10 things not to do when you divorce

Divorce is a time of conflicting emotions — anger, sadness, and even relief.  Typically, emotions are all over the place, which can make it difficult to make good decisions about issues that will likely have an impact on your life long after the divorce is over.

The things you should be doing during a divorce — taking care of yourself and your children, planning for a new financial future, etc. — you probably already know about.  But there are also some important things you should NOT be doing during a divorce that could harm your case.  Here are 10 of them:

  1. Make a major purchase.  Buying a new house or car or making any kind of major purchase makes it more difficult to divide the marital assets, which could have a negative effect on your final share of those assets.  Delay any large purchases without first talking with your divorce lawyer about how it may impact your divorce. 
  2. Hide assets.  While hiding assets may be tempting, it is never a good idea.  If you hide assets and it’s discovered, this could mean court sanctions against you and put the judge firmly on your spouse’s side.
  3. Destroy property.  Destroying, damaging, or giving away marital property so your spouse doesn’t get his or her share is another way to get on the wrong side of the court.
  4. Withdraw money.  Making unreasonable withdrawals from joint accounts could be seen as an attempt to hide assets or to waste marital assets. 
  5. Withhold information.  You will need to disclose lots of personal information during a divorce, and withholding any of that information during the discovery process may hurt your case.  Be truthful and open with your lawyer. 
  6. Post on social media.  Social media today is a divorce lawyer’s best friend.  Posting photos that call your personal judgment and integrity into question will only harm you in divorce proceedings.
  7. Badmouth your spouse.  Speaking negatively about your spouse to your children is tempting, but you are only hurting the children and you could run the risk of being accused of parental alienation, which could reduce your access to your children.
  8. Keep bad company.  Don’t hang out with people who have bad habits like substance abuse or are involved in criminal activities.  Everything you do during your divorce is being watched and judged.
  9. Threaten your ex.  Whether you mean it or not, making threats against your spouse can land you in big trouble and provide him or her with a reason to seek a restraining order against you.
  10. Remove access to marital assets.  Unless directed by your attorney, removing your spouse’s access to joint financial accounts or credit cards, taking him or her off an insurance policy, or having the utilities turned off in your former home may impact your divorce. 

The best thing you can do during your divorce is control your emotions and listen to your attorney’s advice so you don’t sabotage your own case.

Determining whether to end a marriage is not an easy decision, nor one to be taken lightly. Your legal team at Koenig|Dunne is here to provide you with guidance and advice regarding this difficult decision and all of the decisions that you will face throughout the divorce process.

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