No matter how prepared you may think you are, going through a divorce is rarely easy. It is typically one of the most emotionally draining times in a person’s life. Not surprisingly, mistakes are easy to make. To help prevent you from making them yourself, a Murfreesboro divorce attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby discusses five common mistakes people make when going through a divorce.
- Failing to prepare. If your spouse serves you with divorce papers out of the blue, there may not have been much you could do to prepare for that; however, if you see divorce in your future, or you are contemplating filing yourself, preparing for the divorce process is a good idea. This includes taking some practical steps as well as preparing yourself emotionally for the process ahead of you. Putting together an accurate accounting of assets and debts is a good start. Do not try to hide assets and do not make any changes to insurance or benefits right now. Before talking to your spouse about the terms of a divorce, ask yourself what really matters to you and what you are willing to give up.
- Failing to respond. When the Petitioner (the spouse who files the divorce) initiates the legal process of divorce, a copy of the Petition is served on the other spouse (the “Respondent”). From the date the Petition is served, the Respondent only has a short period of time to file a written Answer. A surprising number of people simply ignore the Petition. If you fail to respond by filing an Answer, the Petitioner can request a default judgment which allows him/her to finalize the divorce without your input. Even if you believe you and your spouse have reached an amicable settlement, you should file an Answer just in case that agreement falls apart.
- Failing to seek professional advice and guidance. It is rarely a good idea to try and go through a divorce without an attorney. Unless you and your spouse have virtually no assets, no depts, and no children, proceeding pro se (without an attorney) is not wise. Moreover, even if it initially appears that your divorce will be an amicable one, that can (and often does) change overnight. To ensure that your rights are protected, consult with an experienced divorce attorney as soon as divorce appears inevitable.
- Failing to look at the big picture. Given the heightened emotions that usually accompany divorce, it is easy to lose sight of what’s really important. Children – and what is best for them – should come first. While you should certainly walk away from your divorce with a fair distribution of assets, try not to become hyper focused on specific assets unless they are really worth fighting over.
- Failing to protect yourself. While some people focus too much on the small details of a divorce, others give up without a fight. Divorce can be physically and emotionally exhausting. If the marriage has been falling apart for years, you may simply want out. That can lead to giving up and giving in far too easily. That, in turn, can result in failing to protect your rights and your interests in the divorce. This is yet another reason why it is important to have an attorney on your side. Your attorney’s job is to make sure your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process.
Contact a Murfreesboro Divorce Attorney
If you have additional questions or concerns regarding mistakes people often make during a divorce, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro divorce attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.
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