Things You Should Not Do During a Divorce
Divorce can upend your life and may leave you in a vulnerable emotional state. As you deal with your emotions, it can be hard to remain objective, which may lead you to make mistakes that could make your divorce more stressful. If you want your divorce to be resolved quickly with as little complications as possible, here are some things you should keep in mind:
1. Never hide assets
Many spouses try to lower their partner’s divorce settlement or alimony payments by under-reporting income or hiding assets. Others try to limit their spouse’s access to money by draining joint accounts or racking up debt on shared credit cards. These actions are unreasonable, and if you fail to disclose all your assets, you may face legal penalties.
2. Don’t neglect your finances
Once you’ve decided to get divorced, you should immediately start assessing and prioritizing your spending. Take time as well to understand how a divorce settlement could potentially affect your financial situation and put money aside for expenses, such as legal fees, that you will incur during the process.
While you should not start pulling money from joint accounts without an agreement in place for how the funds will be shared, you should not continue to add to those accounts. Start preparing for your life as a single person by creating new accounts to deposit your earnings.
3. Avoid dating until your divorce is finalized
Sometimes, people rush into new relationships to avoid feeling lonely during a divorce. At times, you meet someone new when you aren’t looking. But it is wise to avoid starting a new romantic relationship while your divorce is still pending. It is best to focus on your divorce without the distractions that a new relationship can bring.
Furthermore, if your spouse discovers you are dating, they may be angered or hurt, which might make your settlement negotiations more difficult. If, however, you have been separated for a long while, and you are ready to move on, consider discussing it with your spouse. There may be less resistance if you tell them you are dating than if they hear it from someone else or see photos of your new partner online. You may also want to wait until after your divorce has been finalized to introduce your new partner to your children, and even then, you should discuss it with the other parent first.
4. Never use your children against your spouse
Many spouses use their children to manipulate or punish their partners during a divorce; some of them do it unintentionally. Ensure you do not use your children as bargaining chips in your divorce and never encourage them to take sides.
5. Do not speak badly of your spouse online
If you and your spouse are not parting on good terms, social media is not the place to advertise your grievances. While you may have blocked your spouse from your pages, someone they know might bring your posts to their attention which could cause friction. Furthermore, if your divorce goes to court, your posts may be used against you. Be also mindful of the messages you send your spouse via text or email.
6. Don’t forget to change your will
If your spouse is the primary beneficiary in your will, you may want to revise it if you are going through a divorce. That way, in the event of your death, your soon-to-be-ex-spouse will not have any claim to your assets. You may also want to update any powers of attorney to prevent your former partner from having control over your assets and medical decisions should you become incapacitated.
7. Do not seek advice from family and friends
While you should lean on your family members and friends for support as you go through your divorce, you should not look to them for legal or financial advice. Even if your loved ones have been through a divorce, they can only speak to their experience and every divorce is unique. Therefore, they cannot tell you how to handle the matters that arise when your marriage ends.
8. Do not forget to consult a divorce lawyer
Finally, you should consult a divorce lawyer if your divorce involves matters such as division of large amounts of assets, property sharing, child custody and access, child support and spousal support. A divorce lawyer can ensure that you understand any agreement you are presented with and ensure your rights are protected.
Are you searching for a Toronto divorce lawyer?
If you are searching for a Toronto divorce lawyer, contact us at Baker and Baker Family Law. At Baker and Baker Family Law, we understand how challenging divorce can be, and we are committed to guiding you through this time as quickly, fairly and efficiently as possible, so you can move forward to the next part of your life.