Don’t Make Common Mistakes BEFORE You File Your Divorce!

Carrie Sue Doxsee, J.D.
3 min readApr 11, 2021


Must read… or you will end up costing yourself more money for your divorce and end up hating your Spouse.

Watch out for common pitfalls

As a divorce attorney, one thing I see almost every time is that people start the separation process before they talk to an attorney. They end up causing themselves way more headaches, unnecessary drama, and unintentionally make their case contested in the process. It is super important to learn to avoid the potholes and bumps in the road of divorce.

Watch what you say.

This is a CRUCIAL point at the start of the divorce. As soon as someone utters “You will never see the kids again” or “I am not paying you a dime” or “You’ll be sorry”… you get the drift. Making threatening statements can get you (1) a Restraining Order or (2) a highly contested divorce. In fact, you might end up getting kicked out of your house or be without any time with your kids at the start of your case when there was no need for the drama.

Protect Yourself

You should always have your own bank account right away. This does not mean you need to close your joint account and take all the money. This is the perfect example of why you would want to talk to an attorney before separation. There is no one right way to handle this issue. It is all about the temperature of the Parties and how they are getting along. The financial situation of each person is also an important factor in this decision.

Don’t Start A New Relationship Yet

While you may be ready to move on, your Spouse may not be ready for this yet. This is one of the biggest budget busters for your divorce. Plan to spend three to four times the money if you have a new relationship even if you have been separated. This is a trust issue even if your Spouse no longer is in love with you. They will not take anything for face value and you will be stuck providing documents and fighting it out for the settlement you could have right away.

The Start of Your Divorce Will Forever Impact Your Co-Parenting Relationship

Making the transition from Married Parents to Co-Parents is tough.

There are two extremes…

Having a Partner who puts the kids first and someone you can trust and respect.

Having a business relationship with someone you can’t trust… who tries to hurt you at every turn (and hurt your relationship with the kids)… who will 100% always try to run the show… and might even keep the children from you.

It all starts at the beginning of separation. The foundation is either built on mutual respect and love for your children or a self-centered approach which is devoid of thinking about the other person or the children. Often money is the root of a bad Co-Parenting relationship. The issues of the marriage can translate and mutate into a war in Co-Parenting.

Final Thoughts…

Once you make the decision to move forward with your divorce, before you even talk to your Spouse, meet with an attorney. Why? Maybe I am biased, but I normally walk through what the person should say (and should not say) and how they should say it. Taking the first step to talk to your Spouse in a real way that will convey you have made the decision to move forward with a divorce is not the easiest conversation. You may feel like you want to avoid it. In some situations, it is best to have the papers filed and served as the first step. Talking to an attorney who has done this a million times will help you make crucial decisions that will impact you for the rest of your life.

If you want to know more about the mistakes of divorce and how to avoid them, go to “5 Mistakes People Make Before They File for Divorce”



Carrie Sue Doxsee, J.D.

High Conflict Co-Parenting Diva