In our prior posts, we talked about how January can be the most popular time for divorces and how it may fit into the “New Year, new you” makeover mentality that is sold in the United States. While this may be a genuine goal for some people, there are a number of emotional pitfalls that can befall potential divorcees and lead to terrible financial results. This post will identify those pitfalls and give some helpful tips on how to avoid them.

Mistaking your attorney for a therapist – Attorneys (who are legal counselors) and therapists (who are emotional counselors) should not be mistaken for each other. You should avoid taking time to sort out emotional issues with your attorney, such as how to deal with the guilt of divorcing. At the same time, your therapist won’t be able help you with the legal standard for physical custody.

Establishing expectations on family members’ experiences – It is important to understand that all divorces are different, even if they involve similar issues. So what happened in your mother’s divorce or your brother’s divorce may not occur in your situation.

Hiring an attorney without knowing them – It may go without saying, but it is critical that you get to know your issues before you pay your retainer. You should be comfortable with who you hire, meaning that you share similar values, have established a rapport, and can work well together. Indeed, a lawyer’s reputation is one aspect of their services, but if you are uncomfortable working with him or her, you should feel free to choose someone different.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com, Common errors that can affect the cost of your divorce, January 15, 2013