have a great deal of difficulty with the idea that there will be a final result. All cases need to end.
6. Repeatedly firing attorneys and hiring new ones only because you do not like the advice that you are receiving. Not every client and lawyer are a good fit, but when a client has had many lawyers or the lawyers are known to be highly experienced divorce lawyers, the repeated substitution of attorneys is expensive, time consuming and not always productive.
7. Representing yourself. The old saying is that the lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. If lawyers should not represent themselves, non-lawyers will have an even more difficult time.
8. Unnecessary roughness...sounds like football. Fighting for the last ounce of blood, property or parenting time. The more beaten up someone feels the more likely they are going to be looking for payback.
9. Inability to see how the case may look from any perspective other than your own. As hard as it may seem there may be another point of view about what happened in the marriage and how should it be concluded.
10. Be careful about "cocktail advice". Everybody knows somebody who is divorced who got a great or a bad deal. Every case is different. Let your divorce lawyer help guide you with years of experience and don't believe everything other people tell you.