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Divorce Truths - Assisting Your Attorney
Your attorney will never know as much about your case as you do. Just because you are not a lawyer, doesn't mean that you can't provide valuable assistance throughout your divorce. Although your attorney can obtain information through legal means, there are ways that you can help and save them time, and that equates to saving money.
History of Your Marriage
What type of behavior will your spouse reveal during your divorce? Will it be an emotional battle to the end over every issue? What issues will be repeatedly thrown in your face? Educate your attorney. Write a history of your marriage. In doing so, you will recreate behaviors as well as facts which are helpful to you and your attorney.
The best time to obtain copies of checks, statements, phone records and important financial documents is before you are in the middle of a hotly contested divorce. The most incriminating records have a way of disappearing, some never to appear again. Copy every record of importance you can locate. Take the time to read them and organize them.
Cell Phone Records
Before your spouse conveniently misplaces or destroys them, make copies of their cell phone records. Older records may be difficult to obtain from the cell phone carrier. These records are vital in alerting you as to whether your spouse has been involved with a third party. You never know what information you will find once you start looking.
If you have a very strong suspicion your spouse has been romantically involved with a third party and you know that person's name and county of residence, check the local courthouse records. This individual may have filed their own divorce if the relationship with your spouse is serious. Divorces are a matter of public record and the Internet makes searching courthouse records easy. It may be a fishing expedition, but at this point, you are looking for information.
You may need to research the local real estate records, particularly if you are not on the deed to your real property. You may locate second or third mortgages that you didn't know about. Your attorney can file a document in the real estate department to restrict any transfer of property during a divorce.
Keep a diary for the explicit purpose of your divorce. Tell your attorney you are doing it for information to use in the divorce so that it can be protected from discovery from your spouse. Names, addresses, phone numbers, dates and situations are easily confused over the period of the divorce. Testifying accurately establishes credibility and prevents your spouse from manipulating the facts. It also can identify patterns of behavior.
Sometimes it is the small things that become significant. A diary will also stimulate your memory of past similar acts or behaviors of your spouse over the course of the marriage that may be more relevant in retrospect. Habits are usually repetitive.
Don't write anything negative about yourself.
Obtain "Friendly" Documents
Any document you can obtain yourself will save your attorney time. These may include medical records for yourself or your children, school records, report cards, photographs, pictures, real estate records, and employment records. An attorney is charging you for their time. Any relevant document you chase down is time that your attorney isn't charging you for.
According to Georgia divorce law, the court may grant an uncontested divorce 31 days after the defendant spouse has been served with the complaint.
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