Nobody wants to be dealing with a divorce, even under amicable circumstances. That being said, the coronavirus pandemic has put many marriages to the test, and many couples are deciding to get divorced as major issues at the heart of their partnership have come to light amidst quarantine measures. Unfortunately, even if you think that you and your partner are looking to have a friendly divorce, you’ll likely need to collect different types of evidence in order to prove your side of the case.
You might be wondering to yourself, “What side do I need to prove if we’ve mutually decided to get a divorce?” It’s all well and good if you feel like things will be split 50-50. However, in reality, the divorce process usually gets a bit messier due to a variety of legal proceedings. If you have a child or dispute about who’s owned a portion of each person’s retirement fund or life insurance, the divorce proceedings can easily get complicated. If you’ve watched the film Marriage Story, you can see just how ugly divorce can get. You’ve likely heard that the best defense is a good offense. Here are a few tips for collecting evidence to shore up your case and ultimately get what’s owed to you.
Collect any photos that may be incriminating.
Even if you think that your partner wasn’t cheating on you, it never hurts to do a little bit of research. If they were sending or receiving incriminating photos, this could be used to illustrate their character in court and ultimately build some sympathy for your side of the case. Especially if you weren’t the one to serve your partner divorce papers, it can be helpful to retrieve photos from a broken phone or old phone in order to ensure that you don’t have any extra leverage if your case has to go in front of a judge.
Be on your best behavior on social media.
Although it’s important to be on the offense when it comes to preparing for a divorce case, it’s just as important to be aware of possible strategies or tactics your spouse might be using in order to gain an upper hand over you. Unfortunately, the internet makes it easier than ever to collect incriminating evidence against you in a divorce case, and this can get even more complicated if you have a child that you frequently share photos of online.
Remember that photos — especially photos of your child — can be taken out of context and used against you. As such, it’s a general rule of thumb to avoid posting photos of yourself drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana, even if it’s been legalized in your state. Keep in mind that various social media traps can ultimately be used against you in order to gain greater financial support or even hurt your chances of getting the custody arrangement you’d like.
Take a fine-toothed comb to your partner’s bank statements.
Another area to explore, especially if you and your spouse share a joint bank account, is your bank statements. Looking over months of bank statements can be incredibly helpful if you’re trying to prove that your partner is financially irresponsible and thus incapable of taking full custody of your child. Particularly if you see frequent ATM withdrawals or purchases at liquor stores or night clubs, it’s easy to raise suspicion about your spouse’s habits with money.
At the same time, bank statements can also serve as proof of income to illustrate that you don’t need to provide as much child support or maintenance, even if your partner is taking more custody than you.