divorce lawyersThings Divorce Lawyers Say You Should Never Do
divorce lawyersThings Divorce Lawyers Say You Should Never DoYour divorce will not be the same as your neighbors, friends, or cousins. Every case is specific, and its worth noting that the laws are different in each state. For example, in Pennsylvania, we have a bright line rule that child support ends when a child graduates from high school. In New Jersey, we do not, explains Kerns. So if you are in Pennsylvania, expecting a court to order child support for collegeage children is a nonstarter.
Trial is very expensive, and few people end up happy when theyre paying their divorce lawyer more than they will get from the divorce, says Wolman. She says youre usually better off settling out of court, especially if you dont have children or a house or havent been married very long.
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Virtually all judges will award the pet to one person, says Kerns, because in most states, pets are considered property. Who gets to keep Fluffy? The person who adopted her,takes her to the vet, and cares for her on a daily basis will likely be vored.
Ive seen many cases that could have been settled easily but for an overly aggressive opposing counsel who just wanted to bring in a huge paycheck, says Wolman. Avoid this problem by gettingattorney recommendationsfrom people you trust and/or thoroughly vetting anyone youre considering hiring.
When youre getting divorced, it can be hard toprevent anger, fear, or grieffrom taking hold. But keeping your cool at least most of the time is the best way to ensure that the proceedings go as smoothly as possible.Divorceshould be more of a business transaction than an emotional one, saysLinda A. Kerns,a divorce attorney who practices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The more emotional you are, the less likely you are to make reasonable, sound decisions. Get nononsense relationship advice, easytofollow weight loss tips, and more with
Hiding assetsin an attempt to shield them from your spouse is a bad idea. Dont move money out of accounts once the divorce action has started, saysShaolaine Loving, an attorney based in Las Vegas. You can be held in contempt of court and sanctioned. Plus, in some states, like California, an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order ATRO goes into effect as soon as you file for divorce. It means you cant suddenly cash out your k or rack up a huge credit card debt. You cant sell the house or liquidate your accounts, says Wolman.
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No matter how angry you are right now, setting your husbands beloved golf clubs out in the rain to rust is not a good move. You end up looking bitter and irrational, which could temper the judges opinion, says Loving. And whatever you do,dont post these things on Facebook when youre going through a divorce.
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Aunt Elmas china collection? The boat you never use? Things backfire when parties look at every item, every decision, as a win for one or the other, says Kelly. Instead, focus on whats important. Full custody of the kids? Getting the house that belonged to your grandma? Keep your eyes on a big prize and dont sweat the small stuff.
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Although a good lawyer who moves your case along quickly shouldnt be too expensive, theres a chance you might not need an attorney at all. Its possible to hire a mediator who helps both spouses reach and draft an agreement, says Elinor Robin, PhD, a Florida Supreme Courtcertified mediator and mediation trainer. This option works well for those who are reasonably well informed about their finances, and it can save time, money, and stress. Here are early warning signs of divorce that most people miss.
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One of the biggest mistakes I see people make in divorce cases is going in with unrealistic expectations, says Chloe Wolman, JD, a lawyer withDavies Wegner Lawin Los Angeles. You and your soontobeexspouse will have to start supportingtwo householdson the same income that used to support onewhich means you wont get to keep the houseandthe carsandall the accounts. If youre the breadwinner spouse, youll probably find yourself paying child/spousal support. If youre the lowerearning spouse, be prepared to learn that support is much less than you expected, says Wolman. Here are things divorced people want you to know about marriage.
Keeping that in mind, here are things divorce lawyers warn their clients against doing.
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Divorce is hard enough on childrenwithout the parents pushing them into a tugofwar over who they love more. Continue to support them emotionally and financially, and love them unconditionally, says Kelly. They will respond to the divorce only as well as the parents do.
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It might seem like the nextbest thing to recording your own revenge song and airing it on the radio, but it can backfire. When a party is surprised by the divorce filing, he may take a stance to not negotiate because he was served [in a way] that may have greatly embarrassed him, saysPamela Williams Kelly,a lawyer based in Memphis. Advance knowledge and communication can help things go smoother. Have a friend getting divorced?Never say these things to her.
While trying to hide money is a nono, theres no reason to continue adding to the communal pot. If you live in a community property state like California, you can open a separate bank account and start putting your monthly paycheck in that, says Wolman. Under California law, once you separate, everything you earn is your own property. There are reasons why that money may not be yours free and clear, but its smart to start eslishing yoife as single personearly on, says Wolman.