Know your goals: i.e. custody, property
distribution, and property division.
- Provide documentation: Tax returns, pay-stubs, mortgage statements, any other pertinent information.
- Be honest, realistic, and reasonable about your goals.
- Be honest with your attorney – if she/he does not have all of the information, she/he cannot effectively represent your interests.
- Avoid putting damaging information about your life on social media – remember, less is more. Conversely, take pictures with dates or screenshots of concerning things you seen on social media regarding the opposing party and avoid com-menting on the posts – less is always more.
- DO NOT TAPE THE OTHER PARTY UNLESS THEY GIVE YOU SPECIFIC VERBAL CONSENT. “ you have my permission to tape our conversation” or i.e. I don’t give a (blank) if you tape me….” Otherwise, avoid the temptation to do it. Washington is a two party consent state – both parties have to agree to be taped. Declarations from people who heard the conversation are better and admissible in Court in most instances.
- Attend Court proceedings dressed appropriately, with your emotions intentional-ly managed – if you cannot keep your face and body movements in check, stay seated or better yet, stay home and do not attend the hearing. Your attorney can obtain the audio CD from the hearing and you can listen to it. The Court is watching everything, including facial expressions and body language.
- Keep significant others out of litigation to the extent that is possible. Their opin-ions and comments are unnecessary and usually hurt rather than help.
- Avoid sending inappropriate texts to the other party – they will end up in the Court record and will have an impact on your case.
- Be willing to comply with all of your court-ordered obligations – have a plan.
- Pay your attorney and maintain your financial obligations to your attorney.
- Avoid opening the other party’s mail or accessing the other party’s cell phone or social media without their permission – it’s a CRIME. If the information is out there, your attorney can usually obtain it using legal and admissible methods.
The Court’s rarely look favorably on such behaviors, regardless of the reason for taking such actions.