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Divorce is a complex legal matter. Practicing law over a number of years allows divorce attorneys to recognize patterns that an untrained eye may never notice. The knowledge that can be provided up front from this recognition can provide insights that allow a divorcing party to understand his or her rights and prevent the from being “taken to the cleaners”, so to speak.

One point of great contention in many divorces is the division of assets. One of the best things a party can do to protect their interests is to gather specific evidence prior to filing for divorce, especially if one expects it to be contested. Take pictures of assets, print off copies of bank statements, gather receipts and get property valued. This prevents the need to dispute ownership in a courtroom.

Another great tip is to think about is your debt prior to filing for divorce. Some courts do not divide all debts as joint accounts and will order the actual account owner to pay. If you owe a substantial amount on a debt that both of you have contributed to paying but it is only in your name, it would be wise to pay that amount down while you still have both incomes. Then, if that debt is assigned to you once the divorce is finalized, it will cost less.

Further, if you have been contemplating a large purchase, be mindful of the fact that most states will not allow big ticket purchases or liquidation of assets once a divorce has been filed. Therefore, think about making that purchase prior to filing.

These are only a few of the secrets an experienced divorce attorney can offer. Contested divorces are expensive, stressful, and often bring out the very worst in people. Anything you can do prior to filing to minimize losses is a benefit. Don’t try to navigate such treacherous waters on your own.