Do’s and Don’ts before you Separate from your Spouse During a Divorce

Do’s

Do these things before you separate:

Do consult an experienced and competent family law attorney to determine how best to handle your particular situation. Doing things right at the outset can save you headaches and heartaches later. Be sure you find an attorney who you are comfortable with.

Do consider the impact of your activities on your case and on your future. This is one of the most important services and pieces of advice a lawyer should provide for you.

Do find out how to protect your assets.

Do follow your attorney’s advice. Your case will go much smoother if you can trust your attorney and your attorney can trust that the advice they are giving you is being followed. Surprises in court are not a good thing.

Do think about the impact of your actions and your ex’s actions on your children. Think about how the life-style changes will impact you with regard to your children. Arrangements about child custody, visitation and child support should be discussed with a lawyer before you begin the process.

Do figure out your financial arrangements for the next few months. Having a plan and having some extra savings will make the initial period much less stressful.

Do prepare for the possibility if you do leave the house you may not be able to return until after the court decides about division of property. Take personal items which are most valuable to you including heirlooms and mementoes which money can not replace.

Do maintain your network of friends and stay in touch with others. A good support system is so valuable during all aspects of the divorce.

Don’ts

Don’t ignore a complaint. If you are being sued for divorce, take action. Get a lawyer, go to your court dates; otherwise you could lose in a number of situations,

Don’t ignore time sensitive parts of the process. Get paperwork to your lawyer and the court on time, be prompt for meetings and don’t skip important appearances in the courts.

Don’t miss filing deadlines on paperwork.

Don’t rely on third hand advice about how someone else’s divorce was handled. Your life, your children and your case is not theirs. Each case is different, regardless of what the internet says.

Don’t draft your own separation agreement or sign one that your spouse gave to you without a lawyer having reviewed it and explaining the legal implications to you. Once signed by both parties, the Separation Agreement is binding and you may lose assets and privileges not properly documented.

Don’t rely on internet research too heavily. The internet is a wonderful thing, but anyone is allowed to post information, correct or bad, without repercussions. Talk to an attorney who practice primarily family law and can give you advice about your particular case.

Don’t react to your spouse’s demands in a highly emotional manner, even if you think he or she is being unreasonable. They may be acting rotten just to get a reaction from you or be trying to wear you down. This makes matters worse.

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