A divorce is an emotional time period when you may not be thinking clearly; however, this is when you need to be thinking the clearest or have a professional divorce attorney be carefully thinking for you. If you do not take the appropriate steps or start making uninformed decisions about dividing property, helping with expenses or simply in communicating with your spouse, something you do (or fail to do) may be a big reason you lose your case. Here are some of the most popular divorce tips and divorce advice.
Get your documents together TODAY:
If you know a divorce is coming your way, be the first to get copies of all important documents relating to any of your marital assets. The courts will acknowledge this and see that you are the one that wants out the most. Allowing your spouse to file first puts you in a defensive position.
Copy ALL of your documents:
Make copies of every document relating to your marriage. This can include, but is not limited to: investment statements, bank statements, tax returns (including any business returns if a family business is involved), mortgage statements, life insurance statements, deeds, titles (to vehicles, boats, RVs, etc.), vehicle payments (especially if you share a vehicle, or pay for each other’s), stock certificates, credit card statements, receipts, police reports, and any other document that would have a bearing on your case (including e-mails, if available).
Take what’s yours:
Many marriages are tacitly operated from the principle of equal partners (i.e., “half of mine is yours, and half of yours is mine” rule as opposed to the “what’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine” one!). Every litigator is familiar with the “race to the bank” where a spouse runs to the bank and cleans it out. While everyone wants to get what they’re entitled to and, when it comes time to split your things, you want to be sure you get what’s yours, it is best to make that decision with the advice of an experienced Maryland divorce attorney.
Spend time with your child:
Divorces can be messy affairs, but you do not have to let it get in the way of your relationship with your child. While there are a myriad of reasons to foster a good relationship with your progeny, the cold hard fact is that your child needs you (and his/her other parent most times) now more than ever. After all, it’s a difficult time for them as well as you. Second, the court will take notice of your involvement (or lack of involvement) and assess your responsibility as a parent and whether you are you are family-oriented. Your spouse will likely take note of whether or not you do this as well. Also, fostering a respectful, co-parenting relationship with your soon-to-be “EX” is, very likely, going to be in the best interests of everyone – especially your child.
The maxim that “Less is more” has never been truer than when clients decide to communicate with their spouse early on in the divorce process. Limiting communication can be better for you both, and you should refrain from engaging in any arguments with your spouse for any reason whatsoever. These arguments could be used against you in court and may only cause more issues than they resolve. If you find an argument brewing, put yourself in a “time out,” leave the house, and don’t return until things settle down.
Report and document abuse:
If your spouse abuses you or your children, call the police and inquire with a domestic violence attorney about your case. The sooner you take action, the safer you and your child will be; your health and safety are the most important assets you want to leave your marriage with!
Consult a tax expert:
Whether you have or haven’t filed joint tax returns, you should consult a tax attorney. Know how this affects you before it happens and prepare for it accordingly. A divorce attorney or professional CPA can be essential in assessing your case as well as in future tax planning.
Find your prenuptial and postnuptial agreements:
If you and your spouse drew up a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it’s time to find it immediately. These documents can be essential and, if effective, may have great meaning in your case. Fighting the arrangements on the agreements is an option, but can be a difficult fight and is best avoided. If you ever want to draw up a prenuptial agreement (“prenup”) or a separation agreement (an “antenuptial agreement”), you should consult with a separation and divorce attorney immediately and make sure they are carefully attuned to details and informed about what you want out of the agreement.
Do no harm:
Divorces are difficult times and often are emotional flashpoints. Never raise a hand or your voice to your child or spouse; physical or verbal attacks are illegal and immoral. Moreover, the collateral damage to the abuse (even if done in the heat of the moment) will be significant and can affect child custody determinations as well as marital property decisions by a circuit court judge.
If you are going through a divorce or are about to go through a divorce and are in need of a Maryland divorce lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Blackford & Flohr today for a consultation.