Getting a Divorce
HandelontheLaw.com Staff Writer
Your actions and reactions during divorce can have long-term effects on your health, family, and finances. The ideal is to pull you through the stressful process with as little wear-and-tear and possible, so you can get on with your life in as good a shape as possible.
First, unless your divorce is mighty friendly and simple, hire a divorce lawyer. He/she knows the ins and outs of divorce in your state, works for you, can tell you your options and can answer any questions about your divorce.
Second, as Sollozzo said in “The Godfather,” “Blood is a big expense.” He could have been speaking of divorce, for revenge, retaliation, stubbornness and the like can all make divorces difficult, protracted and costly. Anger is understandable at some points but be smart, for the sake of yourself and your children: be as reasonable and cooperative as possible with your spouse.
Third, avoid extra stress on your already-stressed children. Don’t make them choose sides; rather, make them feel as loved and supported as possible by both parents.
Fourth, work out a reasonable temporary custody/visitation arrangement for you, your children and your spouse, and stick to it. That makes it easier for everyone and likelier that you will impress the court with your cooperation (or at least stay off its bad side).
Fifth, fully and truthfully disclose all your assets. You will be required to complete one or more financial disclosure forms so the court can decide property division. If you deceive the court, your divorce may later be reopened and prolonged due to the deception.
Sixth, don’t “get cute” by transferring assets to relatives or friends, expecting it to be returned after the divorce. The court knows that type of deception cold and if it discovers the deception (via your spouse, for instance), the court will handle you and the deception in the pending action, a reopened action or a new action.
Seventh, keep all big, new plans on hold until your divorce is final. Finishing your “old” married life before embarking on big, new plans will make both easier. If you have a job offer in another locality or plan to move away, bring that information into the negotiations and court proceeding to have it considered.
DO’S AND DON’TS
DO hire a divorce lawyer unless your divorce is friendly and simple.
DO be as cooperative and reasonable as possible with your spouse.
DON’T put extra stress on your children.
DO work out a reasonable temporary custody/visitation arrangement for you, your children and your spouse, and stick to it.
DO fully and truthfully disclose all your assets.
DON’T make fraudulent transfers to friends or relatives to avoid a full and fair financial settlement.
DO keep all big, new plans on hold until your divorce is final.
By Kathy Catanzarite
Note from HandelontheLaw.com: This article is to be used as an educational guide only and should not be interpreted as a legal consultation. Readers of this article are advised to seek an attorney if a legal consultation is needed. Laws may vary by state and are subject to change, thus the accuracy of this information can not be guaranteed. Readers act on this information solely at their own risk. Neither the author, handelonthelaw.com, or any of its affiliates shall have any liability stemming from this article.