As a general rule, you should really try to refrain from the following 10 detrimental, and unfortunately common, things that spouses will do during the divorce process.

  1. Do not try to use the court and your meetings with the judge as a battleground for you to try to “expose” your ex, or put them in a bad light in front of everyone. It will only make you look bad and put you in a worse position with the judge than your ex is.
  2. Do not take an all-or-nothing stance when it comes to negotiating and finalizing divorce agreements. Being “branded” as someone who isn’t willing to cooperate unless they “get their way” is another way to hurt your image in front of attorneys and judges. Don’t think emotionally; be reasonably flexible so that you can move forward to the more important aspects of the divorce process.
  3. If there are children involved, make sure you put their interests and needs before your own, as they are just as effected, if not more so, by this divorce as you are, and its important not to let them fall to the wayside.
  4. Do not excommunicate your ex, as much as you may hate them or dislike speaking to them. It undermines the settlement process significantly, as well as prolongs it, which just costs you more money. And, if there are kids, it is imperative that you and your ex are on speaking terms- for their sake.
  5. Making wild accusations will also not help your cause, especially if they are fabricated, which is common. This severely cripples your reputation in the eyes of the judge, and your ex’s attorneys may seek to manipulate this to their advantage.
  6. Contrary to number 5, if you have legitimate accusations to make, don’t keep them to yourself. Don’t keep what you know to be as true to yourself.
  7. Remember, there is no point in trying to portray yourself as completely innocent with regard to why the marriage has come apart. It takes two individuals to get married, and both you and your ex played a role in its undoing. The court knows that no one is perfect; in fact, they detest those who try to convince them of otherwise.
  8. Emotions can often wreak havoc with the more mindful and rational parts of our brain. Often, a result of this is paranoia, especially with regard to your ex. For instance, just because you are getting divorced, there isn’t necessarily any ill-will toward you, and they aren’t out to ruin the rest of your life. Let your lawyers do their job, which is to collect the facts and present them as such. They have the advantage of not being emotionally-invested like you and your ex, so they should be trusted with the important decision-making responsibilities.
  9. Although this is the end of the marriage, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of the relationship. In fact, regardless of whether or not there are kids involved, you should be very open to ending on good terms with your ex. And if there are children in the marriage, it really helps their future growth and development to have two loving parents in their life who get along and can communicate well with each other.
  10. If you are not the Plaintiff (the one who initially filed for divorce), retain council right away, or at the very least meet with a few divorce attorneys and prepare yourself. Don’t expect that your ex will change their mind, or that if you beg, cry, and offer more, that you can swoon them into coming home. Collect yourself, and take action by getting a a good attorney.