Tips to Survive a Divorce or Child Custody Case
There are a few things you can do to help survive a contentious Divorce or Child Custody Case. The following are tips from New Horizons Law, P.A. a Coral Springs based Divorce Attorney and Family Law Firm. These tips can help you avoid situation that you thought you would never find yourself in. Hopefully you will be able to glean the realities of what you may encountered in the divorce, or child custody process.
Tip Number One: ALWAYS consult an attorney, even if you choose not to hire one. You will never know what you are missing until you have met with an experienced attorney. So many mistakes are made that have serious, long lasting, and costly ramifications by people who don’t seek legal counsel. Avoid at all cost to navigate the complexities of the divorce or child custody process without representation. The amount you may spend on a retainer for an attorney is small compared to the mistakes that you may make without an attorney representing your best interests.
Tip Number One (a). Change Your Passwords. This is vital. Today people communicate mainly through email, text messaging and Social Media. You need to protect the communications you have with your attorney and others. You need to protect vital accounts such as checking and savings account logins. You need to protect your Social Media accounts. You need to protect your Smartphone. You need to change the password to your iCloud account password. Not only do you need to change the passwords, you also need to change your security questions and answers. These answers cannot be an answer that your significant other will know. So, if your new security question is: “What is your mother’s maiden name?” It will be silly to use her actual maiden name if your significant other knows the answer. I recently had a client who was in litigation with his first ex-wife. There was a nasty message sent by him on his Talking Parents account. Which sparked some nasty litigation. He knew he had been hacked. When he changed his passwords, he found out that the secure phone contact was his second ex-wife’s cell phone. Therefor a change in password could be made because the confirmation for the password change went to his second ex-wife.
Tip Number Two: Don’t take seriously what the other party has to say. In most cases, that person is trying to provoke a NEGATIVE EMOTIONAL RESPONSE. When he or she states “you’re not going to get alimony” or he or she states, “you will never see the children again,” doesn’t mean it is true. That person is just trying to create confusion and doubt. You should refer back to Tip number one; ALWAYS consult an attorney!
Tip Number Three: Don’t listen to your friends or family when they tell you how your divorce or custody case “should” be, unless that person is a licensed Florida Attorney that regularly practices Family Law. Many people went through their cases in other states; some went through their cases when the laws in Florida were different. Their facts and circumstances do not apply to yours. Their opinions on how it should be may not always agree with the law. This in turn causes people, such as yourself, to take untenable positions that are contrary to the law.
Tip Number Four: Don’t sign or agree to anything until you know what you are entitled to. Your signature may have significant legal ramification. Entering into an agreement without consulting an attorney can create more problems for you. This goes back to Tip Number One: ALWAYS consult an attorney!
Tip Number Five: Stop using drugs now. If you have the slightest thought that you may be heading into a custody case, STOP using drugs. You would think that this is advice that most people would do without being told. However, you would be surprised at how many times the following excuses are used: “I have to stop smoking, but it’s just weed”, or “it was just a little cocaine.” Your drug use will be exploited by the other party in court. Stop using now!
Tip Number Six: Don’t give cash for support payment. The best thing you can do is write a check. The check should be made to the person you are paying support to. In the memo section of the check should be the words “child support,” or “alimony” or both. Your payment can be considered a gift if the words support is not on the check. If you buy groceries, clothes, or things for the child, do not count that as support. You are better off just writing a check and giving to the other person and let them go ahead and buy the groceries or clothes. However, if they find themselves in dire straits, for instance, the electricity is about to be shut off, and they need a payment now, get a receipt explaining what you are doing and make sure it is signed by the other person.
Tip Number Seven: Don’t get involved in useless emotional banter with your significant other, or people close to your significant other. You don’t want your words used against you in Court. This is not productive. As a matter of fact, many of these heated exchanges lead to domestic violence. It’s best to always say less, and walk away from confrontation.
Tip Number Eight: Don’t text message or e-mail something you do not want to come out in Court. This is the easiest form of evidence that can be admitted. Put a pass code on your phone and computer so that nobody but you can send an e-mail or text from your device. Do not let your current boyfriend or girlfriend send a text message to the person you are litigating with from your phone. The ugly text message sent from your phone will be considered your text message.
Tip Number Nine: You should always be aware of the pictures and videos of you that your friends, or family, are posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the other Social Media sites. You don’t want uploaded to the web anything that may be damaging to you during a custody battle. Family and friends should be understanding of your plight, talk to them. By the way, if there is anything uploaded that may be embarrassing, now would be a good time to take it down. Also unfriend the person you are litigating with. This will help limit future embarrassing pictures or stories getting to the court.
Tip Number Ten: Dig into your joint finances sooner than later. You should know how much money you have, where it comes from, and where it goes. Gather documents, download statements, and make records of unknown account numbers. Any information you have can lead to potentially hidden assets or income.
Tip Number Eleven: Gather important documents and make copies. Some documents you just want to secure; Passports, birth certificates, and other original documents that are hard to replace. Get a safe deposit box or secure these important documents at a trusted friend or family member’s home.
Tip Number Twelve: Secure those personal items that you do not want to come up missing; jewelry, collectibles, family memorabilia, old photos, and anything else that you know if it was lost or stolen would cause you sorrow. Because unfortunately, there is nothing the court can do about missing or stolen property. These too should be secured in a safe deposit box or with a trusted friend or family member.
Tip Number Thirteen: Make a list of what you want from your divorce or custody case, as to the children, as to support, and why you think you deserve it. This will be a road map for you and your attorney. This list is something you should walk in with at your first strategy session, and may be modified after as you become familiar with t the law permits.
Trusted, Knowledgeable and Experienced Divorce Firm to Serve Your Needs
Florida Law on divorce and child custody is not easy and has difficult rules and procedures. Do not do it alone. New Horizons Law always offers a free consultation. There is no better way than sitting down face-to-face with a Trusted, Knowledgeable and Experienced Divorce and Family Law Attorney to learn what your rights are and to get what you deserve. I am sure you know someone, a friend or family member, that has a horror story regarding their own experience. That is why you should always consult an attorney that practices Divorces and Family Law and nothing else. At New Horizons Law we do not practice criminal law or elder law, or any other type of law. This is a Florida Divorce and Family Law Firm that understands the Family Laws and Procedures, because we handle only family law matters. Our staff will always listen compassionately and attentively to your needs and concerns and provide you with the best advice for your particular case. Give us a call at 954-623-6445.