Divorce Do's and Don'ts
Divorce is going to be the most stressful time of your life. Emotions run high, and every decision seems to be more stressful than the last. It's only human to find yourself reacting emotionally, but it's important to keep your head straight. Your actions now can have a tremendous affect on the outcome of the divorce.
Do be reasonable and cooperate as much as possible with your soon-to-be-ex. Reasonable compromise yields quicker and easier results in divorce cases and can save your family a tremendous amount of money. The money saved can be used to invest in your children’s college fund.
Do support your children through this process both financially and emotionally. It's even tougher on them than on you - don't make them pick sides. It is best to position yourself as a responsible parent. Responsible parents support their children financially. If you are already separated then you will have to support the children from the date of the separation. It is best to find out from your attorney what a temporary support amount should be using “rough numbers”. This amount can be adjusted later using information obtained through the discovery process.
Do let your spouse know when and where you will be spending time with your kids while you work out your permanent time sharing arrangements. Both spouses have a responsibility to keep the other spouse informed in regards to the health, education and welfare of the children even during the divorce process itself. Remember that sooner or later you will be in front of judge and if you do not communicate and keep your spouse informed regarding the children that won't look good during time sharing hearings. You want to posture yourself to be a responsible and caring parent.
Do fully disclose all your assets and property. A court can throw out a divorce decree based on financial deception, this means an accurate financial affidavit and full mandatory disclosure. You could wind up back in court years after you thought everything was final because of fraud or deceit in your financial disclosure to your spouse.
Do ask your attorney about things you don't understand. Your attorney works for you. Your attorney should be available to discuss and questions you might have regarding the divorce process. Your attorney should be there for you to help you thoroughly understand every part of the divorce process.
Don't make major life changes during the pending divorce. Major plans are: getting involved with a girlfriend; taking a job in or moving another state or out of the country. These changes could hold up the divorce process and could interfere with getting your divorce finalized.
Don't violate any temporary time sharing agreements or Orders. It could make it tougher for you to get the time sharing rights that you are entitled to if the court thinks that you will not honor your agreements or the court’s Orders.
Don't "give away" property to friends or relatives and arrange to get it back later. Hiding property will not look good in the eyes of the court. Through mandatory disclosure all financial assets and liabilities are acknowledged in sworn affidavits and certificates of compliance. Why have your spouse take you back to court to settle those assets if they are found at a later date? Don’t forget the court will be making a decision on the best interests of your children. Candor before the court is paramount if you are seeking an extensive time sharing schedule/parenting plan.
Don't try to handle the divorce alone. The divorce process is very complicated. An attorney can make sure that your interests are protected and your rights with regards to your children, the most important issue in your divorce, are made paramount in the negotiation and settlement of your case.