Many people make mistakes early in the divorce process that may affect the outcome. The exact steps that people need to take early in divorce are drastically different from case to case, but the mistakes that people make are often very similar even when they are in highly unique scenarios.
The three mistakes below are all errors that people should avoid whenever possible as they prepare for California divorce proceedings.
Airing dirty laundry on social media
People use different social media platforms to obtain validation from their peers and share news with their closest social acquaintances. Unfortunately, people in the habit of oversharing online can put themselves at a legal disadvantage during a divorce. Exaggeration or unprovable claims made on social media could lead to allegations of defamation from a spouse. The details that someone shares online could also give their spouse ammunition during the divorce proceedings. It is usually best to avoid using social media as much as possible before and during a divorce.
Dissipating marital assets
Many people who intend to file for divorce first take steps to alter the marital estate before they go to court. Someone might spend the majority of the contents of a savings or checking account on a shopping spree when they buy items for their new apartment. Others might max out credit cards on frivolous purchases. Some people destroy property that belongs to their spouse in a desire to take revenge. Any actions that diminish the value of the marital estate may constitute the dissipation of marital assets and could eventually impact the outcome of property division proceedings later.
Dramatically announcing their choice to their spouse
The last mistake on the list is among the most common. People start thinking about divorce but take no actual steps to prepare for it. Then, in a moment of conflict, they angrily announce to their spouse that they intend to file for divorce soon. Doing so puts them at risk for multiple reasons. Their spouse could engage in misconduct ranging from the destruction or hiding of marital assets to the intentional alteration of financial records. Their spouse might even file for divorce first, a choice that may put someone at a disadvantage later.
While it may be cathartic at the moment to express one’s anger and shock a spouse with an announcement about an intended divorce, that emotional relief is often short-lived. People do themselves a disservice by announcing a divorce before they have adequately prepared. It is typically better to gather records, lay the groundwork and secure legal representation before ever discussing a divorce with a spouse.
Avoiding the most common mistakes people make early in the divorce process may benefit those hoping to end a marriage in the most favorable way possible.