People make all sorts of costly mistakes throughout their divorce process. Many of these dumb divorce mistakes result from a lack of good old-fashioned common sense fueled by a lot of unrestrained emotions. On Newstalk1010’s Radio Show The Late Shift with Gail Vaz-Oxlade, Darren Gingras and Gail discussed the ‘dumb things’ people do during divorce that impede their progress and invariably drive up costs.
Putting Your Lawyer on Speed Dial
Every time you contact your lawyer, it costs you money. Depending on the law firm, even a quick 2 minute phone call or seemingly insignificant email to your lawyer will be rounded up to the nearest 1/10, 1/5 or 1/4 of an hour. So make a point of contacting your lawyer only as necessary. In order to make your calls or emails as structured and to-the-point as possible, keep a list of your questions and ask them all at once. Your lawyer is neither your counselor nor your therapist so make sure the communications you exchange remain relevant to the legal proceedings of your separation and nothing more.
Avoiding Communication with Your Divorce Team
Yes – divorce is an emotionally difficult time and sometimes it’s easier to just pretend the process isn’t happening. However once your divorce process is underway, don’t avoid responding to phone calls or emails from your divorce team. Each email from your lawyer costs money – so don’t make your lawyer have to hound you for information.
Hiding Assets From Your Ex
You might think you’re being clever by hiding assets (hidden bank accounts, investments, real estate) from your spouse, but this tactic is downright DUMB. Not only is it illegal on a SWORN financial statement, but if and WHEN you get caught you will lose all credibility and negotiation power. Just…don’t.
Creeping Your Ex on Social Media
Chances are, your Ex is trying to move on with his or her life after your separation. In an age of social media it’s easy to keep tabs on your Ex, but that doesn’t mean you should! Creeping your Ex post-split can truly cause you to lose your sanity…
“Did he change his relationship status? Did she take down all pictures of me? Is he bashing me on his Facebook wall? Is she posting picture of her new boyfriend?“
Listen, you’re not helping yourself move forward with your life by creeping your Ex on social media. In fact, you’re fuelling your own anger, resentment and bitterness by getting sucked into the online drama. If you’re finding yourself tempted to stalk your Ex on social media, consider taking a break from your online circles completely.
Parading Your New Sweetie Around in Front of Your Ex
If you have a new (or perhaps already-existing) love in your life, understand that their mere presence is going to make your Ex’s blood boil. You want to get through to the end of this process with your finances intact so you’re going to have to do whatever it takes to help keep emotions at bay on both sides of the negotiating table. If your new love really does love you, they’ll wait quietly in the wings until your divorce is finalized.
Using the Divorce to Punish Your Ex
Divorce is a legal proceeding to end a Marriage. It is not a Jerry Springer chair-fight. For the sake of your assets and your kids, treat your divorce like the business transaction that it is. And speaking of your children…
Using Child Custody as a Weapon
Using Child Custody as a weapon to bend your Ex to your will is a just terrible. It’s a selfish tactic that will only end up hurting your children. All said, children need both parents in their lives.
Listen to Gail and Darren’s talk:*
*Source: The Late Shift with Gail Vaz-Oxlade. Newstalk1010, Toronto. 17 Feb 2014. Radio.
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