Ending your marriage can be a difficult decision and an emotional process. Whenever emotions run high, partners begin to fall prey to common mistakes that can forever alter relationships with your spouse and sometimes – more importantly – with your children. Washington law tries to find balance in divorce cases, first attempting to find solutions that are in the best interests of the children and then taking steps to balance the parties’ positions based upon many different factors. There are some common mistakes, which can lead to expensive and long drawn out litigation in divorce cases.
Focusing on the Short-Term:
A divorce lawsuit can last anywhere from 90-days to more than a year. During this timeframe, you will likely get sidetracked concentrating on what’s important to you at one moment rather than the long-term effects of your decisions. Especially when considering children and property, it can be easy to forget about next year (or the next five years) when you and your spouse are fighting about an issue that might only be relevant for a few days. Try to take a step back (and hopefully your partner does, also) to think about what’s truly important in your divorce to cut back on cost and litigation.
Involving the Children:
Children are typically smarter than we give them credit for. Especially when teens are involved, they can sense manipulation even if they don’t understand all the facts or background. Involving your children in fights, disparaging your partners to your kids, or ignoring the elephant in the room are all poor ways of handling a divorce. Kids need to know what’s going on. Be cautious on how you involve your children based on their age. A teen might need to know more than a six-year old. However, no child should be involved in decision-making or fights between the parents. It leads to bad outcomes in the family, and the Court may sanction poor parenting behavior.
Choose your battles:
Especially when children are involved, divorce lawsuits are inherently emotional. It’s important to choose your battles wisely, or each decision will end in a fight that could cost thousands of dollars. Stay grounded and think positively even when things might not look like they’re going your way. Some arguments may be worth bringing all the way to trial. Most of them, however, should be negotiated both for your sanity and a huge savings on legal fees.
Relying on Inaccurate Information:
Everyone has an opinion, but that doesn’t mean your best friend who was divorced 5-years ago knows what’s best for your situation. Similarly, anyone can post on the Internet. Be careful and cautious when reviewing opinions on the Internet and always consider the source of the information before relying on it substantively.
Not Consulting an Attorney:
The experienced lawyers at Magnuson Lowell PS offer complimentary telephone consultations to answer general inquiries and provide immediate assistance in family law matters. Consulting with a divorce attorney can provide reassurances about your options and provide perspective when situations seem most dire. Contact Magnuson Lowell PS today by calling (425)885-7500 for a free case evaluation.