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Divorce: 7 Ways To Go For The Throat If You Have To

06th January 2010
By Lucille P. Uttermohlen in Divorce
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Copyright (c) 2010 Lucille Uttermohlen

When you get divorced, prepare to go for the throat. I'm not saying you have to bite, just be ready to go for the jugular if your spouse makes it necessary. Here's how.

1. Gather all of your assets in a pile. Putting your car on top of your house isn't what I mean, although there is some humor to the idea. What I'm saying is that you should make sure you know what you have, and have the documents to back it up. Car titles, real estate deeds, bank books and retirement policies as well as any other documentation of property can make or break your divorce case.

2. If you owe money for your house, a copy of the mortgage contract and the amortization schedule will give you, your lawyer and the court a good idea of the debt outstanding against it. The same is true for trucks, cars or anything else with a title. Make sure you have the installment contract or coupon book to prove what is still owed for any big purchase.

3. Be prepared to get your house appraised. Whether or not you want to keep it, you will need to be able to show how much it is worth. If you know, you will be able to make a fair settlement offer to your spouse, or know how much you should receive if he / she wants to keep it. There are plenty of places on the Internet that can help you figure out how much your car is worth. A local dealer may also be able to help. A local bank or real estate agent should be able to recommend an appraiser for your home. If you have jewelry that is made of valuable gems or metal, a jeweler in your town should be able to tell you what it is worth.

4. If you want help paying credit cards off, or you have hospital charges or utility bills, make sure to have the original invoices showing that these things are owed. A court can't take your word for a debt that your spouse denies. You have to be able to show what it was for, as well as the amount due. The best way to do this is to produce the original bill, and prove the amount that needs to be paid.

5. Make a list of the personal property you want. It is easy to forget appliances and furniture when you are in the middle of a nerve wracking divorce hearing. Take pictures if possible. The court needs proof that these things exist, if you are expecting them to be part of your divorce settlement. You also need to make sure you have a list of the things your spouse has already taken so that the court will have what it needs to balance your interests. Your lawyer won't be able to help you get property awarded to you if he / she doesn't know anything about it until the hearing is over.

6. Make sure you have proof of both your and your spouse's income. If you are making a lot less than he / she is, the judge should be able to take your earnings into account when dividing property. You may be entitled to more of the bank accounts and other valuables because you aren't in as good a position to replace them. The party making more may have to shoulder more of the debt. Many factors can contribute to the court's final decision, but the better idea the judge has about the truth of your marital assets and debts, the better he / she will be able to divide them fairly.

7. If you feel you have to empty the joint checking account, only take your half. Don't spend the money, except if you have to do it to survive. Don't run up credit card debt, either. If you act greedy, the court will give your testimony as to what would be fair a lot less credibility.

Unfortunately, relationships deteriorate the closer couples get to the end of their lives together. Many times they start the divorce believing it will be amicable, and that they won't have any trouble working things out. Suddenly, one of the parties will decide that they want something different, and if the other one isn't prepared, he / she could get cheated. If both parties are prepared and settlement doesn't occur, the judge will at least have what he / she needs to make a fair decree.


In her 27 years as a family law attorney, Lucille Uttermohlen has become an expert in divorce law, and maybe even more important, judges. For articles and free downloads on divorce and other couples issues, visit Lucille at If you have a question about divorce, unmarried partnerships, dating or marriage, write to Lucille at
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About the Author
Occupation: attorney
Lucille P. Uttermohlen is a family law attorney with 27 years experience. Her specialties include divorce, paternity, adoption, guardianship, probate and criminal law. To learn more about the divorce process, visit Lucille at Lucille P. Uttermohlen is a family law attorney with 27 years experience. Her specialties include divorce, paternity, adoption, guardianship, probate and criminal law. To learn more about the divorce process, visit Lucille at I have been an attorney for 27 long years. My practice area is family law. My web cite is There, we will discuss dating, home sharing, marriage and divorce. I would love to visit with you there.
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