The Top Mistakes to Avoid in a Contested Divorce

The Top Mistakes to Avoid in a Contested Divorce
The Top Mistakes to Avoid in a Contested Divorce

Divorce can be an emotionally challenging process, especially when it is contested. A contested divorce occurs when both parties cannot agree on important issues such as child custody, division of assets, and spousal support. In these situations, it is crucial to avoid common mistakes that can prolong the process and increase legal costs. Here are some of the top mistakes to avoid in a contested divorce:

1. Not Hiring an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a contested divorce is not hiring an experienced divorce lawyer. A skilled lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of divorce law, protect your rights, and negotiate on your behalf. Without proper legal representation, you may end up making costly mistakes that could affect the outcome of your case.

2. Failing to Gather Important Documents

In a contested divorce, it is essential to gather all relevant financial and legal documents to support your case. This includes bank statements, tax returns, property deeds, and any other documentation that can help prove your financial situation and assets. Failing to gather these documents can weaken your case and make it harder to negotiate a fair settlement.

3. Letting Emotions Dictate Your Decisions

Divorce can be a highly emotional process, but it is important to try to separate your emotions from your decisions. Making decisions based on anger or hurt feelings can lead to irrational choices that may not be in your best interest. It is crucial to approach the divorce proceedings with a clear mind and focus on achieving a fair outcome.

4. Using Social Media to Vent

In today’s digital age, it can be tempting to vent about your divorce on social media. However, using social media to air your grievances can backfire and harm your case. Posts on social media can be used as evidence in court, so it is best to refrain from posting anything that could be used against you in negotiations.

5. Not Considering the Children’s Best Interests

In a contested divorce, it is easy to get caught up in the legal battle and forget about the impact it can have on your children. It is essential to consider the children’s best interests and prioritise their well-being throughout the divorce process. This includes creating a parenting plan that outlines custody arrangements, visitation schedules, and other important decisions that affect the children.

6. Ignoring Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods

In a contested divorce, litigation is not the only option for resolving disputes. Alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation or collaborative divorce can be more cost-effective and less adversarial than going to court. Ignoring these options can prolong the divorce process and increase legal fees.

7. Hiding Assets

One of the most common mistakes in a contested divorce is attempting to hide assets from your spouse. This can have serious legal consequences and damage your credibility in court. It is essential to be transparent about your financial situation and disclose all assets to avoid accusations of dishonesty.

8. Failing to Communicate Effectively

Communication is key in a contested divorce. Failing to communicate effectively with your spouse can lead to misunderstandings, delays in the legal process, and increased hostility. It is important to keep the lines of communication open and work towards finding common ground to reach a resolution.

9. Not Seeking Emotional Support

Divorce can take a toll on your emotional well-being, so it is essential to seek emotional support during this challenging time. This could be through therapy, support groups, or talking to friends and family. Taking care of your emotional health will help you navigate the divorce process more effectively.

10. Rushing the Process

Divorce is a complex legal process that takes time to navigate. Rushing the process can lead to costly mistakes and unfavourable outcomes. It is important to be patient and thorough in gathering information, negotiating with your spouse, and working towards a fair settlement.


Contested divorces can be complicated and emotionally draining, but by avoiding these common mistakes, you can navigate the process more effectively and achieve a fair outcome. Hiring an experienced divorce lawyer, gathering important documents, managing your emotions, and prioritising the children’s best interests are crucial steps in a contested divorce. By taking the time to avoid these mistakes, you can protect your rights and move forward with your life.

Avatar of DLS Solicitors by DLS Solicitors
18th May 2024
Avatar of DLS Solicitors
DLS Solicitors

Our team of professionals are based in Alderley Edge, Cheshire. We offer clear, specialist legal advice in all matters relating to Family Law, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection.

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