Strategy Smarts: 6 Do's and Dont's Every Woman Should Know Before Filing for Divorce

Excerpted from The Smart Divorce: A Practical Guide to the 200 Things You Must Know

1. Do figure out whom you can trust before you go talking to friends and soon-to-be former relatives. You may be surprised to see who will testify against you later.

You are guaranteed to learn who your friends are when you go through a divorce. You may find out at the start, or you may learn along the way. The problem is that sometimes you don't find out until you're deep into the process, and by then you may have confided in exactly the wrong person. As certain as you are that this will never happen to you, the odds are that it will happen in one out of two cases.

2. Do take notes when you have meetings with your lawyer and jot down questions and ideas as they come to you.

You think you'll remember, but you won't. "What did my lawyer say?" you'll ask yourself. "Did my lawyer say I should or shouldn't tell my spouse? I just can't remember." Don't rely on your memory. Write it down. Divorce increases stress, and stress affects your ability to remember. Take notes. It's easier and less expensive to take notes than to call your lawyer and ask the same question again. Take the practical, economical approach and write down your questions and ideas as you think of them. The more organized you are when you walk into your lawyer's office, the less time you will spend there and the less time you will be billed for. If you think you can remember every question and idea you have, you're wrong. This is a time when you have a lot on your mind. Jot down notes so you don't forget.

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