Tips to Keep Your Divorce on Track

Changing attorneys.

Tips to Keep Your Divorce on Track

Divorce cases can be some of the most contentious found in the court system. Add in additional factors such as children, major debt, major assets, and even pets, and the situation can become even more complicated and litigious.

Family law attorneys typically bill out on an hourly basis. As divorce cases become messier and more drawn-out, the attorneys involved have to likewise put in additional work and time to bring the case to settlement or trial. This means that lengthy divorces with many twists and turns will also end up being the costliest.

In some cases, the opposing party may try to derail the proceedings for their own gain through various underhanded tactics.

With all the possible complications, how can you help to keep your divorce case straightforward and on-track?

  1. Organize Your Financial Affairs

Arizona is a community property state that will split a couple’s community property equitably (not necessarily equally). Having your finances organized and in order ahead of time will be a great help in getting your case started off on the right foot. Spouses should gather a list of all their assets and debts and ensure they have monthly/annual statements for each going back at least three years. Documentation should include, among others:

    • Federal and state tax returns.
    • W-2s (or similar) and paystubs.
    • Checking and savings bank accounts.
    • Credit cards.
    • Insurance policies (home, auto, health, etc).
    • Retirement accounts.
    • Investment accounts.
    • Mortgage statements or rent payments.
    • Tuition expenses.
    • Medical expenses.
    • Travel accounts – hotel points, airline miles, etc.

It is also important to remain aware of your spouse’s finances and financial movements during this time.

Additionally, it is wise to have valuable assets appraised for their worth as soon as possible. This can include jewelry, collectibles, and property. This helps these items from being contested later on or having to delay negotiations to have them appraised later.


  1. Take Photos of Evidence

Taking photos of your personal items can help you collect your own evidence within the shared home. This can be helpful if you are the party who has moved out of the shared residence when it comes to requesting certain items be returned to you. It is also prudent to photograph important contact numbers, account numbers, or other items if you feel your spouse may try to later hide, or block you from accessing, those items.


  1. Consider Your Children

Parents should be aware of how emotionally difficult it can be for children of divorcing parents. In most cases, courts will order joint legal decision-making to divorcing parents, and will always rule in favor of the children’s best interests. Parents should also keep the children’s best interests in mind when trying to come up with a parenting plan and parenting time schedule with their children. However, parents should avoid becoming so focused on the end-result parenting plan that they forget to focus on their children’s well-being in the meantime.

    • Don’t bad mouth the other parent in front of the children.
    • Don’t try and coerce the children into “taking sides.”
    • Don’t alienate your children from your spouse or prevent your spouse from seeing them.
    • Don’t refuse to deliver, or block, communication to your children from your spouse.
    • Don’t use your children as a form of communication with your spouse.
    • Don’t needlessly alienate your children from the family members of your spouse.
    • Keep your feelings toward the divorce separate from your parenting.
    • Allow the children to maintain as many of their “pre-divorce” activities as possible.


  1. Avoid Using Social Media in Negative Ways

Parents should be aware that their social media presence is forever. Expressing negative feelings toward the other party, venting, or using social media in ways intended to hurt the other person can potentially hurt your case, even through “private” means. Personal messages and texts can be saved as screenshots just as easily as public posts, which can be brought into the court as potential evidence against you.


  1. Communicate Clearly and Document Everything

Maintain polite, direct, and clear communication with the other party. Documenting these communications allows you to establish a clear timeline if they include date or timestamps. Additionally, it creates a record of any negotiations you have had with your spouse regarding parenting, financial matters, and other issues. Saving these communications provides you with proof in cases where your spouse may be trying to “change their story” or is reneging on obligations. Communications that should be documented can include:

    • Drop-off/pick-up plans for children as they move between each parent.
    • Requests for access to certain financial accounts.
    • Unauthorized closing of any accounts.
    • Relocation information.
    • Discussion regarding the children’s needs: education, medical, religious, etc.
    • Employment changes.
    • Changes to informal parenting time agreements.


  1. Remain Rational and Channel Your Emotions

Especially when a divorce feels like it is never-ending, it can be easy to start letting heightened emotions cloud your judgement. At a certain point, some items can just be considered “things” and do not need to be fought over. Anyone going through a divorce should instead focus on the long game, considering how the final divisions will benefit them in the long term. If your emotions become overpowering, seek the help of a therapist that specializes in divorce issues.

  1. Hire a Divorce Attorney

Hiring an experienced and aggressive divorce attorney will help to ensure that your case remains on track. Don’t be afraid to consult with more than one attorney before selecting one for your case. Finding an attorney you feel confident in will create a strong partnership. Your divorce attorney will make sure deadlines are followed and discovery requests are complied with and can help guide your communication with your spouse. They will also be able to sift through your spouse’s evidence to help negotiate the best outcome for your case, noting deficiencies or issues that may not be evident to you.


Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling divorce cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.
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