The first working Monday after the holiday season is dubbed “Divorce Day” for a reason. Many couples choose to forgo filing for divorce until after the holidays have ended. Some wanted to make a few more family holiday memories while others found the stress that comes with this time of year provided that final push towards divorce.
If you find yourself in this situation, there are some proactive steps you can take to help ease the divorce process. Three examples include:
· Log off. Take some time away from social media. In this digital age posts, pictures and tweets can be used as evidence in a divorce proceeding. As such, it is often best to take a break to avoid a misstep that could serve as evidence against your case. If you cannot log off, treat every post as potential evidence in your case and post wisely. Many people do not realize that deleting social media and electronic communications after separation or divorce proceedings are initiated can be considered destroying potential evidence and may be a violation of state laws and court procedures. Aside from this, it looks extremely suspicious. Exercising self-restraint now is the best choice.
· Gather paperwork. One of the more contentious parts of a divorce proceeding is often the split of assets gained during the course of the marriage. Gather information on various accounts, investments, and valuable pieces of personal property. Organize this information to better ensure a fair division. Go ahead and print at least a year’s worth of bank account statements and credit card statements. This is generally feasible for most people in today’s age of online account access. This information is not only helpful for property division, but to help you have an accurate understanding of your current expenses and spending level, both of which may have to change during separation and divorce. Aim for complete transparency in your spending and financial transactions, as bank and credit card statements may be scrutinized down the road.
· Set goals. Take a moment to review your goals for life after divorce. A recent publication in the Huffington Post encourages those who are going through divorce with children to view this stage of your family’s evolution as an opportunity to create a better life for both you and your family members. This could include involvement in extracurricular activities or setting up a family game night. Those without children can also take this advice to heart, and take on a new hobby or take time to travel. Set tangible goals to help focus on attainable positive resolutions through the New Year.
Those who are about to file for divorce are also wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can help advocate for your interests and better ensure a divorce settlement that meets your goals – without surprises in the New Year.