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The Top Ten Mistakes that Divorcing Couples Make:

3.  Band-Aid approach to negotiations.  When approaching settlement discussions in a divorce case, it is critical that each party bear in mind that-- with some exceptions-- this is going to be a final solution.   In other words, try to reach an agreement that will endure.  Do not make agreements that merely placate the other for a short time;  that is, an agreement that merely kicks the can down the road.  For example, if  there are young children, and if the parents plan to live in entirely different cities after the divorce, it is preposterous to agree to a shared placement schedule.  Once the children start school, such a shared placement schedule is entirely unworkable.  The only thing such an agreement accomplishes is to delay the real negotiations to a time when things will be much more difficult to resolve.
2.  Win at all costs.  The family court is described as a court of equity.  This means that the judge is obligated to do what is fair to the parties.   Almost by definition, a "fair" decision will make neither party happy.   There rarely is a winner and a loser in a divorce.  If you approach your divorce with the attitude that you are going to destroy your spouse financially and emotionally, you are making a grave mistake.   Firstly, you will spent monumental amounts of money on a fool's errand.   Secondly, if the judge gets the impression that you are vindictive and you are over-litigating the case, it will back-fire.  Do not seek out the divorce attorney whose reputation is that of a shark.   Seek out the attorney who is smart, a skilled negotiator, and who has years of experience in family court.
1.  Drag your feet.  Whether to divorce your spouse is a very difficult decision to make.  Consequently, people drag their feet.  If your marriage is not functioning, though, this is a grave mistake.   Couples will try the proverbial "trial separation" that always seems to work flawlessly on the soap operas.  This is nothing short of magical thinking, though.  There are issues that exist that prevent your marriage from functioning properly.  Living separately will not resolve those issues.   It only masks the symptoms of profound problems of living together that are not getting any attention.  Meanwhile, only bad things can happen while the couple lives apart.   It may be  the new boyfriend or girlfriend.   It may be that one spouse is a spendthrift who wracks up tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  At the time of the divorce, this is marital debt that will be divided equally.  So, if your marriage is not functioning, you must file for divorce.   It is critical to understand that the filing of the petition for divorce is not a point of no return.   The family law in Wisconsin provides numerous ways for the couple to reconcile even though a petition has been filed.   It is possible to seek a stay of proceedings so that the couple may live together in an attempt to reconcile.   There is a 120 day waiting period built into the law to give the parties every opportunity to work things a out.   There is no doubt that the family is far better off if the couple is able to resolve their differences.   You do not move toward that outcome, though, by dragging your feet.