An uncontested divorce in Georgia is a smart choice because of the timeframe, ease and price. But so many people still think that their divorce is going to be like Liar Liar or Kramer vs Kramer because they don’t know any differently. But drama is best saved for the big screen—not as part of your actual life.
Because of this, I’ve found that people make mistakes that can either delay the process or have a long-lasting impact on their futures.
We want to ensure that your divorce remains quick, affordable, and amicable. So I have put together a list of 5 things to avoid during an uncontested divorce in Georgia to try and make this part of your life is as easy as possible.
What is an uncontested divorce?
Before I get onto it, let’s clarify exactly what an uncontested divorce is. You may have heard the term ‘uncontested divorce’ before, but you don’t quite get what it would entail.
An uncontested divorce is where you and your spouse agree to all the terms of your divorce. You then sign all the necessary documents before filing your case with the courts.
This means that you discuss things like child custody and alimony, and come to an arrangement that both you and your spouse accept.
Uncontested divorces are brilliant because of the cost and speed. But there are a few things to keep in mind throughout the process to reach an agreement with your spouse.
Thing to avoid #1: Dating during divorce
I know that you have made the decision to get divorced because your marriage has broken down and you want to start your new life. But you should weigh the pros and cons before starting a new relationship during your divorce.
Especially in the early days of your uncontested divorce, where nothing is set in stone. How you behave could end your spouse’s decision to have an amicable, uncontested divorce. Of all things that could cause this to happen, a new relationship would be right at the top of the list. After working so hard to reach an agreement, I’m guessing you don’t want to lose all that progress in exchange for showing off your new partner.
An uncontested divorce requires you and your spouse to agree on everything. If your spouse won’t agree because you’re dating, then the uncontested divorce may need mediation or turn into a contested divorce. Either of these alternatives can increase the cost and duration of the process.
An uncontested divorce is a much shorter process than a contested one (it can be as short as 2 months, where a contested divorce could take years). I recommend waiting until your divorce paperwork is finalized before dating.
Not dating doesn’t just improve your divorce process, it can benefit you individually as well. No matter the length of your marriage, there are changes coming. Dedicating some time for you can make the transition smoother. Give yourself the chance to have some fun and do the things that you couldn’t while married. Spend this period of time adjusting to a new life and routine and focus on personal growth. You can look at dating afterwards! You are important and so is your wellbeing – don’t be afraid to take some time to be single.
Thing to avoid #2: Social Media
Social media is a part of our lives and most people couldn’t imagine going a day without using it, let alone weeks. Did you know that the average American uses social media for around 3 hours each and every day! This shows how big a part of our lives it is.
We pretty much catalog our every thought and every movement on social media, and this can be dangerous during your divorce process. Like dating, it is best to stay away from social media during your divorce. This is because everything that you post may be used against you in your divorce.
I do get that it might not be realistic to stop using social media altogether for the whole process. If you are going to use Facebook or Instagram, then I recommend that you watch what you post. A good rule of thumb is to not post anything that you wouldn’t want a judge to see.
This is the case with uncontested divorces as well as contested ones too. Angry Tweets about with your spouse aren’t going to help you find common ground on each factor of your divorce.
In fact, studies have shown that 14% of people look through their spouse’s social media accounts to prove that they have been unfaithful. Regardless of whether either spouse had an affair, Facebook can be a major source of online evidence for a divorce. This is especially true if the case becomes high conflict. The evidence on Facebook then further fuels that fire.
Posting online during the divorce process could compromise the entire uncontested divorce process. Even if you post something, regret it, and run as fast as your legs will carry you to some device that will delete the content – chances are that your spouse or their friends or family may have taken a screenshot of the post. This is then written evidence that could be used against you.
Using social media also carries the risk of impacting your life when you come out the other end of your divorce. Posting how your spouse is a nasty so-and-so, and Tweeting “go to hell” over and over might make your friends view you in a different light.
A better idea would be to let these frustrations out over a cup of coffee/glass of wine with a friend.
Social media is a wonderful thing, but it can be so problematic… the best solution is to stay away from it for a few months if you can. Be accountable with a friend about your usage. Have someone on your side to tell you off for using Facebook or Twitter or stop you from posting the wrong things! Otherwise, please be mindful of your content and the language you use.
Thing to avoid #3: Forgetting to plan your future
Usually, an uncontested divorce will address matters such as:
- Spousal support (also known as alimony)
- Child custody
- Parenting time
- Child support
- The division of assets
These are all things that concern both parties. But your divorce does not address your individual future. You want to have a plan for how you will move forward. Like any big change in life, post-divorce requires research and preparation. Imagine if you tried to go off to college without researching the school ahead of time, registering for classes, or buying things for your dorm room. You would have had a rough time adjusting to the new phase of your life. The same is true for divorce. This can be a smooth transition, but it requires you to be proactive.
While there are a lot of things to consider for your new life, here are a couple suggestions of things to think about:
1) Health insurance
1 in 4 women are left without health insurance after they get divorced. This can have huge financial implications on your future if you do not plan your insurance. There are options out there, but you don’t want to be scrambling to pick one at the last minute.
2) Your financial situation
When you’re married, your household income comes from two people. From this you can afford your current car, mortgage, and lifestyle – but this may not be the case after divorce. In fact, you may need to look at your monthly budget and make some changes.
You need to look into your financial situation with a fine-tooth comb to plan out your future. If you are in need of help, hiring a financial advisor to guide you may be a good investment. Speak with your divorce attorney for a referral if you need a financial advisor. If you need help please feel free to contact us for a recommendation.
Being single can have an impact on your tax return, social security, and pension. Depending on the impact, you might want to strategically time finalizing your divorce – take the time to educate yourself on how divorce will change your financial situation. Again, a good financial advisor will be able to give you advice and information specific to your situation.
3) Your job/career
This primarily applies to the stay-at-home parents out there, but also those who are going to be paying alimony in the future. You may need to consider a new job or returning to the work force to earn more money. For some, picking up a second job, or going back to school to train in your chosen career is the right move. This is all about self-sufficiency. Take a little time to think about your career and what you want to do after your divorce.
If you are in need of a divorce attorney who will be there for you, help you, build your ‘Team You’, and connect you with real estate agents, financial advisors, tax accountants, and more, then click here to head over to our contact page and get in touch with Max, the founder of Porchlight, today.
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Thing to avoid #4: Bad mouthing your ex to your kids
I’m guessing that it would make you hit the roof if your spouse was being rude about you to the kids, right? Enough to want to spit venom and do the same, causing everything to go down a negative path?
They likely feel the same about you and would hate for you to be bad mouthing them to your kids. Out of mutual respect, I recommend that you keep your opinion away from your kids.
It’s also not fair to your kids to put the weight of your divorce, and all your emotions, on their shoulders. Whether they are 10, 18, or 30, they are not the right audience to voice your complaints. If you try to poison them against the other parent in your quest to become ‘the favorite,’ you will likely end up alienating them. This manipulation has proven to have long-term impacts on your child’s relationship with you, and their view on marriage.
Thing to avoid #5: Negotiating on principle
An uncontested divorce needs you to cooperate with your spouse on everything. This requires some level of compromise and flexibility too. I have seen couples fight and argue over one small detail and dig their heels in until they get what they want. In a lot of these cases, either spouse won’t change their mind because they feel like “they shouldn’t have to”.
While this is true, you shouldn’t have to, this makes it difficult to come to an agreement. A compromise is usually a more effective big picture solution than refusing to budge and hoping your spouse will cave first.
Conceding on certain ideas can actually benefit you in other areas of the process. Plus, the smaller details are often not worth the time and money invested in a contested divorce. In these cases, you are much better off being flexible.
Getting to the point where you submit paperwork to a judge takes time, energy, and a lot of coffee. That will go to waste if you don’t work with your spouse because of some agreement you made back before you were getting divorced. Whether you’re backtracking on some negotiated terms or backing out of a completed agreement, the process looks dramatically different when it becomes contested. This will send you back to step 1, cost you a boat load of money, and force you to be involved with your spouse for longer than you need to be.
If you are at the end of the process, then it is pretty obvious that you both want your marriage to end. So why would you want to continue the process on principle alone?
If standing your ground is something that you need to do, then I urge you to speak with your divorce attorney. Figure out the right move together and make sure that you understand the consequences.
Divorce negotiations are about moving forward with your life—not standing still.
Thinking about an uncontested divorce in Georgia? Here are your next steps:
Here at Porchlight, we try to do things differently; we do not believe that divorce has to be a stressful and emotional time. We will work together to guide you through the process and help you to start your post-divorce life.
If you are getting divorced, then please get in touch with Max, the founder of Porchlight. Complete the contact form below and we can have a Legal Clarity Session with you. From there we can help to connect you with the perfect team to bring you through the divorce and into your new life. We will connect you with financial advisors, therapists, realtors, and other professionals to make sure that you have an effortless transition into your new life.
You can always call 678-435-9069 and speak to us today about your situation.