Moving On: 5 Ways You Can Protect Yourself and Your Family During a Messy Divorce

A.C.O.D. (2013) trailer -- Pictured: Adam Scott (Screengrab)

A.C.O.D. (2013) trailer -- Pictured: Adam Scott (Screengrab)Protecting yourself and your family while you and your spouse are going through a difficult divorce is of paramount importance; legal difficulties that ensue from hurt feelings, fights over money, and custody battles can cause problems for years. Here are some typical scenarios that take place during messy divorces and tips for preventing them.

 

Domestic Violence Accusations

Domestic violence charges could result in a restraining orders and custody problems, and they could tarnish your reputation in your community and workplace. You will need to hire a highly-competent Escondido defense attorney to fight these accusations. Help your criminal defense attorney defend you by meeting your estranged spouse only in public locations and keep detailed notes on all interactions. It may even help to bring a secret voice recorder to all of your meetings, which will help to protect you from false accusations, and may even catch the other person exhibiting a reckless and improper behavior. Control your temper and avoid sending inflammatory emails or texts or leaving angry messages on voicemail that could be used against you in court. Maintain a diplomatic attitude in interactions with your spouse and refuse to be drawn into emotional discussions without your attorney present.

 

Loss of Personal Property

Angry spouses often take or even destroy their ex’s personal property. Be sure to consult with your attorney about marital property and follow your lawyer’s instructions carefully. If your spouse removes or damages any of your possessions, make a list of the affected item(s) and the actions taken by your ex. If possible, attach photos and copies of insurance records or anything else that illustrates the value of the property to your notes. Provide all documentation of loss of personal property to your attorney, but do not confront your estranged spouse about the damage yourself. It is best to let your lawyer take the necessary legal action to protect the rest of your possessions.

 

Failure to Comply with Court-Ordered Custody

Unfortunately, it is very common for divorcing couples to use the children against one another. This is excruciatingly painful for the children and can cause lasting emotional damage. It could also affect the settlement terms of the divorce as well as future custodial determinations. Resist the urge to involve your children in the divorce and ask your spouse to do the same (if you and your spouse are not speaking, make this request through your attorney). Ask your lawyer for specific advice on how to make proper custodial hand-offs, how to handle holidays and birthdays, and documenting interactions with your ex about the children, and even about your communication with your children about the divorce, if necessary.

 

Loss of Future Income

Suing for alimony and attorney’s fees is common in divorces. Your spouse may quit working, hide assets, or make other attempts to reduce their income in an effort to gain a more sizable share of your salary in the settlement and in the future. The divorce settlement is not always the final determinant of how income will be shared by divorcing spouses, and additional court battles may be inevitable. Follow your attorney’s advice concerning financial matters very carefully. Try not to make career changes during your divorce proceedings without first consulting your lawyer.

 

Emotional Problems for Yourself and Your Family

Divorce is traumatic, and families can suffer from its repercussions for many years. You may want to invest in professional counseling for yourself and/or your children, particularly if you are planning to move on quickly with a new romantic partner. The amount of change this entails will affect everyone, and you will want to give your new life the best beginning possible. It is also a good idea to move a reasonable distance away from your spouse, which will prevent conflicts that might result from randomly seeing each other in public locations. This can be extremely distressful if the stress with with another person during these times. Move far away enough that you will never end up going to the same places as your ex, but still close enough that you can easily handle exchanges of your children and visits.

 

Divorce is often a necessary, though difficult, part of moving on to a new and better life. These tips will help you protect yourself and your family during this tough process and ensure that you all begin a journey towards happiness and health.


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