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Divorce Do’s and Don’ts for Parents– Part Two

Recently I posted several suggestions of things to do in the course of a divorce, particularly as to the children.

Below is some guidance of what NOT to do.

  • Don’t involve the children. That is Rule One. Period. They need to be kept out of the fray. More specifically, don’t share with them any negative thoughts or opinions you have of the other parent. Your intent may be to hurt the other party, but in fact you are hurting your children by impugning the other parent in your children’s eyes.
  • Do not settle a case without gathering all the facts as to assets, debts and values. Values are important, such as the fair market value of a residence—not the tax valuation.
  • Don’t trust the other party to pay off a joint debt, or make the payments on time.If he or she fails to make the required payments, you could be sued, or at a minimum, your credit rating may take a hit due to delinquencies that are not actually your fault.
  • Don’t settle a case without knowing if you are directly liable on a debt. For instance, you may think that you are only a permissive user of a credit card, but you need to know if you can be sued directly should the other party be assigned that debt and then default.  Running a credit check is a good idea for reassurance.
  • Don’t restrict parenting time with the children as a means of punishing the other parent. The judge will look with great disfavor on that type of parental behavior.  Family law judges want the children to have solid relationships with both parents, not just one parent.  That means ensuring that each parent has frequent and meaningful parenting time with his or her children.  Blocking or manipulating parenting time may backfire.
  • Don’t fudge the numbers in completing the financial disclosure statements required by the court. These documents are relied upon by the parties, the attorneys, and the judge. With your signature you are attesting to the accuracy of each.
  • Do not ignore the advice of your legal counsel. He or she has a pretty good idea of what will happen at trial if the case does not settle. Weigh the risks of trial versus settlement.  And if you do not settle, be prepared to fully fund the trial preparation and trial.

Richard Ralls of Ralls Law Firm can assist you in determining whether you can enforce grandparent rights. Call us at 913 236 7260 or 816 421 4222. Licensed in Kansas and Missouri.