October 13, 2011

Steps to Take If You’re Planning a Divorce

Posted in Divorce, Family Law tagged , at 12:11 pm by demetriagraves

Some couples who postponed getting a divorce because of the poor economy are finding they can no longer wait. If you’re among those planning to leave your marriage, there are important steps to take as soon as possible.

1. Get informed. In some marriages, one spouse handles the finances and the other has limited knowledge about the family’s assets. Copy print documents and computerized records about all of your family’s financial assets as early in the process as you can. Sometimes when your spouse learns you have hired an attorney, that’s when documentation can disappear.
2. Move money from joint accounts. Consider transferring some money from joint accounts into an account in your own name if you have little or no funds in your individual accounts. This ensures that you have money for groceries and other necessities in the event your spouse removes funds or limits your access to joint accounts. This is especially important if your credit cards and other accounts are all held jointly, as your spouse might close them in retaliation for you seeking a divorce. Make sure you talk to your attorney first before making this decision, however.
3. Consider whether you need to close joint accounts. If your partner is spending money wildly on drugs or indulgences, consider closing or canceling your joint accounts so your spouse cannot run up unpaid balances.
4. Try to talk constructively with your spouse. See if you can have a logical, thoughtful, and constructive conversation with your spouse about your lives after divorce, especially if you have children. Go to your attorneys with any ideas you have for moving forward.
5. If you’re a victim of domestic violence, file a domestic violence complaint to document what’s been happening at home. You can go to the clerk’s office at the courthouse to file or after hours you can call the police or go to the magistrate’s office. The judge or magistrate can sign a temporary restraining order removing your spouse from the home and protecting you until the matter can be heard with all parties present. If the judge then believes the allegations of abuse, he or she can sign a protective order that is in effect for one year.
6. Do not let verbal arguments get out of hand. I see good people who wouldn’t be inclined to domestic violence end up there. If you start having a heated argument, walk away before there is any shoving, grabbing or physical contact whatsoever. Don’t say things you’ll regret later.
7. Avoid arguments with your spouse in front of your children. What you say about your marriage or spouse in front of the kids could damage them for a lifetime. If you love your children, keep your adult problems adult and don’t involve the kids.
8. Sometimes, litigation is not the answer. Consider alternative ways of resolving disputes, such as mediation or collaborative law. These methods lessen the pain for you and your children. Hire an attorney who will help solve your problems and get results, someone who sincerely wants to help you resolve the case without painful and expensive litigation if that is possible.

If you’d like more information on the best way to proceed. I offer a free initial consultation where you can get your questions answered.

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