When it comes to legal matters, and divorce is a legal matter at its heart, it makes far more sense to be assertive rather than submissive. No matter how you personally feel about your spouse, just sitting back and waiting for the divorce to impact you is unwise. The actions you take now (and the ones you fail to take) could affect your life for years. Read on to find out how to take an assertive approach to your divorce.
Get a Lawyer, Get a Good One, and Get There First
Regardless of where you are in the divorce mindset, you will eventually need a divorce attorney. The sooner you act, the better, since some issues need to be dealt with sooner rather than later. Find the very best representation you can afford before your spouse does. As a reminder, once you speak to an attorney about your divorce, they are off-limits to your spouse due to attorney-client confidentially. That is not to suggest that you "brand" the best attorneys in town before your spouse can, but know that it could end up happening to you.
When it comes to paying for your divorce, you are not hiding assets when you set aside funds to deal with it. Additionally, you'll probably need liquid assets like cash in the coming months as you deal with moving, finding a new place, dealing with one less salary, etc. As long as you disclose it, you have a right to keep a savings account.
Trust But Verify
Speaking of financial disclosures, part of the divorce process involves the voluntary disclosure of assets. If your spouse fails to comply with requests for their savings, investments, business dealings, real estate, and more, your divorce attorney can prepare to subpoena them. The marital assets constitute an important part of divorce. Spousal support, child support, debt and asset divisions, and other issues cannot be decided without full disclosure from both people.
Keep Your Own Council
If you need to talk about the divorce, speak only to someone you can completely trust to never reveal what you say. In most cases, that equals two people – your divorce lawyer and your therapist. You might be surprised at how much damage well-meaning friends and relatives can do in an effort to "help" and support you during divorce.
You might find that taking an assertive stance on divorce provides you with a feeling of empowerment at a time when you really need it. To find out more, speak to your divorce law attorney.