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Updated: 2018-03-07T05:10:01.412+08:00

 



Divorce Rights - Property Distribution, Child Custody & Support, Alimony and Visitation

2011-04-12T01:16:00.248+08:00

Today, most of the young married couples who are on the course of divorce merely think that with divorce they will rid all the miseries and unevenness they are facing in life but, Alas! They are greatly mistaken. Divorce just doesn't end everything about a marriage, although it ends the legal contract between a husband and a wife but, it shatters the household that was based on that marriage. It also cannot break the relationship that the children of the marriage create merely by existing.A marriage is a legal contract, and in general in every legal contract all the parties' rights must be respected.When we talk about rights after divorce, it involves many aspects of divorce. And in United States it varies from state to state. Divorce rights principally imply each party's right at the time of divorce. There has been a significant change in divorce rights throughout the history and we still find these rights unstable today. For every divorcing couple, to better understand and maximize their divorce rights, they must take assistance of a trained professional family law attorney. These experts can guide in a better way and let you be aware of your divorce rights that are according to your specific circumstances and the laws that govern divorce in their state of residence.Some of the commonly identified divorce rights involve distribution of property, child custody, child support, alimony (spousal support), and child visitation. Distribution of Property: when entering into a divorce, diversion of property is a great concern of both the couples. If they both were able to reach to a settlement, OK, else the court shall decide the distribution of the property. This distribution is generally based on either community property or equitable distribution. These statuary schemes may differ from state to state.Under community property law (which is observed in few states) the marital property is divided equally as both the spouses are taken equal contributors. According to this law distribution doesn't imply to some of the property that is gifted, inheritance granted, purchased before marriage, and/or property that is excluded by prenuptial agreement.Equitable distribution law is comparatively more common. The term doesn't mean equal but the fair distribution. This law allows courts more flexibility in fine-tuning property distribution to consider and take care of individual cases. The court shall consider the some factors when equitable distribution is carried out which includes; non-marital property, length of the marriage, health and age of both the spouses, income and earning capacity, who earned the property, debts and liabilities of the both the spouses, tax consequences, premarital agreements, present value of the property and any other applicable factor.- Child Custody: is the most controversial aspect of divorce cases today. No parent has got the right to pawn child in divorce proceedings and negotiate over the issue if both the parents are equally likely to acquire the custody. Only the court has got the jurisdiction to decide over this issue. Child custody rights are awarded based on the best interests of the children involved. Child custody rights and responsibilities point out who will have legal and physical custody of the child. Child support payments will also be determined where applicable in child custody rights cases. Child custody may be legal or physical. The later one seems perfect but, has serious drawbacks as well.Court today shall decide to award joint legal custody to the spouses, with sole physical custody to one of the spouses and fair visitation rights to the non-custodial parent.In very rare situation, where neither parent is capable of being an effective parent, the court shall refuse to award the custody and in its place shall award the custody to another family member or in extreme cases to court appointed foster parent.- Alimony or Spousal Support: is the amount of money one spouse is legally required to pay to the other in a divorce agreement. It may be periodically or in a lump sum, for a spec[...]



The Court Determines Child Custody

2011-04-11T15:15:01.821+08:00

A child custody proceeding is any case involving child protection, adoption, guardianship, termination of parental rights or voluntary placement of your child.The support order will be based on the child's needs, obligor's ability to pay, custody arrangements and the child support guidelines. The Criminal Code makes it an offence to abduct a child to spite a custody order. A custody order establishes both the custody and parenting time arrangement for the children. Your child custody order is also confidential.When an unmarried mother has a child, the mother has legal custody of that child until a court says otherwise.During divorce, marriage, or annulment proceedings, the issue of child custody often becomes a matter for the court to determine. The Court must consider the following factors in every child custody decision under the law regarding the best interest of the child. The court retains the power to alter the custody arrangements until the child turns 18 or is emancipated.You may contest custody, child support, and alimony and property division by appearing in court and filing appropriate legal papers. At the hearing, the court shall hear evidence to determine whether the child custody and support determination should be modified. The fact that one parent has been the child's primary caretaker is often considered but is not enough to guarantee a custody award. It is not that unusual for middle class parents to spend $60,000 on a divorce and child custody fight. Traditionally, divorce in the United States results in one parent being awarded primary custody and decision making for a child.RightsEach parent shares the rights and responsibility for the care, custody, companionship, and support of their children. Some states, such as Arizona, have fathers rights groups specifically dedicated to helping fathers obtain custody of their children (arizonafathersrights.com for example).DefinitionsCustody means that a parent has legal custodial rights and responsibilities toward the child.Joint child custody means that both parents have the legal custodial rights and responsibilities toward a child. Joint custody allows both parents to have a say in the child's upbringing. There is no evidence to support that a presumption of joint custody is in the best interests of children. A study found that only when parents were still actively fighting did joint custody exacerbate children's feelings of being torn between parents. However, when both parents favor joint custody, it can be a good solution for the children. Some parents have chosen a joint-custody arrangement in which the child spends an approximately equal amount of time with both parents. Some states award joint custody in which the judge simply divides the child's time between the parents. Joint custody does not mean simply alternating where the child lives from time to time. In fact, there may be legal joint custody, but the child may live with only one parent.Legal child custody includes the right to make decisions about the child's education, religion, health care, and other important concerns. A child may be placed in foster care while a custody case is pending. Legal custody means the right to determine the child's upbringing, including education, health care, and religious training.Physical custody and residence means the routine daily care and control and where the child lives. Physical child custody is awarded to one parent with whom the child will live most of the time. In most cases, both parents continue to share legal child custody but one parent gains physical child custody. There is also a presumption that it is in the child's best interest to be in the custody of a parent over a non-parent.Visitation rights allow the non-custodial parent (the person without child custody) time to spend with their child. A common arrangement is that one parent gets custody of the child and the other parent is given visitation rights.EvaluationA child custody evaluation is a report written by a neutral professional abo[...]



What You Need to Know About Child Custody

2011-04-11T03:42:00.387+08:00


In order to better understand child custody, this guide will educate you on the four cases of child custody which are enforced under law.

Child custody can be a divisive issue for both parents, especially if it's right after a,messy divorce. It gets complicated in cases where one parent makes much more than another. It also gets complicated if the divorce is forced through the courts, as neither parent can agree to a fair deal and especially who gets custody of the child. In all cases, an experienced divorce lawyer can help.

What is physical custody?

Physical custody goes to whichever parent has the right for the child to live with them the majority of the time. For example, a mother historically would get physical custody, while the father would be able to get visitation rights. In other cases, both parents have the right for the son or daughter to live with them for extended periods. In some states, this is called joint physical custody. This occurs mostly when the parents live close together, and has the added plus of allowing the child equal time to grow up with each parent.

What is legal custody?

Legal custody occurs when a parent can make key decisions on how a child grows up, especially in terms of schooling, religion, and medical care. For example, a father with legal custody could choose to send his daughter to Catholic schools, how to treat illnesses, and other key decisions. However, some states give these rights to both parents: they both have a say in deciding the child's upbringing. This is usually preferable for the child. If legal custody is fought, it can get not only ugly but also expensive. However, if you feel your former spouse will make bad decisions, such as being abusive to the child, you can take this to court and fight for sole legal custody.

What is sole custody?

This occurs when one parent is given either sole legal custody or sole physical custody. Remember that by legal custody it would mean making key decisions on how the child grows up, and in physical custody to have the majority of the time spent with the child. Sole custody can be very smart if you are divorcing an abusive or drug addicted spouse. For example, if your husband drinks too much around the child, you may fear for their safety; in this case, sole custody is smart.

It should be noted that state laws are changing nationwide. There is the new idea of giving fathers, who traditionally did not get sole custody, a better place in a child's life.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is more common in recent years. It means that neither parent is left out of the loop; they are bound by joint legal custody, or joint physical custody, if not both physical and legal custody. This occurs most where the parents are able to agree to plans on the child's upbringing, how much time he spends with each spouse, and where the relationship is an amiable one.

Now you know about custody, but if there are some unanswered questions, contact an experienced divorce attorney today.








Jacob Malewitz recommends http://www.DivorceAttorneyHome.com/ for divorce and child support help. This guide answers questions on whether or not you need a divorce attorney.


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Understanding the Basics of Child Custody and Divorce Law - Protect Your Parental Rights!

2011-04-10T17:06:07.281+08:00

When two adults get divorced and there are children involved, decisions as to which spouse will gain custody of the children are always a critical - and emotionally draining - issue.Child custody and divorce laws vary from state to state, so for the sake of this article we will be focusing on Divorce Law in Georgia. If you do not live in Georgia, I recommend that you read this article to get a basic understanding of Child Custody & Divorce Law in general, and then check with an attorney in your home state to see how your state's particular laws may vary.Under Georgia Divorce Law, GA does not favor either the mother or the father. Rather, GA divorce law strives to analyze the relationship each child has with each parent, and work towards the best interest of the children.Georgia divorce and family law allows for a number of different types of child custody, including: temporary custody, sole custody, split custody, and joint custody.Temporary custody under Georgia divorce law is exactly what the name implies. It involves which parent has custody of the children at that moment. Temporary custody can be overturned easily under GA law if it is discovered that the children are in an unsafe situation.Sole custody under Georgia law is often referred to as 'legal custody.' This means that one parent has the authority to make long range plans that include (but are not limited to) moves, education, or life changing circumstances that affect the children. If a parent has sole custody under Georgia law, they do not need to have the permission of the other parent to make these decisions.Split custody under Georgia law is where two or more children are involved, and the children live with different spouses. Oftentimes this decision is based upon the preference of the children as to whom they would prefer to live with.Joint custody under Georgia law is where both parents have control over the upbringing of the children involved. In this type of custody decision, both parents must be able to communicate for the benefit of the children, and be able to come to agreements about how to raise the children. If the spouses are constantly fighting, the court can (and often will) deny a request of joint custody.When issues of child custody come up in a Georgia divorce, many wonder or not they should hire a GA divorce attorney. While a Georgia attorney is not always needed, I do highly recommend that you have an attorney licensed to practice in Georgia and familiar with GA Child Custody and Divorce Law on your side. Importantly, if you are involved in a hostile divorce, or if the other spouse has a GA attorney representing them, I definitely recommend that you hire experienced Georgia divorce attorneys, such as the legal team at Persily & Associates who are Divorce Attorneys in Atlanta.Of course, there are times when two spouses going through the divorce are able to come to a mutual agreement regarding child custody. If this is the case, then a stipulation and consent order should be filed with the court. The order must be very specific as to the custody of the children. The order should include which parent will have legal custody of the children after the divorce, as well as which parent will have the children during holidays. Also, all sorts of contingencies must be taken into consideration. If one parent is running late and can not meet scheduled visitations, do the visitations get rescheduled? No mater how trivial it may seem, every conceivable issue regarding the divorce and custody of the children need to be discussed and placed in the consent order to prevent misunderstandings in the future regarding child custody.It is important to note that many parents will want to change or modify their child custody agreement after it has been made. If you desire to do this, then you must provide evidence as to why the agreement should be modified. The state of Georgia wants the child to live a stable life.Remember, when you are thinking or discussing child custody, t[...]



How an Attorney Can Help with Divorce and Child Custody Issues

2010-11-17T03:07:01.050+08:00

Divorce is without a doubt a very painful process for all the parties involved and can even be more traumatic and frustrating for your kids who are suffering the discomfort of daily arguments at home. Once you have arrive at the conclusion that divorce is the healthiest and most appropriate way to solve your marital problems once and for all, the very next step is to find a good lawyer who can help you put your case together in order to bring it to court.


Hiring an attorney for such cases is very important because neither one of the parties involved will agree with an arrangement where the kids are separated from them, it just doesn't happen. The fight for the kids can be quite hard because both of you have spent an equal amount of time with the children and have equal rights, however the court will decide which parent is better suited to take care of the kids, this decision is based upon many factors.


It is public policy of the state that a minor should have frequent constant with both parents, however when it comes to child custody there are several laws which parents don't know about, knowing these laws is critical because based on their behavior and the many aspects deemed relevant by a court of law, the case brought about will be strengthen or weakened. Some of the factors that judges and divorce courts take in consideration to determine whether a parent is fit to be the custodian of a child are:


- The parent who is more likely to allow the non-custodial parent to visit the children on a regular basis without posing a major obstacle.


- Heavy consideration is given to evidence of child abuse, this is actually quite obvious because the court will place the child in custody of the parent which is better fit to raise the him/her without resorting to physical and emotional violence.


- The court will look at financial records of the parents in order to determine which one will be capable of providing shelter, food, education, health care and other material needs.


- Each parent will be analyzed in order to determine which one is "mentally fit" to raise the children.


The are several factors which the court may deem relevant to each case and since every divorce claim is different hiring an attorney capable of putting your case together and bringing to court will improve your chances to show you are the best person fit to take care of your children.

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Finding the Right Advocate For Divorce, Child Custody, and Other Family Law Issues

2010-11-16T15:49:00.637+08:00

It goes without saying that family is the most important aspect of our lives. When all goes well, our spouses, our children, our parents, and our siblings fill the air with love, which we breathe deeply to replenish our spirits. Just as we breathe without conscious thought, our lives fall into a comfortable routine that makes us unaware of the integral role that a loving, supportive family plays in our lives. All too often, the dawning realization that our self-concept is firmly tied to our family comes only when the bubble bursts. When, for whatever cause, we're faced with divorce, child custody battles, and in the worst instances, domestic violence or child abuse.


When family matters move from unhappiness at home to a court of law, it's important to have an advocate at your side, a family law attorney who will do whatever it takes to help you create a future where you feel whole and safe. Selecting the right attorney can make what is inevitably a difficult and heart-wrenching time a bit more bearable. While your attention is understandably devoted to getting through each day and keeping your children's world intact, he can devote his attention to ensuring that you come out of the process with both feet on the ground.


What should you look for in a family law attorney? First, select someone who has a family of his own. An attorney who is married and who has children will understand the high stakes and is more likely to work tirelessly on your behalf.


Second, ensure that the lawyer is flexible. Like snowflakes, no two divorces or child custody issues are the same. Some uncontested divorces, for example, are quite amicable, with child support willingly paid and visitation quickly arranged. Other breakups are much more complicated, and may involve everything from a refusal to pay spousal support to the inability to agree on grandparent visitation to disagreements on property division.


You need to have an advocate who will see your circumstances as unique, and who will work with you to achieve your goals. He should be experienced in negotiation and mediation, but he should also be able to demonstrate that he can successfully represent you in a courtroom, should your case go to trial or even to appeals. Third, if your divorce is related in any way to criminal law, such as in the case of domestic violence or child abuse, the attorney you select should be knowledgeable about that as well.


Finally, you should select a family law attorney with whom you feel comfortable. It's extremely difficult to share searing emotional pain, and it's often hard to articulate your vision of the future. The right lawyer will make it easier for you to open up, and will help guide you through the process of defining your immediate needs - say, for alimony - and your future needs, such as the possibility that a future marriage may potentially lead to adoption issues.


When you choose the attorney that's right for you, he can help make an extraordinarily painful time in your life much easier to bear.

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In Child Custody Cases, Do The Courts Still Favor The Mom?

2010-11-16T04:34:00.134+08:00

Child custody cases are filling up the courthouses these days because nearly 50% of all marriages end in a divorce. But does that mean that the courts just give custody to the moms still? Not as much as they used to, but it's still a lot harder for dad to get custody of the children than the moms. It used to be a women's court, but dads are quickly gaining ground, which is great for us. This article will give you 3 simple steps you can take to help you (as the dad) in child custody cases.


Keep Track Of Time Spent With Your Child


Every time you hang out with your child make note of it on the calendar. Every school function you go to, mark it down on the calendar. Every bedtime story, every prayer, every soccer game, put it all on the calendar.


The reason you want to log all this information is so you can show your lawyer and the courts exactly how much time you spend with your child and how important you are in his or her life.


Get Affidavits From Friends and Family


An affidavit is simply a written testimony about your character. When I went to court to win custody of my daughter, I had over 27 affidavits. You should have the same amount or more. Here's what you do. Simply ask all your friends, co-workers, relatives and church members to write a testimony about you and why they feel you would be the better care giver for your child.


After you get all the affidavits, go to a Notary Republic and have them sign and stamp each one of the affidavits. The key thing here is you need to do this without your ex-wife finding out. Otherwise she'll catch on and do the same thing. Either way, the more the merrier. Remember, what somebody else says about you is a hundred times more powerful than what you say about you.


Log Every Time She Says Anything Negative About You In Front Of Your Kids


This one sounds a little silly, but it's been proven to be quite effective. Listen, divorces are ugly. And they get uglier when your children are involved. But you need to at all costs, avoid name calling and ugly talk in front of your kids. Odds are, she'll slip up and say some pretty terrible things about you in front of your child. Make a mental note of it, then write it down later.


What this does for you is shows the judge that if she puts you down in front of the kids now, she'll do it later too. And behavior like this will basically put the child against you and make you out to be the bad guy. The last thing you want is for your ex-wife to speak ill of you in front of your kids. This will make you out to be a buffoon and your kids may no longer respect you. Or worse, your kids may end up hating one of you because of it, either way it's a lose/lose situation when that occurs.

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Going Through Child Custody Dispute - Best Solution

2010-11-15T17:58:00.135+08:00

Divorce can sometimes be a very painful experience in life. For you to be suddenly separated from someone you loved and cherished and probably lived with for a long time sharing everything in common is really difficult. It is more so if Children are involve, this can increase the pitch of the dispute as each parent wants to have custody of the children. The good news is the divorce rate in the US is falling. According to statistics, the US national per capita divorce rate has declined steadily since its peak in 1981 and is now at its lowest level since 1970.


However some experts believe that it is not all good news, they predict that the divorce rate may likely escalate in the foreseeable future, why? Because the number of couples who live together without marrying has increased tenfold since 1960; and the marriage rate has dropped by nearly 30% in past 25 years. Invariably, what this means is that many people are still bound to go through divorce. Some believe that fear of future child disputes and possible divorce is a major cause in the increase of couples living together without marriage.


Whenever couples go through divorce, they are usually turned upside down by emotional and psychological turmoil. Unfortunately, most people going through a divorce do so on their own and struggle to make important life influencing decisions at a time when they are least prepared to do so.


Divorce is made even more challenging when children are involved. Issues of money, fear of losing your children, anger of alimony and revenge often interfere with parents' ability to appropriately consider their children needs and interests.


As a result of rise in the number of child custody dispute cases and the troubles that go along with them, there is an increasing need for parents to avail themselves of assistance from professionals who have some expertise in the areas of divorce, custody disputes, child development, family dynamics, the parental alienation syndrome and domestic violence. This is where the need of a divorce and trial consultant becomes handy- Note: A divorce consultant or a child custody strategist is not a substitute for an attorney, a divorce consultant can support, educate and give guidance.

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Divorce, Child Custody and Fathers' Rights - How To Prepare for Court

2010-11-15T07:02:00.543+08:00

The process of going through the court system is arduous and at times seems overwhelming. Take heart in knowing that preparation is the key! You only need to know the basics of how the court operates to be able to work within it. There are matters of etiquette that can make a surprising difference in how your case is received. ?Taking time to do things according to protocol is a sign of respect to the court and Judge. For example, you must be prepared in writing prior to the hearing in such a manner that your paperwork is professional in every regard. It has to look and smell and feels just like what "they're" used to looking at. This will not only make a good personal impression, which is vitally important, but also allows 'them' to focus on your content instead of being distracted by unclear communication. If you consistently show care and effort in your preparations for your case, it will not go overlooked.


In general, having a familiarity with the court, an idea of what to expect and what is expected of you, can be an enormous boost of confidence. In addition to presenting yourself as respectful and serious in all your interactions with the court, to have success in your case you need to stir emotions. The more comfortable you are in the court setting, the more you know your stuff (meaning the more you prepare) the better you will be at presenting a convincing and moving argument that could be vital to the outcome of your case.

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Thoughts on Father's Rights in Child Custody Battles

2010-11-14T19:51:00.366+08:00

Why do the courts seem to always favor the mother in a divorce when considering child custody? Is it that this is a throwback view from the days when the mother was a stay-at-home mother and therefore had nothing to do but watch and nurture the children? Will the court system ever join the twenty-first century in regards to child custody?


The rights of fathers has increased and changed for the better over time, but there is still a long way to go before there is real parity between mother's and father's rights. Women still tend to win in the custody battleground. Of course, the winners should be the children. Not everyone will be happy in these situations nor will they feel they have been treated fairly as to visitation, custody, or support payments.


Father's rights in custody fights were practically non-existent in the past. However, child psychologists and social workers finally began speaking up. They stated that children of divorce needed their father's guidance, influence, and presence to provide some semblance of stability in the children's lives other than just shoveling out money to provide for expenses.


Today, custody laws give fathers some say in their children's lives after the divorce. They may not have primary custodial rights (where the children live with the father), but the courts are conceding "joint custody" now. This means that the father has some input on major decisions that may effect the rearing of the children. It means that the mother shouldn't find the most expensive private school for the children without consulting the father, who is expected to pay for the expenses.


A father should have equal rights to be considered the primary custodial parent just as much as the mother. Of course, we don't hear about this much as judges tend to believe that all children are better off with the mother. However, it should come down to who will be the better parent rather than strictly gender, especially in this age of non-traditional living conditions.


As so often happens, if a father is not awarded primary custody, he will be given a more generous visitation schedule than has been granted in past years. The is due to the unceasing efforts of father's rights organizations and in part to studies that have proven that a lack of a father's relationship with his children has produced more juvenile problems, drug use and clinical depression.

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Fort Worth Class Divorce Child Custody - Are You A Priority?

2010-11-14T09:45:00.356+08:00

What is a good legal performance for your Fort Worth Class Divorce child custody lawyer?


I don't want to sound like I am passing the buck, but you need to consult a legal expert on this subject to get the best answer. I sued an attorney in my lifetime and frankly finding an attorney with the courage to do it was difficult. I also found out that accountability for their performance is difficult to prove and it appeasers to be more gray than black and white. I believe there is great potential for attorneys to sue other attorneys a business.


There is plenty of room for good attorneys because in my opinion there are so few of them. I have seen attorneys blame judges or their clients for their losses. Attorneys cannot admit guilt or responsibility because they could be sued. I have had attorneys tell me they represent themselves first and their client comes second or third. So as you can see, you are not their priority.


There are options when hiring a new custody attorney. For example, at your first meeting, take another attorney with you. The attorney may be a family friend but isn't a family attorney. After all if they were, you would probably hire them.


Nevertheless, the Fort Worth class divorce child custody you take with you may help you understand the process of custody and how attorneys work. Also the attorney will be able to ask the right questions of the attorney that you may not know to ask. The reason is because this may be the first time you have ever had to hire an attorney for this kind of case.


Having another attorney present may make the family attorney uncomfortable--too bad. In child custody cases, the future of your child is at stake--so don't be passive. I have known attorneys when they meet their clients for the first time and they will tell them anything to get their business. In custody cases, you are in a highly emotional state and the attorney may tell you what you want to hear. By having another person with you first consultation, any attempt to slip you a con job or take advantage of you will be minimized.

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Overview of Family Law Issues of Child Custody, Guardianship and Wills and Successions

2010-11-13T22:13:00.702+08:00

The world of family law is very different than just about any other type of legal practice. One of the major differences is that unlike dealing with many of the business related areas in which lawyers practice - family law can get personal. These family attorneys regularly deal with issues such as divorce, child custody and support, unforeseen deaths, wills and successions. These are areas of our lives which invoke strong emotions and are not always easy to deal with.


Child Custody


The issues of child custody and guardianship are a factor of the high divorce rate in America compounded by the number of children born out of wedlock. Family law matters surrounding children involve designating custody, child and spousal support, parental rights, adoption as well as community property negotiation. And when there are kids involved, hopefully all parties can focus on the best interests of the entire family rather than strictly their own self interests.


When it comes to child custody - courts will generally choose one of the following types:


? Temporary custody - this is granted during the divorce or separation proceedings and is usually replaced with a more permanent solution.


? Exclusive custody - This is when one parent gets all of the custody rights to the child and the other parent is excluded.


? Joint custody - refers to when parents are granted some version of equal rights regarding the child's upbringing. Joint custody is usually reserved for situations where both parents are competent and able to carry about parental duties.


? Third party custody - if both parents are either incapacitated or deemed unfit, the courts can award custody to a third party and may include family members such as uncles, aunts and grandparents.


Guardianship Issues


Another issue facing parents is what to do if you do not have a trustworthy person to leave as a legal guardian or trustee for your children or heirs. When this scenario arises, guardianships can be used as a last resort.


A guardianship refers to a situation where a child or incapacitated adult needs someone to manage their assets. These are usually supervised and assigned through the court system and require extensive legal work to setup and manage, including annual accounting and restrictions as to how money can be used and spent.


Wills & Successions


Wills & successions are often thought of as "estate planning" instruments, but really they should be considered part of family law. Taking the time to plan for unforeseen events is a critical part of ensuring your family is protected and your wishes can be followed, especially if the unimaginable happens. If you want to know how important having even a simple will can be, simply ask anyone who has unexpectedly lost a family member who didn't have one!.

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Divorce Mediation For Child Custody

2010-11-13T11:10:01.050+08:00

Mediation is one way the courts are trying to cope with the ever increasing divorce rate and courtroom time. Mediation, hopefully, tries to encourage parental cooperation in the battle over custody and visitation rights. A mediator is court appointed and tries to find some middle ground between the divorcing parents and looking out for the best interests of the children.


The bulk of mediation takes place between the two parents with the mediator as a neutral party. It's his job to see that the children are represented in the decisions of visitation, primarily. Sometimes, schools, doctors, events, etc. can be settled at these sessions.


There are several good points for mediation that judges like other than they don't physically have to be present. One is that each party has the opportunity to give his or her suggestions for custody issues and visitation schedules. Both parents feel they have some input, thus relieving hostilities, hopefully.


Most states, however, have a formula that the courts start with, such as every other weekend, which holidays and out-of-school vacation times. Another advantage is having a "neutral" person to alleviate the tensions and forestall arguments that may escalate. By keeping the parents focused on the issues, a parental plan can be formed.


Of course, many people see the mediation process as less stressful than having a set time period before an actual judge in an actual courtroom setting. This makes most common people less prone to speaking out when they should, plus a judge really doesn't want to hear petty arguments of "he said or did" or "she said or did".


Mediators are there to offer suggestions and techniques to the parents that may not have been thought of before. They help work out compromises and alternatives between the parents. Mediators should be experienced in child custody issues and bring understanding to the process.


The needs of an older child are far different than that of a pre-teen child. An older child believes that he shouldn't have to see one parent at a given time because of a judge, whom he doesn't know, orders him to. Mediators explain this sort of behavior to each parent and, hopefully, avoid future suspicions and animosity.


Be sure to look into the possibility of mediation in your area. Ask questions as to who are some of the court mediators being used. Be clear that you want the best interests of your children served and that you will do whatever it takes to ensure their happiness as much as you can.


Do your homework and have a viable plan to present. You have the right to be a part of your children's lives, not just a "meal ticket". Mediation is one of the best methods to ensure that your children grow up to be well-adjusted and happy after your upcoming divorce.

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Divorce, Child Custody, and Family Law - What Not to Do in Your Family Law Case

2010-11-13T00:26:00.515+08:00

At the end of a divorce or child custody case, there aren't any "winners" or "losers" in the traditional sense. But often one person walks away feeling as though they attained the better outcome. Many times this outcome is the product of some mistake that the other party made.As a family law attorney, I've seen some hostile cases and I've seen people do some cruel things. Sometimes these actions are physically injurious but, more often than not, they are mentally damaging. In the end, however, they almost always come back to haunt that person. Consequently, if you are involved in a divorce case or a child custody case, don't do any of the following if you want to attain your desired result:1) Denigrate or abuse your spouse.Nothing makes someone look worse in a family law case than someone who is cruel to their spouse. No, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are "at fault" under the law, at least not with respect to grounds for divorce. But if there is one thing to take out of this article, it is that the law isn't the only factor in the outcome of your case. The State has an interest in protecting marriage as a promoter of family values, so if there is someone to blame for the breakdown of the marriage, this is a sure sign of who that person is.2) Involve the children.Who is most affected by your divorce case or your child custody case? That's right - your children. Not you and not your spouse. Keep them insulated from your litigation so as to minimize the effects of their life being turned upside down. Do NOT use them as a messenger. Do NOT share intimate details of the other parent's behavior. Do NOT let them read legal pleadings or letters from attorneys. DO not move your children far away from the other parent.3) Be unreasonable in custody and visitation.Unless your spouse actually causes harm to your children, you need to accept the fact that your children need both parents in their lives. There are things that a mother can provide, which a father can't provide. There are things that a father can provide, which a mother can't provide. Being unreasonable in custody and visitation or worse, denying visitation altogether, only makes you look like a bad parent.4) Fail to provide support.Support in this context means child support and alimony. Though mutually exclusive, the point is the same. Courts don't like it when you refuse to pay reasonable amounts of support. Child support will be awarded in nearly all cases. Courts don't like it when the non-custodial refuses to pay. Hint: they take it as a sign that you don't care about your children. Likewise, if your case is one in which alimony is warranted, don't refuse to provide for your spouse until the court orders you to do so.5) Hide assets.Some people get away with hiding assets. But a good divorce attorney will find them. When they do, they will let everyone know about it. Then you're in trouble not only because you now have more assets in the pot, but you also lied about what you have.6) Let emotion guide your actions.This is the "catch-all" provision. Put simply: don't be a jerk. While most family law cases are resolved outside the courtroom, there are many that end up in trial. Remember that the Judge who is ultimately deciding your case is a person too.[...]



Surviving Divorce: What To Think About To Ensure Surviving Divorce

2010-11-12T12:32:00.465+08:00

Surviving divorce can be a valid fear if you're contemplating getting a divorce. In order to ensure surviving divorce, you should first understand that your divorce decision shouldn't be taken lightly. Ensuring that you'll be surviving divorce can be comforting and can influence your path as you consider your reasons for divorce and take the emotional plunge into actually going through with it.Its tough enough to think about how your immediate life will be impacted by getting a divorce let alone thinking about divorce from an aspect of "the aftermath" of divorce. You may be considering a variety of things in the short term including living arrangements, spouse's schedules, attorneys, kids, property, etc. Its tough to plan so you can really ensure that you'll be surviving divorce once its finally over with.Surviving divorce, just like deciding to divorce, is about separating emotion from logic and making sure you think about the past, present and future. Of course, how you plan for surviving divorce, will differ from others in some respects, but there are some common themes to think about that should ensure you will be successful surviving divorce.The most common things to think about when you want to be successful surviving divorce are self-evident and basic, but highly important:Surviving Divorce Concept 1: Reflect on the past to make sure you can eliminate potential regret.Make sure that you take the time to reflect on the past and remember the reasons that got you to this state of mind. One thing you absolutely must avoid is going through a divorce and regretting your decision. Evaluate, in detail, your reasons for divorce and confirm to yourself yet again that divorce is the best course of action. This will help eliminate regret...and regret can be a large factor in determining your chance of surviving divorce.Surviving Divorce Concept 2: Admit to yourself that, no matter how your situation got to this breaking point of wanting divorce, that you had a hand in it, and plan to improve yourself.Even if you know your present spouse is not a good fit for you, be smart enough to know that you shouldn't waste the opportunity that you have right now to improve yourself, for your own good in the future. At a time like this when emotions are running high, there tends to be a lot of soul searching going on, and that's a good thing if you want to ensure that you've got a solid chance of surviving divorce. Realize that you need to improve for you, this will only help you in the future. Remember, it takes two to tango!Surviving Divorce Concept 3: Remember that your happiness and plan for surviving divorce should include evaluating and establishing a certain level of self-confidence. Having self confidence is absolutely critical to surviving divorce because without it, fear usually will win out and your situation will not improve. Even if you get divorced but you don't evaluate your own level of self confidence in the hopes of improving it, you may be in for a rough time after divorce. If you want a sure-fire way to feel good about surviving divorce, do yourself a favor and get your self-confidence in line.If your overall confidence and desire to start over with your love life support making a change, you're off to a good start in making a smart decision about whether to divorce or not.Surviving Divorce Concept 4: Get your finances in a row and understand that your life will change most likely from a monetary perspective.This is a major portion of the surviving divorce equation, especially for women in divorce. A lot of time, women in divorce situations have to deal with finance issues and they fear going out on their own because they've had financial supp[...]



Divorce and Its Effect on American Life

2010-11-12T02:27:00.493+08:00

Till death do us not!Men are cheaters, women are naggers, and divorce has skyrocketed affecting the way the world is now run. "I love you" is substituted with "I hate you" and martial vows have become lies. Economically challenging, emotionally and mentally damaging, and over all tragic, Americans are suffering from relationships gone bad. Youthful marriages are more frequent and less valued. Drug addiction is always a growing concern and is also invading martial life. Marriages are also suffering from the destruction of adultery. One has to wonder weather America can survive the severity of divorce and its effects that are beginning to weigh on the lives of its people. The first topic of discussion concerns youth.America's youth are beginning to become an important cause in today's divorce statistics. There is a disturbing new trend developing that involves marriage and today's American youth. The trend involves something called "starter marriages". A "starter marriage" is a first time marriage that lasts for five years or less. These marriages typically involve younger adults and produce no children. Some like to think of these "starter marriages" as rehearsals for "real" future marriages. It is America's modern approach to perfecting marriage. However, it is also a huge cause of divorce.The sad thing about this new and growing view on marriage is that it feeds on low self-esteem, lack of self-respect, and self gratification. Younger women or men who are struggling with family issues, insecurities and emotional distress, may marry for security reasons. Since they may not necessarily be in love with one another, the marriage will most likely result in divorce, but so is drug addiction.May one's poison be alcohol-related or any other substance abuse, it is a destructible dependence that can quickly rip a marriage apart. Many of those who suffer from drug abuse have a high potential for causing harm to ones self as well as others through violent interactions or accidents. Drug addiction has also resulted in one's loss of dignity, financial stability, motivation in life, and possible death. The affects on a marriage can be devastating. Someone in a partnership, whose perceptions, thoughts, and emotions are constantly altered by drugs, can be severally destructive to the other partner involved. Physical and emotional abuses are very common as well. Emotional distress can be weighing and harmful to a marriage and in some possible tragic cases, death may be the end result. Some people try to get help for their spouses who suffer from substance abuse. Rehabilitation and marriage counseling are often good effective ways to saving a marriage and avoiding divorce. However, if the user is not able or willing to quit their addiction, then their partner has no choice but to do what's best for them as well as their family. The next topic focuses on adultery.One of the most harmful causes of divorce is the wandering eye of a spouse. Spouses involved with a cheating partner suffer emotionally, physically, and mentally. Divorce is usually the end result. A wandering eye may lead to an innocent conversation, which may lead to a provocative encounter. Traditional signs of infidelity consist but are not limited to; long hours unaccounted for, strange smells, coldness during sex, unexplained expenses, and changes in your spouse's appearance and attitude. When a cheater is caught or suspicions begin to develop, the emotional stress can be lead to erratic behavior. One might spy on the other. Privacy and trust fly out the window, while depression and anger sets in.Guilt can also eat away at a person. It makes that person stand-offish as wel[...]



Divorce Financial Help - Finding Money During the Divorce

2010-11-11T15:02:00.169+08:00

If you are going through a divorce it is already probably obvious that financial problems seem to pop up and/or grow. Prior expenses like child care, transportation, food, utilities, rent or mortgage expenses often increase, sometimes significantly. Here are some common financial techniques as well as a brand new option to assist you in finding money and reducing expenses while waiting for your divorce to settle.In almost all divorces where formerly there was the cost of the rent/mortgage and maintenance of only one residence, most commonly split between two incomes, you will usually end up with two residences, two rents/mortgages, and two sets of utility bills. If not planned for, this additional expense can become overwhelming.When children are involved in a divorce, costs during and after a divorce almost always go up. Where once there were two parents able to take turns watching the children, rides to school, softball practice, and friends, there is now only one parent at a time designated to help. Forget about splitting homework duty, caring for children when they get sick, etc. People going through a divorce seldom consider the additional expense of the child care and transportation costs associated with the above as well as running the kids back and forth to the other parents home.If the above seems familiar, then you are already asking yourself “Where do I find the extra money to pay for my increased expenses until the divorce settles?” or “How do I get financially stable during the divorce proceedings?” Here are a few ideas plus a totally new option to help guide you financially until the divorce settles.1. This one is simple…reduce, reduce, reduce. Reduce your overhead expenses by reducing or eliminating expenses that are not needed. There is a difference between wants and needs. Do you really need cable, Tivo, to eat out, that extra latte, etc. Cut out any and all unnecessary expenses where possible.2. Count your human assets: Parents, siblings, friends, fellow workers, church/temple members, etc. It is alright to open up and share that you are going through a divorce as approximately 50% of marriages currently end in divorce. Share your problems with people you trust and ask them for their assistance. You will be surprised how many people come forth to offer free or reduced day care for your kids, to run errands to take them to their softball game, music practice, etc. if they are taking their kids anyway, and more and more churches, temples, and community centers now offer support groups for divorcees and those going through divorce. It is important to always be gracious, thankful, and remember not to unload too much of your personal problems regarding the divorce on people who come to your help or they may become resentful and your saviors may soon find reasons why they can no longer assist you. You may also find friends, family, and contacts that can assist with handy work and maintenance if you are not qualified to do the work yourself and your budget does not allow you to hire someone.3. Reduce or eliminate the legal costs of preparing and filing your divorce. Hopefully your divorce will be uncontested. If yes, they are fairly simple to do on your own for little money. You can even complete most of your divorce online at sites like www.DiscountDivorceOnline.com. Online divorces are nothing new and can save you thousands of dollars with the average divorce in the United States utilizing a lawyer costing $5,000 or more and an online divorce usually between $200 - $300. However, if your divorce is being contested or is very complex an online divorce may not be right fo[...]



Free Online Divorce Forms And Instructions - Where To Get Them

2010-11-11T03:24:00.203+08:00

Many courts today are making it easier for couples to get a divorce without the expense of hiring an attorney to help them along the way. The Internet contains hundreds of web sites that claim to offer these forms to people for free.A word of caution to those who attempt to go through with the divorce process on their own.It is VERY important that you are certain you are using forms that are correctly formated and have been approved for use by your states judicial branch. If you attempt to try and use generic divorce forms that you have downloaded from the Internet, you may be disappointed to find out that those forms will be rejected by the court. If that happens, you could put the outcome of your divorce in jeopardy. To obtain divorce forms and information specific to your state you may elect to visit the web site referenced below.Answers To Common Divorce Questions:What is an "Uncontested" or "Pro-Se" divorce? An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties negotiate their own settlement rather than going to trial and letting a judge decide the issues for them. Many people find that an uncontested divorce will benefit them for several reasons. The process seems to be faster and less expensive. The parties maintain control over their future by reaching their own decisions. The Court does not impose a judgment on them after a trial. The parties are also better able to maintain (or establish) a civil relationship if they are not involved in protracted litigation with all of the positioning and leverage that a trial may invoke. The reduced hostility makes it easier for divorced parents to raise children together.Do I need a lawyer?You do not need to have a lawyer, but it is a good idea to retain one if you and your spouse do not agree on the terms defined in your Petition For Divorce or if your spouse has a lawyer. If you are afraid for your safety or your children's safety, or if you want help with your divorce even if you started the divorce without a lawyer.What does uncontested mean?Uncontested means your spouse has agreed with what you have asked for in your Petition For Divorce, or your spouse is not fighting your Petition For Divorce, or your spouse does not answer your Petition For Divorce before your court date.How much will it cost to file for a divorce?When you bring your Original Petition For Divorce to the court clerks office for filing, you should expect to pay between $250.00 to $300.00 depending on your state and your county. You will also need to have several forms notarized. A notary will charge between $5.00 and $10.00 to notarize a document. When children are involved, other additional court expenses may arise if the court orders DNA tests or drug screens. These tests typically cost $125.00 for drug screens and $500.00 for DNA tests. If the presiding judge over your case orders you or your spouse to submit to these tests, in most cases they will require you to take them the same day you appear for your initial hearing. Also, most often when children are involved in the divorce, the court will appoint an attorney for the children. This is done to have a neutral opinion on the children's best interests. The typical fee for the Ad Litem attorney is around $500.00. You are expected to pay this fee and any other court ordered expenses promptly to avoid the possibility of putting your case in jeopardy. The judge may not allow you to wait until you get paid. Some judges may want to test to see if you have a support group with enough resources to act on behalf of the children in an emergency type situation. This will be the case even if you are able t[...]



Divorce On A Budget: Self Help Divorce, Attorney Consultations & Minimizing Costs

2010-11-10T15:52:00.197+08:00

If you are like many, you may find the possibility of divorce to be overwhelming and unaffordable. In addition to being a stressful and emotional time in your life, a divorce can also be financially draining. There are a number of ways, however, that a self help divorce can be achieved through a combination of quality divorce advice from a licensed divorce attorney and cooperation from both your and your spouse.As most divorce lawyers will tell you, the least expensive way to achieve a divorce is through an amicable settlement involving both parties. If you and your spouse can agree on child custody (if applicable), alimony, the division of assets and other important information relating to the divorce, you may be able to achieve satisfaction through divorce mediation. Because a neutral third-party individual presides over the matter, both you and your spouse will need to seek the help of a divorce attorney if preferred. Although not required, a divorce lawyer can offer important information throughout the mediation process, including your rights under the current divorce laws and advice on divorce that you may not otherwise consider. A divorce mediation is quicker and more affordable than a lengthy litigation process through divorce court. There are several instances in which divorce mediation may not be an option, including a marriage that has a history of abuse or when one spouse is fearful of the other.If you prefer to file divorce papers independently after having researched your own self help divorce information, it may still be to your benefit to consult with a professional divorce lawyer. In many cases, divorce attorneys offer a free initial consultation. It is important to inquire about this policy prior to scheduling a meeting, however, as every divorce lawyer has his/her own guidelines when it comes to client meetings and/or telephone calls. If you are able to schedule a free or low-cost consultation, it may be well worth your time to speak with a professional who can offer valuable divorce advice on your case. Because divorce lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable about local divorce laws, you may find that the information gained is priceless. Even if you choose to proceed with filing the divorce papers yourself, having spoken with a divorce attorney may prove to be helpful in the future. This is especially true if a problem should arise within the case and you can then retain the services of that same attorney who is already familiar with your situation.In most areas, legal aid is also available to help those who are financially strapped and still need help with legal issues. Because the litigation process through divorce court is both complex and lengthy, the legal fees can quickly add up. In some instances, a trial may be the only option. For those who can work together, settle their matters in a civilized and fair fashion and wish to minimize their expenses, consulting with a divorce lawyer about various options may be a good idea. Unless you have a very good understanding of local divorce laws and the legal process in general, filing your own divorce papers may be difficult. If nothing else, a divorce attorney can help you to get the appropriate papers completed and filed while offering professional divorce advice to help make this stressful time a little less painful for all involved.The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional legal advice regarding divorce, child custody, alimony, self help divo[...]



Stop Divorce: "Should You Try To Stop Your Divorce If You're Just Thinking About Getting A Divorce?"

2010-11-10T05:51:00.172+08:00

Thinking about getting a divorce doesn't necessarily mean that you should try to stop your divorce. Conversely, it could be wise to try to s top your divorce, only you know whether you should. Just because you're thinking about getting a divorce, doesn't necessarily mean that you should try to stop your divorce, although its logical to automatically assume so.In order to be clear that you really want to stop your divorce if you're thinking about getting a divorce, you should use any or all of the following steps to make that determination:Should You Stop Your Divorce?, step 1: Examine why you're thinking about getting a divorce and clearly define and outline those reasons.This is a vital part of determining whether you really do want to stop your divorce. It is easy to naturally think you should get a divorce if feel empty, confused, alone, frustrated, etc. But do yourself a favor, figure out what actually has you feeling like you do and write it down. Only then will you be able to decide whether you should make a serious effort trying to stop your divorce.Should You Stop Your Divorce?, step 2: Determine if guilt is seemingly forcing you to think about wanting to stop your divorce of if there's something inside you that really wants to stop the divorce.Guilt can play a factor when you're thinking about getting a divorce, don't let it be the determining factor for wanting to stop your divorce. If guilt is the major reason that you want to stop your divorce, sit down and re-think everything. Ask yourself if you'll feel sorry for your spouse because you know how he or she will react to your decision to get a divorce. You will know if guilt is swaying you one way or another.Should You Stop Your Divorce?, step 3: Use projection to foresee how how your spouse will react if you try to stop your divorce.You know whether your spouse will be please or disgruntled if you try to stop your divorce. You have an idea of how he or she will react if you try to patch things up and avoid a divorce. If your spouse will react positively if you try to stop your divorce, you should be happy. You may have a chance to make it work. But, if your spouse will react harshly to efforts to stop your divorce, you should ask yourself why. Figure out what your spouses motivations would be for reacting negatively and determine whether or not its still worth trying to stop your divorce or if you should just develop a plan to part amicably.Should You Stop Your Divorce?, step 4: Think about what your life would be like if you tried to stop your divorce and compare that scenario with what your currently going through.Figure out what you want out of the situation and decide what you want your future to look like. If you feel that your life will worsen by trying to stop your divorce, maybe you should re-think what your planning. If you feel that you'd like to at least try to stop your divorce, even if its for selfish reasons, then take comfort in the fact that you've at least made the decision to act. Also, ask yourself whether or not the life you want is with your spouse, even if everything turned out exactly the way you planned for it and you were able to stop your divorce.Ask yourself, "Even if I implement this plan and manage to stop my divorce, is this really the person I want to spend my life with?" The answer to this question will help you determine your course of action.Should You Stop Your Divorce?, step 5: Implement your plan of action to either stop your divorce or plan to get a divorce.Nothing will change if you don't act. Now that you've d[...]



God's Views On Divorce And Remarriage - Part 1 Of 2 Parts

2010-11-09T18:18:00.100+08:00

"Marry in haste; repent in leisure," is a saying laced with alarming possibilities. Even more terrifying is the possibility of too hastily presuming that our views on divorce and remarriage are of God.I passionately long to comfort you and yet I dare not downplay the fearful gravity of this matter. Jesus (and the apostle Paul - (Romans 7:3) kept equating wrong divorce with the sin of adultery. Let's not allow worldly immorality to desensitize us to what a grave offense this is. Under the Old Testament - still in force when Jesus uttered the words - adultery incurred the death penalty. No wonder Jesus' teaching on divorce sent such a chill down the disciples' spines that in horror they responded that it is better never to marry (Matthew 19:10)! And let's not suppose we can get away with this under the New Covenant:1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral . . . nor adulterers . . . will inherit the kingdom of God.That does not render the sin unforgivable, but just as a fireman cannot save a person who refuses to leave a burning building, so Jesus cannot save people who refuse to leave their sin. We cannot save ourselves but we must be willing to let Jesus drag us from the sin we love, or we will die in our sin.I agonize over the possibility that most Christians who sincerely believe they know the morality of divorce and remarriage are completely unaware that their understanding of the Bible's teaching on this subject is dangerously shallow. Although we tend to drastically oversimplify the biblical and moral dilemmas of divorce and remarriage, it does not necessarily mean we have reached the wrong conclusion. It drastically increases the chance of such a mistake, however; thus exposing us to the grave danger of sinning against God or of being responsible before God for directly or indirectly influencing others to sin."You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?" writes Paul (Romans 2:22), implying that one can commit the sin and be quite unaware of it.Your church and favorite Bible teachers might be excellent and have far deeper understanding than me, but does that make them infallible? I doubt if anyone on the planet has a one hundred percent correct interpretation of every aspect of the entire Bible. How then can you be certain that that fraction of a percent where your church or Bible teacher is incorrect does not include teaching about divorce?So why should I be any less fallible? I'm not. So I will not presume to tell you the correct view. What I hope to do, however, is provide a checklist of things that should be prayerfully considered before concluding you have God's mind on the critical issue of divorce and/or remarriage. You will discover that some points seem pro-divorce and some seem anti-divorce. That's because I'm not pushing my own views, but seeking to assist you to personally discover God's will for your situation.Pondering seemingly conflicting points will initially seem confusing but it's a vital stage in the journey to truth. In addition to the obvious, it eradicates false confidence and drives us to plunge into the heart of God, where both you and I will find all we need.After the checklist we will look at how to find answers.If you tire of the checklistgo straight to the next section(the link at the end of this webpage)Since Christians have vastly different views on this matter, let's start by considering whether one's sincere beliefs abou[...]



Collaborative Divorce or Cooperative Divorce?

2010-11-09T16:03:33.732+08:00

Introduction"Collaborative divorce" is the new buzz word in family law practice. Its proponents enthuse about better and less costly settlements, greater client satisfaction, fewer accounts receivable, and less stress in the practice of law, than they can achieve through a conventional approach to family law disputes. How realistic are these claims? What are the down sides of "collaborative divorce"? Does the concept of "collaborative divorce" present ethical pitfalls and possible malpractice minefields for the unwary practitioner?Lawyers who participate in the "collaborative divorce" movement use methods borrowed from more established alternative dispute resolution procedures to resolve family law disputes without litigation. However, unlike more accepted dispute resolution procedures, in "collaborative divorce" the lawyers and their clients agree that they will not engage in formal discovery, will voluntarily disclose information, and will settle the case without court intervention of any kind . They assume a duty to inform the attorney for the other party of errors they note in opposing counsel's legal analysis or understanding of the facts. If they are unable to settle the case, both lawyers must withdraw from representing their respective clients and the estranged spouses must start over with new counsel.Good Lawyers Routinely Practice CooperativelyEven the most enthusiastic supporters of "collaborative divorce" concede that the concept of settling cases rather than litigating them is hardly novel. Capable family law practitioners have always directed their effort and creativity toward reaching agreement rather than duking it out in court. It isn't news to anyone that litigation is expensive - sometimes prohibitively so - and that the most satisfactory settlements derive from skilled negotiation between capable counsel rather than a court-imposed resolution of disputed issues. How does the idea of "collaborative divorce" differ from what experienced practitioners do as a matter of course?Courtesy. The commitment of lawyers and parties to treat each other courteously is not a new one. Capable attorneys consistently endeavor to work cooperatively with opposing counsel to identify and value assets, set and meet scheduling deadlines, and otherwise facilitate resolution of the case. They respect legitimate positions taken by the other party and encourage their clients to be realistic and respectful as well. They are willing and able to compromise, and they are creative in crafting acceptable resolutions of disputed issues. "Collaborative divorce" supporters intimate that their process is unique because lawyers commit that they will not "threaten, insult, intimidate, or demonize" other participants in the divorce process. Good lawyers don't do that now. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which historically has provided a model for good practice nationally, has promulgated "Bounds of Advocacy" that set a high standard for professional courtesy and cooperation.Emotional cost. "Collaborative divorce" proponents say their process is designed for parties who don't want to go to war and who don't want "to hate each other for the rest of their lives." This description fits the vast majority of family law clients, including most of those whose cases end up in court. Clients almost always care about the emotional cost of adversary proceedings, and about the impact of the divorce action on their children and other family members. To suggest that people who re[...]



Divorce Do's and Don'ts

2010-11-09T16:12:00.768+08:00

Going through a divorce can be a trying time emotionally, physically, and financially. The results of a divorce may follow you for years and possibly for the rest of your life. Do all you can to insure the final results of your divorce are as positive as possible.Divorce for the Right Reason(s) Make sure you are getting divorced for the right reasons. People change, your spouse did and so did you. Communication during a marriage can break down and things like kids and finances can come between couples. Getting a divorce will not make the kids go away and often makes financial matters even worse. Seek counseling if there is even a slim chance that the marriage can be salvaged. Often people think if I simply get rid of him/her I will be happy but there may be an underlying reason to your unhappiness that has nothing to do with your spouse. A qualified marriage counselor can often help you individually or together root out and solve marriage problems.Uncontested Divorce If you are on good terms with your spouse and the feelings between you are mutual, discuss the divorce and see if you can agree to terms without an attorney. There are new, inexpensive methods to file an online divorce through sites like DiscountDivorceOnline that can save you and your spouse thousands of dollars if the divorce is uncontested. Going through an uncontested divorce can also significantly reduce your stress and if you have children is much healthier for them both during and after the divorce.Find the Right Divorce Attorney When a divorce cannot be filed uncontested and an attorney is needed, it is extremely important that you not only hire a skilled divorce attorney, but the right divorce lawyer for you. Every divorce attorney has his or her own style. Make sure their style suits both yours and the style necessary to protect your best interest during and after the divorce. The best way to find the right divorce lawyer for you is to get personal referrals from other people you know who have gone through a divorce and to also see if you can get a free initial consultation with the lawyer. A bulldog divorce attorney may be perfect if your ex is fighting you and making things difficult, but he or she may only antagonize the other attorney and your ex if things are currently friendly. On the other hand, you do not want to hire a passive aggressive lawyer without a backbone if things are heated between you and your spouse. Finally, finding an attorney with a strong work ethic who is willing to stay in and go the long haul is vitally important. If they get bored, tired, or distracted easily they may begin to recommend settlements that appear good for you short term but are not in your long term best interests.Act Quickly During the Divorce Act quickly, what does this mean? If you think for a minute your spouse is vindictive, manipulative, irresponsible, or dishonest then it is crucially important that you direct your divorce lawyer to send legal notices to freeze pension plans, life insurance, 401k’s, stock brokerage accounts, and any other assets such as home and car loans to avoid your spouse from changing beneficiaries, ownership, cashing out 401k’s and life insurance, stock options, etc. Send an immediate notice to all of your credit card issuers to close accounts or change them from joint to single accounts to keep your spouse from maxing them out and increasing debt that ultimately you will both be responsible for until the divorce is finalized.Conside[...]



5 Ways To Ensure You Will Have a Happy Life After Divorce

2010-11-09T16:13:03.111+08:00

Life after divorce is something that most people who are going through divorce think about. Thinking about having a life after divorce or thinking about how your life will be after divorce, are common because people tend to fear for themselves. In fact, think about having a life after divorce while getting a divorce can be a sticking point for some people because they just aren't sure what their life will "look like" after divorce.Here's 5 things to keep in mind so can have a life after divorce:Life after divorce item 1: Think about your emotional stability...if you wanted the divorce or not, you must face it head on.Divorce is tough and whether you're going through it or your are already past it, your emotional stability is of vital importance because you might tend to be somewhat touchy after going through an emotional ordeal. Keep in mind that your life after divorce can be great but you must admit that you will go through (or have gone through) a trying time in your life. Admitting this and facing your situation head on is important to your emotional stability and critical to you having a happy life after divorce.Life after divorce item 2: Look at the bright side, having life after divorce could be a new start for you!How may times in your life do you wish you could have just started over knowing what you know now? If you answered "many", don't worry, that's a common thought most of us have. Having a positive mental attitude about your new beginning will make a huge difference in how happy your life will be after divorce. Life after divorce can be fantastic and it can also be very tough if you don't remain positive about a what's in front of you. Look at the glass as being "half full" and realize that, in order to be happy after divorce, you must take advantage of the opportunity to get a fresh start!Life after divorce item 3: Surround yourself with people you like in your free time.Too often times people start new relationships with just about anyone because they are lonely while getting a divorce or after getting a divorce. Sparking a relationship, romantic or friendly, with anyone and everyone who will spend time with you can contribute to unhappiness in your life after divorce. Stop and think about the people that you spend time with and ask yourself, "Once my emotional turmoil has ended, would I really want to keep the relationship going with this person?". Life after divorce is tough...so, when you're deciding about divorce, going through one, or already have been through a divorce, make sure that you carefully choose who to spend your free time with or you may fall into more negativity in your life after divorce.Life after divorce item 4: Make it a point to spend time doing things that you like to do every week.Make sure that you spend time enjoying your life after divorce - don't forget to 'stop and smell the roses'. Some people vent, work, go into hiding, or just plain go haywire after getting a divorce and their subsequent life after divorce isn't as healthy as possible. At least once a week, take the time to go and do something that you really enjoy doing...it will help you deal with your life after divorce in a more pleasing manner.Life after divorce item 5: Set specific goals and implement a plan to achieve those goals.Life after divorce is a tumultuous time, your life can seemingly be 'in the balance'. In order to make sure that you feel good about yourself and enjoy the feeling that ac[...]



Michigan Divorce Handbook

2010-11-09T16:13:23.637+08:00

MICHIGAN NO-FAULT DIVORCEAs Most people are of aware, Michigan is a no-fault state. In fact, Michigan has been a no-fault jurisdiction since 1973. Although there are arguments to ending this status of a no-fault jurisdiction, as can be recently attested to by legislation in the Michigan House and Senate, most divorce attorneys would argue that our system has been an effective system. Some have argued that the no-fault status has attributed to the rise in the number of divorces since the 1960's. Most attorneys would argue that changing demographic and socioeconomic factors are responsible for the increase in divorces. Although the no-fault status generally means a 50/50 split in assets, there are certain factors such as fault that can be used in making a breakdown of marital assets. For instance, if it is found that one of the spouses had affairs or was extremely abusive, judges are now reluctant to award more property to the not-at-fault party. For instance, if there are assets of about $100,000, a judge, depending on the circumstances, would be likely to award anywhere from 55 - 60 % of those assets. The other factors to be looked at also involve the employability of one's spouse.DIVORCE REQUIREMENTSMichigan is a no fault divorce state like 40 plus other jurisdictions. However fault can be a determining factor in how the property is divided up, along with how much alimony and child support will be paid. For example, if one of the spouses was having an affair or was abusive, that factor could be used by the judge in making a determination as to how marital property was divided or how much alimony was paid. There has to be a breakdown in the marital relationship to the extent that the objects of matrimony have been destroyed and there appears no reasonable likelihood that the marriage can be preserved. The residency requirements in Michigan are 180 days in the County 10 days prior to filing the action for divorce.THE IMPACT OF DIVORCE ON YOUR LIFEDivorce is a difficult time and there a significant changes that take place. For instance, you lose contact with mutual friends, and you no longer are involved with the same social groups or organizations. In fact, most persons who go through a divorce feel it is incumbent upon themselves to make a drastic change. This is not recommended. For one to be able to get through such a difficult period it is important that gradual changes are made. A complete break off of mutual friends may be recommended because such contact with those persons may remind one of the difficulties experienced throughout that marriage. It is important for divorced parents not to make too many drastic changes, especially for the sake of their children.DIVORCE AND YOUR CHILDRENMany children of divorced parents are likely to react with anger and to feel a guilt complex. For example, many children will feel that they have been the cause of the divorce and as a result may feel bitterness with both parents. It is your job as a parent to indicate to your child or children that they were not responsible for the breakup of the relationship and it is especially important in the beginning of the separation that parents continue to emphasize this with their children.Keep you children involved in many of the activities they were involved with prior to the breakup of the marriage. It is especially important to maintain continuity for the children so as to minimize the difficul[...]