There are certain actions that you should avoid when going through a divorce.
Don't empty your joint accounts.
Emptying your joint accounts is a declaration of war, equivalent to pushing the red button.
Your spouse will know that assets are missing and will inevitably wage a search mission to find the assets. This will cost you both more in attorney's fees and discovery costs, and it will delay the conclusion of your case.
Further, a party who unilaterally empties the joint bank accounts will lose credibility in the judge's eyes. If your matter ends up in trial, the judge will be the decision-maker, and you want him to view you favorably.
Additionally, you are usually not entitled to more than fifty percent of the marital assets, so you will eventually be forced to return them. In the meantime, by hiding the assets, you will have completely destroyed your relationship with your ex, and perhaps with your children.
If you are truly worried, dig up and copy your family's most recent financial information. Inventory and photograph your family's valuables. Move fifty percent of the liquid funds into an individual account, and don't forget to meet with a financial planner, afterwards.
Don't talk trash about your ex.
NEVER trash your ex to your kids. It will hurt you in court, if you insist on going there. And it will certainly bite you back with the kids for years to come. Your kids will tell your spouse the bad things that you are saying about him or her. Or based on the things that come out of your children's mouths, your spouse will know that you are speaking about him or her disparagingly.
If you must, vent in the journal that your lawyer should have asked you to maintain.
Don't post on social media.
It's hugely tempting to brag about your new life before you're even divorced, to ensure that your ex knows that you're over him or her. Don't post anything that might be used against you! Details about the keg you finished all by yourself, comments about the one-night stands you've enjoyed, pictures of you with your new girlfriend or beau, will not help your divorce case. Consider the famous folks who are now infamous idiots just because they had to hit "enter."
Don't file false charges.
Telling the cops that your spouse hit you is not the right way to announce that you want a divorce or to get him or her out of the house. It's a declaration of war, and your kids and bank accounts will suffer in the ensuing firestorm.
Instead of filing a baseless or untruthful injunction, be brave; talk with your spouse about a divorce at the kitchen table. Or invite your spouse to coffee in a public place to have the discussion. Or ask family to help you have that talk. Or ask your attorney to help you have that talk.
Don't forget to get a second opinion.
A lawyer should explain the various options available for obtaining that final judgment. But lawyers are human. They have biases. They make mistakes. They want to make money. Always get a second opinion before choosing an attorney. But once you do retain counsel, take her advice!
Most attorneys prefer a certain process, like litigation, mediation, or collaboration. Attorneys should explain all divorce process options to you so that you can choose the best alternative for you.
It is important to understand all your options, so it is best to interview several attorneys. Further, attorneys have different personalities. Some are bulldogs, wanting to go to war over almost every issue. Some attorneys are natural negotiators and more comfortable trying to get you to come to a reasonable settlement.
Moreover, you're going to be spending a lot of time with your attorney, so if possible, it is crucial to hire an attorney who you actually like, who shares your values. No matter what process you choose, your attorney will be your teammate, and your team will be more successful if you get along with one another.
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