Divorce is foreign territory to most who enter it. Friends and family can offer welcome support; but, at many times through the process, it is the wisdom and guidance of a legal professional that is the most valuable. Attorneys, after all, are the trained experts who help us navigate the rather intimidating mountains of forms and court proceedings to assist us in dissolving our dysfunctional marriages.
Lawyers have seen it all! Every imaginable kind of divorce, both amicable and vicious, with every set of circumstances have found their way into the offices of divorce attorneys.
What would the legal experts who have helped hundreds of couples end their unions like the rest of us to know?
Several top divorce lawyers shared the wisdom they wish all of us knew and would heed as we initiate divorces. Take these golden nuggets of advice to heart because they could save you time, trouble, and agony in the future!
You have the power to make your divorce less complicated and expensive!
Every divorce is unpleasant and will require a financial investment to pay for legal expenses; however, if you are cooperative, prepared, upfront with important information, and focus on the intended outcome, you can make the process less painful!
Corrie Sirkin, a family lawyer from Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, & Trigg in New Jersey shared: “for alimony and equitable distribution, your divorce is financial, not personal. If you provide your attorney with more information and proof; then you will get better advice and your divorce will cost less. Get copies of all financial documents possible and make a list of accounts, debts, and balances. Make a budget of what your family spends now and a proposed budget. Be thorough and accurate.”
Jason Kohlmeyer of Roko Law Office in Minnesota echoed Sirkin’s advice by stressing the importance of staying organized, having a plan, and creating a budget to save money on your divorce. He quipped “whose kids do you want to put through college? Yours or your lawyer’s?”
Think about that! Is a battle to the death with your ex over every last detail of your case worth sacrificing the future financial security of you and your children?
Put your legal representation to work for you!
Ottawa-based attorney Timothy Sullivan, of Sullivan Law, urged “if you hire a lawyer, speak through your lawyer on all legal issues and money matters including custody, access, property, pensions, support, and child and home expenses.”
Doesn’t it make the best sense to let the expert, who you have enlisted to bring you a successful outcome in your divorce, be the one to communicate about all of these sensitive issues? Your lawyer knows just how to phrase important information to preserve your best interests, so speaking without your representative’s assistance could result in miscommunication or complications to your case. Sometimes it’s best to know when to let the one who went to law school do the talking!
Be careful what you say and remove emotion from the equation!
Naturally, divorce is an emotionally-driven experience. Attorneys would like you to know that allowing your pain and anger to take control could prove disastrous in court and even result in problems years down the road.
Cynthia Koroll, a litigator from Koroll Litigation Group in Illinois, recommends that divorcing individuals “never write, text, or e-mail anything to your soon-to-be ex or your child that you would not want repeated in court.”
Robin Lalley, a collaborative lawyer, from Sodoma Law in North Carolina stressed that “a divorce can be an emotionally charged and tumultuous time for families. Whether you’re going through a divorce, custody battle, or alimony case it is important to remember that what you post on social media can be used against you in court. What you post on social media can effect an equitable distribution case, a judge’s custody decision, or rulings involving financial support. While we all love sharing our thoughts, feelings, and activities with friends and followers, it’s important to think very hard about whether anything you post can be used against you or taken in a negative manner before you post it!”
International attorney, Sandro Monteblanco, of Peru Legal Services shared his stand out message to those getting a divorce: “divorce is an endeavor that in order for its effects to be sustainable in the future, emotions must be factored out of the equation now and replaced with logic and common sense. Many clients are hell-bent on revenge now and come back months or a year later lamenting having done things in a specific way rather than in a more conscientious way, especially when children are involved.”
Always remember the impact that your divorce has on your children’s lives and be mindful of how your actions could be harmful to them!
Jessica Woll of law practice Woll & Woll in Michigan advised that “regardless of how difficult it is to do so, when children are involved, commit to having a “child-centric divorce” and being “child-centric” at all times. How you act and what you put out there comes back to you. Exude kindness and love and you will attract good, kind, and loving people in return. As long as you are being a kind, decent, loving human who puts the children first, the rest does not matter.”
Elijah White shared a valuable resource from his law firm, Divorce Lawyers for Men in Washington, that included the insight “your actions and your conduct should match what your attorney is telling the court that you are doing, and that you want. Don’t tell the court one thing, and then do another. If you want custody or equal time with your kids then commit to spending that time with your kids now. Make yourself available, don’t miss visitation, don’t even be late for visitation and then ask the court for custody or more visitation.”
Divorce is physically and mentally taxing, which can lead to higher levels of stress, depression, and other problems.
Take the advice of RHW Solicitors from Surrey, UK who suggest to “pay attention to yourself! Seek the support and help you need. Eat well and exercise to get rid of some stress.”
Lawyers clearly have significant insight into how divorce can affect all areas of your life. Their extensive experience helping couples to divorce makes them uniquely qualified to advise on the best course of action for a myriad of situations, as well predicting most likely outcomes based on the law and the actions of all parties involved. You can continue to gain useful legal knowledge from all of these experts by visiting their websites or following them on social media. For advice on your specific case, seek the support of reputable counsel in your area, and be receptive to the wisdom your lawyer shares with you!