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Divorce

About Divorce

Divorce is the legal termination of the marriage of two people. Divorce is also known as the dissolution of marriage. In the past divorce was fault based. In other words one spouse was innocent or injured and the other spouse was the one who had done wrong or was at fault. The fault system of divorce is adversarial in nature. Even if both parties wanted the divorce one person had to allege wrongdoing by the other. In the early 1970’s California passed the first "no-fault" divorce laws. Forty years later, the final hold-out to fault based divorce, New York State passed Bill S3890-A HASSELL-THOMPSON and on August 15, 2010, Gov. Paterson signed no fault divorce into law in New York state.

Because of these reforms now a divorce is more like the breakup of a business partnership. Although it is very personal and emotional for the parties involved, the court sees it strictly as a business matter - the dissolution of a partnership with its assets to be divided between the two partners.

A Successfull Divorce

The decision to file for a divorce is just the first of many decisions to be made during the process. Should attorneys be involved? How about mediation? What is collaborative divorce? Are there children involved?

Should a person do his or her own divorce? Just what does that mean, "Do your own divorce"? There are varying degrees of "Do it yourself divorces." From not using ANY professionals (not recommended); to using a mediator; to using an attorney for advice and reviewing documents. Before making a decision to not retain an attorney to handle your divorce, think long and hard.

You've decided to hire an attorney. Now the selection process begins. Attorney selection should not be done haphazardly. A lot of thought and research should go into this decision. The competency and work of your attorney will have a direct impact on you, your children, and your financial situation for years to come. You should use the same approach when choosing an attorney that an employer uses when selecting prospective employees. Interview them and check their references. Remember the attorney will be working for you, so choose carefully, and choose wisely.

Maybe the mediation process would work for you. Mediation is a process where couples negotiate an acceptable agreement with the aid of a mediator. A mediator is a neutral third party who assists in the negotiations; however, they do no make the decisions for you. Just as every situation is different, every mediator has a different approach to mediation. It is the mediator's responsibility to structure the sessions so that the couple can successfully negotiate a divorce agreement. A good mediator will encourage you to put the past behind you and focus on the facts at the present moment.

There is a new movement in the divorce arena called the Collaborative process. Like mediation, this method is non-adversarial and the courts are not involved. Unlike mediation, each party has their own attorney. Each party along with their attorney work together as a team to reach an agreement that is good for both parties. If however, the collaborative process does not work and litigation is necessary the attorneys involved step aside and no longer represent the parties.

If Children Are Involved in the Divorce

Divorce in itself is trying enough. If children are involved, it becomes even more trying and extremely emotional. Parents often loose sight of what is in the best interest of their children. Where do the children fit into this whole new life that is being created? Unfortunately, children often become financial pawns in a divorce when child custody issues are being decided.

Children have rights in divorce. Let common sense prevail when it comes to the children. They should not be used as an outlet for anger, nor should they ever be used to get revenge against your spouse. Don't bad-mouth your ex-spouse in front of your kids, even if you are still angry or feuding. Try not to use your kids as a messenger or go-between, especially when you're feuding. Children are egocentric. They think their role in things is much more important than it really is. Because of this, they often feel that they have in some way caused the divorce. Make sure they know it is not their fault. It is also important for kids to know that just because parents divorce each other, they're not divorcing their kids. Some kids think that if their parents are divorcing, it means their moms and dads will want to leave them, too. Remind them often that your love for them is unconditional and will not change because of the divorce.

There are many aspects of divorce that need to be considered including: custody and visitation; financial issues such as alimony and child support, taxes, pensions and insurance; hiring an attorney or mediator; determining if you should do your own divorce; separation agreements and much more.

The following are links that will help guide you through the divorce process:

Divorce Attorneys - A directory of divorce attorneys listed by state and county.

Divorce Mediators - A directory of divorce mediators listed by state and county.

Divorce Services - A directory of firms offering divorce related services including Family Counselors and Therapists, Divorce Planners, Legal Services, Financial Planners, Accountants and Paralegals.

Free Child Support Calculator - Free child support calculator for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Collaborative Process - If you are contemplating a divorce but want to avoid the fault finding, fighting and conflict that is bound to occur in the adversarial system, then this alternative might be for you.

Alimony - Comprehensive guide to the different types of alimony, including the criteria generally used in the determination and amount of alimony, and tax ramifications.

Child Custody - Reviews the different types of child custody. The emotional (for both child and parent) and financial points of view of a custody battle are also discussed including court ordered professional custody evaluations.

Child Support - Guide to understanding child support payments, and the criteria used in determining the amount of payments. It covers the emotional aspects as it relates to visitation and the possible ramifications of non payment.

Mediation - Describes what divorce mediation is and what it takes to be a good candidate for mediation. Takes you through the various stages of mediation, and what you need to know when going through the process.

Visitation - Covers the many aspects of visitation including schedules, vacations, and holidays.

Grandparent's Rights to Visitation - Explains the issues of a grandparent's right to visitation with their grandchildren when the child's parents divorce.

Domestic Violence - Domestic violence crosses ethnic, racial, age, national origin, sexual orientation, religious and socioeconomic lines.

Terminology - Common legal divorce terminology defined in plain English.

Do's & Don'ts - Outlines the many pitfalls and traps we all fall into when going through the divorce process.

Children's Bill of Rights - Children's feelings and rights are too often neglected. This section deals with the basic rights of all children of divorcing parents.

Featured Articles - Articles written by divorce professionals covering custody, child support, cheating spouse, alimony, mediation, collaborative process, domestic violence, post divorce modification and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions - A state by state list of frequently asked questions with answers supplied by divorce professionals.

Court Room Tips - Preparation for your day in Court.

Hiring an Attorney - What to look for when choosing a divorce attorney.

Working with Attorneys - What you need to know and do to get the most out of your attorney while keeping control of your future.

Separation Agreements - Different items that should be part of separation agreements, including alimony, child support and property settlements.

Financial - Financial issues including Social Security, Wills, Credit Reports, Retirement, Bankruptcy.

Tax Considerations - Covers the tax implications of divorcing and how to prepare yourself before any problems arise.

Insurance - Covers the different types of insurances that you will need including: Health, Life, Disability, Homeowners/Renters, and Automobile.

Selling Your Home - For many divorcing couples their biggest asset is their marital residence. Deciding what to do about the marital residence is often a major issue in a divorce. There are a few different options when it comes to splitting the marital residence.

Collecting from a Deadbeat - Several ways to collect your child support from a deadbeat.

Child Support Enforcement - Links to the individual state's child support enforcement's web site.

Do Your Own Divorce? - What you need to know and consider before deciding to do your own divorce.

Support Groups - A listing by state of Support Groups that deal with the issues of divorce.

The Good Divorce: How to Walk Away Financially Sound and Emotionally Happy

by Raoul Felder , Barbara Victor

Raoul Felder, a take-no-prisoners divorce attorney, draws from his experience to show readers how to avoid an acrimonious divorce and move on with life.

There is nothing better than a good marriage. But when a marriage goes bad, there is no better option than divorce to give men and women a chance to start over. Handled wisely, divorce can be a beginning, not an end. It is the doorway to a new life free of hurt, anger, and resentment.

Felder and Victor cover each phase of divorce, from knowing when to call it quits, to choosing a lawyer, to the final decree. They explore prenuptial contracts, mediation, alimony, child custody, same-sex marriage, and life after divorce. They also share some of the most important facts one should know such as:

• The first offer a woman gets when divorce negotiations begin is usually the best.

• In all divorces, income rather than assets determine who pays what to whom.

• Divorce is about compromise. Divorce court is not a boxing ring.

After years of watching how divorce can go tragically wrong, Felder uses his expert knowledge, including case histories from his list of celebrity clients, to suggest how to make divorce more fair, civilized, and painless.


The Divorce Manual for Men

by S. Perry Mallory

This book regarding divorce is in manual format because it is designed to be used by men and we are used to reading all sorts of manuals. It is business-like and very matter-of-fact and to the point. While divorce is undoubtedly a difficult process, by following what is outlined here, you can possibly minimize any negative impact it will have on all the parties involved, save some money and still learn to enjoy life. This is not a women-bashing book, either. The manual advocates men taking responsibility and being accountable while at the same time self-protecting. It is not advocating against women, it is just the opposite. By following this manual, men will make better decisions and in the end that is best for all the parties involved. You can do this! Remain calm, concerned for your children, and professional.


Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce

by Diana Mercer , Marsha Kline Pruett

A lawyer and a psychologist offer a groundbreaking divorce strategy that protects both your finances and your family.

From your first thought of divorce through the final paperwork, Your Divorce Advisor takes you step by step toward a divorce that dissolves the marriage but not your dignity, your sense of family, or your financial security. Whether you hire a lawyer or a mediator, or do it yourself, this practical, direct, and empowering guide offers you the wise counsel you need for both the legal and the emotional processes of ending your marriage.

Your Divorce Advisor shows you how to:

  • Keep a healthy perspective that leads to a successful legal strategy and recognize when emotions threaten your case
  • Protect your assets without destroying your family

Offering:

  • Detailed coverage of all your legal options and guidance through every legal step, including anticipating the emotional repercussions of your decisions
  • More information on custody than any other divorce book, including age-appropriate custody schedules
  • A sample divorce agreement explained one paragraph at a time

Your Divorce Advisor helps you set yourself and your family on a positive course toward a new life.


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