People can do some pretty crazy things when they are going through a divorce. Pick up any tabloid and read about the latest celebrity divorce and you’ll see what I mean. Luckily for most of us, our personal business isn’t splashed across newspaper headlines.
Don’t assume people aren’t paying attention
During your divorce you may feel isolated and like you are going through your own personal hell. However, other people are watching, such as: neighbors, family members, co-workers and bosses, and your ex spouse’s attorney. And even though most people think of divorce as an emotional process, they often forget it is a legal action and that things you do and say can end up hurting you. To minimize the risk of making your divorce more contentious try to avoid the following behaviors:
- Talking about the divorce on social media. It may feel good to bad mouth your ex on Facebook or Twitter but once it is there for the whole world to see, it may backfire. Your ex spouse’s attorney may be reading your page, looking for affairs, unreported assets, expensive trips and various other things that can affect your divorce settlement. If you feel the need to talk about your divorce, do it in private with friends and family—not the world-wide-web.
- Dating. When a person is going through a divorce and living apart from their ex spouse they may feel free to see someone else. However, if you are in a custody battle your ex may try to use your new relationship as a reason to prevent you from having custody of your children.
- Involving your kids with new romantic partners. If you are dating someone, don’t bring that person into your children’s lives. It may upset your children because they are just getting used to the divorce. It may also create custody issues, alimony, or other problems. If you decide you do want to date during your divorce, keep it discreet.
- Hiding assets. Making dramatic changes in your spending habits, claiming your business is suddenly in the red or shifting property ownership to a friend in order to avoid dividing assets can only get you in trouble. As much as it may hurt to have to split your assets with your ex spouse, facing an angry judge who has found you out will hurt much more.
- Criticizing your spouse to your kids. Yes, you are going through a divorce and you are not the number one fan of your ex. But your kids may be. Criticizing and complaining to your kids about their mom or dad will only upset them and make them feel like they have to choose sides. If you must vent, do so with a friend in a place where your kids won’t hear you.
To avoid risky behavior during a divorce, talk to a professional
Going through a divorce is tough no matter what the circumstances are. And it can be hard to figure out what to do and what not to do. An experienced NY divorce attorney can offer you advice and guidance in getting through the process as unscathed as possible.