1. Swing from the hip instead of doing some careful planning – There are so many things you can do to improve your chances of success in a divorce. Just as important, there are many ways to damage your chances. People make many decisions by random chance. Wouldn’t it be a great idea to do some pre-divorce planning? A visit with a divorce attorney, financial planner, and a custody advisor can make a huge difference in your results.

2. Send stupid, mean letters, text messages, and emails to your soon to be ex. This may make you feel great, but will become embarrassing evidence later on. Attorneys are great at saving messages, massaging them, packaging them, and then presenting the result in court many months later. Don’t provide your ex with an opportunity to embarrass you.

3. Fail to prepare financially. If you have some money then squirrel it away. If you don’t have any money, borrow some. If you cannot borrow money, get a job and/or credit cards. You should consider selling things. The goal is to build a war chest. We are talking about a chest of money or preparation that can pay for a lawyer, and sustain you for the coming hardships. Financial preparation can take the form of downsizing your expenses. Whatever you have the capability to do – do it now.

4. Quit your job and move out of town with the children. This mistake is potentially devastating to your case. Not only did you destroy your source of income but also you have put yourself in a position where the kids may be forced to move back by court order, with or without you. Your income will be interrupted; your residence unstable, and even worse – you just committed a huge legal wrong.

5. Settle your case in a way that makes you unhappy – with the hope of changing it later. Your most important “bite of the apple” is right now, not later. When a court order is put in place it acquires an aura of correctness that other judges are reluctant to disturb. In other words: whatever you settle for now may have to last forever. Try for what you want now and you will most likely be happier in the long run.

Andrew G. Storie is a family law and divorce attorney who serves Orlando and all of Central Florida. For more information, or if you have questions please visit www.storielaw.com or call us at (407) 838-0887