Divorce is often a long and painful process for both spouses as well as their kids. The entire extended family can also be left scrambling, and it can also hurt friends who are suddenly confused about how to divide their loyalties to you and your ex. Even your seasoned divorce lawyer who has seen many families separate is likely to extend compassion for the difficult time in your life. It's no wonder that it's common for parents to get overwhelmed during a divorce. While mistakes are inevitable, try your best to avoid these two mistakes that can be devastating to you, your ex, and your kids.
Stop! Don't Settle for Financial Terms That You Feel Are Unfair
People often settle for unfair terms in a divorce because they simply want the entire thing to be over with as soon as possible. However, don't give into the temptation to settle for financial terms that feel unfair. I you make that mistake, you may be stuck with the agreement for many years to come, and that can compromise how much you are able to do for your children.
Your finances will have an impact on your children, and settling for less than you deserve can compromise the power you have to optimally provide for them. Don't agree to anything without getting advice from your lawyer who can look after your best interests in the situation. Try to avoid even discussing financial or legal matters without your lawyer present.
If you know that you are going to be pressured to agree to something that you find hard to resist, make the decision about whether you will agree to something beforehand. Although the terms of the large majority of divorces are settled outside of court, don't agree to that unless you feel that the situation is fair to you.
Stop! Don't Lean on Your Kids for Support During the Divorce
Many well-meaning parents lean on their children for support during a divorce. On one level, it makes logical sense because your kids will be hurting, too, and they may understand the pain of coping with abandonment if your soon-to-be ex chose to leave the entire family. However, relying on your children during the stress of a divorce is always a mistake.
In fact, putting your children in a position of providing comfort to you during a time that is inevitably extremely painful for them sends the wrong message, and it is a form of parentification of the kids that can be emotionally harmful. While it certainly is okay to let your children know that they are not alone in being hurt over the divorce, you should save long talks about your pain for your friends and others in your life who are supportive.
Finally, keep in mind that mistakes are a part of life, and some missteps will likely happen at some point during the divorce proceedings. Try to avoid these two big ones, and consult your divorce lawyer if you are unsure of a legal step or if you need advice on the financial circumstances of the divorce. Reach out for help from a lawyer, such as those at Hackworth Law, and others in your life to ensure that you act in the best interests of you and your children throughout the divorce.