At our law office, we get calls fairly frequently from couples who are in the first stages of getting a divorce. These people often say that they want mediation, but they are also not sure if they actually need it. The truth is, not every divorce is a messy process that includes a lot of confrontation. Plenty of couples are able to work out everything just fine, but they do need help finishing up the process.
While it may seem as though everything has been planned out and agreed to upon first meeting with a lawyer, many couples find out that they haven’t actually covered all their bases. Even with the best of intentions, you may find yourself in this predicaments once you get a legal team to aid you in your divorce process. In order to prevent issues with your DIY divorce, we would suggest that you continue reading below and avoid the most common mistakes that we see people make when it comes to splitting their lives amicable.
Mistake 1: Not Having a Full Understanding of Child Support
When we first speak with spouses who are also parents, they commonly ask the same questions. They want to know what child support is, who child support is for, who pays it and so on and so forth. For the most part, child support is determined by state-regulated guidelines. These funds are supposed to be used to cover the most basic of a child’s expenses. These are things like food, clothing, and shelter. Child support, on the other hand, does not cover medical expenses, insurance coverage, extra-curricular activities, tuition, tutoring, summer camps and more. In the majority of cases, parents will have to agree to pay for these additional expenses.
Much of the time, these expenses are split up with the help of mediation as spouses struggle to fairly distribute the cost that comes with raising one or more children. These are not agreements that you want to try and make after the divorce is final, however. If you do so, you could be looking at even more legal fees further down the road.
Mistake 2: Misconceptions About Alimony
Without gaining the proper information regarding alimony, spouses are often fairly confused on the subject. Alimony is complicated, especially when considering how it works, when it is appropriate and when it is not. The important thing to remember is that no spouse is absolutely entitled to alimony, nor is there a set way that alimony is computed. Each case is different and requires that a full analysis of many factors in order to determine if either of the spouses actually is entitled to receive alimony.
One of the biggest misconceptions about alimony is that it will not apply if both spouses make similar incomes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The amount that each spouse makes from their job is only one of the many factors that are taken into consideration when alimony is being determined.
Mistake 3: Thinking the Divorce Process is an Easy Process
If you do not have experience dealing with the court’s filing process, it can be seemingly endless with a number of issues piling up on top of one another. If you want to avoid being tied up in a ton of legal tape, potentially for years, it’s important that you and your spouse get the legal help required to make the process as painless as possible.
Mistake 4: Not Considering Future Living Expenses
When you are going through the divorce process, you are unfortunately stuck with your current situation until an agreement has been met. You may have also not given enough thought to what it means to have to split one household into two, especially where finances are concerned. Overlooking that you will have your own set of expenses once the divorce is finalized is a huge mistake. You need to know how you will be able to support yourself when you are only relying on your own salary. A lawyer can help you to make a budget and plan out what you will need to cut back on if you want to make the transition into single life as seamless as possible.
Mistake 5: Assuming Your Estate Will Be Split Evenly
Because you are in charge of negotiating your own settlement, there is absolutely no way to guarantee that your marital estate will be split 50/50. Just as with alimony, there are plenty of factors that the court takes into consideration when they are determining how things will be split between spouses. This is especially true if one of the spouses has overwhelming financial needs. The lesson here is not to assume you already know the outcome of your divorce proceedings because they could go in the complete opposite way than you anticipated.
Mistake 6: Thinking You Don’t Need A Parenting Plan
People almost always underestimate the importance of devising a parenting plan when they get divorced. They figure they can just work out any issues with scheduling or other things as they arise. This is a poor choice. While it may sound good in theory, going without a parenting plan will almost always result in confrontation. This is why it is critical that you set a standard for who will be responsible for taking care of the children when. This will alleviate any tension that could be caused otherwise.
Hire A Divorce Attorney You Can Trust
When it comes to going through the complicated process of getting divorced, it’s not something that you want to go through alone. The best outcome will always come when you hire an expert legal team to help walk you through the entire divorce process and point out to you where you could be making potential mistakes. At the Law Office of Loomis and Greene in Loveland, we will go above and beyond to make your divorce as easy and painless as possible. Contact us right now to learn more about what we can do for you.