Once all of your documents are in order, the financial issues which are still in dispute should be fairly obvious. You can work with your attorney to organize the documents according to the issues which they represent. If you are not represented by an attorney, you will organize the documents yourself.
For example, if you are claiming your spouse hid money in an account, likely documents which would support that claim would be the bank or stock account records which reflect the money, deposit slips showing deposits into those accounts, pay stubs which show automatic deductions to that account, and perhaps loan documents which show that account as an asset. Those different documents together prove the same point.
Each of the points which you intend to cover should be organized in terms of importance. The most important points should be covered early in the trial. The presentation will also need to make sense chronologically. If you jump around too much in time, the court is likely to get confused.
Make an outline, or assist your attorney in making an outline, of the points that you intend to make in the trial. You will not be permitted to read directly from your outline during the trial, but the act of outlining what you plan to cover increases the likelihood that you will cover all of the crucial points. You may refer to your notes or documents during your testimony with permission of the court, but keep in mind that opposing counsel may also look at any document you use to refresh your memory during the trial. Click here for some terrific information on the financial aspect of divorce.
Also make an outline of what you anticipate your spouse’s case against you will cover. Be prepared to answer questions about those issues. For example, if your spouse has repeatedly accused you of over spending, assume that this will be one of his or her arguments in the case, and be prepared to justify your expenditures. Click here for an article on some of the caveats of mismanaging money within a marriage.
Excerpted from Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce (Simon & Schuster/Fireside 2001). For more information: http://www.yourdivorceadvisor.com/.
For more information contact Peace Talks www.peace-talks.com
(C) 2008 Peace Talks Mediation Services, Inc.