Be Mindful of How Your Actions Affect Your Children

If your case involves custody and child support, it is imperative you keep in mind how this is affecting your children. For most people, custody is the most important issue. But, for some spouses, the focus is not on what is best for the kids, but what that spouse wants. If you are dealing with a spouse only concerned about their own well being or their feelings, you cannot control their actions. You can only act in your children's best interest. I tell my clients to treat that spouse as you would a misbehaving child. You explain this is what you feel is best for the kids and why. This is how you will proceed if that spouse is not willing to work with you. Then, follow through with that decision, if s/he is being unreasonsable. If your decisions are based on what you feel is best for the kids, a Judge will see that and likely make decisions in line with yours.


Act as if the Judge is watching your every move

Any email, text, telephone call, facebook post, twitter message or other communication between you, your spouse, and others may be admissible at trial. Be mindful of your posts on facebooks, the pictures you take, the people with whom you communicate and the way you speak to your spouse because a Judge could, at some point, be basing a legal decision on those communications and/or pictures. In that same line, you want to be completely transparent with any attorney you retain. Your attorney can work with any fact in your case (even if it is a suggestion on whether or not to settle), unless that fact is learned at trial. If you are concerned about some behavior or action committed by you or your spouse, then likely your spouse is concerned and will bring it up at trial. A good lawyer can mitigate bad facts and highlight good facts. Make sure they are aware of all facts.


Keep Good Records

It is important to keep good records while you are going through your divorce and after it is finalized. If there is a dispute about custody, it is generally a good idea to keep track of visitation time, who took the children to the doctor and just brief notes of things that have happened while the case is pending. This journal may come in handy at the final hearing. Further, if child support is in issue, you will want to keep track of all payments for child support, extra-curricular activities, out of pocket medical expenses and daycare costs. It will helpful to not only prove who was paying these expenses, but also how much these expenses cost for calculating child support. To that same end, you should never pay a court ordered obligation in cash. You cannot track cash and, therefore, cannot prove that you made that payment. Further, you are not permitted to destroy any statements and should not delete any relevant emails.


Do Not Reside with a Non-Family Member of the Opposite Sex during a Divorce

While a divorce is pending, you are still married. If you are living with a non-family member during the divorce it can negatively affect your case and your children. The divorce will be very difficult on your children. If they see you living with a boy/girlfriend while the divorce is pending, it can be confusing to them. They will not even begin adjusting to the divorce until after one party moves out of the house. Until that point, typically children hope you will stay together. If you move in with someone else within months after separating from your spouse, it can be difficult on them. Further, Judges do not typically look favorably on a spouse that lives with a boy/girlfriend while that person is still married. If your spouse is living with a boy/girlfriend, make sure to inform your attorney. It could hlep your case.