If you are one of the lucky ones who have managed a successful or amicable split and if you have children, have created a structured co-parenting plan that leaves both children and parents happy, this article is not for you.
When you first split up with your partner I am sure (as I know from experience) that advice will flow in from a variety of angles - especially family and friends. They mean well, but not all advice should be taken as gospel. Here are a few of the worst pieces of advice I've ever heard...
1: Change The Locks!
Legally, if the house is in both your names and you have a joint agreement in place for payment of the mortgage or rent, you cannot forcefully remove your spouse from the matrimonial home or change the locks to stop them gaining entry. Should you be in a situation where you are in physical danger from your spouse this must be reported to the relevant authorities, such as the police.
2: Take All The Money From The Joint Account!
Because if you don't, you know they will.... STOP... If the account is a joint account, you must have permission to remove monies from the account. If you withdraw money from the account without your spouse knowing, this can be construed as theft, which is a criminal offence. If you then go on to spend that money, you will most definitely look like the 'bad guy' if your divorce case goes to court, you may even have to pay it back, even if it was your money in the first place. Before withdrawing large sums of money, please seek professional legal advice.
3: Drag out the Divorce Process
It is natural to feel anger or resentment towards your ex and perhaps you want to make the process of divorce painful for them by 'taking them to the cleaners' or eeking at out so that they can't marry a new partner. You have to think, who is this hurting in the long-term? What is fair and right? Equally bad...
4: Get A Quick Divorce On The Internet
In some situations you may want to be rid of your spouse quickly so you can move on or heal, depending on where your head is at and your role in the split. Divorce websites offer quick and affordable divorces, but if your spouse is not ready to divorce and is dealing with emotional issues, you may come up against a brick wall. Divorce websites are good if; you have all your financials agreed, your list of assets split and agreed, a plan in place for your children and living arrangements sorted. However, if your divorce is more complicated, it may be better to slow down, get legal advice and not push your spouse for a quick resolution.
5: Stay Together For The Children
I'm sure most people would agree that in ideal world, children would grow up in a loving home where both parents lived and loved each other so much that they never argued. The reality is that this is never reality - In my grandparents' day, once you were married that was it, divorce was never an option. These days people fall in and out of love all the time and getting divorced is less of a stigma (it still sucks and is still frowned upon by some people) but on the whole it is accepted that it is better to live a life of happiness and bring happiness to those around you than to stay in a relationship in the hope that your children will not need a psychiatrist by the time they are 18. Two happy homes and a co-parenting plan is surely better than one unhappy home?
6: Stop Contact Between The Children And Your Spouse If He/She Has;
a) Stopped paying child maintenance, b) had an affair and is now living with a new partner, c) hasn't bought the child a birthday present...
The law in this area is clear - a child should have a relationship with both parents unless that would not be in their best interests. Limiting or terminating contact between your children and your spouse for any reason concerning money, time, gifts or personal issues is going to fail because it almost inevitably won't be in the best interests of your child. If there are issues between you and your spouse where children are concerned, mediators are a great resource to help communication and resolution.
7: Slash His/Her Tyres, Throw All Their Worldly Belongings Out The Window...
This is the kind of thing you see in movies or on a soap opera, in real life this is NOT a good idea. I can totally understand the anger, resentment and pure hatred that can take over your whole body when hit with the shock news that your spouse causes your world to seemingly fall apart - Depending on what action you decide to take in the heat of the moment or premeditated, chances are your spouse could report you for criminal damage. A night in a police cell and a fine, plus a court hearing will not be beneficial to you or your divorce proceedings.
8: Get Revenge. Revenge is Sweet...
Nope. It may feel good at the time, but you may feel regret or lose out further down the line. So, may be your ex had an affair and you decide to jump in to bed with his/her friend in an act of revenge, now you're involving someone else in your hurt, which is not great. Taking to social media to 'out' your ex will undoubtedly be something that will come back to bite you on the bum! I get that you want the world to know what they have put you through, however keep your dignity in tact. The best revenge is for your ex to see you happy and moving on with your life.
If you've been given bad advice, we'd love to hear from you so we can add it to the list! Find out more at Beacon.