Many people make mistakes as they begin the divorce process, which affect both their legal position, as well as the ability to resolve the case with the least emotional and financial cost. We don’t want you to be one of them. Here are five tips to not be.
1. Gather all information you can regarding assets, debts, and income.
Often, a spouse who is planning divorce will remove important papers from the home, to interfere with the other’s ability to demonstrate all assets and debts, as well as to determine income. If the party taking the items will not voluntarily share them, this forces the other spouse to file for divorce to gain access when these assets are only in the other parties’ name. Therefore, you should gather and copy all such information to provide to your attorney. The types of documents needed are listed in our Client Forms and Links as Client’s List of Documents to be furnished to our office.
2. Don’t make threats about property or children.
When you are upset or angry with your spouse, you will be tempted to lash out in the manner that you think would most hurt your spouse. This is usually threatening to take all the property or the children. When such extreme statements are made, it does nothing but put equal anger, or fear, in your spouse. Neither emotion inspires rational thinking to work the issues for a fair and reasonable result.
If you read the other reports on this site, you’ll find that the law is quite clear on equal property division in divorce of all assets acquired during marriage, with a few exceptions. Even fault on the part of one spouse will not result in the other being awarded everything. See Division of Marital Property in Ohio.As for children, the court favors the involvement of both parents. If one parent thwarts the relationship of the other parent and the children, that action will be used against the offending parent. See How Child Custody is Determined in Ohio.
3. Don’t make agreements you may regret.
Just as you don’t want to threaten your spouse with taking all, you don’t want to relinquish too much, either. Sometimes a divorce is not what you want, so you try to be agreeable in hopes your spouse will change their mind. Or, you want the divorce, your spouse doesn’t, you feel guilty, so you offer too much. While you are not bound by these unsigned agreements, once your spouse hears them, it is hard for them to accept a less favorable proposal.
4. Don’t flaunt a new relationship.
If you are involved in a romantic relationship with someone else, or even if your spouse thinks you are, avoid spending time with that person during the divorce process. When a spouse feels betrayed, even emotionally, they lose all rational reasoning power to resolve the case fairly. In these situations, it is also important to not have the children spend time with the other person, or even introduce them. We’ve seen this result in thousand’s of dollars of unnecessary trial fees.
5. Don’t post issues about yourself, your spouse or your divorce on social media.
Social media posts have become a treasure trove for evidence in divorce cases. People discuss, and show, their post-separation dating life, thus causing issues as discussed above. They make negative remarks about their spouse, demonstrating they cannot work with them on parenting. They even brag about their own success and income, which has actually been used by courts as proof.
These are just of few of the things to know in the divorce process. We want you to be as educated as you can be for this life changing event. Read our reports. Call for a free telephone consultation. We want to help you rebuild your life.