By the time a spouse files for divorce, it is very possible that the relationship ended a long time ago. One or both parties may have already moved out and on to new partners, for instance, or the marriage has been so broken for so long that the divorce process seems like little more than a formality.

Under these circumstance, getting through the divorce as quickly as possible can be a top priority. However, in the rush to divorce, people can make some serious missteps that make sense in the short term, but ultimately have painful long-term consequences.

Below, we examine three mistakes to avoid.

  1. Accepting every initial offer – Accepting initial offers on matters like property division without negotiating what you really want and deserve under the law can leave you with less than you deserve and without specific items you might cherish. Immediately, you may feel fine leaving money on the table. But as time goes by, you could seriously regret not fighting harder for a family heirloom or your share of an investment property.
  2. Being imprecise with financial details – Dividing property can be a complicated, tedious process because it involves identifying and valuing every asset. If you try to cut corners by guessing at valuations or you overlook any property, any agreement you do reach could be invalid or challenged later on.
  3. Letting emotions, not logic, dictate your decisions – Divorce is a notoriously emotional event, and setting aside your emotions during the process can be very difficult. However, acting on your emotional impulses can lead you to make decisions that are not in your best interests, which you may not realize until long after the divorce is final and your emotions subside.

Each of these missteps could cause more problems than they might solve, so it is important to avoid them.

That said, this not mean that a divorce must drag on. There are legal solutions that allows people to navigate the divorce process more efficiently without compromising a satisfactory outcome. As such, taking the time to consult an attorney about your legal options can also be a critical element in pursuing a swift, fair divorce.