Five Big Mistakes to Avoid in Your Virginia Divorce

By: John Whitbeck

[11.12.2020] Making mistakes during your divorce is common, especially if you are not represented by a skilled Virginia divorce attorney. Divorce is stressful and emotional, so it’s easy to make mistakes and be controlled by your emotions. Having an objective attorney on your side who can help protect your interests in a contested Virginia divorce can help you considerably in the process.  

Here is a look at five of the most common mistakes to avoid during your divorce. 

Using Children as Leverage   

If you have children, don’t make them pawns in your messy divorce. They are not bargaining chips to get what you want. A judge will certainly look down on you if it’s evident you are using your children as a negotiating tool to get a bigger portion of the marital assets.   

Hiding Assets Rather Than Disclosing  

Some people mistakenly assume that they can “protect” themselves by hiding assets from their spouse. This will certainly backfire on you in multiple ways. The law requires you to be transparent and disclose all assets. You will likely get caught, especially if your spouse suspects you are hiding something. There are experts who specialize in uncovering hidden accounts and assets, which could lead to serious financial and legal ramifications.

Being too Attached to the Family Home   

It’s understandable that you don’t want to let the home go, as your children were raised there, or you have an established routine, friends nearby, etc. However, your financial situation is about to change, and keeping the family home may not make a lot of sense. You need to do the math and determine whether you can truly afford it. Is there still a mortgage on it? You have to cover utilities, upkeep, and other expenses you may not be thinking about as well.   

Sometimes moving to a smaller home or a condo is a better financial decision. Not to mention, there may be some bad memories attached to the house given your marriage broke up. Starting with a clean slate can be emotionally beneficial as well. 

Forgetting About the Trust and Will   

Don’t forget about your trust or will. If you are getting divorced, your spouse doesn’t automatically lose rights if they are named in a trust and/or will. If you forget to change it and you end up passing away, your ex could still be getting a portion of your estate that you wanted to go to someone else instead.  

Not Following Court Orders   

If the judge issued an order, even a temporary one, it must be followed. A judge’s order is not a suggestion. Failure to follow any orders could result in contempt of court, jail time, fines, another order to pay your spouse’s legal fees, or any other punishment that the court feels is warranted. Not to mention, the court is not likely to side with you on future issues in the case. 

If you need assistance with a Virginia divorce, contact WhitbeckBennett by calling 800-516-3964 or by emailing clientservices@wblaws.com to learn how our team can help.

Related: Divorce