The end of a marriage is a major life event that can completely rattle the strongest people. It is therefore natural that people in the midst of a separation may make decisions and say things they normally wouldn’t say. Anger and sadness are incredibly powerful emotions that can overtake the frontal lobe of our brains, leading to poor and impulsive choices. To put it mildly, these bad decisions can be costly when it comes to a divorce.
If you are considering separating from your spouse, or if you are already separated and headed for divorce, these are some of the critical mistakes to avoid.
- Engaging in harassment, stalking, or domestic violence against your spouse. These actions can result in arrests, protective orders, criminal charges, and criminal convictions—which comes at the cost of the perpetrator’s freedom. In addition, this conduct may be considered by a court in removing the responsible spouse from a home, in determining the amount and duration of spousal support, and in making key child custody and visitation determinations.
- Transferring, selling, disposing of, or destroying marital property while separated. Examples of this include draining a joint bank account, selling off stocks, destroying a car, or selling property for far below market value. This happens a lot, and is improper as property acquired during the course of a marriage is generally considered “marital property” which is to be divided equitably between the spouses. Improperly taking or disposing of marital property can result in sanctions, as well as the responsible spouse losing the value of that property when the court divides marital property.
- Disregarding or disobeying court orders. Violating a court’s orders regarding property, support payments, protective orders, or child custody issues can result in contempt proceedings. Consequences of being held in contempt may include stiff fines and even jail time. Further, violations of custody orders can result in the limitation or restriction of access to your children.
- Violating a separation agreement. Separation agreements are legally binding contracts. Failure to adhere to the terms of your agreement can subject you to a law suit for breach of contract or to contempt proceedings if that agreement has been incorporated into a divorce decree by a court.
- Ignoring the advice of your family law attorney. This area of law can be complex, and you need to trust that your attorney knows what she is doing. Ignoring or going against your attorney’s advice can impair the attorney-client relationship and have serious negative long-term consequences on your legal issues.
Contact New Direction Family Law
New Direction Family Law provides represents and advises men and women who want to conclude their marriages and move forward. The laws in North Carolina relating to child custody, property division, alimony, and child support are complex. Our attorneys are smart, experienced, and professional. We know the law and want to provide our clients with all of the legal options at their disposal, so they can make well-informed decisions. If you want to rest east, knowing your legal issues are in good hands, contact us. We serve clients in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule a consultation, or contact us online at our website.
Carly G. Baker
New Direction Family Law