Family Law Tips

1. Follow all court orders completely. Any time you are not sure if you are complying with the court order, please call our office at once.

2. If you have custody of your children, have them appropriately dressed and ready for the visitation at the arranged time.

3. If you have visitation rights, be there to pick up your children and return them at the time specified in the order.

4. Do not alienate your children from your spouse. This is a most trying time for your children. Do not discuss your marital problems with them or in their presence. They should not be made to feel that there is a necessity to take sides with either parent. The children should be encouraged to love both of their parents. Anything that you can do to make the visitation more pleasant is for their benefit. Avoid any conflict with your spouse at visitation pick-up times.

5. Make all payments on debts as ordered.

6. If you are making support payments, pay promptly and as ordered.

7. If it is impossible for you to pay your court-ordered support, notify our office immediately! If a change in circumstances occurs, such as a layoff, a substantial reduction in pay, an accident or any other event that reduces your income, a request for a modification must immediately be filed with the court.

8. If there is a change in the source of your income, such as receipt by you of AFDC (welfare), social security, or disability payments, please notify our office immediately, as it may affect your case.

9. If you have custody of the children, do not present any obstacles to the visitation because your spouse is not making payments.

10. If you are making child support payments, do not withhold them because you are having a visitation problem.

11. Do not argue with your spouse. If any important problems arise between you and your spouse, please contact us immediately.

12. It is our experience that it is best for you to discuss your dissolution problems with your attorney, not other people who do not have professional qualifications to offer you advice. If you get advice from friends who have gone through the dissolution process, remember that they only know about the process from the limited perspective of their own cases. The advice of your friends is without proper training and, consequently, is likely to be inaccurate, even when based upon their personal experiences. Circumstances in your case may be far different or the laws may have changed since their case was decided. It is like using another person's eyeglasses . . . they rarely fit, and even if they do, you will usually get a distorted view.

13. Inform us promptly if you change your home or business address and/or telephone number.

14. If you do not have a Last Will and Testament, you should consider having one prepared. If you already have one, you should consider having it modified or having a new one drafted. Although you are going through a dissolution of your marriage, your spouse still could receive all of your assets if you should die without a Last Will and Testament or Living Trust that reflects your current situation. We can refer you to an attorney who specializes in Estate Planning.

15. Even if you and your spouse have separated, credit companies can collect the entire amount charged on jointly held credit cards by either spouse. If you are currently maintaining any charge accounts with your spouse, you should immediately notify each credit-issuing company, via certified mail, that:

-You are closing the account.

-Your spouse is no longer authorized to make any charges on the account.

If you need to make credit purchases, you should establish new accounts in your own name.

16. If you are living with your spouse or if your spouse has access to your home, put all of your important documents in a safe place so that they cannot be removed, destroyed or copied by your spouse.

17. Take an inventory of the contents of your home, including the garage. If possible, take the inventory with a video camera, making sure to get detailed, close up pictures of everything you own.

18. Take steps to prevent your spouse from removing monies from bank, savings and loan or stock brokerage accounts. This can be done by either placing a block on the accounts or withdrawing the funds yourself. If you fear that your spouse will remove funds, we can request restraining orders from the court. Do not withdraw or transfer any funds if the court has issued any restraining orders.