You should definitely avoid these 10 mistakes in the event of a separation or divorce

Separation from a spouse is usually spontaneous: Feelings determine the course of action. Those who act in ignorance of the legal requirements run the risk of ending their life at a dead-end. Avoid these most common mistakes.

Breakup Mistake 1: Don’t Endless Hope to Restore Your Marriage

Hope dies last. If your marriage is broken, you shouldn’t put your decision on the back burner. Sincerely hope that your partner will find their way back to you, live in constant tension. True to the motto “Better to end with horror than a horror without end”, you should decide whether you will separate yourself or accept that your partner has broken up. Couples prefer to go with divorce uncontested these days. If you think you can actually continue your marriage, you should have understandable reasons. Any short-term attempts at reconciliation do not damage the end of the year of separation.

Mistake 2: You are acting without financial planning

If you split up spontaneously and do not have a sufficient income of your own, you need to know what you are going to buy your bread from tomorrow. It is easier for you to save your own money. Do not hope that the partner will voluntarily and immediately pay child support and separation support. If possible, use the time before your separation to collect or copy all economically relevant documents. You have a better chance of justifying your financial claims if you are informed about your spouse’s income and financial situation.

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Mistake 3: When separating, you continue to use your common bank account

If you have a joint bank account, you have to expect that the partner will withdraw the entire balance or use an existing overdraft facility to the limit. Make sure that you immediately redirect any money you are entitled to your own account. An online account can be set up immediately on the PC. Inform the bank that you have split up and the overdraft facility will be stopped. Terminate the account.

Mistake 4: You think you are the one who has to leave the marital home

During the separation period, it does not matter who is the owner of the apartment or who signed the rental agreement. Rather, it is crucial that the person who is more dependent on the use of the marital home has a priority right to use the marital home. In particular, if your child lives in the apartment or you cannot be expected to move out due to illness, you are the one who is allowed to stay in the marital home at least until the divorce with priority.

Mistake 5: You think you need to make your own money right away after breaking up

The legislature sees the time of your separation as a probationary period. Your family relationships should remain as they are for the time being. Maybe you will make up again. Then pick up where you left off your life together. If you have not previously been employed, you do not need to earn your own money just because of the separation. If you work part-time, you do not need to take up a full-time position.

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Rather, in order to guarantee your standard of living, you are entitled to separation maintenance. However, the longer your separation lasts, the more your obligation to earn your own money intensifies. You only have to look after yourself after the divorce, unless you are dependent on your living situation.

Mistake 6: You deny any right of access to your child

“You won’t have the children!” Even if your feelings are on a roller coaster, you should not use your child together to live out your revenge on your partner.

This fact alone is often the reason for the separation to lead to a controversial divorce or even to let it degenerate into a war of roses. Remember that the law grants a right of contact with the other parent in the interests of the child and that the child also has its own right of contact. Do not confuse access rights with custody rights.

Mistake 7: You report your partner for black money

Revenge can also be bitter. If you blacken your partner at the tax office because he is allegedly stashing illicit money or has a secret account abroad, you expose yourself to suspicion of aid if you know about it.

In addition, you must expect an unpleasant house search by the tax authorities to find evidence, even if you are unaware of the circumstances. If your partner is “fined” for tax purposes, you reduce your chances of separation maintenance, spousal maintenance, child maintenance and profit-sharing.

Mistake 8: You are untruthfully shortening the year of separation

You can only file your application for divorce in court once you have completed the year of separation. In order to get a premature divorce quicker, you should never untruthfully shorten the year of separation in consultation with your spouse. You risk that your partner may, contrary to expectations, feel obliged to the truth in the eye of the judge at the oral divorce date.


If the year of separation is actually not over, you must expect that the judge will reject your application for divorce for a fee and that you will receive a criminal complaint on suspicion of fraudulent proceedings.

Mistake 9: You hope for a lightning divorce

There are lightning marriages, but there are no lightning divorces. Every divorce requires the completion of the year of separation. You can only obtain an early divorce before the end of the year of separation in exceptional cases in which the end of the year of separation cannot be expected for reasons related to the person of your spouse (e.g. physical violence). 

Such hardship cases play only a minor role in court practice because of their exceptional nature. Since you have to prove the circumstances to convince the court, it may be more advantageous from a time point of view to simply wait for the end of the year of separation and then obtain the divorce.

Mistake 10: Believing you were guilty of divorce because of your misconduct

Marital misconduct was only relevant as long as divorce law was based on the principle of guilt. This principle of guilt has been replaced by the principle of disruption. Your marriage can be divorced if it has “broken down” and thus failed and you no longer want to restore your cohabitation.

Whether and who is responsible for the divorce remains irrelevant. Even if your spouse has broken marital fidelity, you cannot benefit from it under divorce law. Marital misconduct plays a role at most in justified cases in the case of maintenance claims.


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