Do’s And Don’ts Of Working With A Roanoke Divorce And Custody Lawyer
If you and your spouse have given it your best shot, but your irreconcilable differences leave divorce as the healthiest option for you and your children—then you may be wondering where to begin. What is important to remember is that the word “divorce” is not just a word described to signify the end of your marriage—but also part of a larger legal process. This process is further complicated if you have children, and need to determine child custody. These tips are designed to address some of the most common mistakes that soon to be divorced couples make—all of which can directly affect the outcome of your divorce and child custody proceedings.
- Do hire a Roanoke divorce attorney as soon as possible to ensure that both you and your children’s best interests and legal rights are protected. Even if the divorce seems as though it will be fairly amicable, your divorce attorney knows the right questions to ask and various factors to consider for both your short-term and long-term goals.
- Don’t try to represent yourself. In fact, most attorneys hire other attorneys to represent them during their divorce. Agreements and court orders made after separation can affect you and your children for the rest of your lives. During this difficult time you or your ex may be too emotional to determine what the best outcome is; not to mention that when you factor in child custody, retirement, real estate, cars, and family heirlooms—there is simply too much to take on alone.
- Do give your Roanoke divorce attorney all important documents that you feel may serve as evidence in your case. In fact, you may want to gather copies of these documents prior to letting your spouse know that you want a divorce, which will ensure you have access to what you need. This includes documents such as:
- Banking information, account statements
- Retirement documents, 401k, IRA’s, investments, and other financial information
- Health, auto, and homeowner’s insurance documents
- Deeds and titles to the car, house, and substantial gifts from family
- Mortgage paperwork
- Children’s birth certificates, social security cards
- Marriage certificate
- Don’t write your personal thoughts on the documents, as they should be kept in their original condition for court evidence. Write out notes on a separate piece of paper or attach sticky notes to the originals.
- Do tell your attorney what your goals are in the case, including what the best outcome would look like for you, your children—as well as what you are willing to settle for. Your Roanoke divorce attorney will help you to determine what to consider if you aren’t quite sure.
- Don’t negotiate with your ex behind your attorney’s back. As your Roanoke divorce attorney, you can trust that I will always negotiate with opposing counsel to improve your position. This means that if you negotiate without my knowledge, then you may be undoing some of the hard work that you are paying me for. I know that this can be tricky because your soon to be ex is the parent of your children—and was once the love of your life. For this reason, you must set clear boundaries when speaking with your ex while the divorce is in process.
- Do call the police if you know that your child is in any physical danger.
- Don’t call the police if you simply cannot reach your ex on the phone, or if your ex is a few minutes late dropping off the child.
- Do show respect for your ex in front of your children, and other family and friends. If needed, and if applicable—focus your energy on what a loving parent your ex is, and less on what the problems the two of you shared during your marriage.
- Don’t make derogatory marks about your ex in front of your children, as judges come down harshly on parents who do this. This is not only important for the divorce proceedings, but for your children’s emotional well-being—well beyond the divorce and custody being finalized.
- Do tell your Roanoke divorce attorney about any social media postings that makes your ex look irresponsible or unable to care for your child.
- Don’t post things on social media that could later be used against you in court, including any posts done in anger, sadness, or after drinking or using drugs. Even if deleted, screenshots can be taken as soon as the post goes live.
As your divorce and custody lawyer, I will work diligently to protect the best interests of both you and your child. Even if you and your ex never married, but you find yourself in need of child custody representation—The Davis Law Practice is here to assist!