Mistakes to Avoid in Rhode Island Divorce
Legal Advice from an Experienced Rhode Island Divorce Attorney:
Divorce is never a comfortable experience but there are things you can do that will make the process worse than it needs to be. With the right legal help, we hope you can avoid these common divorce mistakes.
Rhode Island divorce attorney Kerry I Rafanelli has been helping clients through the process of divorce for more than 30 years. He's seen the mistakes people make that cause heartache and cost money. He's worked with other clients who managed to arrive at a "good divorce," ], one in which the parties not only reach a satisfactory settlement agreement but also maintained a cooperative working relationship.
Mr. Rafanelli offers these tips on common mistakes to avoid in your divorce.
- Unrealistic Expectations– You want what you want, plain and simple. But your spouse also wants what he or she wants, and they, too, have legal rights. If you enter the divorce process with unrealistic expectations, you are going to spend more money and more time getting to a child custody arrangement or a spousal support agreement. That's money you need to move forward in your new life.
- Continuing to live together when you should be apart – This goes along with unrealistic expectations. Yes, it's financially difficult to maintain two households, but if you didn't get along before you filed for divorce, it's going to be even harder after. Staying in the same house usually increases hostility, which makes negotiations more difficult.
- Short-term thinking about long-term issues – The decisions you make during your divorce can bring you greater freedom and stability, or more stress and financial hardship. It's important, especially when it comes to the property settlement agreement, to look at your circumstances realistically. No matter how much you love your home, if it will be a constant struggle to pay the mortgage, it may not be in your best interest to keep it.
- Failing to disclose assets or lying on legal documents – It's tempting to fudge the truth a little – underestimating the value of an asset or accepting payments under the table. Financial dishonesty can come back to haunt you, though, if the opposing spouse's attorney finds out you have not made a full and accurate disclosure. Not only will you have to divide that asset but you could be penalized an additional 30% of its value.
- Failing to protect your interests in order to get along – While some people want to fight about everything, others don't want to fight at all. This could be a serious mistake. You deserve a life, too. You need some assets. You need your relationship with your children. While it may not be in your nature to engage in conflict, it is your lawyer's job to protect your interests. Let your lawyer watch out for you.
- Burdening your children with your negative feelings about their other parent – While it may be difficult to keep your feelings to yourself, it's important that you try, for your children's sake. Your children deserve to have their own relationship with the other parent. They deserve to feel loved and supported by both parents.
- Making your children feel they have to choose one parent over the other – This is a terrible predicament to put children in. It greatly increases their stress and anxiety in an already difficult situation and can have lasting bad effects.
Last but not least, failing to listen to your lawyer
This may sound self-serving coming from a divorce lawyer, but think about it. Your lawyer has extensive training and years of experience – Attorney Rafanelli has more than 30 years of experience – dealing with family court judges, other divorce attorneys, mediators, business valuators, appraisers, parents and children, angry spouses, depressed spouses, dishonest spouses. That experience is invaluable. Put it to good use. After all, you're paying for it.
Put experience on your side in Rhode Island divorce court
Consult an experienced Rhode Island divorce attorney. Call Kerry I. Rafanelli, Attorney at Law, at 401-398-8388 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at our East Greenwich law office.