Today, I'll be giving you some hints on what not to do during a divorce. A lot of these are common sense, but nonetheless, I'm going to give you a couple ideas.
Number one, don't date while you're married. If you haven't already started a new relationship outside of the marriage, don't start one during the divorce. If you have started one, maybe you want to consider putting that relationship on hold until your divorce is final. It usually just complicates things and makes things a lot messier than they have to be.
Don't get pregnant or don't get someone pregnant. If you become pregnant during the course of the divorce, the divorce has to be put on hold until the baby is born.
Don't resume intimate relations with your spouse. In the State of Georgia, you are required to remain in a bona fide state of separation throughout the divorce. If you have resumed those intimate relations, generally by operation of law, that divorce has to be dismissed. And you would have to start all over and file a new divorce. It can be done, but it's just extra drama that you really don't need.
Don't hide money from your spouse or your attorney. Usually, that stuff comes out anyway. Just be up front and honest and just let your attorney know what's going on. Likewise, don't run up a bunch of debts. It always looks bad when you sit in front of the judge and must explain why all of a sudden you ran up these debts that weren't normal debts before the divorce was filed.
Don't put the kids in the middle. Don't have them relay messages between the two of you. Don't tell them what all is going on. Let them be kids. Leave them out of it. Don't badmouth the other spouse.
Don't do things out of spite either to your spouse or his family or his friends or any of that kind of stuff. That stuff usually comes back and bites you in the back end if you're sitting in front of the judge. The judge doesn't want to hear about tit for tat and all of that kind of stuff. Try to rise above it.
Don't compare your divorce situation with the divorce situation of your family and friends. Although the process is usually similar, the facts of your case are different from the facts of their case. And the facts determine what the outcome is going to be. So don't take advice from your plumber. Just kindly tell your sister that you understand what happened in her divorce, but you're going to discuss these things with your attorney.
Don't focus on the little stuff. You need to be able to see the big picture. This is where an attorney can really help you. Because the attorney knows you shouldn't be fighting about pots and pans if there's a big retirement account or alimony is the big issues. You need to focus on the big things that will get you through once the divorce is final.
Don't refuse to negotiate. Usually the best outcomes happen when the two of you can negotiate and each of you has to give a little to get a little. But if you can't or won't negotiate with the other side, then you end up putting your entire life in front of a judge or a jury to make determinations that you will live with afterwards.
Don't hide things from your attorney. One of the worst things as an attorney is to be in front of the judge, in the final hearing, and all of a sudden learn about some kind of new information. Your attorney knows how to handle things, how to frame things, spin things, whatever you want to say, but they must have that knowledge ahead of time.
Stay off social media. Nothing good happens on social media during divorces. Don't put anything on there about your spouse, his family, his friends, your children, any of that stuff, just stay off social media while you're getting a divorce.
The number one pet peeve for attorneys and judges as well is if one of the parents withholds either child support or visitation from the other spouse. Just don't do it. If you need help with that, get help from your attorney who may in turn have to get help from the court. But don't do the self-help. Don't withhold the visitation because the other party didn't pay child support. And don't withhold child support because the other party's withholding visitation. Just don't play those games.
I hope this helped give you things to think about, things that you're not going to do during your divorce. If you'd like more information, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.. If you think it will help somebody else, please share it with them.
Nedra K. Howard
Nedra has represented clients in matters relating to divorce, separate maintenance, child custody and support, family violence protective orders, adoption, prenuptial agreements, business disputes and litigation, personal injury, property damage, and wills.
John B. MIller & Associates, P.C.
16 Eastbrook Bend, Suite 201
Peachtree City, GA 30269
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770 - 863 - 8355