By David Halkett & Aman Kahlon
Divorce can be an extremely difficult and strenuous process to undergo for all parties involved.
In the article below, our Family Law lawyers go over the 4 most common mistakes to avoid in a divorce, as well as tips to avoid the shortfalls.
1. Involving your children
Divorce affects children just as much or if not more than it can affect adults. Children should be considered and not bear any additional burdens. A divorce process can be highly damaging to children, and it is important to think about it any time you take any actions throughout the divorce process.
When going through a divorce, you may be living in separate households, and spending time with your children may not be feasible. However, it is essential that you prioritize spending time with your children and making sure that your children don’t feel neglected.
Your relationship with your children and how active you are in their lives can be a critical consideration in the custody process. Remember to put the interests of your child first and find ways to maintain a healthy bond with them.
2. Not having a complete understanding of your shared financial assets
As soon as divorce is considered, it is important to understand and take inventory of all the shared assets and debts you have and have acquired throughout the marriage. For example, if your spouse has taken out a loan, you may be obligated to pay some of it back, even if you didn’t have prior knowledge about it.
Regarding inheritances and family gifts, if you have been gifted an inexpensive or expensive gift or had assets from before the marriage, you may be able to protect them from asset division in a divorce. It’s essential that you have a full understanding of your individual and shared assets to protect your interests and financial well-being during the legal separation process.
3. Reacting to emotional threats
You may be coming from a situation of an imbalance of power. If your spouse makes significantly more money than you do, you may often feel that the process is out of your control. Sadly, spouses may often say many emotionally charged things during a divorce. If your spouse is threatening to deny child custody, avoid paying child support payments, it is important to know that these threats are most likely empty. An experienced lawyer will guide you through the process and create a fair arrangement during the divorce.
It is absolutely normal to experience negative emotions along with many other difficult emotions during the divorce process. However, it is not advisable to take actions based on these emotions. Reacting to emotional threats instead of rational reasoning may lead to decisions in the divorce that have longer-lasting impacts. Seeking the help of an experienced lawyer may help you in ensuring you make sound and rational decisions during the divorce process.
4. Not consulting an experienced lawyer to best represent your interests
While it may seem obvious, it is important that you consult an experienced lawyer when considering a divorce. You may think that your “friendly divorce” may not require hiring a lawyer — after all, a lawyer can be expensive, and you may be able to reach a conclusion without the hassle of a mediation or a trial, but that is risky.
A lawyer with a high degree of expertise in family law will help you prevent any surprises when it comes to asset division, debts, or spousal support. A lawyer also acts as a barrier between you and the spouse. This allows you to be proactive and measured instead of reacting out of emotion.
For over 50 years, McQuarrie has advocated for and helped clients throughout B.C. deal with the complex issues that arise in family law matters.
Because every family is unique, McQuarrie’s lawyers bring a humanized, personal approach to addressing each situation.
In legal separation matters, our team of compassionate family lawyers will help you navigate divorce and ensure that your family’s interests are prioritized during the separation.
We are here to provide guidance and support needed to avoid making similar mistakes during the divorce process.