Broadcasting Your Side of the Story
The only person who needs to hear your side of the story right now is your lawyer. When the divorce is done, you’ll be free(er) to talk about the details, but for now, it’s best to keep its private. Avoid texting friends with details, oversharing with family members, speaking negatively in front of your kids, and sharing anything on social media. It may make you feel good to get some digital revenge, but this can, and most likely, will be used against you in any upcoming divorce or family matter. It is very common for documents of all communication regarding any issues involved or regarding your ex will be requested in the discovery phase of your contested matter. It is best to refrain from doing so.
Sending Threats or Intimidating Messages
It is never a good idea to send your ex threats or intimidating messages. Not only could this be used against you in your divorce or custody matter, this could lead to court Orders being entered against you in both civil matters, think a Non-Harassment Order, and criminal matters, such as Protective Orders.
Not Knowing Any of Your Finances
Unfortunately, I have had a lot of clients come to me not knowing any of the finances involved in their marriage. There are methods to find out about finances, but it would be best to learn about the finances while you are still together. I would suggest to start gathering financial documents as soon as the relationship begins to break down, if not sooner. It is very important in the divorce process to figure out the financial picture because this relates to support and the division of assets and debts.
Forgetting Virginia Laws
A lot of laws regarding custody and divorce are not common sense and do not follow what people would think. For example, the requirement to provide the other parent, and the court, 30 days’ advance written notice of any intended moves. No one would know this, unless they were told this. It is best to consult with an attorney as soon as you experience a separation or difficulty with a former partner with whom you share a child.
Constantly Contacting Your Ex
As much as a new separation hurts, it is best to only contact your ex to either try to reach a resolution in your matter or to discuss logistics regarding the children. It is best to leave communications to resolution or logistics because then there is no chance that these communications can be used against you in court. You do not want to look unreasonable, irrational, or unstable. As hard as a new separation is, I would suggest instead to rely on a family member or close friend and also have that support system help you with reviewing any communications you are considering sending to your ex.
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