Sometimes, you step into a family law office knowing you’re in for a struggle. Other times, you may not realize you have a complicated divorce. That can leave you tangled up in litigation longer, and facing more in attorney fees, than you would have thought.
This blog post will cover some of the most common ways a family situation can turn into a complicated divorce. It will explain how even if you don’t have a lot of assets you could be in for a tough family law battle. It will also give tips for how to get through your complicated divorce without breaking the bank.
Challenging Personalities Create Complicated Divorces
Sometimes, you know right away that you are facing a complicated divorce. When your spouse has a mental illness, behavior challenges, or just a challenging personality, it can make every step take twice as long. Divorce is inherently emotional. That means even people who are easy enough to work with day-to-day can become challenging under the stress of divorce.
Challenging personalities can complicate the divorce process by:
- Refusing to follow parenting plans
- Hiding assets or denying access to account records
- Sabotaging efforts to mediate or negotiate a settlement
If you are facing a complicated divorce with a challenging personality, the best thing you can do is not engage. Work through your lawyer, do everything you can in writing (or email), and try not to be emotional yourself. This will help you stay grounded and keep your case from growing even more complicated.
Financial Mysteries Complicate Otherwise Straight-Forward Divorces
Another common way a divorce can get complicated is when one spouse does not know about financial assets or accounts. In many cases, long-term couples have settled into a routine where one person handles the day-to-day business of paying the bills and managing the checking account. When it comes time for a divorce, the other spouse may not know where the money is, or how much the family has.
Financial mysteries can cause an otherwise straight-forward divorce to cost more as attorneys:
- Send and respond to questions about financial assets
- Issue subpoenas to banks and credit card companies to find out what is there
- Search for missing information such as retirement account details or mortgage balances
To keep financial concerns from turning your case into a complicated divorce, commit to sharing all financial information openly. Colorado law allows for lawyers to gather this information through “discovery”. However, the process is time-consuming and expensive. Most of the time, the person best able to gather the necessary information is the spouse that typically handles the account.
Unreasonable Expectations Can Push Cases Toward Trial
Sometimes you may not realize that you are the one creating a complicated divorce. It is common for one or both spouses to come into the divorce process with certain assumptions, such as:
- Mom will be awarded child custody
- The primary wage earner will keep his or her retirement accounts
- The primary custodian of the children will keep the family house
Depending on your family situation, these may be entirely unreasonable expectations. Some are based on historical stereotypes. Others fail to consider facts and circumstances that weigh heavily in court.
To keep unreasonable expectations from interfering with negotiations and pushing you toward trial (and all the attorney fees that go with that), be certain to talk about your assumptions with your divorce attorney early in the case. Discuss your ideal outcome, as well as what you will accept. That way your family law team can help you understand how the law works, and where what the court normally does may not line up with your personal expectations.
Divorce can be complicated for many reasons. Hidden records, unreasonable expectations, and difficult personalities can all drive up the cost and complexity of your case. That is why it is so important to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side. At Aviso Law, LLC, our divorce lawyers know how to deal with complicated divorces, without driving up the bill more than necessary. We will use all the tools at our disposal to serve you and your family. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.