Divorce often brings out the worst in people. Sometimes it is difficult to wrap your mind around the fact that the love of your life is no longer looking out for your best interests. Deception and self-interest are the rules of the day. The following are some guidelines to get you through the case, and even the post-divorce life.
1. Love is gone; substitute politeness or, at a minimum, tolerance. This is doubly true if you our have children.
2. Be skeptical of anything your spouse tells you. Assume half of it is said in self-interest and the other half is false. Always verify.
3. Keep your poker face on and play your cards tight to the chest. Don't let the spouse know how much you know.
4. There is nothing wrong with walking away from an argument or conflict or hangung up the phone when a conversation turns ugly.
5. Expect your spouse to resent your lawyer and attempt to undermine his authority/influence. You pay your lawyer for his advice, listen to it not your spouse.
6. Don't enter into private negotiations without your lawyer's knowledge and advice.
7. Don't agree to anything or sign anything without talking to your lawyer first.
8. When in doubt, believe your lawyer, not your spouse.
9. Your lawyer is your first layer of insulation from your spouse's negativity. Learn the phrase, "Have your lawyer call my lawyer," and use it frequently.
10. Don't rub in your legal victories. Losers always try to even the score which will only result in more litigation for you.
11. Get a P.O. Box or a locking mailbox. The last thing you need is for your spouse to intercept your mail.
12. Assume that all of your phone calls are being recorded and all of your online communications are being logged or printed. Don't say or write anything that you would not want presented in court. Remember, just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't following you.
13. Do not, under any circumstances, keep anything connected to your case anywhere to which your spouse also has access. Doing so risks your spouse learning your entire case strategy.
14. Do not presume that your lawyer receives copies of any correspondence, legal pleadings, or notices that your receive in the mail or by judicial process. Upon receiving such documents, contact your lawyer immediately. Please learn to discern the difference between documents you receive directly and those CC'd to you by your lawyer to keep you informed of your case.
15. Do not be intimidated by your spouse if he/she gives you an ultimatum or deadline to accept and offer or proposition. Chances are that offer will remain on the table long enough for you to discuss it with your lawyer if he/she really wants to settle. If not, then the court can decide on a fair and equitable resolution.
Keeping these rules in mind will significantly ease your stress level during the course of your case. If you have more questions, contact the Alford Law Office.