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What to do when "I do" turns into “I don’t”- A Divorce Guide

What to do when "I do" turns into “I don’t”

The do’s and don’ts of a divorce. Knowing what to do is as important as knowing what not to do. Follow these simple do's and don'ts if you find yourself in this stressful situation.


Do

Do keep records

It is incredibly important that you copy any financial, spending, economic, income, or other records, provided they are not password protected with a password to which you are not entitled to know. Those records that you can copy should be provided to your attorney for a review.

Do list your goals

How can you know what to ask for, if you don't know what you want or need? So, sit down, take some time, and think about what you hope to accomplish from your divorce.

Do know when to file a complaint

What you should know is that the filing of a divorce complaint ends certain rights regarding the accumulation of assets (and debts). It could also affect your income levels. So, before you file, know why you are doing so and what effects, if any, it may have on your rights.

Do gather evidence for claims

Although you believe you are entitled to credits from your spouse or division of assets, or even a belief that a gift or inheritance should not be divided, your mere belief system is insufficient to prevail in court. So, provide at least three years worth of statements and the will for each of the assets to be certain you can prove that an asset was gifted to you or inherited.

Do hire an attorney

It may seem obvious, but you cannot know your rights and obligations without speaking to someone who knows the area of family law. The worst thing you can do is assume you know it all, only to find out that you were wrong. Hire an attorney so that you know your options.


Don't

Do not get your children involved

There is nothing worse that you can do for you or your children than to put your them in the middle of your divorce or other family disputes. Let your children be children. A judge will not look kindly upon you if you put your children in the middle, or use them as intermediaries with your soon to be ex-spouse.

Do not assume your spouse will be fair

Let's face it. It's hard to believe that your one-time love of your life may not be fair to you. But, litigation is a different animal so you need to protect your interests, even if you determine that your spouse would be fair to you.

Do not ignore letters from your attorney

An attorney is communicating with you for a reason. You may not want to read what your attorney has to say or read what your attorney is forwarding to you, for fear perhaps that it's bad news. But your attorney needs to communicate with you and vice versa. So, don't ignore a letter or call from him/her.

Do not forget to live your life

You should be secure in the knowledge that you are allowed to live your life during your divorce. But be sure that you gradually introduce anyone new to your children.

Do not be angry or combative

If you find yourself a witness on the stand in court or in a deposition, remember to think about how your demeanor or words would come across to the judge or a reader of the transcript. One of the things that a judge picks up on, is your attitude during the divorce process. Be sure to stay calm and not be angry or combative.


Summary
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A divorce involves one of the most emotionally trying times in your life. You should be as prepared as possible to act in your own best interests.


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Photo Credits: Divorce © Lasse Kristensen - Fotolia.com; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas - Fotolia.com

Ronald LiebermanPartner, Adinolfi & Lieberman, P.A., Attorney’s at Law

Ron is the co-founding shareholder/partner of Adinolfi and Lieberman, P.A. Ron is a highly experienced family law attorney focusing in the area of high-end matrimonial litigation. Ron appears regularly before the Family Part in Atlantic, Burli...

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