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Legal Mistakes to Avoid During A Divorce

Divorce can be an exhausting and emotionally draining process. It’s all too easy to make costly errors that may jeopardize child custody arrangements, child support, and asset division. For guidance on divorce law in the District of Columbia, you can turn to a family law attorney.

Trying to Skimp on Legal Services

You may have seen advertisements for “do-it-yourself” divorce documents or suspiciously low legal fees. Although it may be tempting to save money in legal fees, going this route can wind up costing you in the long run. It’s highly advisable to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer about your particular situation. You can schedule an initial consultation with an attorney before retaining his or her legal services. During your consultation, the attorney can offer guidance on applicable family law matters.

Going on the Offensive Immediately

It can be difficult to approach the divorce process in a logical and pragmatic way, rather than an emotional manner. Yet, doing so is often essential. Although your soon-to-be ex-spouse may have violated the sanctity of your marriage, it’s generally best to restrain any inclination to immediately go on the offensive when the divorce papers are served. Avoid making unreasonable
demands simply because you’re at odds with your spouse; this will only make the divorce process longer and more difficult for you.

Neglecting to Obtain Complete Financial Data

If you aren’t sure about your spouse’s financial assets, you may wish to consult a divorce lawyer before informing your spouse that you intend to file divorce papers. Giving your spouse a warning will give him or her some time to attempt to hide assets. Instead, work with your divorce lawyer to obtain as much information as you can about the marital assets. Later, after your lawyer files the divorce petition, he or she can use discovery tools to legally demand additional financial documents from your spouse. These might include subpoenas, releases, document demands, and interrogatories.

Forgetting the Child’s Best Interests

Child custody arrangements are often the most contentious component of the divorce process. It’s essential to keep in mind the best interests of the child. Even if your spouse was a less-than-ideal partner, this does not necessarily reflect upon his or her parenting abilities. In most cases, children benefit from having access to both parents.