In the state of California, filing for legal separation isn’t a requirement of filing for divorce. You and your spouse are free to file for divorce as soon as you meet the state-specific requirements. But separating does have its benefits. You’re able to take a step back and fully assess whether divorce is the right move. However, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid doing during your separation that experienced California divorce lawyers know can impact your final case. Here’s what you should avoid doing when you and your spouse separate.

Don’t Punish Your Spouse

Unless you’re divorcing on amicable terms, it’s normal to feel a certain amount of resentment, even if you’re just separating and haven’t filed for divorce. During your separation, try not to actively punish your spouse. If you’re struggling to communicate or compromise with each other, consider speaking with a therapist or consult with your California divorce attorney for advice. If you punish your spouse for each wrong you feel they’ve committed against you, it can make filing for divorce more stressful and pits you against each other when it comes to setting the terms of the divorce.

Don’t Increase Your Spending

Shopping can be a major source of stress relief, but that doesn’t mean you should dramatically change or increase your spending during your separation. Remember, the courts consider your shared finances when determining fair divorce settlements. If the records show that you spent a lot of the money in your joint accounts or charged a lot of money to a joint credit card, these actions could impact their decision and result in a smaller settlement.

Don’t Share Your Grievances on Social Media

Venting about your spouse and your divorce on social media may feel cathartic, but it can make your divorce harder in the long run. Those comments and status updates you post about your spouse could be used against you in your divorce proceedings. If you need to vent to someone, try to do so offline and keep comments you make verbal rather than written. Any written comment, whether on social media or through a text message to a mutual friend, could be used against you. 

Don’t Rush to Move Out

When you and your spouse separate, it’s normal for at least one of you to want to move out of your shared home. While there’s no rule saying you can’t, you may be better off waiting. Remember, the cost of rentals and new homes is on the rise, and moving out of a home you know you can afford can put a serious strain on your finances. And if you and your spouse are able to reconcile during your separation, you could be burdened by a rental agreement that you can’t get out of or a home that’s tough to sell.

Instead, move into a separate bedroom and if you absolutely need extra space, consider moving in with a friend or a family member for a few days or weeks to help things calm down. This way, you won’t end up with extra expenses that you may not want to cover in the long run.

Don’t Let Friends and Family Influence Your Actions

While it’s tempting to seek advice from friends and family members, be cautious as you do so. Take their advice with a grain of salt and don’t let their opinions influence the choices you make. Remember, your California divorce lawyer is the best source for reliable and actionable advice about how you should handle your separation and your divorce.

Consult With a California Divorce Lawyer

If you and your spouse have decided to separate, don’t hesitate to reach out to a California divorce lawyer at Jackman Law. Our team will help you figure out the next best steps and can represent you in your divorce proceedings. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.