In the last post, we discussed the initial four steps to take after deciding to divorce. That article is here. Being familiar with those actions, will help put these next steps into context. As we stated there, ideally you would work through all of these steps before a divorce is initiated by either spouse. Your head will be clearer then, and you will be able to think without the stress of a pending divorce hanging over your head.

Step 5 – Secure Your Information. The first obvious step in this regard is to change your mailing address; but not for your spouse’s mail. And, advise people whom you expect might write to you, to use your new mailing address (which might be a post office box). Storing copies of important documents electronically, in the cloud, is a good way to be able to access them. But, it’s only good if you, and only you, can access them. So, new accounts and passwords are a must.

Step 6- Secure social Media accounts; and don’t post anything negative about your spouse there. It might surprise you just how often social media plays a role in contemporary divorce cases. Keep your spouse out of your social media. But, don’t assume that anything that you post will not, somehow, finds its way into your spouse’s possession. We want to be seen as “the reasonable one,” so for God’s sake, don’t post negative material, nor hack into your spouse’s social media, email, or anything!

Step 7- Get copies (electronic ones, preferably) of important child-related documents. Records of children’s academics, healthcare, extra-curricular activities, and so on, provide abundant information that may be useful in a contested, child-related, case.

Step 8- Record (in written form) all important events, summaries of conversation, issues to discuss with your lawyer, and anything else important to your case. Divorce cases can come quickly, with a flurry of events and discussions happening in a surprisingly short period of time. But, they also, can last for a long time. The point is that there can be a heavy volume of important facts and issues that we do not want to rely upon our memories for. A journal is a good way to record, and keep track of, all of this data. That way, when the time is right, it can yield information, knowledge, and wisdom. But, it all starts with an accurate accounting of the data. Keep your journal private and secured. That way, if you and your attorney decide that it is best to keep it confidential, then your attorney will have a solid case that it is an attorney-client privileged communication. But, if you share its contents with anyone other than your legal counsel (including legal Assistants, Paralegals, and other staff), then you will have waived that privilege. So, don’t do that, please.

Divorce case can be complex, and feel overwhelming. Preparation for it can make it significantly easier for you. This might give you an advantage over an unprepared spouse. That makes it easier to obtain a favorable case outcome. And, that is our goal, right?

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