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Divorce Dos and Don’ts

Dissolving a marriage can be a difficult and confusing experience, and most people are not prepared for the emotional strain divorce has on them, their children and anyone else involved. Anticipating the stresses your divorce may bring can help you ready yourself and react to disputes in a mature and rational way. As you approach divorce, make sure to consider the following dos and don’ts to avoid common mistakes:

DO…

  • Seek representation from an attorney. You need someone with professional experience who has your best interests in mind.
  • Remain truthful with your lawyer throughout the process. Provide whatever documents and other information he or she requests.
  • Consider alternative methods such as mediation as a path to a quicker, more cost-effective and more amicable divorce
  • Decide what issues are most important to you in the divorce and what your desired outcome is regarding property division, child custody and finances
  • Ready information for your attorney concerning the details of your marital estate — real and personal property, bank accounts, credit card statements, tax returns, stock holdings, loans and other debt, etc.

DON’T…

  • Speak negatively or hatefully about your spouse in front of your children.
  • Ask your kids to choose sides when it comes to living with one parent or another.
  • Use your children to get what you want, such as by threatening to restrict access if your ex doesn’t concede on a particular issue.
  • Make decisions out of spite.
  • Hide earnings, personal items of value or other individual assets in order to avoid child support or spousal support obligations.
  • Change the locks on your family home or on any other property without your divorce attorney advising you to do so.

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