Separation and divorce are difficult situations. If you have never experienced these circumstances before, you may be overwhelmed and confused. I have compiled a list of dos and don’ts to help you prepare for this complicated time.


  • Sign anything until your attorney reviews it.
  • Post any comments and/or photos on Facebook, Instagram, or any other social networking site that you do not want seen in the courtroom.
  • Say anything in a text message, email, phone conversation, or voicemail that you do not want seen or heard in the courtroom.
  • Speak negatively about your spouse in the presence of your child(ren).
  • Have a boyfriend or girlfriend spend the night.
  • Stop paying child support, even if your spouse is denying you visitation with your child(ren).


  • Talk to an experienced attorney. A family law attorney can help alleviate some of the stress and explain all the specifics so that you know where you stand and what options are available to you.
  • Locate and photocopy your financial documents.
  • Make an inventory of items in your home.
  • Keep accurate records of any child support and/or alimony paid to your spouse.
  • Make sure that if you already have a Separation Agreement, all changes to the Agreement are made in writing and notarized.
  • Keep accurate records of visitation with your children, including dates, times, activities and/or confrontations with your spouse.
  • Pay child support.

I have been practicing law for over 30 years. Because of my extensive experience handling family law matters, I can effectively counsel clients on the best approach to take in their unique situations. My services will help you successfully achieve a lasting resolution and minimize the potential for problems in the future.

When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a family relationship, the professional and personal legal guidance of a family law attorney often proves essential to your understanding of the issues involved and the ultimate outcome of your family law matter. A good attorney must know the law and be ready to go to court if the opposing counsel or client is not cooperating during negotiations. Do not leave your family law issue to anyone who is not prepared to go to court.

James Short
Chesapeake Personal Injury, Family Law & Criminal Defense Attorney
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