The Law Offices of Anna Brace for your free consultation
First and foremost, keep yourself and your family safe. If you are in a situation where safety is an issue, call the police and immediately consult with an attorney.
Often individuals come to my office after being separated from their spouse and children for months and tell me that they want custody of the kids. The old saying is that status quo is 90% of the law.
If divorce appears likely, spend an hour and consult with an attorney whose practice is dedicated to family law. It is important to understand your rights, know what the next steps are, and to have a knowledgeable family law attorney who you can turn to when things get tough.
Maybe you should suggest that your spouse move out of the residence if she or he wants to be separated so badly.
Do not cancel the insurance. Do not unplug the telephone so that your spouse cannot reach the kids. Do not flip him off when he drops off the kids. It is important to realize that the same judicial officer will most likely be presiding over your case from start to finish. You want that judicial officer to respect you. If you do not play fair, the judicial officer in your case will remember that you were unreasonable, and since much of family law is
discretionary, that judicial officer may believe that you are unreasonable in all matters which may affect determinations of custody, support, and even property division.
Unless you are fighting over a heirloom or something that is irreplaceable, ask yourself how much the attorney’s fees and emotional grief will cost you, and determine if it would be less expensive to purchase a new or used item. I once had a client who insisted on
fighting over twenty year old pots and pans and after paying for a hour of my time and her headache, it would have been much more beneficial for her to purchase a high quality set of pans at Costco.
At our initial meeting we will request information and documentation. The faster you obtain this information, the faster we will be able to proceed with your dissolution. If we are required to obtain documents through formal discovery, it will be expensive. If you do not have bank records, order them. If the accountant has your taxes, obtain the copies and get them to our office.
Many of my clients tell me that “he is always late to pick up Johnny” or “she is a bad mother.” These types of comments are not very helpful without back-up. Start a calender with specific date and times, and take good notes regarding your concerns.
Divorce is a difficult time. Acknowledge this fact. If you find that your decisions regarding custody and visitation and/or property division are made out of anger, seek some short term counseling. The faster you handle the anger, the faster you will be happy and be a better parent. Ask our office for referrals.
If you fear that your spouse may take your possessions, photograph them to show their condition and value.