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Five “No-No’s” When Getting A Divorce

October 6, 2011

Any of these may be the kiss of death to an amicable, reasonably priced divorce:

1. Don’t date.  There’s no rush!  This is true even if the divorce was not “your” idea.  Don’t join dating services or post your Facebook status as “single.”

2. Don’t make changes to your existing life, auto, health or other insurance policies, unless you have your spouse’s written agreement.  This includes changing deductibles, carriers, insureds or beneficiaries.

3. Don’t unilaterally tell your children you are getting a divorce.  It is usually better for parents to share this information as a team.  Your children do not want to take sides or be in the middle.  Instead, use this opportunity to reassure your children that you both still love them, and that the divorce is not their fault.

4. Don’t “trash” your spouse to family, friends, and especially your children.  Never assume your children cannot hear you or that information you share in confidence won’t get back to them or to your spouse.  This includes Facebook, folks!

5. Don’t drown your sorrows with alcohol. Allegations of excessive drinking may be used against you in a custody dispute.  Many divorcing people suffer from emotional turmoil – anger, depression and other difficult feelings.  By all means get help from family, friends and/or professionals.

When in doubt, behave toward your spouse as you want your spouse to behave toward you.  That’s the bottom line.

–  Deborah Ewing, Wendy Jones, and Elaine Thompson are all experienced family law attorneys in the Los Angeles area, and are members  of A Better Divorce, a Collaborative Family Law Practice Group.

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