Maybe you’ve decided to file for divorce. Perhaps your spouse took the first step in this direction. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s critical that you understand the process and the steps you can take to protect yourself.

Your goal is simple: to cut back on the stress and tension that’s typically associated with divorce, while protecting your legal rights. When you do this, you’ll realize that you’re keeping mistakes to a minimum.

Here are some of the many mistakes that could sneak up and bite you before, during and after divorce:

  • Lack of preparation: Rather than let the process come to you, prepare accordingly to ensure that you have full control over what you’re doing. For example, create a property and debt division checklist. This allows you to best manage your assets and liabilities, which positions you to maintain financial stability in the future.
  • Talking about the details with your soon-to-be ex-spouse: Once you both realize that divorce is imminent, you may think about discussing the finer details of your case, such as who will get custody of the children and who will remain in the family home. It’s tempting to talk about these things, but with tensions high you could soon find yourself in the middle of a serious argument. There’s time to hash out these details during the actual divorce process.
  • Putting your children in the middle: If you have children together, you should get on the same page with respect to how you can help them through this difficult time. You shouldn’t put your children in the middle, such as by asking them whom they want to live with or talking poorly to them about your ex.

As you can see, it’s easy to make one or more of these mistakes when tackling the divorce process. If you don’t keep a close watch on every move you make, you could soon find yourself off course and wondering how you’ll get things back in order.

Fortunately, a sound understanding of your legal rights and how to protect them will go a long way in helping you prevent trouble.