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What is YOUR Financial Status before Divorce?

Assessing Your Financial Condition

One of the situations that we see in many family situations is where one spouse is the primary caretaker of the financial responsibilities for the family.  This person may have been in charge of paying the bills, making investment decisions (stocks, bonds, real estate,  etc.), maintaining insurances (health, life, disability, long-term care), managing the credit cards, and filing taxes during the marriage.

As you consider the impact of a divorce, we understand that if you have not been involved with these activities that they can be daunting to you and can cause a considerable amount of stress when dealing with these issues for the first time.

No matter what your situation, your divorce attorney, divorce financial planner or the domestic relations court is going to need this financial information.  Some topics will apply to you and others will not.  Take the time to investigate and list out your financial assets and liabilities.  This inventory will help you and/or your advisors assess your financial condition and will provide a basis to make recommendations that best fit your overall divorce financial strategy.

It is important to identify all of your assets and liabilities.  The court is looking to split your assets and liabilities in a fair and equitable allocation between you and your former spouse.  It is in your best interest to be up front and honest  by that, we mean do not hide assets, income sources, or liabilities.  You have the potential to be found in contempt of court and could have some very negative financial penalties imposed on you through the settlement divorce process.

Below is a listing of some of the financial areas that you will need to identify and value:

  • Real Estate
  • Bank Accounts
  • Retirement Accounts (IRA, 401k, Etc)
  • Investment Accounts (Brokerage)
  • Physical Securities (Stocks, Bonds, Etc)
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Business Interest(s) (Partnership)
  • Other Personal Property (Auto, Artwork, Antiques, Etc.)
  • Secured Debts (Mortgages, Auto Loans, Etc.)
  • Unsecured Debts (Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Etc.)

If you are unsure of how to gather this information, or are concerned that you will have a difficult locating all of the pertinent facts, you may consider hiring a professional financial expert such as a certified accountant, certified financial planner, or certified public accountant to guide you through this process.

In the interest of getting a fair settlement, it is imperative that you get a clear financial snapshot of all assets and liabilities.  This will provide the foundation to putting together a sound financial divorce strategy and will hopefully put you in a good position to start your new independent financial life.

If you are all situated financially and are ready to move on to your divorce process.  You can simply begin by going to www.mydivorcedocuments.com and begin your low-cost specific state do it yourself divorce process now.

What is the Difference between an Absolute & Limited Divorce?

A limited divorce is a legal action in which the court supervises a couple’s separation.  It is generally used by people who:

  • Do not yet have grounds for an absolute divorce
  • Need financial relief
  • Are unable to settle their differences without an attorney

During a limited divorce, the parties are to live apart.  However, they remain legally married but separated.

  • Although the parties are still married, neither party has the right to have sexual relations with the other spouse.
  • In addition, neither spouse may remarry, nor sexual relations with another person during a limited divorce and is considered adultery.

The court determines which party is at fault, if either is at fault.  The court may grant support to one spouse based on the particular situation.

The limited divorce can also resolve questions of:

  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Health insurance coverage and
  • Division of personal and real property

If spousal support is not required and there is no property to divide, there is generally no need for a limited divorce.

If one spouse dies after a limited divorce the other spouse may still inherit property.  Also the form of ownership for any property you own as husband and wife will stay the same.

Grounds for a Limited Divorce

To obtain a limited divorce, you must first prove at least one of four grounds.  These grounds include the following:

  • Cruelty of treatment
  • Physically or mentally abused
  • Abandonment
  • Mutual and voluntary separation

The more frequently used ground is desertion.  There are two types of desertion, actual and constructive.

  • Actual desertion is where one party unjustifiably abandons the other or actually kicks out the other spouse from the home.
  • Constructive desertion is where one party is forced to leave the home because of the misconduct of the other.

There is no certain amount of time needed to prove desertion in a limited divorce.  Any reasonable time period will justify the action.

Also, a spouse may obtain a limited divorce where one spouse engages in cruelty of treatment or excessively vicious conduct toward the other spouse or a minor child of the party who is filing for a limited divorce.  A victimized spouse who leaves the marital home because of some type of abuse also has a legal action for a limited divorce on the grounds of constructive desertion, as well as a justifiable defense to an abusing spouse’s claim of desertion.

On this note, if you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement without an attorney you are able to use the do it yourself divorce.  Not only will a DIY divorce save you money but it will also give you the peace of mind that you are waiting for so you can begin your new life today.  Simply go to www.mydivorcedocuments.com and download your specific state forms and kit now.

Pointers for Both Parents & Children During Divorce!

Basic Tips for Parents during a Divorce

  1. Always be sure to have alone time with your children for reassurance.
  1. Always tell the truth and do not break any promises or lie to your children.
  1. Do not fight or yell in front of your children for it may scare or worry them even more during the divorce process.
  1. Continue to stay involved with your children and help your children with their homework, sports, etc.
  1. Always keep your children updated and share all information that is relevant to them with them.
  1. Listen to your children and always pay attention to them.
  1. Always have patience with your children and try not to get too upset during emotional times.
  1. When you’re angry, do not take out your aggressions on your children.
  1. Be sure to communicate your feeling with your children always keep the lines of communication open for them.

Basic Rights for the Children during a Divorce

  1. Do not ever ask your children to choose sides between you and your spouse.
  1. Do not tell your children all the horrible details going on between you and your spouse.
  1. Do not badmouth one another in front of your children or to your children.
  1. Always give the right to privacy of one anothers conversations for either parent on the phone or visitation rights.
  1. Always keep the right to not cross examine your children after they have visited the other parent.
  1. Do not ask your children to relate messages between you and your spouse.  This is where communication between you and your spouse is very important for the kids sanity.
  1. The right not to be used as a confidant regarding the legal proceedings between the parents.
  1. Do not take the rights of your child’s feelings away due to another parent.
  1. Always be sure to keep the right to be protected from parental warfare.
  1. Be sure to always reassure your children and not make them feel guilty for loving both parents.

Now that you have been educated on some very good pointers for your divorce process, you are ready to take the next step.  If you are able to come to an agreement with your spouse on all terms then you are ready to begin your divorce.  You can simply go to www.mydivorcedocuments.com and begin your low cost specific state divorce today.

Tips to an Online Divorce!!!

If you are 100% SURE that you want a divorce, be sure to protect every aspect of your life :

1. Speak to a Marriage Counselor or another certified specialist who may be able to help you save your marriage.

Even if you don’t think there’s hope for the marriage, “divorce counseling” can help you discover what went wrong, how to cope, and how to pick up the pieces and go on.  Don’t wait for your spouse to participate.

2.  Download the Divorce Forms for a Quick Divorce and learn about the Divorce Law first.  If you choose not, be sure to Talk to a divorce attorney before you do anything.

Even if you don’t end up hiring an attorney to handle your separation or divorce, you would be well advised to get as much information as you can before you even discuss divorce with your spouse.

3. Do not move out of the marital home without talking to an attorney first. Download a Do It Yourself Divorce.

Leaving the house without a good reason may cause you to pay alimony or may result in your inability to collect alimony.  If you leave the house, you may also be unable to return until after a court divides the property. This process might take more than a year.  The best advice is to stay in the house until after you talk with an attorney unless your spouse is violent.  If your spouse is violent, you must take all steps necessary to protect yourself and your children.

4. If you have been involved in any extramarital affairs, talk to a lawyer before you discuss this with your spouse or anyone else.

In this case, honesty may not be the best policy.  In addition to the fact that adultery is illegal in some states, admission of an affair can have other consequences.  If your spouse is a candidate for alimony, any illicit sexual behavior on your part (during the marriage…which includes the time you are separated) could end up costing you thousands in additional alimony payments.

5. Take concrete steps to safeguard your assets before you and your spouse begin discussing divorce.  Get the divorce facts online without hiring an attorney.

One of these steps is to take possession of certain assets during separation, especially those assets you wish to be using, such as furniture and vehicles, and those assets that might be liquidated by your spouse, including precious gems and stones, other collectibles, cash, and bearer bonds.

Get Your Divorce Forms today by simply going to www.mydivorcedocuments.com!

What to Expect in a Divorce?

One of life’s most difficult questions you may run into is if  you should end a marriage or not.  Many people are unsure as to whether they will pursue a divorce or want to understand the process for acquiring one.  Knowledge can be very empowering and may help you think more clearly as to how you wish to handle the issues within your marriage.  This article gives a basic overview of the stages of a divorce case.

In some cases you may not automatically want to file your Divorce Complaint, although there may be reasons you wish to do so.  In this case you may want to try and resolve the issues that are relevant to considering ending your marriage.  If you have come to the final decision of moving forward with a divorce and feel there is no hope left then you need to start your divorce process.  During this time, you will likely exchange whatever information needed to have disclosure on financial issues.  You can even work with mediators or care professionals, if necessary, in order to resolve any conflicts with regard to custody and parenting time of your children.  Once the settlement is reached, it is reduced to writing and executed by the parties and counsel.  At this time, the parties can file the pleadings to obtain a divorce and seek enforcement of the agreement they have reached.

In the event that the circumstances of your case force you to file your divorce pleadings immediately rather than pursue pre-filing settlement options as discussed above, then your case will proceed differently.  The filing of the Divorce Complaint has an important impact.  Generally speaking, it establishes the termination date of your marriage and is the date by which assets of a marriage are identified and valued.  The filing of the Divorce Complaint also triggers many court deadlines for moving your case forward.  For example, your spouse will have thirty-five days to respond to the pleading that you filed.  From there, you and your spouse will prepare financial disclosure forms called Case Information Statements.  These forms will be filed with the court.

You will also begin a process called “discovery” in which you and your spouse will have a certain fixed period of time to respond to formal requests for information. These demands are called “Interrogatories,” which are written questions, to which you must respond, and a “Notice to Produce,” or a demand for documents, to which you will also have to respond by producing the documents requested in the demand.  Depositions may also occur during this discovery period.  Depositions consist of a series of questions that you and your spouse answer under oath. The attorney representing your spouse asks you the questions; your attorney questions your spouse.  Furthermore, if there are contested issues of custody and parenting time and/or if there are assets that need to be valued, such as real estate or a business, those evaluations occur during this time period with the assistance of experts.

Once discovery is completed there are certain initiatives organized by the court to assist you in trying to reach a settlement of your case.  One such initiative is called Early Settlement Panel, where approximately two attorneys volunteer their time to sit as panelists and hear from your counsel the merits of your positions in your divorce.  At the conclusion of that presentation, the panelists will offer a non-binding and confidential assessment of how they would resolve your case based on their experience.  If your case does not settle at Early Settlement Panel, then you are provided the opportunity to go on to Economic Mediation.  During Economic Mediation, attorneys who are qualified mediators volunteer approximately two hours of their time to again hear from you and your counsel and try to help you reach a resolution of your open issues.  With both Early Settlement Panel and Economic Mediation, your spouse and his/her attorney also present their position. At the conclusion of Economic Mediation you report back to the judge assigned to your case to advise the court of the status of your case.  If at the end of Economic Mediation your case is still not settled, then the court will likely schedule an in-court settlement conference and/or a trial date.

The above offers a quick summary of the general process of a divorce.  Subjective circumstances of an individual case can certainly cause a case to evolve in a variety of different directions.  A complicated custody dispute can also make a divorce more involved, although courts do prioritize custody matters and try to expedite those cases, preferably within a six month period of time tolling from the filing date of the Complaint for Divorce.  It is also important to keep in mind that with the assistance of counsel and cooperation from the parties, even complicated matters can be solved expeditiously.  Every divorce varies according to your situation.

If you have read the divorce process and realize that you can have an amicable divorce and come to agreements to resolve this divorce quickly.  Then I encourage you to simply go to www.mydivorcedocuments.com where you can download your specific state low cost forms and kits today.

How Do I Know if an Uncontested Divorce is Right for Me?

What is an Uncontested Divorce?

An Uncontested Divorce is a way majority people get a divorce.  It is very basic and the most inexpensive way to divorce.  It gives you and your spouse a chance to end your marriage quietly and civilly.  An Uncontested Divorce is not right for all divorcing couples.

Advantages of Uncontested Divorce

The advantage of an uncontested divorce is the low cost.  An uncontested divorce that stays uncontested is almost always the most inexpensive way of getting a divorce.  I am sure the first thing that may go through a person’s mind is “can I afford this divorce”?  The simple fact is that any money you can avoid spending on any type of legal fees or mediators, you may be able to use after your divorce or on your children if any.  The low cost is not, however, the only advantage of an uncontested divorce.  If the level of differences between you and your spouse are kept at ease then you will be able to keep your costs low.  The agreements that the two of you will reach in an uncontested divorce and file in the court will be a matter of public record.  Nor do the various proposals you discuss as you negotiate an agreement that’s acceptable to both of you.

Now don’t think you have to agree with each other about the issues of your divorce for an uncontested divorce.  It is not so much a question of agreement as it is your desire to get through your divorce in a civil matter.  If you and your spouse don’t yet agree on all the issues of your divorce that just means you may have some negotiating to do before you finish it.

When an Uncontested Divorce is a Bad Idea

An uncontested divorce is not a good idea when one spouse chooses to belittle or continuously bring up all the faults of the other spouse.  When domestic violence is involved, an uncontested divorce is not a good idea either.  Uncontested divorce is a bad idea when the parties are not able to speak civilly with one another.  If your spouse refuses to have any discussion with you about divorce, and if you’re determined to move forward with the process, any money you spend on an uncontested divorce is likely to be wasted.  If you are patient, you may find that your spouse may come around later, but if you are determined to finish it now and your spouse is not cooperating, you may have no choice but to serve them with the normal divorce process and do it the hard way.

The first thing you need to know about uncontested divorce is that the lawyer you get to do your uncontested divorce cannot represent both of you.  The courts assume that the spouses in a divorce have different interests.  The lawyer must represent one of you and not the other.  Uncontested divorce can happen much faster than most people realize.

An uncontested divorce basically all depends on your specific divorce case. If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement and work civilly together then an uncontested divorce is perfect for you.  On that note, if you would like to not only save money but time as well you can try a do it yourself divorce.  Simply go to www.mydivorcedocuments.com and look into a specific state down-loadable divorce kit for a low cost and begin your divorce process today!

The Male Perspective of Divorce

Divorce can be ugly and it doesn’t take Freud to unveil the facts. A married couple who at one point had the assumption that as life partners they would grow old together decide to go separate ways, there is resentment, hatred and a fury of mixed emotions which makes “irreconcilable differences” seem far too gentle of phrase. While there have been plenty of articles, blogs, websites, and LifeTime Network movies made for divorced women focused on handling depression and other negative effects of divorce; Hardly any attention gets shined on men’s reactions to divorce. MyDivorceDocuments.com examines the issue.

As of 2008 there was an estimate that close to 40% of marriages ended in divorce. The stats for second marriages are even less impressive. And while we are led to believe that most men are at fault for divorce for not showing enough affection at best and abuse at worst-no one disputes that divorce is hard on everyone. Most men can ponder what will happen in terms of child support and custody laws but once the ruling is made, most men can begrudgingly accepts it.

In general, men are defined by more than just their status in a marriage. A lifelong bachelor with a successful career never gets castigated of question yet an older woman in similar circumstances gets branded a spinster. A man who doesn’t want children isn’t looked at it in the same light as woman. A man can get judged by his job, his car, his hobbies and ironically men are effected more by employment status then marital status. If a man can pay the child support and have more time to golf-he probably isn’t going to think the divorce process a bad decision.

In stark contrast; men do not suffer the depression women do and tend to be far more impacted by employment status. Yet post divorce studies show an amazing statistic in that a woman’s standard of living drops by 73% while the man’s standard of living increases by 42%. It’s going to get a whole lot better soon. Probably a good thing that most men do not know this stat as I am sure many men on the marital fence would probably have visited MyDivorceDocuments.com yesterday. But once again; the pull of providing for spouse and children is a powerful and compelling reason to stay and given that men typically won’t research divorce law or child support laws there tends to be a blind eye cast to the subtle nuance of divorce law.

Lets examine it-a man gets divorced. Now what? He still has his job, friends, business associates and a social support system that he probably lamented not being able to spend more time with. Since Time and Memorium men have been raised to be the Hunters, Breadwinners, builders, police and fireman rolled into one; knowing the ins and outs of Divorce Law take a backseat to the needs of the family.

Studies show that men suffer disproportionate health effects on a far higher scale for employment factors then marital factors while the stats for woman are quite the opposite. The facts are no one looks eagerly towards divorce and very few men endure the divorce process unscathed. It is however time to admit that emotional factors and baggage due to divorce isn’t always solely reserved for women.

Negative Energy; Divorce’s Ugly ByProduct

Of all the emotions that can be rendered from the divorce process, Anger is truly the single most dangerous emotion that rears its ugly head when divorce is involved. Making matters all the more troubling is that when the process is over and considered a closing chapter in your life it is not uncommon that these two emotions though will last a great deal above and beyond what should have been the initial benchmark for closure.

Anger and resentment are natural responses to being emotionally damaged and are all too uncommon feelings that are experience and held onto during the divorce process. It is perfectly normal to feel some or all of these things when you have been hurt. These feelings may seem impossible to let go of, especially if issues of child custody and child support are concerned, but for a platitude of explanations but hanging on to them and letting those feeling linger and fester will only have an end result of long lasting negative effects on your mental and physical well-being and without question compromising your ability to start working towards rebuilding your life. The attitude of rebirth and a second chance to start with a better, more fulfilling life should never take a back seat to residual negativity.

Anger, resentment, guilt, and other negative emotions can slowly eat away away at the stability of your life in the following ways;
Anger is an energy that is draining and sadly the process of divorce and divorce laws can set up an overwhelmingly negative situation. That energy of anger robs you and depletes you of your positive power by transfering it to the person you are mad at. How much energy it takes to be mad at your ex? How much time and energy have you spent thinking and lingering over it? Time and Energy both have finite resources and no one has ever benefited by letting negative energy take over the positive and proactive abilities at your disposal.

An instinctive reaction to a grievance is resentment. Stemming and forming from the perception that you have been wronged or somehow being treated unfairly. Resentment can be defined as an inherent binding to bitterness and can be linked to the dangerous road toward outright hatred. These emotions can slowly and surely start to negatively impact the mind, body, and heart not to mention these two negative emotions of resent and anger are unquestionably socially destructive. Have friends stopped returning your calls or emails? It is probably not that they no longer want to be friends as much as it is that spending time with an angry, resentful person is unpleasant. We are not the first to realize that the fastest way to alienate others is to perpetuate yourself as one who cannot let go of the emotional baggage of anger and resentment. When someone who used to be known as “the fun friend” is now known as “the angry friend” you can expect luncheon invitations will start to decline. And while an online divorce kit can help start the divorce process we also recognize that factors of post divorce emotional well being.

In essence-do not lot divorce define your life and who you are. No matter how negative and emotionally draining the divorce process may have been letting it define you as a person is the surest way to limit your post divorce possibilities.

Divorce-Weighing the Cost Spectrum

 

We here at Mydivorcedocuments.com often get asked the question How Much Divorce Really Cost? Its a good question and based purely on the number of variables there is no direct nor scientific answer. If you or your spouse choose to battle tooth and nail of every small step of the divorce process and with high priced legal teams then you are probably looking at both spouses filing for bankruptcy as the end of court proceedings.

Then again the pendulum can swing in the other direction as well , if you can sit down like adults and decide without the assistance of OJs dream team on how best to separate; the costs associated will be infinitesimally smaller by contrast as you and your ex to be can hammer out the details and use a Do It Yourself or DIY Divorce Kit. Keep in mind that with the legal process of divorce there are always going to be some marginal cost associated with the process in itself.

But lest we kid ourselves the data is staggering and overwhelming that Divorce is business unto itself in the US and according to some statistics divorce can be a $28 billion annual industry with the average costs of divorce estimated to be roughly $ 20,000. We must attest this figure largely buoyed by celebrity and other high profile divorces we have covered here in previous blogs.

If you are thinking and weighing your divorce options, then one must assume both the short term and long term costs to consider. While short term costs are mainly associated with the attorney fees the long term ramifications include questions of finance and lifestyle. Thus the DIY Divorce is finding a niche for responsible adults who want a fair and amicable split without the legal rhetoric and courtroom haggling. Divorce kits include legal forms based and custom designed for all US States and cover the gamut of details that need to be decided on like personal property and real estate issues, child support, legal name changes and more. You can simply file and submit these documents to the court with some state laws not even including the provisions of making a date with a judge to explain the reasoning or logic. If it is a nofault uncontested divorce and the documents are fair and reasonable then the divorce can become final. Make no mistake-this is the cheapest way to divorce.

Examining the route of traditional Divorce which sees most couples hiring opposing lawyers to battle out the property, alimony, child support and other issues out in the court of law the costs of divorce can be staggering. With most lawyers charging an hourly rate you can expect to pay somewhere between $ 100 and $ 450 per hour. At at a minimum of $100 bucks a pop-do they really have an incentive to settle amicably and see to it that proceedings happen in a quick and efficient manner? This is not to say that divorce lawyers are all cut from the same cloth as many do have varied philosophies to the divorce process and in the manner they handle most divorce proceedings. But once again- the idea of divorce is to make the split amicable and rationally-the more you can keep a level head and the emotions tame the better off both spouses with be with the outcome. No Fault Uncontested DIY Divorce Kits can make this option a tangible reality.

File For Divorce Online; An Idea Whose Time has Come

 

Back in the day, the idea of divorcing your spouse was a challenge and invariably lead to rumors or innuendos that one spouse must have committed some grounds of divorce as as unspeakable, unsavory or sordid act like committing adultery, spousal abuse or emotional abuse and utilize these as leverage on the assumption they would serve as ammo or the necessary needed proof that your spouse had acted improperly and thus be granted a divorce. Think about that-two adults who wished to make the split almost being forced to attack the other simply to earn the right of being freed of matrimony.

Fortunately, those days are behind us divorcing your spouse is much easier. Most couples can simply divorce sans courthouse using the downloadable divorce kit without the stigma and horror of having you and your family forced to ride the roller coaster of divorce court and the possibility of children having to listen to mom and dads lawyers making each of their parents out to be horrible people. With the theatrics and working knowledge of the courts and the divorce process some lawyers are very adept at stretching a court case out far longer then it other wise would need to be.

If there are children involved-avoiding the courtroom altogether is the best decision possible as it considers the feelings of children and avoids the high probability of humiliation and trauma of sitting and listening hearing about mom or dads worse personal traits paraded through the court.
All states nowadays allow for “no fault”, “no contest”, or uncontested divorce which essentially means that both spouses can agree on the terms of a divorce and amicably work out their own settlement. Considered in this process is the sorting out of assets and loans, cars and houses, child custody, alimony etc etc.

With the notion of a long term courtship or knowing your soul mate after 10 minutes becoming far less frequent- we have seen a distinct rise in couples who are either getting married far too young or simply getting married after a very short time after meeting. As much as we smirk and snicker at the idea of a downloadable divorce kit; A “no contest’” divorce also has the benefit in that a couple can simply decide to split without having to give a reason.

And without question in almost all instances an uncontested divorce kit will surely avoid attorneys, lawyers, and court rooms which also equates to a “no contest” divorce being far more cost effective. Basically seeing both spouses work out the details by themselves to the benefit off all parties involved in an adult, rational decision.