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Divorce Resources for Women

Smart Divorce: Table of Contents

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Welcome. III
Questions to Ask Your Lawyer V
What are your practice areas and credentials? V
Are you trained in alternative forms of dispute resolution? V
Can you tell me, in advance, how much this divorce is going to cost and will you guarantee that price? V
How many cases do you handle at one time? VI
Can I Count On You? VII
Our Promises to You VII
Promise One: We treat you like a person not a case number. VII
Promise Two: We have straightforward pricing with no hidden fees. VIII
Promise Three: You work with a team of professionals who are experts at what they do. VIII
Promise Four: We give you personal attention. VIII
Great. You’re on Board with Rosen Law Firm (smart move). IX
List of Required Documents XV
Smart Divorce XIX

Introduction 3
Overview of the Book 5

Part One: Preparing for Divorce 7
Before You Divorce 9
The Causes of Divorce 10
Divorce and Happiness 12
The Financial Implications of Divorce 13
Divorce and Children 16
Making the Decision to Divorce 17
Marriage Counseling 18
Finding a Marriage Counselor 19
Alternatives to Counseling 21
Trial Separation 22
An Overview of Divorce 25
Defining Your Goals 25
Choosing a Process 27
Telling Your Spouse 31
Telling Your Children 33
Separating 36
Preparing Your Financial Information 42
Getting Emotionally Ready for Negotiations 43
The Major Decisions of Divorce 45
Finalizing the Divorce 49
The Emotions of Divorce 51
The Range of Emotions 51
Pseudoreconciliation 53
The Grieving Process 54
Emotional Readiness for Negotiation 54
Reaching Emotional Readiness 57
Dealing with Depression and Anxiety 59
Obstacles to Getting Help 62
Finding a Mental Health Professional 63
Divorce and Finances 67
Collecting Your Financial Information 68
Assembling Your Complete Financial Picture 70
Finding Missing Financial Information 79
Documenting Separate Property 80
Protecting Your Finances 81
Documenting Your Net Worth 83
Budgeting for Life after Divorce 84
The Cost of Divorce 86
Making Smart Financial Decisions 87
Getting Extra Help 89
Divorce Law 93
What Is a Divorce? 93
Divorce Is a State Issue 93
Legal Separation 94
Residency Requirements 95
Fault vs. No-Fault 96
Proving Fault 98
Uncontested Divorce 98
Divorce Procedure 99
Simplified Procedures 102
Military Divorce 102
Using Your Maiden Name 103
Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation 103
Covenant Divorce 104
Annulments 104
Working with A Lawyer 107
Why Do People Dislike Lawyers? 107
Do You Need a Lawyer? 109
Finding a Lawyer You Will Like 113
Understanding Attorney Fees 119
Unbundled Legal Help 120
Getting the Most from Meeting a Lawyer 120
Helping Your Lawyer Help You 121
Domestic Violence 123
Separation Violence 123
The Divorce Process in Abusive Marriages 125
Life During Divorce 129
Building a New Relationship with Your Spouse 129
Parenting while Separated 131
Temporary Orders 134
Dating During Divorce 136
Sex with Spouse 138
Creating and Maintaining Distance 138
Maintaining Appearances 140

Part Two: The Major Divorce Decisions 143
Property Division: Whose Stuff is it Anyway? 145
Alimony: Only Part of the Solution 149
Child Custody: Learning a New Way of Parenting 153
Child Custody Options 154
Avoid a Custody Battle 156
Courtroom Custody Decisions 158
Courtroom Secrets 161
The Real-World Impact of Custody Choices 163
Listening to the Children 167
Reaching Agreement 168
Scheduling Parenting Time 170
Matching Schedules and Children 172
Decision-Making 173
Information Sharing 174
Grandparents and Others 175
Allow for Changes 175
Moving 177
Child Support: Caring for and Anticipating Needs 179
The Challenge of Determining a Fair Amount 180
Child Support Guidelines 181
Identifying Income 184
When State Guidelines Don’t Fit 185
Medical Expenses 186
College Expenses 187
Child Support vs. Child Custody 187
Accounting for Child Support 188
Modifying Child Support 189
Child Support and Taxes 189
Leaving the Nest 190
Ensuring Child Support is Paid 190
Plan for the Long Term and the Unexpected 191
Negotiating Child Support 193

Part Three: The Best Way to Complete Your Divorce 195
Achieving Your Best Outcome 197
Settlement: The Most Attractive Option 199
Collaborative Divorce 207
Collaborative Divorce – A No-Court, Solutions-Based Approach 207
Mediation 213
Disadvantages of Mediation 214
Lawyer-Led Negotiation 217
Arbitration 219
Litigation 221
Finalizing the Divorce 227

Part Four: After the Divorce 229
Life after Divorce 231
When the Fight Continues 231


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