Top Ten Things to Know When Contemplating Divorce
By NJ lawyer, Charles F. Vuotto, Jr.
Keep Emotions in Check:
Remember the following:
- The cost and length of divorce litigation is directly proportionate to the emotions of the parties; and
- Courts do not usually consider who was at fault in the break up when dealing with financial issues (except, perhaps, when dealing with alimony in rare cases).
Select the Right Divorce Attorney & Learn Your Rights:
There are certain attributes that you should look for in a divorce attorney. Of course, these attributes may vary depending on your needs and goals. However, primarily, you should look for an attorney who has one or more of the following qualifications and/or characteristics:
- Certified by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Attorney;
- Member of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association;
- Member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers;
- Lectures frequently to the bench, bar and public;
- Routinely publishes scholarly articles on family law;
- Has practiced for more than ten years and has concentrated his/her practice in family law during that time; and
- Is organized, detail oriented, and a compassionate advocate who works well with other attorneys.
Protect the Children:
Beyond any other consideration, the children come first. They should not suffer needlessly due to your (or your spouse’s) decision to divorce. Here are some of the more common admonitions with regard to children and divorce:
- Once you’ve decided to divorce, try to speak to your children together and show them a united front so that they can see that, although you and your spouse cannot live together any longer, they still have a mother and father who love and care for them and can work together in their best interests;
- Do not use the children as pawns;
- Do not view your children as spoils of your divorce litigation;
- Do not enlist your children as couriers or messengers;
- Do not act out in the presence of the children;
- Do not bad mouth your spouse to the children;
- Do not discuss spousal disputes with the children;
- Do not interrogate the children about your spouse.