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  1. PARTICIPATE IN THE PROCESS – It is important to participate in your dissolution process and not be a passive bystander.  If you fail to respond to legal documents, or to your spouse or to your lawyer, there are legal consequences that can be devastating. Do not let your anger or frustration, or lack of financial ability to retain legal representation keep you from participating in the dissolution of your marriage. Do not let your divorcing spouse discourage you from seeking legal counsel.
  2. CONSIDER YOUR FINANCIAL INFORMATION – It is important to disclose your financial information to your attorney when preparing financial documents for the Court. Do not overestimate or underestimate your financial capabilities, even if you are self-represented.
  3. CONSIDER MEDIATION – It is important to consider all options available when filing for a divorce. Not all divorce matters must be litigated in court. There are many other options that may expedite the process, at a lower cost.
  4. CONSIDER THE CHILDREN (IF ANY) – When negotiating with your divorcing spouse, remember to put the well-being of the children first. Do not threaten to limit or deny visitation in order to punish your spouse. Do not use the children to communicate legal matters and/or to alienate the children for the purpose of favorable results in the dissolution process.
  5. Keep your composure – The divorce process is a difficult and often an emotional journey. Avoid personal attacks and focus on presenting the facts; be the bigger person. Do not let the pressure get to you. Often it is during those emotional states that poor decisions are made.
  6. Think of the future – Do begin or do update your estate planning documents after the divorce. Remember to update insurance beneficiaries, change legal documents to accurately reflect name changes, marital status, etc.
  7. Read and ask questions – Do take the time to evaluate the settlement agreement, also known as the “MSA.” Ask questions about information you do not understand. Do not sign a document without knowing your rights and obligations under the agreement.
  8. Future financial considerations - Do talk to a financial advisor or a tax professional regarding the impact of the divorce on your future financial being and potential tax obligations.
  9. Do not have unrealistic demands or expectations
  10. Do not withhold information from your attorney or forget to check facts