Regardless of whether you think you can settle your divorce amicably through negotiation or it’s going to resolve through litigation, you need to be prepared to present your case to a judge. Only then can you obtain a full grasp on your case and put forth the strongest arguments you can under the circumstances. This can increase your chances of obtaining a successful outcome, whether that means obtaining physical custody of your children, securing your fair share of marital assets, or protecting your business.
But how do you go about gathering the evidence you need to strengthen your position in divorce proceedings? We hope this post will give you a strong foundation upon which you can build your arguments.
What steps can you take to gather the evidence you need?
When people think of evidence, they often think of criminal cases. But evidence is vital in civil cases, too, including divorces. After all, you’ll have to prove why your obtaining custody is in your child’s best interests or why it’s fair that you receive or avoid spousal support or a certain proposed division of assets. Therefore, you may want to consider taking these steps prior to moving forward with your divorce case:
- Keep track of written communications: In a lot of divorce cases, the parties are so angry at each other that they say things that are pretty damaging to them. In other instances, one party promises something in writing via email or text and then tries to back out of it. By keeping these communications, you can use them as evidence in your divorce proceedings to strengthen you position. They might show that the other party has a bad character that isn’t conducive to effective parenting, or it might demonstrate that your spouse was willing to divide assets more fairly than he or she is saying now.While keeping track of written communications is important, it’s also crucial that you remain cognizant of how you’re coming across in emails and text messages. After all, you don’t want to hand the other side evidence that is harmful to you.
- Retain relevant social media posts: Social media has become so invasive in our lives that people often post information that is pretty personal without regard for how it may look to others. This is especially true in divorce. Your spouse might post pictures or stories that demonstrate infidelity or hiding assets, or they may portray themselves as a partier who doesn’t live the right lifestyle when it comes to caring for young children. Take screen shots and print relevant posts, making sure that you can tell that the post is from your spouse. Again, be aware of how your own social media posts may be portrayed in court.
- Gather pertinent financial records: Divorce is a major financial transaction. But a court is only going to divide marital assets that it’s made aware of. So, you need to make sure that you know your and your spouse’s financial standing. Gather bank statements, tax returns, W-2 forms, documentation pertaining to retirement accounts, appraisals of valuable property and houses and businesses, and do the same for debts such as credit cards. If you suspect that something is missing or that your spouse is swindling assets prior to the divorce being finalized, then you need to make note of that as well.
Do you need help building your case?
All of this might sound daunting when viewed in conjunction with everything else that’s involved in the divorce process, but you don’t have to navigate the process by yourself. You can have an aggressive divorce attorney in your corner to help you gather evidence, analyze your case, and develop the compelling legal arguments to position yourself for success.