Making the decision to divorce your spouse isn’t an easy one. However, once the decision has been made, it is important to consider these few steps, beforehand, in order to maximize your chances of being in a favourable position:
1) Be organized & take notes: when you foresee that your child’s custody will be at stake, it is important for you to collect as much tangible information as possible. For example, keeping a journal can help demonstrate to the court your level of involvement with your child, and inversely, a spouse’s lack of involvement. It is also a good idea to save (in chronological order) relevant emails and text messages, as well as calendars and pictures showing activities you were present for and events your spouse missed.
2) Save for a “rainy day”: just as you would save some emergency cash to pay for living expenses in case you lost your job, the same holds true in the case of a divorce. In fact, in order to avoid being ‘cut off’ by an angry spouse once the proceedings have been filed, set aside some cash. This amount should help you out with living expenses for a few months, as well as help out with the initial retainer your attorney will most probably ask for.
3) Be proactive - Get your affairs in order! : make sure you understand and take the time, if needed, for: updating all estate plans; signing of your will; refinancing of assets; and taking care of other financial transactions, before filing for divorce.
4) Become aware of your assets/liabilities: divorce proceedings means opening financial records for all to see. Therefore, prior to filing for divorce, it is important that you clearly understand the family’s assets, debts, incomes and expenses. If numbers aren’t your thing, obtain the help you need from the family’s accountant, financial advisor, a confidant, etc.
5) Become more subdued - avoid social media temptation: although it may seem tempting to post compromising material, such as sharing photos about drinking or partying, refrain from doing so. This evidence could definitely also be used against you when you least expect!
Sonia Rotondo, Attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats.inc.