Divorce isn’t just a traumatic event that causes great emotional and mental stress. It can also have material repercussions on the circumstances of your life that may be very evident years after the fact. Therefore, if you are already going through it, getting ready for it, or suspect that you may have to do so in near future, it’s a good idea to get acquainted with the following tips.
1. Make Sure You Actually Need A Divorce
Divorce is a big step, and its consequences aren’t easy to smooth over. Before you proceed with it, make sure it actually is necessary and there is no other method of reconciliation.
If you went through a traumatic experience recently, give yourself time to heal – perhaps you will change your opinion once the dust settles. Go through therapy if necessary, and suggest the same for your spouse. Talk to a marriage counselor and in general do everything possible to save your marriage.
2. Be Very Careful When Choosing A Lawyer
Once the decision is made, the correct choice of lawyer is of paramount importance. Naturally, the first requirement should be a lawyer with prior experience in matrimonial law, somebody who has a good track record of finding good settlements for their clients.
Another good idea is both parties hiring divorce lawyers who are acquainted with each other or, better yet, have a history of working together on similar cases and finding solutions that satisfied everybody. Avoid lawyers known for an all-or-nothing approach — it will prolong the proceedings and increase their paychecks, but not what you actually get in the end.
3. Don’t Take Any Action Without Talking To Your Lawyer
Unless you are a lawyer yourself, you don’t understand a lot of things about how law in general and divorce law in particular works. Any action you take or word you say can be used against you later on, resulting in a less-than-happy settlement in the court. In addition to that, laws are different in different states, which can result in even further complications.
4. Don’t Move Out Of Your Home Before Talking It Over With A Lawyer
Your moving out of your marital home can be used as either a reason to force you to start paying alimony or cause problems with collecting it. Once you leave, you may not be able to return to it legally until the court proceedings are over, which can take quite a while. Unless your spouse is dangerously violent, you should stay in your house for as long as your attorney suggests.
5. Keep Track Of All Financial Records
The more hard evidence you have, the better. You may think you know your spouse, but practice shows that divorces get nasty more often than not, and you should be ready for any kind of treachery from your spouse. If you want to be able to protect yourself and your finances, you should be ready to have irrevocable proof that you are in the right.
6. Don’t Let Emotions Control Your Actions
This is true both in the short and long term, both during the preliminary stages and during property division. Don’t give too much weight to your emotional attachment to your house and other belongings. Don’t let your spouse manipulate your behaviour — remember that they know you better than anybody else in the world and understand what makes you mad. Don’t ever show any behavior that can be evaluated as aggressive or violent — it can and will be used against you.
All in all, there is only one tip that is guaranteed to keep you safe: use your common sense, be logical, prepare for everything carefully — then, everything will be as alright as possible.
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