One of the things that helps people get through a difficult divorce is their support system. Friends, family and loved ones show up with comfort food, take you out for a night of distraction, and are there to listen when you need them. Unfortunately, in their strong desire to help you they can end up giving you the gift that keeps on giving — bad divorce advice. Before taking any “friendly” advice, get sound legal counsel from the Law Office of David Pedrazas. Here are six common things people say that can trip you up.
Stay Together for The Kids
Many parents believe that splitting up will scar their children for life. They base this on things like social stigma and the absence of a parent at home. As much as parents love their children and want to be there for them, there’s a reason you are considering divorce. In all likelihood, your kids are witnessing anger and hostility between the two people they love the most. This isn’t the role-modeling you want to pass on. Good, loving parenting done separately will serve them better than witnessing daily animosity.
Hide Your Assets So Your Spouse Won’t Get Them
When facing divorce, there’s an urge to circle the wagons and make sure you keep what’s rightfully yours. There’s no way you’re handing over those diamond earrings or that ’67 Chevy you spent two years restoring to mint condition. Stuffing jewelry in a safety deposit box or selling that car for $100 to a buddy who will sell it back after your divorce is final may sound like good advice. It’s not. Hiding assets or misleading the court about what you own can result in a fraud lawsuit later and possibly a criminal charge.
Get A Restraining Order to Stop Your Spouse from Stealing
Couples facing divorce often have strong negative feelings toward each other. You’re not agreeing to disagree because the marriage is brimming with trust. Those heightened emotions can lead you to take some bad advice you wouldn’t have considered just a year ago. To get a restraining order you’ll have to convince a court you’re in danger or something that may not be true. So, two basic problems, you may be perpetrating a fraud on the court and an unneeded restraining order will only make less-than-reasonable divorce negotiations even less reasonable.
Settle Quickly and Get On with Your Life
Your friends may see that you are in a bad emotional state. The stress of divorce weighs so heavily that your once smiling face has turned into a permanent furrowed brow. The people who care about you just want you to light up the room with happiness again and may urge you to take your spouse’s first offer and move on. This may shorten the divorce process, but it will likely leave you holding the short end of the marital asset stick.
Move Out Voluntarily
Because there are such tensions in the household, friends may want to talk you into getting your own place. After all, you won’t be living together after the divorce is final anyway. You’ll look like the better person by taking a step forward to quell the daily hostilities, right? Wrong. Moving out can come back to bite you. Opposing counsel can spin this into abandonment and contend you aren’t interested in being with your children. Have your attorney draw up a legal separation agreement before taking one step out the door.
Save Money, Your Spouse Already Has a Lawyer
In some futuristic world where everything is beautiful and people always put others first, opposing attorneys will have your best interest in mind. Of course, in that happy place people do not get divorced. Attorneys cannot represent both parties; it’s a conflict of interest. And, they are not going to go easy on you either. Lawyers are paid to protect their client’s interests, period. Some say that in divorce there is no winning, only degrees of losing. Without legal representation, it will be a blowout.
Divorce can be a tremendously stressful process and the people around you just want to help. However, they are not lawyers. That’s why it’s imperative that you have experienced legal representation on your side. At the Law Office of David Pedrazas we have been helping people through difficult divorces for more than 20 years and are here to help you. Call us today at 810-207-9774, or contact us here for a free 30-minute consultation on your case.