Don’t go for the Aggressive Attorney when Divorcing


Don’t go for the Aggressive Attorney when Divorcing

When we are hurt, or worried about assets or child custody, we may consider getting an aggressive attorney to try and safeguard our interests. It may even go beyond that. You could be hurt, and lashing out in revenge. Whatever your reasoning, don’t consider an aggressive attorney. If you think hiring a “pit bull” lawyer is going to help you, think again. The trouble is those “fighter” attorneys are just argumentative. They may be brash, pushy, arrogant, and rearing for a fight, but that doesn’t mean the judge is going to respect them. In fact, just the opposite may be true. Now, who you thought would be a good advocate turns out to be a liability. If the judge is biased against your attorney, it could definitely impact the case. Another issue is billing. These types of lawyers want to make as much as possible. That means billing you for as many hours as they can. Even if they have lower rates, they could get you in legal fees. Another consideration is the more issues you have to fight over the more expensive it is going to be. So a “pit bull” may drum up trouble just to pocket more of your money. It also means, the more your side fights, the more the other side has to. Lots of money gets siphoned away in bickering and legal proceedings, as a result. The marital estate dwindles, bad news for both of you.

If both attorneys are belligerent “fighters” this could further prolong matters. There is one thing you can say about divorce; those involved never cease to find ways to suck away your money. There are even attorney fee contributions to make things level, should your ex have less access to funds than you. Sanctions could also force you to pay your spouse, further depleting the estate. Some say aggressive attorneys can be found filing motions that don’t make any sense, and prolong the case in order to make sure they get the most out of it, financially. If you have children, you may be setting a bad atmosphere with your ex in which to co-parent in. The divorce will set the tone moving forward. You might make your ex angrier, so that they are terrible to deal with whenever they come to pick up the kids. Forget it if you want to switch weekends. If you and your ex’s lawyers get into a tit-for-tat situation, there is no way to predict when it might end. A short divorce time is about six months. But there are divorces that drag on for two, three, even five years. At that point both of you just want it over with. You want normalcy. You want a chance to start your life over again. But the longer the divorce is prolonged, the longer you will have to put that time off. Plus all the money you wasted. You wonder if it was worth it.

Seek out an attorney that is going to look after your best interests. It should be someone effective but also level headed. Look for an attorney that wants the divorce to be resolved in a fair and equitable manner. You want someone who will take what is important for you and fight for that. You don’t want someone who just wants to win. One strategy “pit bull” lawyers employ is to make things so expensive, that the other side gives up. But you both lose in this situation. Plus you both come off angry which will set the tone for any future relations, should children be in the mix. You may be bitter and worried that you won’t get the things you need, like custody or child support. But make sure you have someone who is going to do the right thing, not play dirty just to win. Be careful when you go to select an attorney, and don’t be afraid to walk away from one or get a new one, if yours turns out different than you thought. If you believe you have this type of attorney, make the switch sooner rather than later. Good communication, mutual respect and trust are essential to the client-attorney relationship. Look for these traits and your divorce will come off better than you thought. For more legal advice read, The Guide to a Smart Divorce- Experts’ advice for surviving divorce by Kurt Groesser, Jan Parsons, Kim Langelaar, and David Heckenbach Esq.

Should you see a Relationship Counselor or a Divorce Attorney?

Young troubled couple isolated on white.

Should you see a Relationship Counselor or a Divorce Attorney?

It’s hard to know sometimes when a marriage is over and when to give it a second chance. What is required is some knowledge, soul searching and some perspective. Some people wonder if their spouse will really change through counseling, or if the two can really revive the marriage or if it will be on life support until you pull the plug. The truth is that every relationship is unique and different. So how do you know if you should see a relationship counselor or a divorce attorney? There are many important things to evaluate before answering that question. First, let your mind go and think about the future. Daydream about it. Make it a happy place. Is your spouse there? Or are you doing something else without them? This little exercise can tip off how your subconscious feels about your spouse. If starting your own business, traveling to foreign lands or hiking the Himalayas sounds like heaven to you, you may want to see the divorce attorney. But if you can’t see it without your spouse, the counselor may be your best bet. If you are having marital issues that you think could be resolved, and it is one or two issues that are the stumbling block, give the counselor a try. Seeing a counselor sooner rather than later, when the problems are deep seeded or more pronounced, is better if possible. But most people wait until the problem is overwhelming.

Think about the negative emotions surrounding your marriage. Frustration, anger, hurt, jealousy and guilt can all inhabit a marriage. Are these emotions overwhelming? Can you get past them? Bitterness, resentment and rage are often things that couples can’t get past. See how deep seeded and how developed these emotions are, whether you are harboring them, your spouse or both. If you think your problems are solvable if a counselor gives you a new perspective and a new angle on how to attack them, certainly give the counselor a try first. But if one or both parties can’t get past deep seeded negative emotions than it’s time to give the lawyer a call. The end all be all of the matter is that neither professional will out and out tell you it’s time to divorce. That is simply a matter for one or both of you to decide. There are those couples who go through divorce proceedings only to end up together again. Then there are others who go to relationship counselors forever without making any headway. Remember that a divorce attorney’s retainer is usually refundable. Know that most people don’t know exactly what to do. But there are steps to help you try to figure it out. For another option, read Should I Stay Or Go?: How Controlled Separation (CS) Can Save Your Marriage by Lee Raffel.

10 Steps to Divorcing your Wife


Divorce can be so painful emotionally. Who did what to who is often dragged out between husband and wife while the whole mess plays out. Besides custody the biggest issue of contention is splitting up the assets. Of course both parties’ assets should be included in the negotiations. Oftentimes however one or both parties is ignorant about the household finances. At other times one may be hiding assets from the other but where to look remains a mystery. If your wife is working but the squeeze was put on her salary, or you don’t know what the house is worth due to the Great Recession, don’t worry, you are not alone. There are ways to figure this out, too. A divorce may be protracted and even excruciating but the good news is it’s only a temporary bump on the road of life. There is light at the end of the tunnel. You will certainly be happy again. Though there is a lot of stress, anguish, and sometimes other emotions like guilt, sadness and regret, pretty soon you’ll have all of this behind you. You just have to find out how to manage the situation as well as you can, take breaks for your mental health, manage the situation wisely and keep your head on straight. If you can do that you’ll get through this thing smashingly. Here are 10 steps to divorcing your wife. Step 1: If you’ve been handing your paycheck over to your wife for years and don’t know where the money is going, it behooves you to do so now. Find out everything you can about the finances. Do you have a retirement plan, a mortgage, credit card bills, investments, tax returns and copies of the trust and wills? If not, you’d better get on that. Get as many financial papers together as you can and get to know intimately your financial situation. Ignorance is not bliss and what you don’t know can be used against you, or hidden from you.

Step 2: Take a look into all of your spouse’s affairs. You’ll want to know as much as you can to relate back to your lawyer. Step 3: Protect yourself. Are you the victim of “sudden divorce syndrome?” If so, your wife may have a plan on how she’s going to keep afloat. Make sure to put some money aside just in case. You don’t want to be left in the dark while she cleans out the joint bank account. Step 4: Now it’s time to open a separate credit card in your name only. Step 5: Freeze joint credit cards and any open a home equity line so your wife doesn’t run up the bills. While you two are still legally married your credit can be affected by whatever she is spending. Cancel the joint bank account, too. You don’t want to be left without any cash or credit to your name. If you two are on decent terms you can work this out together, cancelling the cards and splitting the joint account amicably. If not you can take your share out of the joint account and cancel the cards altogether. Step 6: Do you have any savings you brought with you to the marriage, an inheritance or any other personal savings? Make sure to take custody of these immediately. Depending upon what state you live in, if you don’t secure it, it could be split during the settlement.

Step 7: Do you each have retirement plans? If so, both can come up in the divorce settlement. If you are cordial, perhaps this is something to be worked out on your own. If not so cordial, secure your retirement plan. If you have an IRA with a written agreement, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, or QDRO will be required before you can touch any of that money. For a traditional pension a financial professional will have to assess it. Step 8: Look at the alimony situation. Does your wife work? If she has a low salary or doesn’t acquire one at all you may be paying alimony. But you won’t have to supply her lifestyle with cash forever. Spouses are expected to go out and get jobs these days. Step 9: If your wife was working and you weren’t but you need the health insurance, remember that you have sixty days to sign up for it. Step 10: Have a financial adviser help you plan out your finances from the start. Select a good lawyer with a good reputation and lots of experience. Keep talking to your friends and family. Learn to get things off your chest. Don’t get stuck on the little things; look at the big picture. Heal your heart and when you’re ready look for someone to love again. For more, be sure to read Divorce – Get Your Life Back In 30 Days After A Divorce Or Break Up – For Men by Francisco Bujan.

Things to Be Prepared for During Divorce

woman with a pillow

Lots of people feel lost after a divorce. It can be a really painful and draining experience. That first couple of weeks are the worst. It gets better after a few months or so. Sometimes you wish there was a manual, or some teacher or authority figure could be assigned to you to help you, explain to you what to be prepared for, and what to expect when going through a divorce. That is what this article aims to help you with. Understand that the stress, especially in the beginning, can feel unendurable. You need to find positive, healthy ways to deal with your stress. Substance abuse isn’t going to help. In fact, if you have children and your spouse finds out about it, it will definitely not play out in your favor. Grabbing for comfort food isn’t good either. Yoga, exercise, journaling, reaching out to friends and family, watching funny movies and just having fun are great ways to do it. Be sure to reach out to people that are close to you. Don’t feel like you have to do it alone, you shouldn’t. It may feel embarrassing but the truth is everyone needs help sometimes. That’s what they are there for. They’ll be happy to help and you two will grow closer. Realize that it won’t be easy. Just take every day as it comes. Realize too that things you will enjoy will come from this, like peace and quiet or having the bed all to yourself.

Understand that you aren’t the only one that is in pain. Your ex-spouse is. too. They may act irrationally, lash out and so on. That doesn’t mean you should accept or tolerate such behavior, certainly not. But you should come to know where it is coming from and once you do, it takes the sting out a little. Realize that divorce does not equal failure, unless 40-50% of people who get married are failures. It’s common and it happens. You aren’t going to be single forever. There are lots of people out there to date. Just worry about getting through the rough patch and getting to that light at the end of the tunnel. Your lawyer is going to call you to inform you of particulars or movement in the case. You may not like everything that you hear. Just do the right things, make choices based on your morals and in the end, it will all come out alright. Sometimes you feel like life isn’t going to ever improve, but things will get better. Some people may tell you that all the good ones are taken or some other opinions about how it is out there. But the truth is there are all kinds of people single out there at all ages and more ways than ever before to connect. Someday you will see your ex with someone else. Be ready for that day and no matter what, be honorable and hold your head up high. If someone tells you that you need antidepressants, know that a lot of people are taking them at the beginning of a divorce. Just investigate, find out all the facts and see if it’s right for you. You’ll be past it all someday. There will be good days and bad days. Just know that no matter if you are feeling anxious, sad or depressed, reach out and do things to make yourself feel better. Remember that soon the dark days will be behind you and you’ll be happy and free. For more advice on this topic, read The Divorce Survival Guide by Calistoga Press.

5 Steps to Divorcing your Husband


Getting a divorce is a huge decision. But most people know deep in their heart when the time is right, when you have irreconcilable differences, when there has been too many grievances to repair trust or when you just can’t be happy together or get along anymore. Most people are solid on the emotional issues and how to move forward in that sense. But when it comes to the legal sense they are often clueless. Many don’t look into the process at all. They are vulnerable to shady operators. What you are looking for in the legal sense is a Petition for Dissolution.  Once a judgment is entered then the divorce is final, but not before. Without that document you aren’t legally divorced. Some not-so-honest lawyers let cases go on and on for years without getting a judgment handed down. So it’s best to know, be informed about the process so that it can move forward as smoothly as possible without wasting time, money and adding more emotional distress than there needs to be. Here are 5 steps to divorcing your husband. The first step, file a petition of dissolution. In the 1970’s no-fault divorce laws came to fruition in many states across the country. Find out what the particular situation is in your state. In no-fault states, either party can file a petition of dissolution for any reason. In states where one spouse has to be at fault, reasons such as infidelity, domestic abuse and others may need to be stated. Most states however are no-fault states. But you definitely need to check. A quick Google search should tell you.

There is generally a charge to file this petition. The document will be served to your soon-to-be ex-spouse to notify them of your wish to be divorced from them. It’s a good idea to let your husband know that you’ve filed for a divorce previous to receiving the papers, or else it could be a big shock, make them fly into a rage,  or result in some other negative emotional response. After the one person is served with papers, they have 30 days in order to compose and send in a response. If they fail to file, the petitioner or the person who filed for divorce can ask for a default of judgment. The filer should then receive all of the things they asked for in the original petition. There may be exceptions. Make sure you select a divorce lawyer carefully and discuss this with him or her should your husband fail to respond. Now an automatic temporary restraining order (ATRO) will be put into place to prevent one spouse or the other from absconding with the children, selling or cleaning out the couple’s assets and so on as an act of revenge. You are not allowed to take your children out of state at this time. You can’t benefit from any insurance claims at this time. No concealing or transferring property or other assets. Now you’ve completed the first step and are in divorce proceedings. It won’t end until you get a judgment from the court.

It usually takes around six months or so to get a judgment. That said, custody and the splitting of assets are the two main items to be negotiated and settled upon. Will there be spousal support? Who gets the house and how are the assets to be allocated? Now it’s time for our second step, to get a court date in order to work these issues out, called an “Order to Show Cause” or an OSC. This process is called “pendent lite,” which is Latin meaning, “while the case is pending”. Whatever arrangements met at this time are not permanent, though the longer they stay in place the more likely they will become permanent. You can negotiate with your ex-spouse at any time and reach an agreement during this phase. Both parties should file OSC in order to gain some peace and some space. Now if there has been any physical or emotional abuse you should take part in our third step, filing a domestic abuse restraining order.

Now the fourth step is called the disclosure of finances. Many times in a marriage one party knows much more about the finances than the other. Furthermore, many states assume that even if one spouse has stayed home and hasn’t worked, their contribution through domestic duties and perhaps caring for the children mean that they are entitled to their fair share of the assets. Even if they were total couch potatoes, how the law states it is clear. However, be sure to check on the particulars with your attorney as laws can vary from state to state. Hiding assets will not be looked on favorably by the judge. In fact, he or she may award even more than their fair share in recompense for the deceit. It’s best to disclose everything. Now, once the disclosures are done the settlement negotiation begins. That’s our fifth step. How much will support be? How will property and other assets be allocated? Who gets custody of the children? How will holidays be divvied up? If no settlement can be reached a court date will be required and set. Now you can ask for a stipulated judgment or a marital settlement agreement (MSA). The difference between the two is that one is a judgment handed down by the court; the MSA is an actual contract. If it is breached then you can sue for breach of contract. Finally, you will then receive a Notice of Entry of Judgment which gives you a legal date for when your divorce took place. Once that document is filed you are officially, legally divorced. For more on this, pick up a copy of Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life: A Reasoned, Practical Guide to the Legal, Emotional and Financial Ins and Outs of Negotiating a Divorce Settlement by Sam Margulies.