TOP FIVE MISTAKES IN A DIVORCE

1. Having Unrealistic Expectations

The California Family Code will provide much direction concerning your dissolution of marriage, including child support, custody, visitation, and property division. You will probably be awarded what is considered a fair and equitable division of the marital estate and you may be awarded or ordered to pay guideline child support. You should be advised that if you expect to take your spouse to the cleaners or gain sole custody of the children (unless there are strong circumstances and evidence to support this), that is not likely to happen. You should expect a reasonable and equitable resolution, and focus on that instead of “winning” your divorce.

2. Withholding Information from Your Attorney

Your attorney is there to guide you through your divorce proceedings and zealously assert your position, seeking a result advantageous to you but consistent with requirements of honest dealings with others. However, your attorney needs to have your cooperation and full disclosure. If you withhold information it will hurt your case in the long run, it will cause the necessity of further research and associated fees. For example, you may hide something embarrassing or seemingly unimportant which may be essential to your case. Attorney/client communication must be honest and transparent in order for you to receive adequate representation.

3. Being a Passive Participant in Your Own Divorce

Fundamental issues such as children, money, and property are likely to be addressed during your divorce. The process may seem overwhelming, and you may prefer to let your attorney handle everything and distance yourself from the details and progress of the case. However, it is important to remain informed about the status of your divorce. Ask questions if you are confused and make sure you understanding everything you are signing, no matter what it is.

4. Allowing Emotions to Dictate

Divorce is often disturbing and dramatic, and can cause heightened feelings. You are probably going through an emotional roller coaster, which is understandable. But don’t let your emotions get in the way of common sense and the overall view. You’re ending a relationship you had completely invested in, but you need to set the hurt and pain aside and focus on closing this chapter in your life. At some point your divorce will be over and you will move on. It is not a good idea to let anger and hurt affect your judgment. If you do, you will be forced to pick up the emotional pieces!

5. Believing Your Soon-to-be-Ex is Your Friend

Just by it’s nature, divorce is an adversarial process; it can be confrontational, antagonistic, and combative. There are a fair amount of cordial divorces where the spouses can come to an agreeable solution, but there are also many, many divorces where one spouse will try to take advantage of the other. Don’t ever sign anything your spouse wants you to sign without consulting with a competent Fresno divorce attorney. And never let your spouse convince you that you don’t need an attorney. YOU are the most important party in your divorce, and so you should focus on the protection of your interests and assets, not on trying to remain friends with your soon-to-be ex; do not be fooled – your ex may not have your best interest in mind.

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