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2514Wed
| posted by TransformHeal

Separation and divorce combine to make a daunting journey, which is fraught with fear, anger and the unknown. This can be a scary time in anyone’s life. When people come to my office because they are considering or are already in the separation and divorce process I stress one thing – get yourself educated. The more information you have, the more empowered you feel, and the better choices you can make.

“Knowledge is power.” James Korman, Esq., Partner, Bean, Kinney & Korman.

Second Saturday

Second Saturday is a FREE  support group with locations across the country for people considering separation and divorce. At this FREE all day workshop you are presented with a panel of professionals from attorneys, financial advisors, real estate agents to therapists, life coaches, custody specialists, and more. They educate participants about the process of divorce, its potential quagmires, and answer all of your specific questions.

I have the honor of being on the panel for Second Saturday in Fairfax, Va. As a life coach I speak about how learning new life skills can help people to heal during this process. As a divorce survivor I can testify that there is light at the end of the tunnel. In doing research for my upcoming book on divorce I interviewed more than 20 of the top divorce attorneys in the Washington, DC area. It is my passion to help people navigate divorce in such a way that they emerge happy and whole at the end of their journey.

Money

When I was married to my “ex,” I wasn’t responsible for the bills. I just signed on the dotted line for our taxes. I knew we had a joint account, but wasn’t aware of our daily, weekly, or monthly balance. Just like knowledge, money is power. It is time to learn where you and your spouse stand financially before you begin this journey. Find your last three years’ tax returns. Pull your bank accounts. Get your balances. Pull your credit card bills, car payments, mortgage, etc. You need to know how much you have and how much you owe. Leave no bill behind. Make two copies of each document – one for the attorney you will interview and hire and one for you.

Types of Divorce Law

There are three main types of divorce attorneys. Some hold a combination of certifications and skill sets. Mediators are great at helping you negotiate a settlement. Litigators are great in the courtroom. Collaborative lawyers are on the rise – a bit trendy, they refuse to go to court.

It is not enough to know that there are three types of divorce law. You need to know how you and your spouse will potentially handle the process. Will you both be able to treat this as a business – keep emotions at bay – and do what is best for all parties? Or will emotions rule and muddy this already traumatic process? This will help you decide which type of attorney you will interview and ultimately hire.

Attorneys – Know Your Rights

Another of my mantras: “Never hire a good attorney. Hire a great attorney.” A good attorney might cost you less on an hourly basis, but will most likely cost you more in the long run. A great attorney knows all the players in their profession and will push for the speediest settlement possible. They will realize quickly if negotiations are futile and you need to prepare for a court battle. They know this type of law like the back of their hand and have dealt with hundreds of divorces in their careers.

How do you find a great attorney? Regional publications like Northern Virginia or The Washingtonian have months where they list the best attorneys in their field. Second: go to your friends and family to get a referral. Interview at least three attorneys and hire the person who has the personality and style that will best serve you.

Support, support, support!

Just as you can never have enough knowledge, you can never have enough support. Having friends, family and professionals across the board will provide you with direction and outlets that will help you make positive and clear decisions. They will also keep you from doing something harmful like venting to your children or losing it on your spouse.

There is much, much more, of course, but you have the four most important pieces of this jigsaw puzzle called divorce. Go to Second Saturday or a program like it to gain knowledge about the process. Get ALL of your financial information together. Hire a great attorney to know what your legal rights are and have your back. Finally, make sure you have the support of friends and professionals to help you stay centered and come through the process whole.

 

This is both to Transitionelle and Aly Hughes- I just turned 30 and have my mtsear’s as well. After breaking up with my live-in boyfriend last year, I resorted to moving in with my parents Not the prettiest situation, but financially it made the most sense at the time. I now contemplate moving into my two-door convertible permanently.Aly, I broke my ankle as well late August just as a few promising interviews came up, so I feel your pain (literally and figuratively)! How is your healing process coming along? I’m in physical therapy still- it takes forever to heal!These are truly trying times, but I feel that knowing that we are not alone in our less-than-ideal circumstances makes the days a little bit easier. Congrats on being freshly pressed, Transitionelle! :)

Sally
9 26 2014 Fri
 
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