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The Do’s and Don’ts of Divorce: Essential Tips for Navigating the Process Successfully

Over 25,000 divorces, annulments, and legal separations are filed in Washington State each year. Each one is handled differently. How will you handle yours?


DO Show your children the love and attention they deserve. Make sure that they know they are not the reason for the divorce. Promptly pay all child and spousal support owed by you, and promptly pursue collection of delinquent support owed to you.

DON’T Stop the children from seeing the other parent during their scheduled visitation time. Obey all court orders, even ones with which you disagree. Obeying orders with which you disagree and documenting their unfairness is the best way to have them changed later. This is especially true of temporary orders.

DO Try to resolve minor problems with your spouse. If your good-faith efforts can’t resolve the problem then contact your attorney to find out what legal actions you can take.

DON’T Use child support payments or child visitation as a weapon against your spouse.

DO Show respect towards your spouse in front of the children. If you can’t do that then do not say anything at all. It will only come back to haunt you as well as send the wrong message to the children.

DON’T Put your spouse down in front of the children, family, or friends, or threaten or antagonize them in any way. This includes talking about your issues on social media, such as Facebook! Remember that anything put on any social media site, email, or text message may later be presented as evidence in your case. Use your children as a negotiating tool during the settlement process.

DO Be honest and upfront. Judges have heard everything; they can see through lies and know when they are being manipulated or the children are being used. They do not look kindly upon such tactics.

DON’T Use your children as a negotiating tool during the settlement process.

DO Use good business sense when deciding what to fight for, and at what it will cost should you fight for it.

DON’T Spend $1,000 on attorney fees fighting over a $150 piece of furniture. Use common sense and pick your battles wisely to control fees and costs.

DO Be reasonable, flexible, and knowledgeable. Find out from your attorney what you are entitled to by state law regarding equitable property distribution, alimony, and child support.

DON’T Get greedy. It doesn’t matter if you wanted the divorce or your spouse did. Just because you’re hurt and your emotions are running high, does not mean that you are entitled to more than the law allows. This attitude will cost you unnecessary attorney fees and the judicial system doesn’t care about your personal feelings.

DO Get professional help if you need it to cope with your divorce.

DON’T Vent to your children about the issues of the divorce. They are not equipped to handle the emotional strain being placed on them.

DO Pay your support obligations on time. Not only will you avoid legal ramifications, you are also supporting your children. The money goes towards the rent/mortgage, food, clothes, utilities and other necessities. If the money isn’t being used appropriately, document your concerns and use it as evidence for a divorce modification.

DON’T Pay your child support late. If you’re having trouble keeping up, seek a divorce modification.

DO Obey all court orders. If you disagree with a court order, have your attorney file a motion to change the order.

DON’T Violate any restraining order, or any other court orders.

DO Reconnect and strengthen relationships with friends you had before your marriage. Their support will help.

DON’T Try to go it alone and do everything yourself.

DO Keep your future in mind and start planning what you are going to do once the divorce is over.

DON’T Give up hope that things will get better.

If you are a man facing the end of your relationship or a modification to an existing divorce decree, you have come to the right place. We are a network of law firms dedicated to helping men during divorce and other aspects of family law.

We are an experienced team of family law attorneys who understand the special challenges men face in divorce. We are committed to protecting your rights and fighting for fair custody and reasonable support. We strive to get the results that men want and need in divorce.

It can be difficult to choose the Washington divorce lawyer who will get you the best results. Don’t settle for just any family law attorney. Choose a lawyer who is dedicated to representing men in divorce. Choose Divorce Lawyers for Men.

*Statistics provided by the Washington Department of Health

The following information is intended to be a general resource and is provided as a courtesy of Divorce Lawyers for Men™. Provision of this information does not constitute legal representation. Each individual is encouraged to retain legal counsel to determine specifically how applicable laws apply to their individual circumstances.

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