The decision to end your marriage is a huge one that can have an impact on your financial situation, your access to your children, your living situation, and your emotional well-being. Whether you are the party seeking a divorce or your partner is ending your marriage against your will, you have certain legal rights. It is important to take steps to protect yourself and ensure that any contested issues in your divorce are resolved as favorably as possible. Two of these steps are detailed below.
When a relationship starts to sour, once-happy couples can engage in petty and disruptive conduct simply meant to antagonize the other. For example, if you decide to end your relationship and choose to leave while the divorce is pending (as many people do), your spouse may try and limit access to your home. In some cases, he or she may even seek a restraining order (whether legitimate or not) to in anticipation of making claims of domestic abuse during divorce proceedings.
If either of these situations occur, it may be difficult for you to access important documents that you may need to do things like rent an apartment, open a bank account, get a loan, or even apply for a job. For this reason, you should collect documentation like your birth certificate, passport, bank account statements, and pay stubs before moving out.
Many people are surprised to learn that the things they post on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can be used as evidence in their divorce case. While it may feel good to disparage your ex online, one of the issues that Illinois courts look to when determining child custody arrangements is the willingness of each parent to foster a healthy relationship with the other parent. Similarly, if you post pictures of yourself engaging in your newfound “single life” by going to bars, clubs, and dating around, a court may question whether you will be able to provide your child or children with a positive home environment.
Social media posting can affect the financial aspects of your divorce, as well. Spousal maintenance, or alimony, is based partially on need. If you are like most people, you like to post about the most idealized version of your life on social media, not the fact that you financed your last weekend getaway on a credit card. Posts that imply that you are spending money on luxury items can impact the court’s perception of your financial need and, consequently, any potential alimony award you may receive.
The most effective way to ensure that your legal rights are protected during divorce is to retain a qualified Chicago divorce lawyer as soon as you realize that the end of your marriage may be on the horizon. The lawyers of the Arami Law Office are compassionate, aggressive, and understand how important it is to resolve issues related to child custody, spousal support, and the division of property in a way that meets your financial and emotional needs. To schedule a free initial consultation, call our office today at 312-212-1399.
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