Don’t make these BIG divorce mistakes: what NOT to do in your Virginia divorce

In a divorce, the things that you don’t do are often just as important as the things you do. That’s because, sometimes, when you’re angry, hurt, or upset, you make decisions that you wouldn’t ordinarily make. Maybe, in a normal world, these decisions wouldn’t impact you tremendously. But you should know that, once you initiate a divorce, your actions will be put under a microscope by your husband’s attorney. If it goes to court, you can be sure that his attorney will carefully reveal each of your missteps for the judge to see. Trust me, you don't want that.

It’s difficult enough to get divorced without adding more fuel to the fire. Even though you may be tempted do things a little differently now, it’s probably not a good time to make dramatic changes. Here are some guidelines for things to NOT do while you’re going through your divorce.

1. Watch what you put on social media sites. There is nothing private about Facebook, Google+, Instagram, or any other social media site. In fact, the whole point of these sites is to connect with your friends—and you don’t want to bring your divorce into this forum. Refrain from posting any pictures that might be considered questionable or writing statuses that refer (even cryptically!) to your divorce. Even things like song lyrics can be inappropriate. When in doubt, don’t post it. If you want to be really, really smart about it, though, just don’t post anything, good bad or otherwise, during your divorce.

2. Don’t start dating. Until you are divorced, you are married. Even if you and your husband are separated, you are married. If you are married and you have sex with someone who is not your husband, you have committed adultery. Even if you go out with someone but do not sleep with him, you’re raising red flags and opening yourself up to questioning. In Virginia, if you’ve committed adultery, you’re barred from asking for spousal support. If you plan to ask for spousal support, you’ll want to tread particularly carefully here.

3. Don’t talk about the divorce in front of the kids. This should go without saying, but it’s often difficult to keep your feelings to yourself. Whether your husband is suddenly trying to be super dad (which is annoying) or has disappeared off the face of the planet and prefers to live in his new bachelor pad (which is insulting), it’s not a good idea to clue the kids in.

4. Don’t involve friends, especially mutual friends. It’s tempting to try to line up your allies, but be careful discussing your divorce with your friends. Especially if they were friends with both of you prior to the divorce, you don’t want to tell them too much. Not only will it hurt your friendship, but the information may also get back to your ex. That could stir the pot and, if you’re working with an attorney, you could even be giving away critical strategy information.

Think before you act. This is good advice anytime, but especially so when you’re going through a divorce.

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