Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes split. And then our dreams are shattered when Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin decided to call it quits. The latest blow is the news that after 10 years of marriage Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are divorcing. Which means they’re just like lots of other couples in America. As it stands, the divorce rate in the U.S. still hovers near 50 percent.
Thing is, just because you know how one couple is getting divorced doesn’t mean yours will resemble theirs in any way. For starters, every state has different divorce laws. Plus, a divorce like the one TomKat went through or the oddly titled Martin-Paltrow “uncoupling” is in the midst of involves millions of dollars in assets, property, and e-meters. But there are general rules that everyone should follow. So if you’re getting divorced, take this advice from Florida divorce attorney Sam Troy.
1. Choose A Lawyer Who Understands You
Constantly explaining or defending what you want to your lawyer can take up lots of his time and even more of your money. So be selective and find one who understands where you’re coming from. “If you’re a prick, then maybe you want to hire a prick,” Troy says. “If you don’t want to put the screws to your wife, then hire someone who’ll take that approach.” That said, your lawyer still works for you. If he/she is pushing you to do something you’re uncomfortable with, push back.
2. Copy Important Documents
Make a record of things like credit reports, tax returns, bank statements, pay stubs, insurance policies, and stock and bond certificates from the last few years of your marriage. If your lawyer has these on hand, it’ll help the case go smoother.
A good tool for that is a device like the TaoTronics Handheld Document Scanner ($50 @ Amazon.com), which is pictured above.