Thursday, November 13, 2008

Five Don'ts During a Divorce

Posted on November 12, 2008 by J. Benjamin Stevens
A divorce is a complicated procedure, legally, financially and emotionally. It’s up to you to make the process as smooth as possible in order to prevent unnecessary stress and expenses. If you’re going through a divorce or contemplating one, here’s what you mustn’t do:
  1. Don’t change lawyers midstream: It’s your personal prerogative, but changing lawyers anytime during the divorce proceedings adds to the already enormous expense through extra procedures and more time. Make it a point to investigate your attorney carefully before you hire him or her and get someone whom you trust right from the word go, someone who’s both experienced in family law and who comes highly recommended.
  2. Don’t get too emotionally attached to your attorney: If your attorney’s the caring kind, you may end up literally crying on his or her shoulder unable to take the mental stress any longer. It’s not advisable to get too close emotionally to your attorney because it complicates the process even more. Also, there are laws that prohibit a client and attorney from getting involved romantically or sexually for the duration of the case.
  3. Don’t take financial issues for granted: Don’t take your future finances for granted once you’ve decided on a divorce. Talk to your spouse about who gets the house, how taxes are going to be paid, how credit card debts are going to be resolved, how joint accounts are going to be handled, how much child support is enough, and about other financial aspects that are likely to affect both of you. If you go through this process as amicably as you can, you’re both going to save a ton of money.
  4. Don’t make your kids suffer: Just because you no longer get along with your spouse, there’s no reason to take it out on your kids. They’re already going through a rough patch knowing that their parents are about to get divorced and that their life is going to be a sort of tennis match where they’re the figurative balls being batted from one parent to another. Don’t take out your frustrations on them or abuse your spouse when they’re around. Make them understand that even though you both are splitting up, you still love them a lot.
  5. Don’t indulge in physical relations with your spouse: If your decision to divorce is final and there’s no room for a permanent reconciliation, it’s best to refrain from having sex with your spouse. You may still be living under one roof and sexually compatible, and if the divorce is amicable you may feel that there’s no harm in sleeping with each other as long as no one else knows. But there are emotional complications that will mess up your divorce and leave you with more issues to contend. If you’ve agreed to separate, keep it that way in the bedroom too.


Jon D. McLaughlin, Esq.
Cannell & Maulson, P.C.
211 West Jefferson Street
Bloomington, Illinois 61701
(309) 828-5600