In World War II, the slogan, “Loose lips sink ships” reminded everyone from the Norfolk Ship Yards up the coast to Chincoteague Island to keep private business private. This is true today, too, when you are considering a divorce. While not quite as full of trickery as 50s film noir detective movies, a Virginia divorce can still have a touch of intrigue to it. Six things you need to keep in order before, during and after your divorce proceedings can help make the process easier.
Inner Monologue: What Do You Want Out of this Divorce?
You’re no Sam Spade, so narrate your own life from the safety and security of staying inside your own head, not out loud.
- Do you really want a divorce?
- What will it fix?
- What will it damage?
- Are you only mulling it over, like a nervous bettor fingering his last chip at the casino, in times of stress and fear?
- Are you as cool and quiet as a marble mausoleum but still thinking about divorcing her?
If you start something you do not have the backbone to finish, your upset spouse could finish it for you. Then it’s curtains for you, my friend. Curtains.
Private Thoughts: Keep Your Business to Yourself
If you announce your intentions, your spouse will become defensive. She may rush to hire her own attorney before you’ve hired yours. She may beat you to the filing, and suddenly you may become the underdog.
Beyond what you say aloud in the privacy of your home, you have other venues to watch. Consider all these places where your written or spoken word could spread like ivy and come back to haunt you like hash house chili:
- Text messages
- Social media
- Home computers
- Bars, restaurants, clubs and gyms
- Religious and social organizations
- Parent-teacher conferences
You could even simply be in line at the grocery store when you spill something to the cashier, only to realize too late that your neighbor is in line behind you, listening to every word like a crowd at a carnival booth.
Hired Gun: Find an Experienced Men’s Divorce Attorney
You may have more incentive to keep your trap shut if you hire someone to tell you that. After determining a divorce is your best way forward, hire a good attorney for men and listen carefully to the paid advice. Your attorney will tell you the same things we’re saying: keep quiet, watch your words, and lay low. You’ll need to be wary as a fox and sharp as a razor to avoid saying and doing the wrong things in the months ahead.
Your attorney can outline a plan for moving ahead, and advise you on exactly the right moment to ask your wife for a divorce, or to inform her of your intent to file for one.
Listen, Kiddo: Think of Custody and Visitation Arrangements
If you have children, they must be considered before asking for a divorce. What are your intentions?
- Do you want sole custody?
- Will you seek shared custody?
- Are you ceding your offspring to your wife?
The months ahead will be as emotionally rocky as playing on a pogo stick in a minefield, but you have to be strong for your children. You instigated the process, so you need to have answers ready when your children question you.
You may be able to come to an agreement with your wife before the proceedings become formal; that will save your children a lot of heartache because everyone will feel secure.
Count the Haul: Organize Your Finances before Divorcing
Get your finances in order. Know your debts, your assets, and anything that will have to be split between the two of you. Before the hectic times ahead, methodically collect all your documents:
- Mortgage papers
- Vehicle titles
- Banking records
- Telephone records
- Loan documents
Paperwork should be available quickly, so when your lawyer calls and says she or he needs to know who is listed as owner of the family RV, you can respond as fast as a jack rabbit outrunning a prairie fire.
Know Where You’re Going: Consider Your Living Arrangement
Before asking your wife for a divorce, consider your living options. Avoid continuing to live in the same house with your soon-to-be ex-wife after separating, because that can count against you in court, especially if the two of you have sexual relations after you file for divorce. Will you turn up your collar to the cold, hard rain and vanish into the night like a wisp of smoke rising from a .38? Or will you go live with a relative, in your RV, or seek out a motel as dark and dank as the inside of a gumshoe’s wallet?
You have a lot to consider … in silence. The time to open your mouth regarding your divorce is when seeking out qualified legal advice. Contact The Firm for Men or call our Virginia Beach office directly at 757-383-9184 to schedule a consultation and speak to an attorney ready to represent you. We proudly serve all of Hampton Roads including Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, and Hampton! Call today.