Divorce is rarely an easy or pleasant experience, and it can be challenging to maintain objectivity and a practical mindset during such an emotional ordeal. However, it’s vital for those undergoing the divorce process in Pasadena, CA, to remain as clearheaded as possible and avoid some common mistakes that jeopardize their standing. While some of the following common mistakes are unintentional and understandable, deliberate missteps in the divorce process can have significant consequences for the party responsible.
The Khalaf Law Group can provide the legal representation you need in a problematic Pasadena divorce. We understand the emotional toll the divorce process can take, even when divorcing spouses completely agree about ending their marriages. No matter what your particular divorce case entails, our team will guide you through your proceedings with confidence, helping you avoid the common mistakes that significantly complicate others’ divorces.
While most people may wonder what they should do to prepare for divorce, it is natural to wonder what you can not do during a divorce in Pasadena. So, keep the following tips in mind to have a more streamlined process.
Do Not Lie in Financial Disclosure
Divorce is more than ending a marriage. It is also legal to divide a married couple’s shared marital property and assign each spouse separate ownership rights over various assets. One of the most critical parts of any divorce is the financial disclosure process. Both divorcing spouses must provide complete and accurate financial records, including those pertaining to their marital property subject to division and the separate property they intend to claim. California enforces a strict community property law, and any assets deemed marital property are subject to 50/50 division in divorce. However, the spouses may retain ownership over their own separate property, such as things they owned before marrying.
Unfortunately, some divorcing spouses cannot stand the thought of dividing certain assets with their soon-to-be ex-spouses, and they engage in unethical tactics to hide assets. Therefore, you must be honest throughout all phases of financial disclosure. Failure to disclose assets as required by California state law may not only lead to you facing contempt of court but possibly even criminal prosecution for fraud or perjury.
Avoid Using Social Media
Social media has become a staple of modern life, and many people enjoy browsing social media daily and interacting with others. As a general rule, it is always best to avoid using social media when involved in any legal case. However, this is especially important for divorce. Even seemingly innocent posts could be leveraged against you by your spouse in divorce proceedings. Remember that everything you post on social media is publicly available. If you have any posts that conflict with testimony provided in your divorce proceedings, this will reflect poorly on your position. While it should be fine to passively read your social media feeds during your divorce, avoid posting anything, commenting on others’ posts, or interacting with posts until your divorce has been finalized.
Do Not Turn Your Kids Against Your Spouse
One of the most severe errors divorcing spouses can make is weaponizing their children against their other parent. When you have decided to end your marriage, your responsibilities as a parent do not end. Both you and your spouse must be able to separate your issues between yourselves from your parental responsibilities.
Parents who attempt to turn their kids against their other parents harm their children and themselves, eventually. Not only will this behavior make the divorce process harder on the entire family, but it will also likely backfire on the parent who did this. In addition, once their children discover that they were manipulated against their other parent, it will irreparably damage their relationships with the parent who caused the damage.
Do Not Start a New Relationship Right Away
Some marriages end because of infidelity and affairs, and it’s possible that you may be interested in a new partner before your divorce has been completed. While you may think it’s perfectly acceptable to pursue a new romance before your divorce is finalized, it is always best to avoid taking any drastic steps with a new relationship until you have a divorce order in hand. Your spouse can likely leverage your new relationship against you in some way, especially if the two of you have a prenuptial contract in place with provisions for infidelity.
California does not require fault to file for divorce, so you may assume that infidelity or starting a new relationship before your divorce is over will have little to no effect on the outcome of your divorce. However, this is not necessarily true. For example, if you expect to receive alimony out of your divorce but have already moved in with a new partner, cohabitation would likely preclude you from collecting alimony. On the other hand, suppose you have already started a new relationship before your divorce is finalized. In that case, it is crucial to consult your attorney as to how best to proceed to avoid complicating your divorce even further.
Never Act Out of Spite
Divorce can be an emotionally charged experience, but it is crucial to try to remain as calm and levelheaded as possible throughout the proceedings. Making decisions out of spite is just as likely to harm your position as it is your spouse’s, and these decisions virtually always backfire. For example, if your spouse wants to take advantage of alternative dispute resolution so the two of you can complete the divorce process faster and easier, do not assume that you will “teach them a lesson” by insisting on a trial. This will cost you just as much, if not more than it will cost them, and it will only serve to make the entire process more difficult for both of you.
An experienced divorce lawyer can help you separate your emotional distress concerning your divorce from your practical needs and interests. For example, you do not want to rush to the divorce process if you and your spouse have marriage trouble. Filing for divorce can be a point of no return when reconciliation may still be an option. Divorce is likely to influence your life in many ways for the foreseeable future, and it’s vital to approach the situation with a cool head.
Don’t Attempt to Handle Your Divorce Without Legal Representation
One of the biggest mistakes you can make regarding your divorce is assuming you can handle the process without legal counsel. Even if you and your spouse are on amicable terms, you should not assume that you do not need legal counsel. This is especially true if your spouse has their own lawyer. When your spouse has legal representation and you do not, this puts you at a significant disadvantage. You are likely to overlook crucial details that an experienced lawyer would catch.
If you are preparing for divorce in Pasadena, it is natural to feel uncertain about your situation and wonder about the case’s potential outcome. However, the right Pasadena divorce attorney can make a tremendous positive difference in your divorce experience. Contact the Khalaf Law Group today to schedule a consultation with our team and secure the legal counsel you need to confidently approach your divorce.