Top 5 Mistakes You Can Make in Your Divorce
The title really says it all. Here are the main mistakes we see in our Family Law practice – although we could easily make a list triple this size:
1. Not getting all the information.
This can include not understanding the full extent of your legal entitlement under Ontario Family Law, signing documents without really knowing what you are committing to, and not taking steps to ensure that you have received the full financial picture from your soon-to-be Ex, in terms of his or her assets, debts and liabilities that are subject to the equalization process. As the saying goes: “Knowledge is power”.
2. Settling for less.
If you are going through a divorce, you will be understandably eager to move on from the relationship and leave the unpleasantness behind as soon as possible. However, this sense of urgency could result in you making hasty decisions early on the process, and settling for less than you deserve. For example, you may agree to less child support than you need or are legally entitled to, because you are in a hurry to keep afloat financially or because you just want to bring an ugly divorce process to the quickest possible conclusion.
3. Letting divorce negotiations or mediation go on too long.
I am all for settling as much as possible outside the courtoom. But at some point, even if you and your spouse are conciliatory and negotiation-minded, you may have to admit that you have reached a stage where certain issues are unlikely to be resolved between you. At this stage, it may be unavoidably necessary – yet ultimately optimally productive – to have those matters determined by a judge.
4. Disregarding court orders.
There is simply no up-side to doing this. The Family Law system is well-equipped to deal with situations in which a court order is being ignored; the repercussions usually include the triggering of various enforcement mechanisms, plus the levying of additional court costs.
5. Trying to do too much by yourself.
This encompasses many things: not getting competent legal representation immediately; trying to carry all or part of the file on your own (especially when you are stressed with other pressures such as work, childcare, and the details of moving on); and trying to advance the divorce process patchwork-style, while switching lawyers two or three times.