Let’s face it: Divorce can sometimes be a nasty endeavor. At its best, it is an amicable parting of ways; at its worst, it is an all-out war. If you are not careful, you can lose more than just your spouse in the proceedings. Remember, knowledge is power, and because of that, today we bring you some secrets only divorce attorneys know!
5 Divorce Attorney Secrets
While no one enters into a marriage thinking it will someday end in a legal battle, the sad truth of the matter is that it happens more often than you think. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly half of all marriages in the US end in divorce. It is hard to say how many of those end “on good terms”; each case is unique and what defines “good” is different for each couple.
No matter how well you think your divorce proceedings may go, however, you should always arm yourself with as much information as possible to ensure the outcome is favorable. With that in mind, here are some secrets divorce attorneys may not want you to know!
Use Logic, Not Emotions
We get it: there are a lot of emotions involved in a divorce, especially if children are involved. Even if they are not, it can be difficult to make the best out of a bad situation. One way to help ensure you walk away financially “okay” is to let logic guide your financial decisions. Do not give in to the temptation to ask for too much or too little. Be fair and honest. What are you or your spouse entitled to? What matters?
Also, keep in mind that lawyers charge an hourly rate. Asking your attorney to pursue objects that have little monetary or emotional value can increase your bill. Use your head and ask yourself: is it worth it?
Purchase That New Boat Before You File for Divorce
If you are planning on making a large purchase, you should consider doing so before filing for divorce. The reason is simple: most courts place a financial restraint prohibiting large purchases or asset liquidation once you file. This can put your new boat or car purchase on the ice.
Also, be aware that your financial situation may change after your divorce becomes finalized. Suspect your new big ticket item might become a financial burden? Skip it.
Evidence Preparation is Key
Just like filing your tax return, you should never wait until the last minute to prepare for your divorce. Gathering documents and information is a time-consuming process, but can help ensure a favorable outcome in the end. Make copies of items such as bank account statements and bills. If you own assets (stocks, rental properties) jot down the details of each. Take photos of the home, jewelry, vehicles – anything of value. This helps protect your financial interests after the fact and provides proof if anything goes missing.
In some instances, you may find yourself leaving your home, never to return, before filing. If possible, avoid this. You will need time to prepare for the potential legal battle ahead. If your home is a safe place, try to stay and take your time collecting evidence.
Be Honest: With Yourself, Your Attorney, and Your Spouse
You or your partner may be tempted to hide assets from one another. Maybe you have a “rainy day” fund or a side investment your spouse is unaware exists. Be sure to come forth with any assets you have when filing for a divorce. If you fail to do so, and they become uncovered, you could face legal action. Not only that, but you can lose credibility in the eyes of the court. That is something you want to avoid!
Stay honest and declare your assets before legal proceedings begin.
Prepare for Your New Life
If your spouse supports you financially and it has been a long time since your last job, you may need to prepare to enter the workforce again. Before filing for divorce, tidy up your resume. If you have not had a job in a while, volunteer locally and add that experience to your resume. Not only will it show valuable skills, but volunteering speaks to who you are as a person; employers like that.
Acquiring job training or education is an excellent idea as well. Consider continuing education or certification courses if you do not have time for college. Even if you get awarded support or alimony, it may be too little. If that happens, you will need to supplement your income. Getting prepared before the job hunt will give you a leg up on the competition.
Rhode Island Divorce Attorneys
Looking for more secrets from divorce attorneys or seeking legal counsel? Stop by our Rhode Island Divorce section for more divorce and alimony advice for our law office!