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Going Through Divorce
Children Family & Parenting Magazine Featured Article
Filing For Divorce Do You Really Know What To Tell Your Divorce Attorney?
Going through a divorce is really very difficult. It leaves a big hole in your pocket both financially and emotionally. But always keep in mind that the court and laws look at marriage as another business partnership. So even you need to overcome your emotions, approach it like a business deal. And since your attorney being your mouthpiece needs to know the terms and conditions, to win the case according to the terms fair to you.
Though, your lawyer may not ask you several questions but it is your responsibility to give a fair idea about your marriage, assets and children, and in what terms you want them. As it has been stated earlier that divorce should be approached like a business deal you need to have an idea about the investment that you are going to make.
Ask questions to yourself and prod how much is the issue is worth? How much you need to spend and invest to fight it? For people usually make the mistake of spending on the lawyer heavily, without benefit.
Here are lists of things that your attorney needs to know about yourself:
1 The first thing you must let know him-her, is the reason why you want a divorce. Be very sure to yourself that you want a divorce and let your lawyer know the same and that you don't want any reconciliation.
2 Put down in black and white about yourself, your spouse and your children's personal information.
3 Provide adequate information about your marriage and the terms of agreement of your marriage. If possible keep a copy of the agreement with your lawyer.
4 If either of you have been married before then provide your lawyer with information about the previous divorce.
5 One very important information is about your assets. You must share each and every information about your joint property and financial status. Let the lawyer know your income and expenses, mortgage , investment etc.
6 Be specific about your goals. Let him-her now what is the most important thing and what are the things you would not mind negotiating on.
7 The things that are not very important but would like to keep it with you. Things that are very important to you but on which you can compromise.
8 Issues relating to your children's custody or terms and condition of visitation.
9 Provide with adequate knowledge about the other person's character and behavior which you feel is important for your lawyer to know.
10 Discuss with him-her, if your goals are realistic or not. If he-she feels that it is not, then ask why.
Do not waste your own time and your attorney's, when he ask for your information if simply a yes or no answer will suffice. Be prompt and honest when your divorce lawyer seeks for information. Respond as quickly, concisely and as completely as you can. Before approaching the court you must have a clear idea how you would want the property to be divided.
These little information will help your attorney to understand how best he can represent you.
Now, after preparing all that for your divorce, you might be thinking that you know all the things one must know before divorce. No, my dear, its not that, here are certain dos and dont's of divorce that you just cannot afford to miss.
And what about protecting your assets before divorce, can you think of your post divorce life without them? Will you be able to secure your kids and yourself without these assets that belong to you also? Do think about it, before its too late!
Life After Divorce Don't Ignore This Important Step In Moving On From A Divorce
Divorce adds a lot of stress to our lives. Many adjustments have to happen is a relatively short period of time. If you're like most people, you've probably started hearing friends, who mean well, tell you that you need to "move on." While in theory that sounds good, what does that really mean? What do you have to DO in order to "move on?" One step in that process is to be sure that you are financially stable.
Now let me be realy clear here. I'm not suggesting that you need to be wealthy! Divorce causes major changes in finances for both parties. You may suddenly be forced to have to work outside the home for the first time in years. You may have to start living off of 20% less of your income because it's going to your children's other parent for child support. A lot of divorcees have to move and this changes the monthly housing expenditure.
In order to have "moved on" all of these changes will have been handled and adjustments made so that things are stable again. You will be very clear as to what debts you have and are at the point where you have the means to keep those under control. Ignoring the fact that things have changed and not adjusting your lifestyle accordingly is called denial. That will hurt everyone involved.
Do you have a right to be angry about the lifestyle adjustments that need to be made. Sure you do. This wasn't the plan you had in mind on the day that you got married. But this is where you are right now. Acknowledging that and adjusting accordingly so that your life is stable again is a necessary step in that "moving on" process.
If anger over all of the changes is getting in the way of your ability to move forward, then NOW is the time to deal with it! I want to invite you to learn more about our special report: "I'm Just So Mad! Dealing with the Anger of Divorce" at http:--www.RemarriageSuccess.com-somad.htm
Does the idea of learning from other divorced and remarried parents sound appealing to you? Well, come on in to The Community then! We exist as a place where parents can ask questions and offer support to one another. Check us out at http:--www.RemarriageCommunity.com
And if you enjoyed this article, why not receive a few every Friday with our Tip of the Week? I encourage you to get all the details at http:--www.RemarriageSuccess.com-tip.htm today.
By Alyssa Johnson at Remarriage Success.
The Top 3 Credit Preserving Strategies Overlooked By Most Divorce Attorneys At Time Of Divorce
Let's face it: practicing divorce law has become harder to do. Not that the practice has become more complex but that the actual time you have to spend practicing it has diminished. This, in part, is due to the rise in internet divorces. According the the Supreme Court, 65% of all divorces are Pro Se--the divorcing parties represent themselves1. Another factor is that new law grads are beginning to saturate the market.
According to the Association of Legal Career Professions more than half of employed graduates took jobs in law firms in 2005 and as of February 2007 the vast majority of the Class of 2006 law school graduates were employed. In other words you competition is increasing. Oh right, I forgot you're dealing with higher end clients who need an experienced lawyer.
Try this one on for size. Society as a whole each year is becoming more and more comfortable with the internet and the services it provides. We have vaults of information at our fingertips and we've become a generation of informed buyers. Have you ever had anyone do their own research first online and then contact you to fill in what gaps they couldn't find online? Did you know that the four most frequently searched professional industries online are medical, legal, auto and student loan consolidation. Consumers are out there getting informed. Now as to whether it's right information or not is another story.
However, both of these trends factor into the loss of business revenue you otherwise would have had. The informed consumer now has taken the mystery out of divorce law by researching it online. Heck, that's what I did when I went through my divorce. Once they've taken away your expertise by knowing as much as there is to know about divorce law and their personal situation, the only thing left to negotiate is price. My poor attorney felt so bad because there wasn't any advice or counsel for him to offer us. All he felt he could do was charge us a filing fee.
If that wasn't bad enough, wait till you get a load of this. The influx of new family law attorneys are also pulling fees down. As the supply of other practicing divorce attorneys infiltrate your market area and the demand for your services drop so does the price along with it. Both of these trends can be detrimental to your bottom line. If you haven't felt it yet you will.
Another dangerous trend to watch out for is commoditization. This trend brought the mortgage industry to its knees. Supposedly informed borrowers shopped for mortgages online based solely on price. The shopping for a mortgage online, which eliminates the advice and expertise of a professional, left many to make poor decisions. In the end, the decision to save a buck ended up costing them far more than what they initially saved - their house. The same is true for the divorce industry and those that shop for the lowest attorney fees.
Now that you know that all the divorce knowledge anyone could ever want is on the internet and that new lawyers are a dime a dozen, you need to ask yourself: Where does my business come from? Approximately 80% of companies obtain 70% of their business through word of mouth from satisfied customers and contacts2. Where does 70% of your business come from? Most legal professionals get their clients from two sources, other professionals or ads.
What do some of your past clients have to say about your services? Your past or current clients are by far the best source of new business or the fastest way to go bankrupt. You better treat them as if your practice depended on it, because it does. Let's look at what others have had to say about their experiences with their divorce attorney.
A post from divorce360.com revealed this...
"...I went into debt during the divorce process. There were times when I paid my attorneys with credit cards. When my divorce finally cleared I was mired in debt."
Here's another one from the personal blog of Marc Perkel...
"... It's a common tactic these days for lawyers to advise clients that if you accuse the male of sexual abuse you can get him out of the house and eventually get it and more property...These lawyers are no more than common thieves [sic]. These are the kind of lawyers that bring shame on the American Ju$tice Sy$tem."
Ok, so they're saying going through a divorce can be expensive, if not costly, when using an attorney. This isn't news to anyone. Let's peek at what Andrew DeFaria wrote about attorneys on his personal blog ...
"...Lawyers suck! They really are not alway [sic] looking out for your best interests. They prefer a cookie cutter case that they can apply a cookie cutter solution to. Case in point, my divorce attorney is just trying to settle
Do you think he's sugar coating it? I mean attorneys really do offer value and don't run away from a fight the moment things get a little tough or want to settle, do they?
Take a look at this last string of posts all from the same forum entitled "Re: Sleeping with attorney..."
"... I think lawyers sleeping with their clients is fairly common."
"... I am come to learn family law attorneys are in it ONLY for the money. This whole 'fight for you' is a crock of
[censored]. And they shouldnt [sic] be paid un-less they deliver what they promise."
"... My attorney was an [censored]. If I'd had more money I would have switched right away3."
Wham bam thank you ma'am. There you have it. The number one complaints about divorce attorneys are...
1. They charge-cost too much and use strategies to help your spouse get the most out of you.
2. They don't fight for you and they deliver less than expected performance.
3. They possibly will sleep with you, which one commenter mentions is all "part of the game".
Wait a minute! What in the world does all this have to do with "The 3 Credit Preserving Strategies Attorneys Overlook"? It doesn't, but ignoring these consumer complaints will do more damage than good. Your public perception is what precedes you. Knowing this is half the game. Let's briefly address each of these, and then I promise to get into the 3 overlooked areas. I want you to know how important these perceptions are first because each of these poses a threat to your practice and if ignored have the potential to bankrupt you.
The first one is the idea that attorneys charge a lot for their services and usually their clients run out of funds and have to borrow money in order to continue. This is usually done by charging the fees to a credit card or borrowing from a family member. Everyone knows that attorneys cost money. This isn't new. However, the way that they are able to make the most of every case is where the public has its complaint. What lawyers will do is "drum up a fight" or "stir the pot" to drag the case out for as long as possible, according to Natalie Wright, JD. She mentions that attorneys do this solely to make money off of the client and that they like to fight just to fight, because fighting is what prolongs the divorce process.
This brings us to our next complaint: most family law practitioners are too weak to fight. Anne Kass, a retired District Judge of Albuquerque, New Mexico, said that she has heard people who are thinking about getting a divorce say, "I want the meanest, toughest attorney I can find. I want a fighter." In her opinion a "fighter" isn't necessarily a good lawyer . Kass says that a good lawyer gives clients bad news and delivers things that the client does not want to hear. They don't lead their client on or give them unreal expectations. Have you heard of a divorce cases where there wasn't any bad news to be given? In Kass' opinion divorcing couples are wise to hire lawyers who are peacemakers and problem solvers. If a settlement is to be made it needs to be made in the light of peacemaking and problem solving with the client as part of the solution, however rare that might be.
This last grievance is not only a perception and concern of the public towards lawyers, but of the Bar Association as well. In a New York Times article published September 5, 1993, it pointed out the fact that "California prohibits lawyers from sexually exploiting clients. The rule does not flatly ban intimacy, but says a lawyer cannot demand sexual favors as a condition of representation." In the same article it states that "some lawyers say matrimonial lawyers in particular ought to be banned from sex with clients, just as psychiatrists are." Clearly this is a bigger issue than just someone ranting about it on a message board somewhere in cyberspace. It was big enough for the New York Times to publish an article addressing this issue way back in 1993. That was almost 15 years ago from the time of this publication. Things have gotten worse since then.
Based on research done by Alicia Williamson at straightdivorce.com and published on January 8, 2008, there are many more complaints filed against divorce lawyers than any other kind of attorney. She also cited that divorce lawyers were punished more than other lawyers for violations of ethics and a high percentage of lawyers suffer from substance abuse, alcoholism and mental issues. Can you think of a few of your peers off hand that suffer from these symptoms?
Let's face it: public faith in the legal profession is not merely low but is declining at an accelerating rate. During the past decade the percentage of people willing to rate lawyers' honesty and ethical standards as "high" or "very high" has fallen off the cliff from 22% to 13% . This is an average decline of nearly 1% per year4. With news like "A Southern California lawyer accused by the State Bar of spending more than $317,000 of client money on travel, clothing and beauty treatments has lost her license,"5 it makes attorneys who practice honest law and add valuable contribution to their clients really hard to be seen as such.
Unfortunately, attorneys like Corri Fetman, a.k.a. "The Home Wrecker" aren't doing too much to help promote the image of being honest and ethical. Of her marketing style and tactics Joe Ducanto of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys said that "this reflects badly on women in general, and on lawyers. It is just in bad taste."6 It seems that some attorneys have recognized the public's perception and are just marketing accordingly. Why not, right? She's just banking on broken homes. Where do you fit in the mix of all this?
Damaging New Trend in the New Economy
As damaging as those three public perceptions might be, they are all dwarfed when set side by side this new criticism past clients have and hold in contempt for their divorce attorney. The sad thing is that most of these problems occurred because of ignorance, not malicious intent. Here we go, the 3 biggest mistakes divorce attorneys make that end up costing their clients thousands while crippling their credit in the process.
Most people believe that a divorce is the worst thing that can happen to a household. That might be true before the divorce however, after the divorce when they see what it did to their credit rating, they quickly change their mind. If by chance your client's marriage hadn't ruined their credit, there is a high probability that going through a divorce will.
The fear of damaged credit has caged some couples into staying married when they otherwise would file for divorce. According to leading Southern California divorce attorney Jeffrey Lalloway "the fear of credit and what the other person would do to their credit should not keep either a man or a woman in an unhealthy or abusive situation." This fear of spousal credit abuse isn't unwarranted either. Cultural trend writer Katherine McKee just published her research that "women's credit takes a bigger hit than a man's when a couple splits up."7
According to an article published in smartmoney.com, "the marriage may be over and the divorce papers long signed, but one strong bond remains: the credit they [husband and wife] once took on together."8 A divorce decree doesn't change the contracts you made together as spouses to pay your bills. A court cannot overturn contracts between individuals unless they are fraudulent or not lawful and a divorce does not fit either of these definitions. Therefore, the contract remains intact until the contract ends . Liz Pulliam Weston, credit expert, points out that a divorce decree is typically binding only on the parties that agree to it - and creditors don't agree to it.
And this is where the problem lies. Many divorce attorneys tell, and have told their clients, that their creditors will accept the divorce decree and relieve them of their ex's debt. As you've just read, this simply isn't the case. It's not that simple. Neither is the process dividing property and debts in a divorce. When your clients are getting divorced they're also divorcing themselves from any emotional attachment they might have to their assets. This is easier said than done.
In a divorce, worrying about their credit score may be the last thing on your client's mind or yours for that matter. Divorced couples may find their credit suffering for the simple reason that too many divorce attorneys fail to look out for their clients' interests in that they don't help them separate financially from their former spouses. Instead, too many divorce decrees simply state which party will be responsible for paying which bills. Doing this leaves both parties open to all sorts of future financial disasters.
As your client's trusted advisor, what preemptive steps can you do to protect them during this phase of their life? In an ideal world, divorce attorneys would alert their clients to these dangers and help them protect themselves. Amy Boohaker, financial counselor to divorce attorneys, says that "not many divorce attorneys sit down with their clients and talk about how they're going to handle joint debts. They let [the clients] go off and solve that on their own."9
While other attorneys counsel with their clients to separate every joint account, you can't simply tell your clients to tell their creditors that they're getting divorced. A creditor cannot close a joint account because of a change in marital status without the permission of one spouse or the other. However, it should be noted that a creditor can close a joint account at the request of either spouse.
What most couples and attorneys fail to recognize is that an account is not really closed out until the balance is paid off. What's even worse is that it's very easy to re-open accounts if the accounts are being paid on time. According to creditinfocenter.com, credit card companies are encouraging current closed accounts with balances to be re-opened if the payment history has been positive. Just like it only takes one spouse to close a joint account, it likewise only takes one spouse to open up a closed account again. Borrowers beware!
In the case of Joan, a Los Angeles homemaker, what she didn't know hurt her. "I just assumed my responsibility ended once the divorce was final." For too many this is the general assumption.
For you as their attorney, understanding the different kinds of credit accounts opened during a marriage may be helpful in eliminating some of the more common problems that arise in a divorce.
The most common place to find this info is at the Federal Trade Commission's website...
It is important to know how a creditor is reporting an account because a creditor who reports the credit history of a joint account to the credit bureaus must report it in both spouses names per the Equal Credit Opportunity Act . This information can be deadly in the heat of a nasty divorce when a vindictive spouse who doesn't care about their credit decides to destroy the credit history of their soon-to-be-ex-spouse's jointly-held accounts. The most common way to do this is to run up credit cards and not pay on them.
Find out early if your client is only an "authorized user" per the FTC site. If this is the case, they can request to have their name removed from the account because they're not the ones legally responsible for the debt. This is one of the quickest ways to protect your client's credit during a divorce. Oh, and ignore that stuff about "community property" accounts being reported on each other's credit reports. That's just plain false. Liability and reportabilty are two different things. Yes, even the government gets it wrong sometimes.
Your client's credit rating is the key to their financial health. Poor credit scores can increase their car and home insurance rates to almost unbearable levels. Take for instance what happened to Christina Rowe after her divorce. She described in her book, Seven Secrets To A Successful Divorce-What Every Woman Needs To Know, just how bad it can be ...
"...I got socked with a $4,000 car insurance bill because my credit score had tanked, yet I had never been late on an insurance payment. When I wrote them explaining how my difficult divorce had lowered my credit rating, they reduced my premium."
Again, most people think that "closing out" joint credit card accounts is the end of the headache. This would be a great time for you to ask your clients probing questions about their credit and joint accounts. Questions like...
..."Were you added to this account?"
..."Whose name is on the bill?"
..."Did you both sign the credit application?"
Questions like these will help tip the balances back in your favor if your clients have come to the relationship having done their homework online. This, as we discussed earlier, is just what they're doing.
You would also be wise to advise your client's to opt out from receiving pre-screened offers for credit or insurance . The last thing you would want to have happen to your client is for a spiteful ex-wife or ex-husband to be tempted to apply for a loan in your client's name just to ruin their credit. There are two ways to advise your clients to do this...
1. On-line at www.optoutprescreen.com or
2. By phone 1-888-567-8688
In extremely emotional cases it would be wise for your client to put a fraud alert on their credit file. This makes it impossible for anyone to take out new debt in their name. The creditor is required to contact your client by phone to establish any new credit.
In most cases there are joint accounts that need to be paid during and after the divorce. The more common accounts include cars, homes and credit cards. Some practical solutions are...
Joint Credit Cards-Have both spouses acquire new credit cards and transfer any remaining balances. You do this so that the debt is separated and each spouse is responsible for the repayment of that debt. If the credit history of either spouse doesn't permit them to acquire new cards, either have them find a co-signer or sell joint assets to pay off existing debts.
Car and Homes Loans-Have the loan refinanced to the spouse responsible for the debt so that it's being reported in the name of that spouse only. You can also use the refinance of an asset to buy out the other spouse if there is equity in it. However, do not under any circumstance encourage your client take their name off the title of the asset in question. If they take their name off of title , they are removing themselves of ownership but not of loan responsibility. This is a very dangerous situation to be in. This also means that they will not be able to split the equity in the asset at time of sell because they would have relinquished their shares of ownership to their spouse while retaining all the liability.
There is one other way to remove your client from the credit documents so that they're no longer responsible for the debt. This way, however, is fairly uncommon and is tricky to negotiate. It's a process called "Name Delete Assumption." This process simply deletes your client from the loan if the other spouse is able to currently qualify for payments of the debt.
Until a settlement is reached, encourage your client to have all their payments and soon to be ex-spouse's payments deducted automatically from their checking accounts. Even after settlement has been reached this is a good tactic to use to protect your client's credit until all debts have been safely separated. It would be good practice to include this in the divorce decree.
With so many people getting divorced without preparing their finances beforehand, it may be hard to set aside emotions long enough to get everything in order. However, not doing so can result in serious issues with your credit score. If divorce is looming for a couple, the best thing to remember is that prevention is the best medicine.
Where there's no money there's no honey. Divorce has long been connected to bankruptcy, and bankruptcy to divorce. An article by staff of the Executive Office for United States Trustees states: "One theory was that divorces cause bankruptcy because the dissolution of the household produces financial distress. The second theory was that divorce and bankruptcy are both examples of breaking promises and that an increase in promise breaking 'across the board' has produced the increases in both divorces and bankruptcy filings."10
In addition to a divorce reducing the ability to pay, the correlation between divorce and bankruptcy may reflect the fact that divorce lawyers often counsel their clients to file for bankruptcy. If this is the case of the opposing counsel, it's not only important but essential to protect your client from the backlash of bankruptcy.
Especially tragic are situations where the ex-spouse files bankruptcy and includes many joint debts in the bankruptcy. The spouse not filing bankruptcy is left holding the bag for these joint debts. Not only is the spouse who didn't file bankruptcy responsible for the unpaid debts , but the non-filing bankruptcy spouse's credit is also ruined. The tragic part about this is that it is something that cannot be corrected, because the credit bureaus have the right to report them as delinquent under the Fair Credit Reporting Act if they were original owners of the debt.
Also alarming is that the percentage of women filing bankruptcy petitions has almost tripled during the last 20 years. Is this related to divorce? It certainly has to be counted as one of the factors, but not the only factor because the divorce rate hasn't increased nearly so dramatically. In a recent study researchers found that when divorce occurs, household heads' probability of bankruptcy is predicted to rise by 86% in the following year. Thus divorce has a large effect on bankruptcy.11 This is yet another reason for you to protect the credit of your clients when going through a divorce.
Clearly divorce is a destructive threat to your client's credit. It is my opinion in this credit driven world that the 3 complaints of money, poor service and sex will be overshadowed by the far reaching and long lasting effects of damaged credit. Your reputation now will hang in the balance as to how you helped address this new threat with your clients.
You now have been briefly exposed to the subject of credit and what steps you can take to protect your client's best interest. The question still remains, how does this information help you overcome the public's negative perceptions about attorneys?
Well, knowing how to protect your client's credit allows for you to not only add value to your service but increase your hourly rate as well. Your clients aren't going to be able to get this information on the internet nor will they be in the right frame of mind to even begin think about protecting their credit. And for the "new suits" out of law school, the only way they would be working on protecting their client's credit is if they've managed to get their eager little hands around a copy of this executive briefing or they've screwed up enough of their client's lives by not addressing their credit up front that their reputation is now starting to suffer because of it.
What about not providing meaningful service or laying down when they want you to fight? The underlying issue isn't that you weren't willing to fight it was that they didn't feel protected. The real reason we fight is to protect something or someone. This insight into how the credit system works allows you now to protect your client from credit malpractice. You're now able to protect them from years of higher interest rates, fees and premiums by addressing the credit issue in divorces with more authority than before.
As for the sex, there's not a whole lot that this executive summary will be able to help with clearing up that public perception. And as long as attorneys like Corri Fetman are still practicing law, it'll be an up hill battle.
So, in case you missed the 3 overlooked credit saving strategies that most divorce attorneys mishandle when dealing with a divorce, here they are again...
1. Have your client review their credit report to know what's being reported and how they can then take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
2. Have your client opt out from mail solicitations to protect against identity theft and fraud and to contact the credit bureaus to place a fraud guard on their credit file.
3. Have all bills automatically deducted from both parties' checking accounts to decrease the likelihood that either credit will be hurt during the divorce by non-payment.
Call to Action
Clearly there is a lot more that can be done to preserve the credit of your client when going through a divorce. As a Credit and Divorce Planning Practice, this is just the beginning of what we offer in the way of protection for your client to safely pass from married life to singlehood.
We provide them with a BRIDGE plan to help them properly cross over and protect their Budget, Retirement, Individual Credit, Dependents, Gaps in Life Skills and Estate during the process of, and for years to come after, their divorce.
These plans are designed to emphasize to the client the need for an attorney to assist in the realization of their personal plan. They also prioritize in the mind of your client your fees as a way of passing through the process of divorce in the safest most direct way while accomplishing as much as possible on their plan. These plans allows for you, as their represented counsel, to do what you do best - negotiate. It also gives them a self-designed plan to help keep them grounded during the divorce process.
Our Divorce Plans give shape and direction to your case by removing your clients' fear and anxiety that unclear vision and lack of goals create during the divorce process.
As a firm we provide 2 levels of service...
1. Self-A self-guided workbook and checklist for your client to use when going through a divorce to preserve their credit. It also shares with them ways they can create their own BRIDGE.
2. Counsel-We will sit down with your client and review their credit and give them an action plan to protect themselves. We will educate them about credit and how the credit scoring model works. We will provide them with a detailed plan discussing options and recommendations to protect, properly pay for and leave their divorce independent and financially intact. Their plan will go over their BRIDGE - Budget, Retirement, Individual Credit, Dependents, Gaps in Life Skills and Estate. They will also be introduced to other non-competing service providers to help assist with other needs they might have while going through the divorce process.
Our goal is not to sell products or services to your clients, but to provide them with clarity and vision during and after their divorce. Our aim is to help them have a plan of action to assist them, and you as their counsel, in the process of negotiation. This plan serves as a standard to weigh every plan of action against during the negotiation process. This allows you to focus on what you do best - negotiate.
If you have all the business you can handle right now and aren't interested in growing your business you needn't do anything. If you're still looking to grow your business and convert more of the 35% of individuals who still use an attorney without having to cut your fees, our Divorce Plans are what your family law practice needs.
Ryan Nickel is a Certified Family Financial Counselor and Divorce Planning Specialist. His Credit and Divorce Planning Practice is based out of Sacramento, CA. He has been featured in many publications, as an invited guest on several radio stations to share his expertise, wisdom and knowledge on the intricate relationship between credit, finances and divorce.
You can contact Ryan S. Nickel at (916) 333-3210 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how exactly we can help you position yourself better as an attorney with the preemptive solution to credit and divorce planning when counseling with your clients.
Telford Divorce Solicitor Urgently Warns About Risks Involving Cheap Do It Yourself Divorce!
Telford Divorce Solicitor Nadia Davis, who heads the Family Law Team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors Shropshire advises that &ldquoAlthough on the face of it, the self-help divorce package seems like a cheap option, it could cost couples dearly in the future.&rdquo
&ldquoDIY divorces can work well for cases where there are no children or assets from the marriage involved, but they are generally not suitable for more complicated cases. Nadia said many divorcing couples did not realise that even when there has been a Decree Absolute, both partners still have the right to pursue financial claims arising from the marriage &ndash and this process can continue until they get remarried or die. &ldquoAt Martin-Kaye, we are seeing increasing numbers of people who have dealt with their divorces themselves and who are now facing difficulties. They thought they had resolved their financial issues amicably with their spouse at the time of their separation, only to find themselves on the wrong end of a court application for financial support several years later.&rdquo &ldquoThese clients are horrified to learn that their former spouse can seek further financial relief, no matter what was previously agreed. And even worse, the Court will consider their financial situation as it stands at the time of the new application, when often their finances have significantly improved.&rdquoNadia said with proper legal advice at the time of the separation, the couple could ask for a Clean Break Order to be made alongside their divorce, to ensure they were protected. &ldquoThis ensures any agreement reached is recorded and takes away the power of the former spouse to pursue further claims, which means both partners can get on with their lives. Ultimately, people stand to lose a lot more if they are ordered to pay their former spouse financial relief, and that cheap DIY divorce could end up being very expensive indeed. Professional advice at the time of the separation is the best way forward, and will help protect both parties in the future.&rdquoThis article is free to republish provided this resource box remains intact.
Nadia Davis is an experienced Telford Family Law Solicitor at Martin Kaye Solicitors. She is a member of the Law Society's specialist Children Panel. Nadia became a partner in July 2006 and has a particular experience in family law, divorce & high value financial & property disputes.
Martin-Kaye Solicitors have established an enviable reputation across the region in dealing with the ever-changing and complex issues of family law and Disputes over Children.
Please visit http://www.martinkaye.co.uk/ for a full list of services and further information regarding families, divorce & separation.
Rhode Island Divorce Strategy From Finding A RI Attorney To Filing For Divorce By A RI Lawyer
The first step in obtaining a divorce from your spouse is finding a Rhode Island attorney who you are comfortable with. Many attorneys give free initial consultations while others charge for the first consult. I have always taken the position that the initial consultations will be free.
It is important to ask the proposed lawyer about his or her experience and qualifications to handle your case. It is also crucial to determine the hourly charge and the amount of any initial fee or retainer.
It is often impossible to determine how much a divorce will cost from beginning to end. However, it is a good idea to get an educated estimation of the eventual fee. This will never usually be more than a estimation because the cost of the divorce usually depends on several factors. Those factors could include how quickly a settlement is reached, the number of motions that each party will file, the amount - nature and complexity of assets to be equitably divided, the amount of documents involved in the case, the animosity of the parties to each other, the waiting time while you are in court and many other potential issues.
The Golden Rule is that the longer it takes to reach a settlement the more the divorce will cost because the lawyers will spend a lot more time working on the case. If there is no settlement and the case goes to trial or the day of trial, the divorce could get very expensive. If everything is agreed or nearly agreed to and the parties are relatively amicable then the divorce should take a lot less time and therefore be much less expensive.
Uncontested divorces in Rhode Island should be much less expensive then contested divorces. However, there are many different types of uncontested divorces. There are uncontested divorces with no real assets and uncontested divorces with assets to divide. If the divorce is uncontested and there are assets then the lawyer may need to prepare a property settlement agreement, deeds, qualified domestic relation orders etc. Therefore, the cost of an uncontested divorce could vary depending on the circumstances. For example if a lawyer has to draft a property settlement agreement , the lawyer will devote more time to the case.
I believe that a fair price for an uncontested divorce from soup to nuts in Rhode Island with no assets and no property settlement agreement is about $800 flat fee plus costs. The typical costs are a filing fee of $100 and service of process fees of approximately $40.
After you have retained the lawyer there is typically an intake process in which the lawyer gets the basic information so that he or she can properly represent you. The lawyer typically drafts the divorce documents and you sign them in front of him-her or another notary. These documents include a divorce complaint, DR financial statement, statement of children of the marriage, counseling statement, report of divorce, summons and automatic divorce order etc. It is important that the DR6 form otherwise known as financial statement is accurately filled out.
There are many important decisions that may need to be made before you file for divorce in Rhode Island. Strategy is crucial in many instances!
In some cases, the attorney will file a motion for temporary orders when the divorce complaint is filed. A motion for temporary orders should be filed if the husband or wife is in need of temporary resolution of issues while the case is proceeding. These temporary motions typically request temporary child support, payment - contribution to daycare , contribution to medical bills, alimony, payment of household expenses, payment of the mortgage, taxes and insurance. A motion for temporary orders can also address child visitation and child custody issues related to the minor children as well as issues concerning exclusive use and possession of the marital home. The temporary motion can also request temporary orders concerning: restraining orders both financial and personal and a myriad of other temporary issues. The motion for temporary orders will typically be heard by the Court within 30-40 days of the filing of the complaint for divorce.
If no temporary orders enter then there is no legal obligation of a spouse to pay anything while the case is proceeding until there is a decision by the judge or the parties sign a property settlement Agreement. If there are no temporary orders, the financial issues, visitation and custody issues will be up to the parties to figure out while the case is proceeding without the benefit of a court order.
If there is an emergency in which irreparable harm will be caused if the party has to wait for a court date, then an emergency motion should be filed with the complaint. An emergency motion must either be verified under oath or be accompanied by an affidavit. The attorney will bring the emergency motion to the proper judge and ask for an ex parte order. Ex parte means that the other side is not present to object. The Rhode Island judge will only consider the affidavit and documentation before him. If the judge signs the emergency order than it will be served on your spouse by the constable along with the divorce complaint.
These types of emergency motion typically deal with issues concerning abuse of a child, dissipation or unreasonable spending of marital assets, domestic violence, child abuse or a plethora of other potential emergencies. If there is domestic violence involved in which you are in imminent fear of physical harm or have been abused or threatened with abuse please discuss with the attorney the benefits of filing a separate case called a Complaint Protection from Abuse! Please note that the Complaint Protection from Abuse is very different from an Emergency motion.
The timing of whether the divorce or Complaint Protection from Abuse case is filed first or whether they are filed simultaneously could be crucial to your case.
If an emergency motion is granted and emergency orders enter then a hearing will be set approximately 20 days to determine if the order should stay in effect while the divorce case is proceeding. At that hearing your spouse has an opportunity to contest the motion and tell his or her side of the story. At that hearing, the Court will determine whether the emergency relief will stay in effect while the divorce case proceeds.
Please see part two to be finished later which describes the process from filing the complaint to the nominal divorce hearing.
David Slepkow is a Rhode Island divorce and family law lawyer concentrating in divorce, family law, child support, custody, visitation, personal injury, landlord tenant, litigation, criminal law and the general practice of law. David is a partner at Slepkow Slepkow & Associates,Inc. which was established in 1932 and is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. David has been practicing for over 9 years and is licensed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Federal Court. David offers free initial consultations. Please goto our recently revised website http://www.slepkowlaw.com to obtain further information concerning Rhode Island law or to contact David Slepkow.
And what about protecting your assets before divorce, can you think of your post divorce life without them? Will you be able to secure your kids and yourself without these assets that belong to you also? Do think about it, before its too late!
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