When your marriage to the person you thought was the love of your life falls apart and you are in turmoil, adding divorce proceedings to the mix only increases your stress levels. In an ideal situation, you will not have to contend with negotiating settlements for property, money and custody of children. However, for many people, a seamless, non-contentious divorce is a pipe dream. Nevertheless, you can decrease the amount of drama and hard feelings by adhering to a few tips of what not to do during divorce proceedings.
Post Updates About Your Life On Social Media
If you are an avid user of social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, it may be second nature to you to post several status updates per day of what is going on in your life. However, this can backfire on you, especially if your spouse uses your updates as ammunition in court.
For example, when WNBA superstar Brittney Griner and her wife, fellow pro basketball player Glory Johnson, decided to split after a short-lived marriage, photos posted to Instagram by Johnson were used in court to discredit some of her claims.
Johnson told the court that she was unable to work and perform certain types of physical activities because she was experiencing a high-risk pregnancy. In the weeks leading up the divorce hearing, Johnson posted Instagram photos of herself engaging in activities like go cart racing, laser tag and roller-skating. She later deleted some of the posts, but the damage was done.
Griner's lawyer informed the court of Johnson's activities as evidence that she was exaggerating about her physical condition and claims that she was unable to work. The court denied Johnson's request for spousal support, alimony, reimbursement for attorney fees and even continued payments on a luxury vehicle Griner purchased for her as a present.
The gist: Do yourself a favor and stop posting everything you do on social media. Turn your focus to helping your attorney prepare your case and taking care of yourself.
While you may feel like your life is out of control during a divorce, do not let your emotions lead you to make reckless decisions. If you spouse has already moved on and you feel dejected, get counseling instead of engaging in activities like:
- Going on shopping sprees
- Drinking excessively
- Refusing to negotiate
- Ignoring court orders
Reckless behavior may end up escalating the costs of your divorce. Splurging on clothes and other items you do not need will leave you with less money to live on when the divorce is final. In addition, the things you buy may be considered assets by the court.
Stubbornness during negotiations can also drain your finances. The longer you drag out the divorce proceedings, the more money you will spend on dissolving your marriage.
Start A New Relationship
No matter how lonely you feel during a divorce, do your best to work on healing yourself before getting involved in another relationship. First, it is not fair to the other party to be the recipient of rebound affection.
Second, if your spouse finds out that you are having an intimate relationship with someone else, you may end up losing ground in your divorce proceedings when your spouse's attorney lets the judge know about your affair.
In addition, if you have children, your custody rights may be affected by your new relationship. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani found this out the hard way when a judge denied him joint custody of his son because he started a new relationship before his marriage ended. Giuliani's brazenness in letting his girlfriend stay overnight at his home while his children were in the house cost him dearly, straining his relationship with his family.
The bottom is line is that unless you have millions of dollars to spare to fight a divorce, you need to be on your best behavior as your case winds through the courts. Engaging in careless behavior and acting on impulse will hit your hard in the wallet and the heart, especially if you have children. For more information and tips, work with an experienced family law attorney.