Going through a divorce is difficult. Many men turn to friends and family for advice about issues like child custody, child support, division of assets, and alimony. While some of these friends and family may have gone through a divorce themselves, there are a number of common pieces of advice which are just plain wrong and sometimes even harmful to your divorce.
Sometimes this bad advice stems from the fact that the people giving it divorced in a different state, where divorce law can vary greatly from New Jersey divorce law, and sometimes its just bad advice. Here are some common pieces of divorce advice which you should definitely NOT listen to.
Leave your house as soon as possible
While it is certainly tempting to get out of a stressful home situation and start your new life as quickly as possible, you should be careful of leaving your home before your marital property division settlement has been decided. Not only does leaving your home set a bad precedent and harm your child custody agreement, you will also be financially responsible for two residences at a time when money may be tight..
If you leave your home, and by default give full custody of your children to your wife, you are establishing a “status quo” which will seriously harm your ability to secure the time you want with your children in a future child custody settlement.
Lower your child support payments by getting more custody of your children
Men are often concerned about having to pay alimony and child support and still be able to finance their own lives and expenses. It is an understandable concern, but if your friends or family members tell you to fight for more child custody just so you don’t have to pay as much in support agreements, you should definitely not listen to them. Pursue custody if you genuinely want to spend more time with your children, if you use them just to secure a more favorable support agreement you are endangering their emotional well-being and development.
Hide some money or assets for yourself
As tempting as it may be to hide some assets from your property division agreement, the reality is that the risk is extremely high, and probably not worth it. If you are discovered to be hiding assets from your divorce settlement, judges will penalize you heavily, having you pay much more than you would have otherwise as well as risking a decreased child custody settlement.
In addition, by hiding assets you also risk straining your relationship with your ex even more than it already is. If you have children, it is important that you are able to continue to communicate with your ex about any issues that may arise regarding your children and their futures.
And while the “gold-digger” ex-wife stereotype certainly exists, the reality is that most women use support payments to provide a safe and stable environment for their children, and not to finance their own extravagant lifestyles.
Use your divorce settlement to get back at your ex
As tempting as it may be to get some payback for the hurt or anger you may be feeling, most of the time you are just hurting yourself or your children by making your attorney over-litigate every last detail of your divorce settlement. Sure you might cause your ex some grief and waste their time, but you will wind up spending way more money than is reasonable in court and legal fees.
And of course, you should want to set a good example for your children, modeling healthy conflict resolution skills and adult behavior.
Contact a Morris County Divorce Attorney Today
At the Morristown law firm of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys practice exclusively family law. This gives us the unique advantage of being able to quickly, efficiently, and intelligently resolve any divorce related issue, including complex asset division and business and investment valuation and division.
In addition to traditional divorce litigation, we also offer trained mediators as a less contentious alternative. To speak with one of our family law attorneys today about your divorce, please contact us online or through our Morristown offices at 973-828-0829.