Three Critical Pieces of Advice for Anyone Going Through a Divorce.

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1. Don’t Be Your Own Lawyer.
In the long run, trying to save a few bucks could cost you more than just money. Why?

  • First, some things handled during the legal process can’t be modified, so if you get it wrong, you are stuck with it.
  • Second, a poorly drafted pleading can and will be used against you in court, preventing you from getting the things that are most important to you.
  • Third, it is far more expensive to modify a poorly written child custody, visitation, or property settlement agreement than it is to get it right the first time. The money you try to save in the beginning probably won’t cover the cost of fixing the mistakes you are likely to make while trying to do it on your own.

2. Don’t Discuss the Advice or Strategy You Received From Your Lawyer With Others.
Discussing things with others destroys the attorney-client privilege. This permits your Ex’s attorney to force your family and friends to testify in court about what you and your attorney said to each other, something that will probably work against you.

3. Don’t Do Anything In Public You Aren’t Prepared To Explain In Court.
Everyone has a cell phone with a camera in it, and it’s not unusual for people to take pictures when they are out in public and post them on social media. Your photo could be taken by anyone, the person sitting at a nearby table, someone who may not even in your group. If you get your picture taken while doing something you don’t want your soon-to-be Ex to know about, there’s a good chance they will find it and use it against you. When in public, behave like your soon-to-be Ex is watching.

Three Things You Should Always Do When Children Are Involved in Your Divorce

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1. Avoid Alienating the Children From Your Ex.
Trying to turn the kids against the Ex will eventually turn them against you. Kids grow up and think for themselves, and when they do, they’ll realize what you’ve been up to. This will not end well for you. Nobody likes to hear others say bad things about their parents, even when it is their other parent. The kids love and need you both.

2. Make All Support Payments With a Check.
If you voluntarily give your Ex money, or can’t prove you made a support payment, then the court won’t give you credit for it and you will have to pay twice. If the payment in question is court ordered support, your inability to prove payment could get you jailed for contempt—every month! Cash may be king, but it’s not your friend.

3. Keep a Visitation Diary
When your Ex can’t follow the visitation order, or constantly wants to see the kids during your designated time with little or no advanced notice, write it down when it happens. It will look more credible if it is noted in real time, and will help show the court that your Ex is being difficult and failing to work with you.

Thinking About a Divorce? Three Things to Do in Advance

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Divorce is never fun. But you can make things easier on yourself if you prepare:

Weigh the Trial of Your Case in Economic and Non-Economic Terms. Sure you want to win, but don’t let the desire to “best” your ex in a competition cloud your judgement. Remember, the romance is gone, and now it’s just a matter of money and custody. It doesn’t make sense to spend money to get what was offered to you before trial, and being stubborn can result in getting grilled by an attorney about your drug use, DUI, gambling habit or porn viewing.

Take An Inventory of Household Items. You will need to inventory the stuff that has to be divided. You also may need to prove what has been removed or destroyed. If nothing else, walk through the house with a video camera and video everything. You’ll find it helpful when you have to create the list.

Keep a Divorce Diary. Notes that you make about your Ex’s actions or failures to act at that particular time, have much more credibility in court than notes you create after the fact. Whenever your soon-to-be Ex fails to pay support, forgets to pick up the kids, does not follow existing court orders or does anything negative, write it down when it happens. If you don’t, you’ll wish you had, and if you try to write it down later, you’ll just look vindictive.