During a divorce you can feel especially vulnerable and unsure of where to turn. If you are a father, you may have concerns about the legal status of fatherhood in your country or state.

Mothers can have similar concerns about what their rights are too. We’ve outlined some key approaches to protecting yourself during divorce to help put your mind at ease. 

Be mindful of how you communicate

Although it is easy for tensions to run high during divorce proceedings, when there are children involved, it’s important to manage your emotions. Children can easily pick up on negative feelings, without you realising it. Avoid making disparaging remarks about your ex, with your children or while they are around. If you need to speak to them about something you feel angry about, approach the subject carefully. Ongoing conflict can lengthen proceedings and end up costing you more money arguing back and forth with solicitors. 

Get legal support

Although you can file for divorce online and do not necessarily need a legal team, if you are struggling to feel protected during your divorce, then hiring a solicitor is the best way forward. Negotiating one to one with your ex is always better for both of you, but there are circumstances where this proves impossible. Find a solicitor who has been recommended by a friend who has had a positive experience with their services. Discover more about their specialisms and read online reviews to see how prompt and efficient there were in responses, and how experienced they are in divorce.

Never sign anything straight away

If your ex presents you with a document to sign, then do not immediately authorise it. Although your spouse may present a document casually, and it may seem like a simple formality, always pause. Ask a friend to look over it, or a family member to double check if you are still not certain. Tell your ex that you will need time to read it and that you will come back to them. You could also say that your solicitor has asked to look at all documents and you will need to show it to them first. 

Keep your domestic and financial records in order

You should always keep your financial details in check and even more so during a divorce. If you haven’t already, get all your records including joint recent bank statements, bills, mortgage payments, any debts you may have in one place. Take stock of what cash, assets and properties you have and be ready to give the full facts to your solicitor or to the courts during financial negotiations.  In some cases, you may need to document your belongings on video or by photographing them. You can also send these to your ex so there are few areas for disputes during proceedings. 

Manage debts

During divorce proceedings it may be too late to get your partner paying jointly towards shared debts. If you are still together however, and divorce is on the cards, then you should try to get any debts paid off jointly. To protect yourself from incurring further financial liabilities, speak to your credit card provider about removing your name from a joint bank or credit card account so that your ex cannot accrue more debt that you will be jointly responsible in paying off. 

As final point, divorces can be incredibly stressful. Make sure you are protecting yourself emotionally as well as practically. Keep in touch with trusted friends and family who will be there as and when you want to talk about anything to do with your divorce. Keep involved in the activities you do outside of work and understand that divorce is a grieving process, and you may need counselling support to see you through it. 

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