Don't discuss details with friends and relatives.
Tips to Consider when Separating
Separation: Nine Tips to Help You as You Move Through the Divorce Process
By PAM BAKER
There may be 50 ways to leave your lover but there’s a heck of a lot more to it than just being creative with the word good-bye. More often than not, the way you handle your exit will determine your ex’s entrance -- into your wallet, your circle of friends, and the judge’s predisposition on settlement day. Before you win a petty battle only to lose the whole dang war, here are nine tips to arm you for victory where and when it counts!
1. Shut up, zip it, mum’s the word.
“Stay cool. Do not discuss details with friends and relatives, they will only confuse you and your words can be used against you if they get leaked to the opposing camp,” says Joe DuCanto, named by the Leading Lawyer Network as one of the Top 100 Leading Lawyers in Illinois and an Illinois Super Lawyer. “Listen to your lawyer and share details only with him or her.”
2. Always tell the truth.
Answer questions from the other side truthfully but briefly. Long answers can reveal too much. “Always tell the truth, but don’t always be telling it,” advises DuCanto.
3. Don’t handpick your share.
Telling the other side what you want may lead to handing them leverage to use against you later. If you really want the antique tea set or the newer car, just tell your attorney that – and no one else! “Don’t discuss with your spouse what you will take, do, want or need,” says DuCanto. “Leave that to your lawyers.”
4. Don’t shoot the goose.
“Don’t set out to ruin or destroy the other party. If you do, you’ll hurt yourself, the kids, and maybe the goose that used to lay the golden eggs,” warns DuCanto. “Too many husbands go to jail because the wife was angry and spilled the beans.” Much too late, the woman comes to realize that the man can’t pay alimony or child support if he’s behind bars instead of working! The same holds true for men trying to hurt or demean their wives. You might have held all the winning cards if she has a drinking problem or cheated on you, but you’ll blow it if you come across as abusive verbally, emotionally or physically.
5. Do think of you first.
It’s easy to cave to the emotions of the moment and agree to too much trying to assuage your guilt or ensure the kids have enough. But that strategy can back-fire and leave you destitute in the long-term. “Forget about anything other than yourself; no more Mister Nice Guy,” says DuCanto. “If you take care of number one, all the rest will follow.” Think of it like the airplane drill where you are told to put your oxygen mask on first, and then your kid’s. The thought process is the same: you cannot help your kids if you are out of commission. Tend to yourself first; you can always give your kids more later as you can afford it. for starters.”