Attorneys handling divorces hear and see a lot of things that are signs or symptoms of problems for their clients. If you are going through, or about to go through, a divorce, and you say or do any of the following, you are going to make your life more difficult and probably more expensive. 1. Saying that cost is no object. That's literally true for very few people. For most people, there will be a point when they realize the cost is starting to exceed the expected benefit. As that scale tips, people become unhappy. They realize that they have spent a lot of money and still haven't accomplished all that they wanted. It's better to be realistic from the beginning and put limits on your spending for attorney's fees and other litigation expenses.
2. Being too cheap. “Nickel and diming” everything. If you can't afford reasonable costs, you should reassess your approach or just stop for a while, if you still can. While being frugal is often good, you should not cut back too much on essential expenses. Work with your attorney to come up with a reasonable budget for what you need to do. 3. Listening too much to others. That can be a serious problem, especially if you decide that you want to do something or not do something because of what someone (other than the lawyer) has told them. Each case is different. Laws are different from state-to-state. It's much better and safer to strategize with your attorney. 4. Being in a hurry. Most legal matters take much longer than clients want or expect. If you are in a hurry, and especially if the other side becomes aware of that, you will be at a significant disadvantage in negotiating. The party who's not in a hurry can easily put pressure on the other party by simply slowing everything down. When your goal becomes a speedy resolution to the issue, you lose a lot of your bargaining power for getting a good result.
5. Having another significant other waiting in the wings. The “other” will probably encourage you to be in a hurry to settle. See #4. In addition, if you ex finds out about the “other”, your ex may become angry and uncooperative. Finally, people tend to make bad decisions on the rebound. Be careful.
6. Using the kids as a weapon. This is such a “no-no”. Don't threaten to keep the kids away from the other parent. Don't trade visitation or money for time with the kids. Try to focus on what's best of the children. 7. Signing an agreement without legal advice. Sometimes people try mediation without attorneys or negotiate or go to court without attorneys. Be sure to take any proposed agreement to a Family Law attorney to review before you are finally committed to a deal. It's safer to have an attorney advising you all the way so you can avoid problems that you may not even be aware of.
If you will avoid these seven bad strategies, your life will be much better. If you think about taking any of these approaches, be sure to discuss your ideas with an attorney. Good luck!