Your marriage is unique, and chances are, your divorce will be too. We know that when your personal life turns on its ear, just getting through the day can be difficult. That’s why we suggest that you focus on the three key areas of social media, finances, and preparing your team so that you’ll be ready.
Tip #1: Keep a Tight Leash on Social Media
If you can’t stop using social media altogether then set strict boundaries and stick with them, as detailed in Marriage, Divorce, and Social Media.
Do: Keep a Lid on Negativity
Yes, that’s right. None. Even if you believe your posts are private, they may not be. Don’t vent about your spouse, and ask friends/family not to either. Negative posts can fuel conflict in your divorce and inflict emotional damage upon your children.
Do: Control Your Social Media Narrative
Remove “relationship status” from your profiles to avoid inquiries from others. Block/unfriend anyone you don’t see as part of your future. Not all friends/family will be “Team You” going forward. Being honest with yourself here can minimize online snooping/stalking by your spouse and their allies. Check each platform, such as Facebook, to update your tagging and privacy settings. Keep social media from becoming a player in your court case.
Don’t: Post “Giveaways” of Your Movements
Avoid posting your activities like vacations, parties, spending, dating, job status/offers, or possible relocation. Also, until your divorce is final, ask family/friends not to tag you in posts. This is the time to protect yourself from exposing your movements, interests, and social life online.
Don’t: Discuss Your Case Online or Sell Your Spouse’s Belongings Online
No court dates, status, or rulings and talk to a family law attorney before you decide to sell belongings.
Tip #2: Financial Snapshot
Every divorce requires the production of financial information. Assemble as much as you can of the following:
- Proof of income. Gather your pay stubs (six months’ worth), personal or business tax returns (three years’ worth), and proof of any other income you receive (i.e., self-employment earnings, spousal maintenance, child support, financial assistance).
- Expenses, including utilities, internet, TV, cell phones/lines of service, insurance (car, home, health), school tuition/expenses.
- Financial Records and Retirement Accounts. Get up-to-date statements for your mortgage/rent, car loans/leases, student loans, and all consumer debt. Get all bank account statements (three months’ worth). For all retirement and other financial accounts, get current statements and contact information for administrators of each account or plan.
Tip #3: Assemble Your Team: put a family law expert at your helm.
You might be able to navigate a divorce on your own, but most people find key advantages to seeking the help of a divorce attorney. Remember, this is their area of expertise. They developed this specialty because they have the wisdom and experience to get you through the process with compassion. Plus, your divorce attorney has a deep understanding of the court’s rules and expectations in divorce cases and will advise you in sensitive matters of child custody and support. They’ll take you through the discovery process, be with you for court hearings, prepare for and attend mediation with you, and have you well-positioned if your case goes to trial.
Remember, you are unique, and so is your marriage. By leveraging the above strategies, you are one step closer to taking some control in the divorce process by properly managing your online presence, finances, and legal team. If you’re ready to start the process, contact us today to set a consultation.