Before the divorce gets started, there are a number of things you should and shouldn’t do. We will be happy to discus these and other ideas with you before hand, so that you will have a better idea of how to accomplish getting ready for your divorce.
1. Consider options without tipping your hand
Clearly, divorce should be an option of last resort. Try discussing your concerns with your spouse to see if they can accommodate your needs. If you are unable to communicate directly with each other on your marital problems, suggest using a professional marriage counselor, or even a member of the clergy. Once you realize that divorce is inevitable, typically it is not wise to tell your spouse you are going to hire an attorney to file on your behalf. That may prompt them to file before you. As will be discussed in these materials under Ex Parte Orders there are strategic reasons why you may want to file first.
2. Get relevant information together
You need to have as good an understanding of your family assets and liabilities as well as sources and amount of income, as is possible. We will provide you with a check list of information to assemble, if it is available to you. Sometimes you may not be able to find the information, or looking for it may tip off your spouse that you are contemplating a divorce. If you are not able to acquire this information prior to filing for divorce, and your spouse will not give it to us voluntarily, we can always subpoena it, or use other Discovery (hyperlink) techniques. Some may recommend that documents and records be removed from the home. That often leads to increased suspicion and retaliatory behavior. Relevant documents that you’ll want your attorney to review should be copied, and then put back where they belong. Only in circumstances where you believe that the other party may try to hide, withhold, or destroy important information, should they be removed. Then, the goal is to preserve all potentially important relevant evidence.
3. Act financially prudent
You may be encouraged by family and friends to go out and spend significant sums of money purchasing the things you always wanted, prior to the divorce. That could prove a grave mistake. While we want to ensure that your reasonable financial needs are met during and after the divorce, if you expect your spouse to act responsibly during the divorce, you cannot precede the divorce by acting financially irresponsible yourself. If you feel that your spouse may try to hide, waste, give away or transfer assets, there is a legal remedy we can take to help reduce or eliminate that possibility. It will be discussed under Ex Parte Orders, (hyperlink) below. We will give you guidance on how to lawfully protect yourself financially as the divorce approaches.
4. Know your legal rights and set goals
It is important to consult with an attorney to understand your legal rights, develop a clear understanding of what your legal goals should be, and a plan as to how and when you begin to pursue those goals. This Website may help educate you on fundamental principles, but it alone cannot, and should not be used by you without first consulting with an attorney. A detailed consultation with a member of our firm will provide you with a specific analysis and specific advice on the strategies you should employ to reach your objectives.
5. Have an emergency plan, if Domestic Violence is Present
If you are contemplating a divorce and have been the victim of domestic violence, or threats of it, we will want to discuss getting you a Personal Protection Order, exclusive possession of the home, financial assistance to live elsewhere, or a combination of the above. If violence in eminent….you fear it could happen at any time…. you should have a plan to get yourself, your children, and your necessities out of the house and a place somewhere safe to stay, until your legal rights can be secured in Court.
Please contact Wayne County divorce attorney Carlo Martina at 734-254-1140 to schedule a consultation.