What to Do and What Not to Do When Going Through Divorce

Desk with scales of justice and law book

What to Do and What Not to Do When Going Through Divorce

Hopefully, you found an attorney who has won over your trust enough to follow their advice. Not just their legal advice, which is important, but their practical advice as well. Such advice of “do’s and don’ts” is not found in any specific statutes or caselaw, but will certainly come in handy as you navigate the unknown waters of your divorce case.

  1. New Relationships: One of the reasons you may be getting divorced is because of a new relationship during your marriage. Just because your spouse may be aware of this relationship is not a reason to expose him or her to your spouse during your case. For example, if you are temporarily awarded the marital home, it is generally not a good idea to invite your significant other over to the house. This will likely only inflame tensions with your spouse and make it more difficult to settle your case. Further, if minor children are involved then you should strive not to introduce them to the new relationship during your case. Introducing significant others is a point of contention for most judges, and they may specifically prohibit exposure based on your children’s age and maturity. We are all human, but you should try to minimize exposing your current family to a potential new partner as much as possible during divorce. As a general rule, no dating during your divorce.
  1. Finances: While what you should do regarding your finances will vary from case to case, you should always be transparent about how you are managing money once divorce has been filed. For example, you should not start dividing your finances unilaterally; i.e. putting your paycheck in a new account or withdrawing money/closing accounts without your spouse’s knowledge and consent. You should not start using marital funds on non-marital expenses like that trip with your new girlfriend, making mysterious ATM withdrawals, or joining paid dating websites, as you will be ordered to account for those monies and divide them with your spouse. Preferably, you should talk with your spouse in a civil way about your finances after filing, how expenses will be paid, and how debts will be satisfied. This way, you will avoid additional frustrations and attorney fees that occur once your spouse discovers the unauthorized use of marital funds. As a general rule, do not change how you managed your money during the marriage without discussing it with either your spouse or your attorney.
  1. Real Property: If there is a marital home involved, you and your spouse, along with your attorneys, should be discussing its disposition early on in your case. For example, if it is going to be sold, you should agree upon when and how it will be listed, along with how proceeds will be divided. If one or both of you want to keep the marital home, you should begin looking early at refinancing options and getting an appraisal to determine its equity. The court is much more likely to award the house to the spouse who has done their homework, appears more capable of refinancing the home, and has the financial ability to divide the marital equity in the home.
  1. Self-Care: It goes without saying that divorce, no matter how anticipated or necessary it may be, is a traumatic ordeal in your life. Whether it is your first or fourth time through the process, it marks the end of a union and family with your spouse. As such, it is very common for divorcing spouses to turn to various vices and addictive behaviors to help cope with and escape their divorce reality. It is strongly advised that you choose a better, more self-aware path for yourself and your children. Turn to a good therapist or life coach who can help guide you through the common pitfalls encountered by divorcing couples. Stay involved, or get involved in a rewarding community service activity that allows you to give back your time and talents. If you are a person of faith, lean into your church or faith community for spiritual renewal and guidance. And do not begin cutting your friends and loved ones out of your life. Divorce is exactly one of the scenarios your support network is for – use it during your time of need.

What to do and what not to do during your divorce. While not written in any statute or caselaw, these are some of the practical tips that will come in handy as you navigate divorce with your attorney. For further assistance and advice with this and other issues in your case, please contact the experienced team of family law professionals at Slowiaczek Albers & Whelan PC, LLO to schedule your initial consultation.

Related Posts
  • Who Is Your Father? Read More
  • Show Me the Money Read More
  • Finding a Good Fit Read More