Easy Divorce Education
Getting divorced is one thing, doing it without creating a legal and financial disaster for yourself is another. Since all divorces are basically civil lawsuits, they must be pursued in court according to the rules of the state you live in. Because the divorce laws vary from state to state, it is always a good idea to at least consult a divorce attorney before taking the plunge on your own. If you do decide to obtain legal representation in your divorce case, you will still need to understand the rules of the divorce procedure. You will have important decisions to make during the divorce and you will need to understand how the process works. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can educate yourself and learn how to divorce your spouse without completely losing your assets.
Before the Internet came into widespread use as a research tool, there was the local library. For people without Internet access, the library is still a good place to learn about the divorce process. Every library will have hundreds of books about or related to, divorce. Library research can be a bit slow, but you can learn about the in’s and out’s of divorce there.
Researching how to divorce online is much faster and easier than combing the library, of course. There are thousands of websites online that cover every aspect of how to divorce as well as a variety of legal, financial and family issues related to divorce. Many websites are state-specific and can provide you with plenty of information on how divorce laws are applied in your area. Attorneys are particularly well represented on the Internet and finding several lawyers that specialize in divorce or family law in your area will not be difficult. Online divorce research can be particularly helpful in searching for information on very specific areas of divorce like child custody issues or grandparent’s rights. Specific topics are easily researched on the Internet and you can find answers to most any question in just minutes with an online search.
You might want to look into taking a class on divorce available through your local school’s or city governments. There are also court-affiliated programs for divorcing parents available in every state in the country. Some states (Connecticut, Florida and Utah) make the classes mandatory for all divorcing parents with dependant children in the home. Divorce classes could also be called parenting classes because the instruction revolves around improving family communication skills and helping to make the divorce transition less traumatic for everyone involved. If transportation is a problem, divorce and parenting classes can also be found online.
If the library, the Internet, classroom instruction and your own divorce attorney just don’t deliver enough ongoing divorce assistance to meet your needs, you have the option of hiring a professional divorce planner to help you out. Certified Divorce Planners (CDP) and Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA) have specific education and training on the issues of divorce, especially financial issues. They can provide extra assistance in settlement negotiations and long-range financial planning. Divorce planners are not free though, with hourly rates nearly as high as divorce attorneys charge, they can become expensive quickly.
In addition to educating yourself about the procedures of a legal divorce, here are several additional steps you can take to get prepared:
Close all joint bank accounts & credit cards
Gather all financial documents
Call an attorney for an initial consultation
Record all assets and debts after separation
Draw up new Will & Power of Attorney
Analyze expenses & create a budget
Going through a divorce is never a pleasant experience, but if you do some preparation and have a clear understanding of the process, it can be a new beginning for everyone involved.