As a divorce lawyer I get to see good people at their worst, and I get to see a lot of mistakes. These mistakes can cost people thousands of dollars, custody of their kids, sometimes their sanity! The biggest mistakes I see as a divorce lawyer are also some of the easiest to avoid. I’ve listed them below in no order of importance.
1) Hating your spouse. This gets you nowhere. Well, actually I take that back it will help your lawyer either pay off her student loans or buy that new car he’s had his eye on. As they say the best revenge is good living and it is even more true in divorce court. So, bury your feelings, go to counseling, do whatever it takes, but don’t openly hate your spouse.
2) Keep talking about “fairness”. If you want fair go down to Roseville for the Great Minnesota Get Together, don’t whine about fairness to your lawyer, your ex, or the judge. I can promise you, not a single one of them cares what you think is fair. What matters, is can you get what you want? Can your lawyer negotiate something that you can live with? Fairness, justice, equality, are all subjective items that no two people can agree on.
3) Talk to your young children like they are 20 years old. For God’s sake, this is so obvious and so often ignored. I can’t tell you how many times I hear stories of young kids, say 9, 8 or even 5 years old who get sat down on the couch and told about the family finances, infidelities of other parents and generally just get the crap scared out of them. If you want to do this, I suggest you ask yourself “Are you doing this for yourself or for the kids?” usually it’s the former.
4) Ignore your divorce lawyers telephone calls. My favorite. Nothing says I don’t give a crap about my case, my life, my kids, my money than not returning calls, missing appointments, ignoring advice etc. Understand that your lawyer is not your babysitter and the usual feeling is that if you don’t care about your case…I’m not going to either and you’ll soon be without a lawyer.
5) Don’t have a plan. I know, I know I say this all the time! But it’s that important. You need to have a plan, for life, for the kids, for your job because if you don’t you are simply a rudderless ship that will go wherever the wind and the whims of the day take you.
Well that’s it, I hope you got a few helpful tips from this blog, keep posted for next weeks update and until then if you have any questions feel free to email me or visit our website at www.MankatoFamilyLaw.com
Rosengren Kohlmeyer, Law Office