SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Law experts predict almost half of marriages in the United States will end in divorce.
But in recent years, the number of divorces across the country has stabilized, according to experts.
"Young people I think are a lot more cautious about getting married the first time," said James Baldock, an attorney at law.
According to Baldock, 41% of marriages will end in divorce.
The attorney has seen some pretty irrational behavior come from people going through the gut-wrenching process.
"Stalking your ex is a very common thing," Baldock said. "Especially if the dissolution is occurring because of an extra marital affair."
Baldock said behavior like this can hurt people when claiming assets and trying to earn custody of the kids.
"You want to be able to show the judge that 'I am together and I am the parent,'" Baldock said.
Law experts at Tarascio and Del Vecchio Law Offices in Springfield have made a list of 10 things not to do when getting a divorce.
"The first one is absolutely do not get any DUIs," Baldock said.
Other tips on the list include not draining their bank accounts, not canceling your spouse's utilities, and not reaching out to singles web sites for attention.
Attorney Baldock said inappropriate acts on-line is one of the biggest mistakes made during divorces.
"I almost always tell clients when they walk in my office to just shut down that Facebook page," Baldock said.
The recently married attorney said it is sad to see so many divorces come through his door. But in most cases, the attorney says it is probably the better option.
"These are marriages that aren't working and it's better that they get out of them than stay in them," Baldock said.
For more advise, Tarascio and Del Vecchio Law Offices will be hosting a free seminar on March 30th at 5:30 p.m. at their office.
Below is the complete list of Divorce Don'ts from Tarascio & Del Vecchio Law Offices' press release:
1. Don't get a DUI
Do you want your soon-to-be ex calling you a drunk during a custody battle? If you hand a judge proof of your errors in judgment, it's not going to go well for you. Also, don't start or return to an illegal or prescription drug habit.
2. Don't post nasty things about your ex on Facebook.
"This becomes part of the evidence in a contentious divorce," Tarascio said. "What you say on Facebook is public and could be used against you."
3. Don't post naked pictures of yourself on Craigslist or singles web sites.
Like #2, this situation has happened when a suddenly 'free' spouse starts looking for companionship on line and does too much 'advertising.' "When people are divorcing they often are so upset that they start making bad decisions," Tarascio said.
4. Don't forget about filing taxes
The IRS will come calling you if you file taxes as a single person, when your spouse files as married. A divorce changes your tax-filing status and you must work with your ex-spouse to decide how to file, and who gets to claim what as deductions. This is an area where it's best to speak with an accountant, even if you usually do your own taxes on line.
5. Don't get pregnant or impregnate others
Again, this seems obvious, but getting pregnant during a divorce is lousy timing. If a woman becomes pregnant, that child may be presumed to be a product of the marriage when that's not the case. Additionally, a new baby creates child support issues with a 21-year contract and ongoing parenting issues.
6. Don't drain the bank accounts
If you put the other spouse in financial harm by taking the money out of the accounts, you'll have to account for it later and pay up. If you're in a custody battle, you'll lose points with the judge and it could cost you your children.
7. Don't stalk your ex
Calling your ex 20 times a day can be considered stalking. Repeatedly driving by his or her house to see whose car is in the driveway can be considered stalking. If you get labeled a stalker, your ex may file a restraining order against you, and that legal record can affect not only your divorce, but future employment.
8. Don't text nasty messages to your ex
Your spouse's attorney can demand copies of all of your text messages and emails as part of the discovery process. If your messages are filled with rage, expletives and threats, it will become part of a courthouse record that is accessible to anyone who goes looking.
9. Don't cancel your spouse's utilities or insurance coverage
Thought you'd turn the electricity off? Not so fast. If the pipes freeze and the house is damaged, the insurance company may come looking to you to pay the cost. If it's health insurance, the judge may sock you with any bills that aren't covered because you canceled the insurance. This is a game not worth playing.
10. Don't sleep with your attorney
This seems like a no-brainer, but it happens. Not only is it illegal in many states, your attorney can't represent you adequately if there is a personal relationship getting in the way. And if you're not getting adequate representation, then what exactly are you paying for?