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Ten things you should never do in your divorce - some of which may surprise you!
I thought this was ‘to the point’ advice and worth sharing from Karen Covy, author of "When Happily Ever After Ends: How to Survive Your Divorce - Emotionally, Financially and Legally"
1. Never put your children in the middle of your divorce. It is not your children's job to relay messages to your spouse or deal with your spouse simply because you don't want to do it yourself.
2. Never do anything that will harm your children's relationship with your spouse. Children love their parents. Bad-mouthing your spouse, treating your spouse badly in front of the children or purposely doing things to screw up your spouse's time with the children doesn't just hurt your spouse. It hurts your kids. Don't do it.
3. Never purposely destroy your property or your spouse's property during the divorce. You might think you will feel better if you slice up your spouse' clothing, destroy your spouse's family photos, or ruin whatever it is that your spouse holds dear, but you won't feel nearly as good about it when the judge in your case orders you to pay for the things you destroyed.
4. Never purposely do anything just to inflict pain on your spouse. In the heat of the moment you might think that making your spouse miserable will make you feel better. For a short time, maybe it even will. But what goes around, comes around. If you do something mean and terrible to your spouse, just to make your spouse miserable, someday, somehow, it will come back to you.
5. Never cancel your spouse's health insurance. If your spouse gets hit by a truck while you're still married, who do you think is going to be responsible for paying the bill? (Hint: It's not going to be your spouse.)
6. Never quit your job just so you don't have to pay child support, or so that your spouse has to pay to support you. Again, it sounds good in theory, but don't be surprised if a judge isn't sympathetic to your situation and orders you to go back to work and to pay your spouse what you should have been paying in child support all along, or refuses to order your spouse to pay to support you when you are perfectly capable of supporting yourself.
7. Never take your children and move out of the area, holiday out of the country, or simply run away with them, without telling your spouse. If you know your spouse (or your ex-spouse) is going to object to your moving hundred’s of miles away with the children, don't think that you can do it anyway, and as long as your spouse doesn't stop you in advance, you'll get away with it. The quickest way to lose custody of your children is to deprive your spouse of time with them.
8. Never stalk your spouse, break into your ex's house, or tamper with the mail. A crime is a crime.
9. Never intentionally ignore a court order. Your spouse might be willing to put up with your excuses, avoidance activities, and bad behaviour, but a judge won't be so forgiving. If the judge has ordered you to do something: do it. If you don't like the judge's order, talk to your lawyer about finding a way to change it. But, whatever you do, don't just ignore the court order because you don't agree with what it says.
10. Never be afraid to let your spouse take credit for what you've done. If you are married to the kind of spouse who needs to be in control - someone who needs to be "right" or needs to be a big shot, and you come up with a way to settle your case, but your spouse won't buy it because its your idea, then let your spouse think the settlement was his or her idea. As long as you've got a settlement that works, one in which your needs, and your children's needs are being met, who cares who created that settlement? What's important is getting what you need. Getting credit for getting what you need doesn't matter.