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Six divorce mistakes you must avoid

Divorce can be emotional, complex and chaotic. If you didn't want to get divorced in the first place, it can be even more stressful. It's important to remember, though, that the legal results of your divorce can have a drastic impact on the rest of your life. You never want to rush through this process or make mistakes that you're going to regret for years to come. Below are six critical mistakes you must avoid.

Being too submissive

Maybe you're naturally a quiet person, or maybe you just want to get through the case without conflict. While wanting to avoid conflict is fine, doing so at the expense of speaking up and advocating for yourself is dangerous. Don't let your spouse make all the demands when you know you have a right to a far better divorce agreement. Letting someone else dictate the parenting schedule or the division of assets could mean you surrender what matters to you the most.

Being too aggressive

The exact opposite can also be dangerous, however. Being aggressive in fighting for your rights is good, but you don't want to be overly aggressive toward your spouse on a personal level. Never be threatening or insulting, especially in front of your children. Remember to always put the kids first; they're still going to have a relationship with both of you.

Thinking the divorce process is quick

This process can take a significant amount of time; it may take months. If you assume at the beginning that it's just going to take a few days or weeks, you can quickly get frustrated and make rash decisions. You'll feel like it's taking way too long, when the reality is just that you didn't have realistic expectations.

Ignoring your plans for after the split is finalized

People sometimes get so focused on the divorce itself that they forget what life is going to be like when the marriage is officially over. Where are you going to live? What is your income situation going to look like? What plans do you need to make for everyday activities that don't stop, like taking the kids to school?

Refusing to work with your spouse

Some couples are so angry that they don't want to have anything to do with one another. They'll refuse to work together when it comes to taking care of the kids and making other joint decisions. If you don't have kids, you may be able to cut all ties and move on. If you do, though, you must acknowledge that they're a part of your life and your spouse's life. Refusing to cooperate just makes things harder on them and on yourself.

Making purely emotional decisions

Above all else, you want to make decisions based on your legal rights and rational desires. You want to think through every decision, consider the ramifications on both sides, and make logical choices. Divorce can be highly emotional, but emotional choices - like fighting over assets you don't care about just to spite your spouse - can make the split take longer and cost more.

Feeling sorrow or anger is natural, but don't let that guide all of your decisions. Remember to focus on your legal rights, what is best for your children, and what path will best set you up for life after the divorce.