Stacking the Deck in Your Favor


1. File First. The spouse that files first controls much of how the agenda of the case is prescribed. The party that files the complaint is the one that can present evidence first and who has the opportunity to file for temporary orders. In doing so, the spouse that files first frequently has the first and last word before the court has a chance to rule.

If you have been served with a complaint for divorce, it’s not the end of the world. Retaining quality counsel can outweigh these factors. In addition, the responding party can have the final word, if the filing party elects not to ask the court for an opportunity for a rebuttal.

2. Watch all Joint Bank Accounts and Credit Cards. The last thing you want to have happen is to have your spouse clean out the accounts and rack up credit card debt when you turn your back or let your guard down. Chances are, if your getting divorced, you’ve already started to think about it months in advance so keep this issue in mind when you develop your strategy.

3. Do Not Contact Your Ex. It is recommended that you not contact your ex (especially if relations are poor) once the complaint or petition for divorce has been filed. If your ex should attempt to harass, humiliate, coerce or threaten you after the proceedings have begun, call your lawyer right away. She will likely be able to obtain a restraining order which can prohibit the other party from contacting you.

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