Ending a marriage is a difficult decision for anyone to make, and there is no such thing as a simple divorce. It’s important to know that there are many actions you can take to help you through the process and make it as smooth as possible. Here are the first steps you need to take once you’ve made the decision to get a divorce.
Keep Communication Polite and Brief
During a divorce, emotions are heightened, and conversations can get heated. People often say things they don’t mean and would never say before, and they are eventually held responsible for what they say in court. It is best to limit conversations to being polite, brief, and informational until the situation deescalates. Consider if a cool-down period is needed before communicating with your ex. You must understand that anything you say or put in writing must be able to be blown up in a courtroom in front of 12 strangers. Keeping communication cordial and limited is the best way to prevent your words from being used against you in court.
Discontinue Any Social Media
Social media can be very damaging to parties during a divorce. Anything you share online can be held against you in court, and something that may seem harmless to post in the moment can be used later on to the opposing party’s advantage. Additionally, posting online can further escalate the emotions of both parties. It’s best to limit or completely discontinue any social media until the divorce is finalized to avoid any unintended consequences.
Inventory All Assets and Document Children’s Needs
Create a spreadsheet of everything you currently own and think you may own. If you have children, you will need to document all of the children’s needs. This includes the children’s preferences, schedules, and routines. It’s important not to speak negatively about the other parent in front of the children, as this only hurts the children and makes them question their own self-worth. Parents must put their children first and do absolutely everything in their power to keep the children’s lives and schedules the same. Divorces can be very traumatic for the children involved, and both parents need to put the children’s wellbeing ahead of their own needs.
Try to Come to an Agreement
A divorce is different from any other lawsuit. It is a snapshot in time of an estate, with or without minors. The more you fight, the less estate there is to divide up. Legal counsel are generally the only ones who benefit from ongoing conflict because their fees rise. If two parties work together to come to a mutual agreement, it is going to be best for both clients and can save them a substantial amount of time and money.
Hire a Lawyer
During the divorce process, hiring an attorney will generally save you time and money in the long run. Your attorney will help with the legal proceedings, paperwork, and any negotiations with your spouse to reach an agreement. It’s important to find a reputable lawyer who will advocate for your needs and keep your best interests in mind.
Lisa Bradford has over 23 years in practice as an attorney. She can provide you with personalized divorce counsel to help you achieve the best possible outcome and move forward with your life. Call 512-598-5802 or send an email to [email protected] to set up a consultation.