You should consult with an attorney to strategize the best preparation for your own divorce, since each divorce is different. Here are some of the more general ways to prepare:
- Get your documents in order. Find the most recent statement (or better yet, all the statements) for each asset you have, your spouse has, and you and your spouse jointly have. One of the biggest expenses in divorce is discovery, when you and your spouse fight for documents. Avoid that expense by having proof of all assets from the beginning of the divorce.
- Your social media is a gift to opposing counsel, so eliminate your social media presence. You might think your picture from vacation is cute, but opposing counsel will use it to show your lavish lifestyle. You might think nothing of the myriad comments on your posts, but opposing counsel may comb through them to suggest that your extramarital relationship began earlier than you say. (While adultery is not all that relevant in Massachusetts, you don’t want to lose your credibility before the judge.)
- Start tracking your expenses. In Massachusetts, the court requires all divorcing parties to file a Financial Statement, which requires you to list all your income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. Begin tracking all of the same, so that you can readily complete the Financial Statement.
- Keep a journal. If your spouse has slept at home twice in the past fifteen nights, write it down. If your spouse has put your children to sleep once in the past month, write it down. These details could be helpful to your attorney, but you might have a hard time remembering them if you don’t write them down.
- Communicate respectfully. All of your emails, texts, and notes to your spouse should be respectful. If they’re not, they will likely be used against you. Communicate with your spouse as if you were running a business together.