Ten Commandments for Your Divorce Case
January 22, 2020 § 4 Comments
This is adapted from a handout that a Tennessee law firm gives to every divorce client. The client is required to date and sign the form, which is kept in the client’s file, presumably for “Didn’t I tell you not to do that?” purposes.
TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR YOUR DIVORCE CASE
I. You are still married until the judge signs the Final Decree of Divorce.
a. You can not date or have sex or sexual contact with anyone, including your spouse, even if you are living together.
b. If you have sex with anyone, it will give your spouse grounds for divorce based on adultery, complicate your case, and cost you money.
c. Your spouse will review your cell phone records and computer activity during the divorce.
II. Do not post to any social media or allow anyone to post on your behalf.
a. No pictures or comments about your divorce on Facebook.
b. No tweets about the divorce or your spouse on Twitter.
c. Do NOT sign up for eHarmony, Match.com or any other dating site.
d. Do NOT post to hook up with anyone on Craig’s List.
e. Do NOT send lewd pictures to anyone.
III. Do not discuss your attorney’s strategy or any details of your divorce with your spouse, friends, or co-workers.
a. Every divorce is different, and what allegedly worked in your friend’s case will not work in yours.
b. If you tell your spouse details about your case, you will lose leverage and it will cost you more money.
IV. Establish a new, secure email account with a password that your spouse can’t guess.
a. Make sure your computer is free of spyware and that you have it password protected.
b. Password protect your cell phone.
V. Be totally honest with your attorney and the staff, and treat them with respect and courtesy.
VI. Remember that, as soon as the divorce complaint is filed, you are no longer in charge of your life. The Court is in charge.
a. You must comply with every order of the court, even if you disagree with the court’s ruling.
b. Do not harass, drunk call or text, follow, shadow, or in any way interfere with your spouse. Judges hate that kind of behavior.
c. Do not make changes to insurance without consulting your attorney first.
VII. Immediately answer interrogatories and requests for production of documents from your spouse’s attorney.
a. There are deadlines that can complicate your case and cost you money if you fail to meet them.
b. Follow the attorney’s directions on how to respond.
c. Do the necessary leg work to collect the necessary information, and organize it. The better you do it, the more money you will save. We have to charge you for the work we do for you.
d. Organize and keep succinct notes about your spouse’s misconduct.
e. Organize and create a record of all financial assets and accounts.
f. Do NOT staple any of the documents you bring us. Organize them by question or request number, preferably in folders.
VIII. Do NOT put your children in the middle during the divorce.
a. We recommend and urge that you immediately enroll in a parenting seminar at http://www.parentingskillsinstitute.com.
b. If your children are having issues, get them to counselling.
IX. Read everything our office sends you … at least twice.
X. You must pay your bill promptly as it comes due and provide additional retainers as requested. To keep your bill down:
a. Avoid endless phone calls and emails to our office. You are charged for every form of communication.
b. Organize your thoughts, questions, and concerns so that only one phone call, email, or office visit covers all issues.
c. Do not send an email and then follow up with a phone call to discuss the same things.
d. Consider finding a good counselor to help deal with the stress of divorce.
Isn’t all of this in Deuteronomy?
Excellent advice for almost any party in any case, not just a divorce. If we start a second ten, I’ll toss out: Tell your client how to dress for court. Don’t presume s/he will have enough sense to cover the tattoos, wear sleeves, pull up pants, ditch the earring (men), or wear non-hi-lighter shades of makeup.
No one is trying to fool the court. Rather, it’s a level of respect that too often clients don’t understand and lawyers don’t explain.
As always, thanks Judge!
Is this copyright protected? Can we PLEASE give this to every client? Thank you?
I am sure you can adapt it and use it as you wish.