Let’s face it: going through a divorce is one of the most the most stressful ordeals you can face in life. With the sudden prospect of major changes to you and your children’s lives, it can be easy to be ill-prepared, even when you have your loved ones’ best interests in mind.
As a father, you may feel as though the deck is stacked against you in your quest for fair custody. You should be aware, however, that with the help of a good lawyer, and by taking the right precautions, you can be sure to have a fair say in family court.
As you begin the divorce process, a wise first step is to take a look at what not to do. Here are five common, avoidable mistakes that fathers can make during divorce proceedings:
5. Poorly maintaining your financial records
It may seem obvious, but the completeness and accuracy of your financial records is of the utmost importance. This information will become a part of the court record, and it will be vital in determining your financial standing as it pertains to spousal maintenance, custody, and division of property and assets.
4. Taking your grievances online
In this day and age, it’s all too common for people to vent on social media. If you’re going through a divorce, this can be a really bad idea. For one, what you’re posting is plainly visible for the world—and the court—to see. Secondly, your emotions will be running high, so your words can easily be misconstrued to reflect poorly on your character.
3. Hiding any information
Think of this like going to the doctor for a physical and lying about your diet: you’re only hurting yourself. Any relevant information, no matter how unsavory, should be disclosed to your attorney. They’re there to help, and they’ll want to get in front of any dirt your spouse may throw your way.
2. Moving out of your home before the divorce process begins
If you’re considering a divorce from your spouse, the odds are good that there is tension at home. While it’s tempting to move out as soon as possible, it’s to your benefit to wait until the proceedings begin. For matters of custody, the court will weigh your daily interaction with your children, and living under the same roof can go a long way.
1. Waiting for your wife to file first
Divorce proceedings can be “first come, first served” in the sense that judges, despite their legal experience, are human. The first story the court hears can sometimes be more readily believed, so if you feel you’re heading toward a divorce, be proactive and file first.
A favorable outcome is possible
If you’re a father, divorce can seem like a rightfully daunting task, but in no way is it hopeless. With effective legal counsel, and by tying up some simple loose ends, you can position yourself to have your voice heard in a fair manner.