The Do's and Don'ts in a Divorce Proceeding or in Contemplating Divorce

Divorce is a difficult situation for everyone involved. Although it seems like nothing can help you through this process, there are some recommendations that may assist you in your divorce proceeding. Please see our list of Do's and Don'ts below:

  • Do keep track of how much time each of you spends with the children, even in taking them to appointments with healthcare providers and parent teacher meetings. And do note if the other parent goes with you. This will assist you in child custody & child visitation proceedings and modifications.

  • Do not throw away bank statements, credit card statements or other financial statements. Without these statements you may not be able to obtain reimbursements, accurately divide a community account, or prove the separate character of an account.

  • Do not say bad things about your spouse in front of the children. This action can hurt you in any custody or visitation proceeding or modification.

  • Do keep track of all after separation payments you make on community obligations. You will need proof to obtain reimbursement for your spouse's share of these expenses.

  • Do obtain at least your past three years income tax returns. You will possibly need these for both spousal support and child support.

  • Do obtain escrow closing documents for the purchase of any home before and during marriage. You will need these documents to prove a right to reimbursement of separate property used to acquire your home during marriage.

  • Do not make threats to your spouse, such as to take the children and move or quit your job to not pay support. Such statements will hurt you in custody and support proceedings.

  • Do not use your children to communicate messages or support to your spouse.

  • Do not use your children as spies reporting on your spouses behavior.

  • Do not make getting even the goal of your divorce.

  • Do save all e-mail or letters from your spouse. The contents could help you in attorney fee awards.

Divorce is a very emotional time of your life but too often people make decisions based upon emotions only. This may make you feel better but that feeling is typically short lived. Once these decisions become a judgment you will have to live with it. Your attorney should not hesitate in advising you that an emotional decision is not a good decision.