Getting divorced can be a trying and emotional time. People often have difficulty thinking clearly. Stressed, they make decisions that they never would have made under other circumstances.
At my Brighton area law firm — Tolison & Williams, Attorneys at Law, LLC — I provide a strong foundation for my clients by guiding them through the divorce process. I offer legal counsel based on years of experience, which helps my clients avoid these serious divorce mistakes:
- Hiding money — This is one of the worst mistakes a person can make in a divorce. When you deliberately hide money from your spouse, you run the risk of the court finding out. If your actions are discovered, the judge may side with your spouse and award him or her the larger share of your property — exactly the opposite of what you hoped to accomplish.
- Lying to your lawyer — Lying to your lawyer can only work against you because when issues come up in your divorce, your lawyer will not be prepared to properly represent you. Lost your temper? Went out for a wild night? Did something you regret? It may feel painful now, but it's best to fess up. Remember that your relationship with your lawyer is protected by the attorney-client privilege so that anything you say to her is confidential. Your lawyer won't tell on you, but she will use the information you provide to represent you to the fullest.
- Saying bad things about the other parent in front of your kids — Judges don't hesitate to take action against parents who alienate their children from the other parent. Like hiding assets, this plan can backfire. Judges may punish you for your bad behavior by ordering less parenting time or awarding child custody to the other parent.
- Not having realistic expectations about your assets and debts — Sometimes people expect to earn money in a divorce. The truth is that things rarely work this way. Expecting your divorce to be a get-rich-quick scheme can lead to disappointment. In a divorce, the assets that formerly supported one household must now be divided to support two, so spouses' standards of living often decrease — not increase.
- Fighting just to fight — Many people get so caught up in their divorces that they spend thousands of dollars fighting over the lawn gnome or Aunt Hilda's favorite casserole dish. Only after things calm down do they realize that they've wasted valuable resources on something that didn't matter in the long run. When a divorce becomes contentious, turn to your lawyer to help you keep a level head. An experienced lawyer like me, Katie Tolison, will help you make the right decisions about what counts ... and what's clutter.
- Being sneaky — Spouses are often driven to desperate measures in a divorce. They steal computer passwords and break into their spouse's email accounts. They secretly record their spouses or install computer-monitoring software. These approaches can come back to haunt you — especially when kids are involved. During a divorce, it's best not to do anything you wouldn't want the judge to know about.
- Emptying your bank accounts — Your divorce may seem like a good time to go on a spending spree. But the judge will probably learn about your latest shopping trips, exotic vacations or the rounds of drinks you bought the entire bar. It's best to be wise, frugal and respectful with your money during a divorce. Save celebration for later, after the matter is finalized.
- Facebook misbehavior — It may be tempting to send out an angry tweet, slam your spouse on Facebook or post explicit details about your latest wild adventures, but holding back is a good idea. More and more, social media is being used as evidence in Colorado courtrooms. Your conduct is relevant to the outcome of your divorce, so put your best foot forward.
- Reassigning your stuff — In the time just before your divorce or during the divorce process, don't dispose of marital property by selling stuff or giving it to family members. In Colorado, as soon as you begin the divorce process, you cannot dispose of marital assets. Courts may trace assets disposed of just before the divorce if they suspect that something isn't right.
- Not seeing a lawyer to make sure that agreements are enforceable and realistic — You may think that you can handle your divorce on your own. You may be right, but the best way to protect your interests is to meet with a lawyer — at least for an hour or two — to review your divorce plans. You may be overlooking important factors or failing to take opportunities. When it comes to your divorce, time with an experienced attorney is well worth it.
Contact An Adams County Attorney About Dissolution Of Marriage
To set up a phone consultation, call my Adams County law firm at 303-500-7706 or fill out the contact form. I accept credit cards as a form of payment and offer mobile representation, working on your schedule in places that are convenient for you.