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FIRST STEPS IN DIVORCE

The notice can come as a shock or as no surprise at all. Either way, it is almost always painful when you are served with notice that your spouse has filed for a divorce in King County.

Because it can be difficult to think clearly at that moment, a family law attorney has written a brief outline of the important steps you should take after being served. The very first thing, the lawyer writes, "Is to stay calm." It's important to stay calm so that you conduct yourself in a way you won't come to regret, he notes.

The New Jersey attorney also advises parents to do whatever is needed to distance their children from the divorce and accompanying emotions. Never ask your kids to pick a side, he says, no matter how grown up the children might be. And don't involve them in discussions or negotiations, and don't ask them to bear divorce-related messages to your spouse.

If your spouse tries to intimidate you by threatening to cut off access to the kids, remember that you and your family attorney can call on the courts to address those matters.

Part of staying calm and conducting yourself properly is to resist the urge to go on a Facebook tirade against your spouse. Social media venting might make you feel better in the moment, but angry or hurtful comments can come back to haunt you in family court and other divorce proceedings.

Remember, he says, that even though you might later decide that your angry social media posts were inappropriate or over the top, and you delete them, they are never really gone. You might see them resurrected.

You can speak with a King County family law attorney experienced in protecting clients to learn more about how to prepare for divorce and how to resolve disputes over child custody, property division and other matters.

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