Top 10 Divorce Mistakes

While some of us might argue that there’s no right way to get divorced, it’s commonly accepted that there certainly are wrong ways to go through the process.

We make mistakes all the time

You’re no stranger to mistakes, right? If anything, divorce proves that to you. For me, it did a lot to humble me. It forced me to realize that oh yeah, I was capable of getting things wrong, really wrong. I was so sure I knew everything and had done it all right and then–bam! There I was getting divorced. It sucked. Worth it, but it sucked. And as a result, I’m basically the kindest and most forgiving person out there. Practically beatific when it comes right down to it. It’s my theory that some people need to have the edges knocked off of them before they find true compassion. That was the case for me, anyway. It was the worst, but I’m better for it in all possible ways. Anyway! On to the mistakes we should try to avoid.

It’s easy to make these 10 divorce mistakes

I’ve been reading Jennifer Warren Medwin’s Strategies and Tips from a Divorce Coach: A roadmap to move forward and found myself nodding in agreement when she lists the top 10 divorce mistakes a person can make.

1. Not understanding your legal rights.

This one is obvious, right? Well, not really. There are so many nuances to divorce laws by state. Do your research and don’t forget, you divorce attorney works for you. Ask ALL the questions.

2. Not getting the right professional help.

Do you need an attorney, mediator, divorce coach, or therapist? Maybe some combination of those professionals will make up your team. Be sure to remember getting financial help as well. No matter what your situation, a financial professional will help you think through your plans.

3. Not thinking through and considering the pros and cons of your decisions.

Divorce is the Coney Island Cyclone of emotions, as I’ve said before. And it will probably hurt and give you whiplash. Be careful when you’re making decisions especially if you’re prone to …

4. Making decisions based on short-term emotional gain.

Preach it, JWM. When I was getting divorced, my sister was my rock. She had the same priority I had: getting the best possible outcome for my little boy. Luckily she was detached enough to help me make smarter decisions and not mess up too badly.

5. Giving away your power.

When you’re the one who has the most to lose, you’re in a very vulnerable position. It’s easy to collapse or stick your head in the sand. But take heart! You can keep swimming and keep your head above water long enough to get through this, I promise.

6. Wanting certainty and a guarantee for everything.

If the Buddha was divorced, it would make more sense. I gained a sublime understanding of non-attachment during my ordeal. I couldn’t turn off the dread and fear of not knowing what would become of my son in terms of placement, but as long as that was the ONLY thing I cared about (eventually! The golf clubs were hard to part with, at the very beginning, but that’s a long story), I was able to remain fairly calm. What did I care if I had to sell the house and move in with my mom? As long as my son was okay, I knew I’d be okay.

7. Being completely position-based by taking the “My way or the highway” approach.

Same here. I quickly learned that I didn’t have a lot of power and that there was no way I could make any demands. My ex’s lawyer was really, really good. I found that out fast. (Pro tip: Always get a fiercer lawyer than you think you need.)

8. Giving up on the process too soon by just wanting to get it over with.

I didn’t have this problem. I lived quite happily in limbo because as long as we didn’t have an MSA, I got my child full time. If I could have, I would have dragged it out longer!

9. Criticizing the other parent and negatively affecting your children’s wellbeing.

Since my son was only a year-and-a-half, I wasn’t able to do this even if I wanted to. Luckily I had friends to rely upon when I needed to criticize.

10. Quickly moving on to another relationship and losing site of negotiating for what you deserve.

I know way too many women who have done this. Plus pretty much every divorced man, lol. Have a fling or two (you deserve it!) but hold off on anything serious.

What if I make divorce mistakes?

You probably will! But it probably won’t be that bad. Keep these pitfalls in mind and just keep trying your best. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. You got this. And we have your back.


About the Coach

Jennifer Warren Medwin, MS is a CDC Certified Divorce Coach, Supreme Court of Florida Family Mediator, and a Certified Marital Mediator.

Jennifer Warren Medwin
Jennifer Warren Medwin partners with clients to develop the clarity, confidence, courage, conflict management strategies, and communication skills they need in order to move through the process.

Her private practice in Pinecrest, Miami is called Seeking Empowerment: Clarity through Partnership. Jennifer specializes in working alongside individuals and couples who are contemplating divorce and are fearful of high conflict and with those who hope to save their marriages. She partners with clients to develop the clarity, confidence, courage, conflict management strategies, and communication skills they need to move through the process. Jennifer uses her knowledge of coaching and mediation to help her clients emotionally prepare for the dissolution of their marriages or the reconciliation of their relationships in the most organized, time efficient, and productive manner.

Jennifer is a member of the National Association of Divorce Professionals (NADP), a member of the SupportPay Advisory Council, and a contributing writer for Your Tango, Thrive Global, and OurFamilyWizard. She is also the author of Strategies & Tips from a Divorce Coach: A Roadmap to Move Forward. Jennifer’s approach to divorce coaching and mediation is one that provides clients with guidance and compassion through a difficult time in their lives.

Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn: @jenseekingempowerment