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Getting a lawyer, gathering financial documents, and updating your estate plan are essential things you should do in a divorce. These actions make a powerful impact on a divorce, but there are also things that you should not do that can have a significant effect on divorce. Knowing both can be critical when what you do is as important as what you do not do.

Divorces can be extremely complicated and require the experienced guidance of an attorney. Before you even make it to an attorney’s office, you can avoid making some critical mistakes. Here are fours things you should avoid doing in your divorce:

Posting on social media

Anything you post online has the potential to become leverage against you in court negotiations. A picture of your new car could be used to increase your alimony payments. Insulting your spouse can become evidence of how you behave in front of your children. Refrain from posting anything online during your divorce.

Using your children for your benefit

If you make a habit of using your children as messengers or spies against your spouse, a judge may make a custody decision that you do not want. The way you treat your children is a custody determination factor, so be sure you are treating your children negatively.

Ignoring your finances

If you turn a blind eye to your finances even before you initiate divorce, you may be surprised to see your assets in shared accounts have disappeared. You can protect what you have earned by staying on top of them, and separating yours before it is too late.

Acting without an attorney

Interacting with your soon-to-be ex-spouse without a lawyer present is rarely a good idea. Emotions can run hot in their presence, and you may make a decision that you will come to regret later. An attorney can speak on your behalf and keep you from saying or doing something that could cost you dearly in a divorce.

Sometimes, the actions you do not take can have more impact than the actions you do take. Before making any decision in a divorce, consider if the outcome will benefit or hurt your case and speak with an attorney if ever possible.