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What not to do during a divorce

For Michigan couples, divorce can be one of the most emotional events in their lives. The stress increases exponentially when children are involved. This causes both men and women to do things that might seem like good ideas at the time, but end up being foolish mistakes that can cost them - financially and emotionally. Here are some common mistakes to avoid during a divorce.

Many parties are so enraged at their soon-to-be ex-spouse that they seek revenge by making the divorce process more costly and time-consuming. If they're not getting what they want, they might intentionally drive up the cost or delay the process. This is not a good idea because some states actually punish this type of behavior. The one initiating the behavior could be the one paying in the form of additional attorney fees.

Another common mistake is not fighting for the children. This is especially common among fathers. They may give in to the other spouse's demands to avoid a nasty battle. However, this means that the children lose out on having both parents in their lives. Fathers need to protect their rights.

For those who are ordered to pay child support, always pay it on time. If income decreases, contact your lawyer right away and see what needs to be done. Without a modification in place, the parent is still held liable for the regular payment. Don't just ignore the order and stop paying, because this will cause interest and penalties to accrue.

The end of a marriage can be a stressful time, but parents need to remember to keep their emotions in check. Couples should communicate openly and determine their goals. It's not a time to make unwise decisions.

Source: Huffington Post, "5 Dumb Mistakes Dads Make During Divorce and How to Avoid Them" B. Robert Farzad, Feb. 13, 2014

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