Five Steps to A Better DivorceBased on 36 years of experience with cases numbering in the tens of thousands, divorce specialist attorney Ed Sherman knows exactly what you can do to make any divorce better. Here''s an overview ? five essential steps to getting a better divorce:
1. Go slow. Unless there''s an immediate threat of harm to you or children, it''s better if you don''t hurry. Your spouse needs time to accept the idea of a divorce and to digest ideas you propose for how to rearrange your affairs. You both need time to let emotions calm and adjust to your new reality. You need time to learn about the rules of divorce, how organize your facts, make sound decisions and how negotiate with your spouse. So long as you can make your situation safe and stable, even for a short time, you do not need to rush.
2. Get your facts straight. Whether you see an attorney or handle everything yourself, you need to gather essential details about your marriage, family, income and expenses, assets and debts. No one can do this for you, not even if you hire an attorney. Why pay an attorney hundreds of dollars to sit down with you to develop this information when you can do it yourself for next to nothing?
3. Become informed and take charge. The most important thing you can do is to become informed and prepared before you do anything or say another word to your spouse and especially before you see a lawyer. In fact, you will probably find that you don''t need a lawyer. You''ll find almost everything you''ll need to know in How to Do Your Own Divorce in California or Divorce Solutions.
Studies show that people who know what''s going on and take an active role in their cases get better, cheaper, easier divorces than those who do not. Other studies show that controlling your own case is the single best predictor of a good outcome, meaning better compliance with terms, less chance of post-divorce litigation, increased goodwill, better co-parenting, faster healing. If you know what''s going on and control your case, you will save money, reduce conflict and feel better faster.
4. Avoid the legal system. The legal system is based on conflict, where both sides compete to win. Besides, very few divorces have problems based on legal issues. Almost all divorce problems are personal, not legal, and lawyers do not have tools that can in any way help solve your problems?none, not any. In fact, they tend to make things worse. The best thing you can do is to keep your case out of courts and lawyers'' offices except for very limited and specific purposes. We show you how.
5. Keep business and personal matters separate. The legal aspects of divorce are about business ? money, property, procedures, paperwork, negotiation, and so on. Business and emotional matters do not mix, so the best way to reduce conflict and confusion is to keep business matters as separate as possible from emotional issues. This doesn''t mean you don''t need to deal with emotional matters ? just not when you are taking care of business.
Ed Sherman is a divorce specialist attorney and award-winning author of How to Do Your Own Divorce in California. His books and software have saved millions of people billions of dollars in unnecessary attorney fees. Visit Nolo