Getting the Advantage and Avoiding Pitfalls
- File First. The spouse that files first controls much of how the agenda of the case is prescribed. The party that files the complaint is the one that can present evidence first and who has the opportunity to file for temporary orders. In doing so, the spouse that files first frequently has the first and last word before the court has a chance to rule.If you have been served with a complaint for divorce, it’s not the end of the world. Quality counsel can outweigh these factors. Sometimes, a divorce is filed, but opposing counsel hasn’t filed a motion for temporary orders. In such cases, it is possible for the defendant to get the “first bite at the apple” if it is in their best interests to do so. In addition, the responding party can have the final word, if the filing party elects not to ask the court for an opportunity for a rebuttal.
- Watch all Joint Bank Accounts and Credit Cards. The last thing you want to have happen is to have your spouse clean out the accounts and rack up credit card debt when you turn your back or let your guard down. Chances are, if your getting divorced, you’ve already started to think about it months in advance so keep this issue in mind when you develop your strategy.
- Do Not Contact Your Ex. It is recommended that you not contact your ex (especially if relations are poor) once the complaint or petition for divorce has been filed. If your ex should attempt to harass, humiliate, coerce or threaten you after the proceedings have begun, call your lawyer right away. She will likely be able to obtain a restraining order which can prohibit the other party from contacting you.
- Monitor all Social Networking Sites. It is amazing what people put on Facebook and since 2008 it has become one of the biggest sources of evidence used in family court cases. It is important to be mindful of this and keep an eye on your ex’s Facebook page. Any posts, comments or other announcements that are derogatory or indicative of wasteful, neglectful or irresponsible behavior may be very damaging to your ex. It is also important to keep an eye on your ex’s linked-in page. He or she may have changed jobs and not told you – which can affect alimony and child support.
- Do Not Rush into Making Decisions. We understand that you want this over as soon as possible and need closure. However, deciding to agree to all of your spouse’s demands to put the matter behind you may not be in your best interest and will not bring long term peace if you agree to terms that may adversely affect you in the future.
When a decision is made within the context of a divorce, there is a strong likelihood that it will be very difficult to change in the future and you truly only get one chance to do things the right once. There may be no second bite at the apple.
If a positive outcome is important to you, call use today at 978-851-2291, or contact us online to discuss your options and get the guidance you need.
For your convenience, appointments may be scheduled during flexible hours. Our office is centrally located in Tewksbury near Route 93 and Route 495. We serve clients in Middlesex and Essex County.