What you need to know before you're facing a split.
With all the celebrity divorces in the news (Hulk Hogan vs. Linda, Paul McCartney vs. Heather ... we could go on), we began to wonder: What do Moms need to know know if a split seems likely? To find out, we asked a bunch of divorcing and divorced Moms, plus top divorce attorney Ed Sherman, for their best protection-advice. Their tips:
Find an attorney ASAP. Once your spouse meets with an attorney, you're not allowed to hire that attorney or anyone in his firm--even if your spouse doesn't. Worst case scenario: Your husband runs around town and meets with all the power lawyers, thus preventing you from retaining any of them. One Mom's advice: Find your attorney fast.
Try to solve things simply. "Most divorce attorneys in the court system think, 'You have more problems, I make more money,'" Sherman says. "Anger and fury is often amplified by divorce attorneys. In mediation [vs. the court system] there's more problem-solving." He recommends you keep as much of the family wealth in your family as possible: "Whose kid do you want to send to college--yours or the attorney's?" Sherman asks.
Stay put! One Mom says: It may be tempting to pack up the kids and move out, but don't. In some states, it may hurt your chances of keeping the home after the divorce, and can also have an effect on the final custody decision.
Document everything. You never know how ugly these battles will get. Write down everything: The times your ex picks up the kids late or doesn't make it to appointments at school, any promises he breaks. "Also, take stock of what you have," recommends Sherman. "Gather deeds to houses and pink slips to cars, and videotape your possessions while you still have access to them."