What are My Divorce Options?

If you’re on the brink of divorce, you may be going through a number of emotions at this point in time, and that’s only natural. Normally, the mere thought of divorce triggers a strong sense of loss, even if it’s the “right” thing to do.

The strong feelings of loss that spouses feel, may or may not have anything to do with the demise of their marriage, and the end of their relationship. After all, the close, intimate relationship may have died years ago.

Instead, the deep feelings of loss may be more centered on the loss of one’s home, the loss of a portion of their assets, the loss of pets, or a family business than one the loss of the marriage. Or, the couple may have children together and the impending divorce my cause a spouse to feel as if they’re losing their children, when in reality the courts will ensure that that’s not the case.

Emotions Can Be Raw in a Divorce

You may be one of those spouses who are relieved to be getting a divorce, but you’re still nervous about the months and years ahead. Or, perhaps your spouse blindsided you when they filed for divorce, and you’re still in shock. Either way, your emotions may be raw; you might not be thinking with the clearest head. After all, you have so much to do and it’s overwhelming.

Since divorce is a nerve-wracking experience, it’s not uncommon for people to suffer from insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Divorcing spouses may suddenly lose a lot of weight, or they may take comfort in food and gain weight. For reasons we can understand, divorce can affect us mentally and physically, but fortunately it’s temporary.

With the above in mind, divorce has a way of making sane people say and do irrational things. If you’re feeling angry, bitter, or emotional about your impending divorce, you want to make sure that you don’t make a mistake that can negatively affect you for years to come.

Don’t make these divorce mistakes!

So, what are some common divorce mistakes that you want to avoid making yourself? Please, read on as we briefly explain some of the most frequent divorce mistakes that our firm has seen:

  • Failing to close joint credit card accounts.
  • Hiding or transferring marital assets behind a spouse’s back.
  • Running up credit card debt (This would damage your credit score too!)
  • Failing to pay bills, including marital debts.
  • Moving out of the house alone when the spouse leaving wants child custody.
  • Dating before/during the divorce.
  • Spending money on a new romantic partner while the divorce is still pending (wasteful dissipation of marital assets).
  • Wasting marital assets on gambling, travel, a fancy new car, plastic surgery, etc. during divorce proceedings.
  • Posting about the divorce on social media.
  • Posting pics of partying and/or drinking on social media during the divorce.
  • Failing to create a post-divorce budget.
  • Keeping a marital residence that’s upside-down when the spouse cannot afford it.
  • Moving in with a new romantic partner during the divorce when child custody is a contested issue.
  • Refusing to participate in divorce mediation or a collaborative divorce.
  • Relying too much on the “promise” of spousal support, which a judge may not award.
  • Alienating one’s children against the other parent (parental alienation).

In the midst of a divorce, it’s easy to make any of these divorce mistakes, however, they can lead to long-lasting consequences. Regardless of the circumstances of your divorce, you want to handle the whole process with a calm and rational mind. Otherwise, you could do something that could affect child custody, your credit score, or your divorce settlement, and you don’t want that to happen.

What are my divorce options?

If you previously thought there was only one way to get divorced in California, think again. There are actually three main types of divorce, and we’ll explain them below.

1. Divorce Mediation
With divorce mediation, the couple agrees to discuss things openly and honestly until they reach a divorce agreement that they are both satisfied with. Divorce mediation is a great solution for those couples who want to maintain control over their divorce, while working as a team to resolve issues over child custody and property division.

When a couple chooses divorce mediation, a neutral third person called a divorce mediator helps the couple establish a marital settlement agreement. While this alternative isn’t suitable for everyone, it is ideal four couples who are willing to reach agreements on their own without needing court intervention.

2. Collaborative Divorce
With a collaborative divorce, each spouse hires their own attorney, however, the spouses go into it with the goal of reaching an agreement. This doesn’t mean that the spouses won’t have disagreements along the way, but ultimately they will reach an agreement and won’t have to go to court. Ideally, the spouses do their best to remain polite, respectful and amicable during this process.

3. Contested Divorce (divorce litigation)
The last and least favored option is a contested divorce, also referred to as divorce litigation. With divorce litigation, the couple cannot reach an agreement over matters pertaining to property division and/or child custody. In a contested divorce, the couple must go to court and have a judge decide on these matters for them.

Not only are these divorces the most stressful for all involved, they are more expensive, and they take longer to conclude. However, sometimes they are necessary. Should you find yourself locked in a divorce battle, you need an experienced and skilled divorce attorney by your side and advocating on your behalf.

Searching for a Los Angeles divorce attorney? Contact Claery & Hammond, LLPfor a free and confidential divorce consultation with a member of our skilled legal team.