Dos and Don’ts During a Divorce

Divorce can be an intense and taxing process for the spouses involved and their families. Not only will a family be divided, but so too will all of their assets. While the emotion of the situation can overcome logic, there are a few things those getting divorced should focus on doing to ensure their emotions do not jeopardize their financial stake in the separation.

The sometimes lengthy period between the time a divorce petition is filed and the divorce is finalized is the time when everyone should be on their best behavior. The opposing spouse is almost always watching and waiting for something to use against the other in asset division, alimony, child support or child custody decisions.

Stay Put

The whole point of a divorce is for spouses to get away from each other, but maintaining two separate households is about twice as expensive as maintaining one. If couples continue living together, they should establish strict boundaries. Basic etiquette and respect for others is essential for an already stressful situation to work. As part of that, keeping new relationships away from the shared house is critical while the wounds of a failed relationship are still fresh.

Spouses sometimes try to egg on the other to make disparaging remarks to use against them later on. One spouse may even be secretly recording conversations hoping for the other to say something damaging. Unfortunately, statements or actions viewed as "threatening" by a judge could lead to a restraining order that might include removing the spouse from house.

Keep Everything Out in the Open

It is highly common for one spouse or both to attempt to hide marital assets so they cannot equally or equitably be divided between them and the other spouse in the divorce settlement. The first problem is that hiding assets is illegal and unethical. The second is that when someone is caught doing so, he or she loses all credibility with the court. That can have a financially devastating effect on a judge's decision of how to divide assets and assess alimony and/or child support payments.

Keep a Low Profile

Popular social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter can be a real headache for divorcing spouses. One may quickly regret status updates or photos of wild nights out or an expensive vacation with the new romantic interest when it comes to alimony, child support and child custody hearings. For those who cannot resist the urge to post, update or tweet, stringent privacy settings are crucial.

In that same vein, while it is important to move on emotionally from a broken marriage, timing is critical. Wait to relish in newfound freedom until after the ink on the divorce papers is dry. Expensive purchases can affect alimony awards and rebound relationships can convey instability when it comes to child custody. Keeping a low profile will pay off in the end.

If you are contemplating a divorce, contact an experienced family law attorney to discuss your situation and the best way to approach the many upcoming changes that necessarily accompany the end of a marriage.

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