Ending a relationship with someone you love can be traumatic enough on its own but that pain is often magnified by the stress and expense of legal proceedings. As CEO of the matrimonial financing firm, Novitas US, divorce attorney and press-proclaimed “Fairy Godmother of Divorce” Nicole Noonan is well qualified to give advice about how divorcées can “get the settlements to that they’re entitled” while remaining sane and calm throughout that process.
Noonan’s firm supplies less-moneyed spouses with the funds they need to make it through a difficult time in their lives. Her clients are often unable to afford living expenses during the proceedings, such as mortgage payments and school tuition. Novitas funds are meant to “level the playing field,” enabling litigants to maintain their standard of living as they pay their attorney and expert fees.
Repayments are not made until an equitable settlement is reached. Novitas leaves all legal and financial decisions between lawyers and their clients, so there is the possibility of lost investment in cases that do not resolve the way in which the firm predicts. However, Noonan explains, “Those cases are few and far between. If you do your due diligence, it shouldn’t be an issue.”
Having seen so many clients and even close personal friends endure trials, Noonan offers a few tips from experience.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Just as you may have needed financial support for a wedding you might need it for a divorce. Going through a divorce can be a daunting task, especially if you have not prepared financially to support yourself during the process. Do not be the victim by taking less than what you deserve in a settlement. Level the legal playing field by utilizing divorce-financing options.
- Pick an attorney who fits your style.
You’re going to be working with this person, so pick an attorney who has a style similar to what you are trying to accomplish. Besides representing your interests, the attorney should represent your aims and attitude. If you are leaning towards mediation, don’t pick an attorney who is pushing to take your case to trial. Retaining a so-called “pit bull” to get back at your ex may leave you with nothing more than a contentious fight and a huge legal bill. Likewise, if you’re gearing yourself up for a courtroom battle, make sure your attorney has a reputation for faring well under combative circumstances.
- Don’t disparage your soon-to-be ex.
Parental Alienation Syndrome, whereby one parent vilifies another, is now recognized in family court. So, beyond the fact that it is in poor taste and reflects badly upon you—whether you’re speaking in front of your children, family, or community—such talk can actually be brought against you in court.
- Be mindful of important documents.
Make copies of passports, deeds, licenses, and birth certificates. You will certainly need items like these in the near future if not for your divorce documents, and it’s always best to be prepared. The more information your attorney has, especially regarding your assets and income, the better prepared they will be to negotiate on your behalf.
- Pick your battles.
Not everything is worth fighting over, and never fight just for the sake of fighting. Pick your battles and decide what is most important for you. Determine what a fair settlement is under the circumstances of your marriage. Wanting to “take everything” in the divorce because you have been “wronged” is understandable. However, the divorce system is designed to be dispassionate. An emotional fighting strategy won’t get you anything but higher legal bills.