by Katie Crow, Esq.
1. Take care of yourself. It sounds cliché, but the worst thing you can do in a divorce is be completely broken down mentally, physically and financially. Seeking counseling before an impending divorce can help you beef up your backbone and help you stay aware and accountable of your thoughts and behaviors that may even surprise yourself while going through a divorce.
2. Take stock of your finances. You don’t know what you don’t know. It works the same for your financial decisions while going through a divorce. Gather all the information you possibly can regarding any assets and debt. Be sure to collect and copy any documentation regarding the history and current status of those assets. Examples: Mortgage information, stock information, banking statements, etc. If you know how much is available and at stake then you and your attorney can make the best decisions to protect you financially.
3. Seek advice from an attorney. Every case has its own variables and a free consultation with an attorney will help shed light on your current situation and help guide you for future steps to take before a divorce or when a divorce is filed. Your friends may share information about their divorce, but no divorce is a “one-size fits all” and everyone has their own experience; good and bad.
4. Set your priorities. The best time to think about what you want your life to look like based on the terms of the divorce is before a divorce is even filed. If you know your top priorities going into a divorce you are likely to prepare yourself for a better outcome. You may even find that you and your current spouse can reach an agreement prior to filing a divorce about the terms based on your priorities and save time and money with an uncontested divorce.
5. Review your Social Media. Understand that your spouse has access to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Pictures, posts, and messages can be used against you during a divorce.
6. Collect, Collect, Collect. As mentioned above about collecting your financial documents, you will want to collect as much evidence that supports your desired outcome as possible. Once the divorce is filed, spouses will not give you the opportunity to collect important evidence. Too many clients feel unprepared by the time a divorce action is taking place because they did not collect the evidence they could have prior to a divorce or they forgot the details. Evidence that presents the facts will win any day over a he said/she said battle in court.
These tips are a great start to protecting yourself before a divorce. Keep in mind, each case is different and there may be other ideas that you could do to further protect yourself. If you would like to find out more based on your unique set of facts, please call Katie Crow for a consultation at (334) 737-3733.
When to file to modify or contempt?
Filing a petition to modify or a petition to enforce a previous order can be a frustrating and financially challenging attempt. If you are considering filing one of these petitions; here is a list that includes some of the most common reasons to file or not to file:
1. To enforce/lower/or increase Child support for good cause
3. Enforce previous Order
When not to file:
1. Property Settlement
2. Parental Disagreement that is not causing a detriment
3. You have unclean hands