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Best Practices for Getting a Divorce

If you start a divorce or are served papers, every action you do after can have a long-lasting effect on the results. Letting emotions rule over reason in a divorce case is never a good idea. That’s one reason why people hire family law attorneys so they have a neutral party who knows the laws and can explain options. I want to share with you some advice that anyone undergoing a divorce needs to follow to avoid making a serious mistake.

If you cannot interact with your partner without emotional conflict, let your lawyer do the talking for you. Sometimes people feel a lot of righteous anger once a divorce starts. The pressure is off and people can let out a lot of long-standing hurts. You can be sure that your spouse and their lawyer will be keeping track of every word and action to bring up in court. Don’t give them that ammunition.

Do not play games with your money and assets. You should keep a record of all of your assets, who owns what, and who spends what. Accurate records will help you far more in court than going on a spending spree or trying to shuffle assets around. If you discover that your spouse is doing these things, or tries sneaky things like removing your name off of accounts, gather the evidence and report it to your lawyer straight away. The courts are familiar with these sorts of financial tricks and will take them into account in the proceedings.

If your finances are especially complex, such as if you own multiple homes, rental property, or have investments, you will definitely want to speak with a lawyer as well as an accountant. If you fight hard for a house, for instance, and win you could end up with a lot of tax liabilities to own it or capital gains liabilities if you sell it. The “sweet revenge??? reward of kicking your spouse out of the home may come back to bite you when you’re responsible for all the costs.

Likewise, do not use your children as tools to hurt your spouse. Do not try to manipulate them. Do not or try to withhold them from your spouse unless they are in a truly dangerous situation. Florida’s time-share laws assume that both parents should have time with the children, but if evidence of manipulation is found you could be penalized with less time for them. Instead, document everything you do and what your spouse does for the children.

Another major mistake people make financially is to try to drag out the divorce proceedings to run up legal costs. Sometimes people think they can get the courts to stick all the legal fees onto their ex. This is another dangerous tactic. Another way legal costs run up is through speaking with a lawyer too much. While good divorce lawyers are compassionate and will let you air your feelings out over the phone, some people call too often and are surprised by the bill afterward.

Above all, if the court tells you to do or not do something, you must listen to their instructions. Violating court-ordered instructions is a sure way to get the courts on your bad side, and there’s little your lawyer can do if you directly go against a mandate.

Often at the end of a divorce settlement, both parties feel like they’ve lost. This is one of the signs that a divorce settlement is truly fair. The best settlements happen when both parties can talk civilly with one another and approach the court with an agreement in place. The lawyers can talk about the pros and cons of the agreement and the judge can make adjustments to make the agreement fit the current laws. Having an agreement for parenting and assets in hand will make your divorce much smoother and much cheaper.

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Going through a family divorce is never easy, especially when there are children involved.

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