While traditional gender roles no longer reign supreme in Florida marriages or marriages throughout the country, and even though divorce is unique to each individual experiencing it, there are some common mistakes that women tend to make during the Florida divorce process. Men also make many of these mistakes, and this list is not exclusive to women or Florida. In fact, if you are considering divorce, we recommend that you read both this article and the accompanying article, “Common Mistakes Men Make During Florida Divorce.” By trying to understand the common pitfalls that come with divorce, you can approach the Florida divorce process more confidently and productively while avoiding some unnecessary mistakes that could be costly in the short- and long-term.
Not Using an Experienced Florida Divorce Attorney
Many times, especially in situations where a divorce is amicable or less contentious, it may be tempting to go through the Florida divorce process without the help of an experienced Florida divorce attorney. This can be a huge mistake, regardless of the assurances your spouse may give you about facing the divorce together. You may be taken advantage of by your spouse or overlook an important detail that can have a significantly negative effect on your divorce settlement. No matter how much you still trust your spouse, it is always in your best interest to work with an experienced Florida divorce attorney to help make sure that your rights are asserted and protected.
Not Being Intimately Aware of Family Finances
In some marriages, men still control a great deal of the family’s finances. Sometimes, this leads to female partners having a limited role in the family’s financial affairs. Regardless of who handles the finances in your family, it is imperative that you have a sound understanding of your financial situation as a family and as an individual before moving forward with divorce. Not only will this help you better approach important decisions you will need to make throughout the Florida divorce process, but it will also help you save time and money as you begin the divorce process because you will need to provide some intimate financial details. It is a good idea to start collecting important financial information if you have started to think about divorce to not only prepare yourself, but also protect yourself in case your spouse decides to amass debt when divorce is initiated.
It is also extremely important to make sure that you can financially afford to initiate divorce. There are a number of fees, legal and otherwise, that you will need to pay up front depending on your circumstances. It is extremely important for you to be aware of these types of costs and make sure that you can budget accordingly. In marriages where one spouse is financially dependent on the other, this can be difficult. However, overcoming financial obstacles is not impossible. Being aware of your financial responsibilities before, during, and after a divorce can help you approach the divorce process with more focus and direction.
Letting Emotions Control the Show
Unfortunately, all divorce is accompanied by a wide variety of emotions. Some of these emotions are expected and some are not, but no matter the reason or the emotion, it is important to make sure you recognize your emotions and keep them in check. Yes, this is far easier said than done because divorce is inherently adversarial and likely to open old wounds or cause new ones. However, approaching divorce understanding how you approach and handle conflict is an important part of being emotionally healthy during and after a divorce. Conflict and tension cause many unexpected emotions during the divorce process, but being aware of what your triggers are as well as how you are likely to react to them can help you remain more focused when such situations arise.
In some cases, it may also be important to actively limit your emotions. Too often, members of both genders treat divorce law as one of complete and total justice. It is common to want to “get even” or “teach your spouse a lesson.” However, in practice these approaches are rarely effective. In fact, they can exponentially increase the time, money, and energy your divorce will ultimately require from you. Florida law encourages couples to come to their own divorce settlement through mediation and other avenues. However, it is almost impossible to do so when you approach divorce looking for a way to heal all of the wounds your marriage may have created. Approaching a process like divorce that has a high potential for escalated conflict can also be detrimental to children involved in the divorce, or even other family members and friends.
Trying to Get Out too Quickly
When your emotions are in charge, you may not be making the best decisions. During an emotionally exhausting process like divorce, many women and men find themselves emotionally exhausted. Emotional exhaustion can cause you to become apathetic to the divorce process, agreeing to things to which you might not otherwise have agreed. It can also cause you to make hasty, even reckless decisions when it comes to your divorce settlement that could ultimately have a negative impact on everything from your post-divorce financial health to custody of your children. Recognizing the warning signs of emotional exhaustion is a key component of making sure you avoid this pitfall.
Not Using Professional Assistance
It is important to recognize your need for professional assistance, whether that be with a mental health professional or an experienced financial planner that works with divorced clients. While you may shy away from the cost of including these experts in your divorce, the financial payoff could be much bigger for you in the long run. These professionals will work with you at every step of the divorce process and can supplement the support you divorce lawyer is able to provide. Your Florida divorce attorney can explain the different roles various professionals can play in the Florida divorce process. If you are considering divorce or have already made the difficult decision to pursue divorce, contact Scott J. Stadler to schedule a consultation and find out more information about how the Florida divorce process might affect you.