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A judge I really admire says that the Family Court is like a toxic swamp and that only a select few know where the rocks are to jump across. This blog is here to get you across the swamp.

Here are a few, direct tips on what NOT to do in a divorce matter:

1. Never, ever involve your boyfriend or your girlfriend. I had a call from a client of mine not so terribly long ago … she was home with her then-Husband enjoying herself when Husband’s girlfriend showed up at the front door with a loaded shotgun, ruining their day. Readers, if you never listen to a single thing I say during this blog hear this: no matter how ugly your divorce case gets, leave the lovers out of it. Not too hard that one – right? The next one is harder.

2. Are you fighting for custody of a child? Get rid of the social media. Sign off / cancel / whitewash / bleach and encrypt all of it. The Facebook, the Instagram, the snapchat. Sacrificed to the greater good. I have Fathers ask me all the time – “The children always goes with the Mother, right?” I will tell you this, reader, the child goes with the parent who cannot be found online. I cannot count how many difficult cases we have ended because we found the opposing party on the internet. You’re better off having a misdemeanor then having a digital footprint a law firm can mine for evidence.

3. Don’t change anything. Divorce and child custody are life-changing events and the first thing many litigants want to do when beginning a divorce is charting their new life-changing path. Start a new part-time job. Quit a part-time job. Spend a bit of money on a new hobby. Shift funds between bank accounts. Rent an apartment, buy a home, buy a dog, secure new health insurance, take a loan against a 401k, go back to school, whatever it is. You’re in this mess and you’re miserable and all you want to do is remake yourself as best you can under the circumstances, and you can’t. Don’t do it. Because while a divorce is pending picture a fine patina of dust settling on all the assets, all the insurance, all the debt, all of the everything and the slightest disturbance is immediately noticeable to a judge. Leave it be until you get an Order then go out and remake yourself in ways big and small but not yet.

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