Do's and Don'ts of Divorce
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What Types of Things Should I Do and Not Do during the Divorce Period?
It is important to realize that everything that you do during the divorce period can reflect on how your divorce and divorce agreement are legally settled. You don't want to do something that you will regret later or will get you into legal trouble. A smart individual is aware of the pitfalls of certain activities during this period.
What Do I Want to Do during This Period?
- Communicate as much as possible with your spouse. Many problems regarding property and custody crop up during the divorce period simply because spouses do not communicate.
- Disclosure of all property and assets is a cardinal must in all divorces. Failure to disclose now may result in you settlement being thrown out later.
- Make sure to ask as many questions as possible of your attorney, your spouse, and your spouse's attorney. Leave no stone unturned as you want to be as clear as possible on all the issues and don't want surprise later.
- For yourself
- Try to be as accommodating and cooperative as possible. This is a stressful time, so try to be the bigger person and keep yourself calm and accommodating. Experience has shown that compromising couples settle divorces quicker and for less money.
- Give yourself time and space to de-stress during this period. Try not schedule too many things into your schedule during this period, as it will only heightened your anxiety.
- For your children
- Make sure that you consider your children's feeling in all this. Lashing out at them over your spouses abuses is never productive. They need your support.
- Don't concentrate all on the divorce. Failure to keep up a relationship with your kids during this period looks bad in your kids' eyes, but it can also look bad in the courts eyes.
What Do I Not Want to Do during This Period?
- If you have kids, don't violate or complicate custody and visitation arrangements. Even if they're only temporary arrangements a court may view a meddlesome person as disrespectful of the court, children, or your spouse, and this may alter the permanent arrangement the court later decides on.
- Don't attempt to get married to another person during the divorce. A third party in the mix only confuses things further, creates greater animosity, and make for rougher legal battle especially in fault states.
- Don't mess around with your assets too much. Courts are suspicious of people that provide wildly different documentation to the court of their assets than the spouse said they had. Gifting property away to friends or relatives and arranging to get it back later will only lead to another trip to court.
- For yourself
- Don't schedule a lot of traveling or vacationing during this period. Courts often do not care what your schedule is, and you don't want to have to disrupt your travel or vacation to go to court. Try to keep yourself as accessible as possible as your attorney, your spouse, and sometimes the court will need to get in touch with you to keep the process moving.
- Don't attempt to make any big moves during this period. Don't attempt to switch jobs unless it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Don't attempt to make any life-altering moves unless for health and safety reasons. Changing jobs and residences can only complicate things. New issues can confuse the process causing further delay and greater expense for both parties.
- Do not make decisions based on your emotions and make sure that all the decisions made is done legally and on a rational basis.
- Do not spend thousands of dollars in court fees and attorney fees fighting with your spouse over a $200 piece of property.
- For your children
- Do not ask your children about the activities and behaviors of your (ex) spouse. Make sure to keep them out of the divorce proceedings.
- Do not use your children as a bargaining took during the settlement proceedings.
- Do not prevent your children seeing the other spouse before the court has issued any custody rulings.
Should I Contact a Family Law Attorney?
It is always a good idea to have an attorney to assist you with the divorce process, especially when your spouse acquires one. A good family law attorney can answer all your questions, help you keep perspective on the whole process, tell you what to do and not to do during the divorce process, and make sure you get a good settlement out of the divorce.
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Last Modified: 09-08-2014 03:51 PM PDT
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