Helping Men Avoid Common Divorce Mistakes

Steer clear of these pitfalls to help your case go smoothly

There are many common mistakes that men make when they go through a divorce, mistakes that end up costing them in time, money, and, most important, wind up negatively influencing child custody decisions.

The good news is that many of the most common pitfalls are easy to avoid, IF you know what they are. Luckily for you, the Chicago Tribune’s Karen Cullotta got an excellent list of tips from attorney Joseph Cordell that should give you an idea of what you’ll need to keep in mind:

1. Moving out before divorce proceedings begin. “In custody contests, the continued daily interaction with your children and intimate awareness of the details of their day is key.”

2. Choosing the wrong lawyer. “It’s reasonable to ask lawyers how many divorces they have tried.”

3. Waiting for your wife to file. “Judges, even after all their legal training and experience, are still prone to give a lot of weight to the story they hear first.”

4. Concealing information. “Your lawyer needs to know anything and everything your wife might say about you to hurt you or your case.”

5. Neglecting the children. “Part of your duty during divorce proceedings, and well after the ink has dried on the divorce decree, is to protect both parents’ relationships with the kids.”

6. Doing a sloppy job on financial records. Sloppy financial reporting, Cordell writes, can hurt your credibility during the divorce proceedings.

7. Talking too much, especially to your wife. “Avoid talking to other people, too, especially family and friends, and in-laws most of all.”

8. Revealing too much on the Internet. “The Web is the worst place to keep a secret. And anything can be subject to misinterpretation.”

9. Failing to fully engage in your case. “Listen to your attorney, and ask questions if you don’t understand anything.”

10. Being ill-prepared. “Don’t avoid preparing to testify or be interviewed just because you’re nervous or uncomfortable or don’t want to think about it.”

It’s understandable to want to detach from the situation, but that’s exactly the opposite of what you need to do. Stay involved with the kids, stay engaged in the case, and whatever you do don’t let your feelings get in the way of common sense.