Divorce expert attorney Ed Sherman explains how a divorce works, and how to file a divorce, in this helpful video.
Nolo Press Occidental is starting a series of 50 divorce tips that can really help couples with their California state divorce. These tips are based on expert divorce attorney Ed Sherman's experience from more than 40 years with over 46,000 cases that settled successfully without a court battle.
The first tip is about the importance of mutuality in the decision to divorce. Experience and academic studies have helped identify the basic elements of a successful divorce, and mutuality is one of them. “Successful,” as used here, means completing the process of emotional separation, reaching a new center of balance as a single person, maintaining the welfare of your children, and establishing healthy attitudes toward yourself, your ex-spouse, and your past marriage.
Absence of conflict is not part of the ideal divorce. A degree of anger and conflict is natural, useful, even constructive. It helps to break the bonds of attachment and old patterns of relationship; it makes you think and reflect; it makes you change. But excessive and destructive conflict requires special treatment.
Mutuality is important because the lack of sharing in the decision to divorce is the primary cause of conflict in the divorce and postdivorce periods. In an ideal divorce, the decision is arrived at together. This doesn’t mean one spouse won’t be sadder or more distressed than the other, but that both come to accept divorce as the best thing under the circumstances.
The most stable settlements occur when both spouses take an active role in negotiating a settlement, not simply leaving it to a lawyer. A good divorce is an actively mutual enterprise.
This tip comes from divorce expert attorney Ed Sherman's award-winning book Make Any Divorce Better.
For more info on getting divorced in the Golden State, go to California State Divorce.
USA TODAY reports that the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes divorce is closed, just a little less than two months from when Katie filed for divorce in New York. Although gossip columnists are surely disappointed with the lack of messy details, selfish behavior, and fireworks that often are a public part of many celebrity divorces, we are thrilled to see Tom and Katie act in such a mature manner to protect the interests of their child, Suri.
The couple reached a settlement agreement less than two weeks from the filing of divorce papers, and the divorce was finalized by the New York court in less than two months. This couldn't have happened in California due to the procedures and timeline that is set in motion when you file California divorce forms with the court.
According to the current edition of divorce expert attorney Ed Sherman's book, How to Do Your Own Divorce in California, "As soon as your Judgment is entered, whenever that happens, all orders are effective immediately, but the earliest your marriage or partnership can be dissolved is six months after notice was served on your spouse or, for a Summary Dissolution, six months after the Petition was filed. The really big unknown factor is how long it takes clerks in your county to process your final papers and get your Judgment entered. Courts in many counties have been hit hard with budget restraints and, among many other things, this means that papers can take a long time to process."
We hope that divorcing parents everywhere follow the good example set by Tom and Katie. Sherman has more than 40 years of experience with over 46,000 cases that settled successfully without a court battle. He has learned that children can be resilient when it comes to divorce. Of course it will be traumatic for children to watch their parents go through divorce, but they can bounce back from this if their parents don't continue fighting after the divorce is over. Children learn by what you do, not by what you say. If you continue fighting long past the dissolution of your marriage, children learn that problems can't be solved--a very sad world view for a child to grow into adulthood with. This is why the Cruise/Holmes amicable divorce makes such a good model to follow.
If you are getting divorced in the golden state and would like information on California Child Support payments, visit the article on this site called "California Child Support Payments - Myth and Fact".
Although California was one of the first states to implement no-fault divorce, this is now standard in all states in the U.S. However, some states stll have laws on the books requiring the spouse who wants the divorce to prove fault.
For instance, in Pennsylvania grounds for divorce include "such indignities to the innocent and injured spouse as to render that spouse's condition intolerable and life burdensome.” But even so, no-fault divorce is the norm in this state like all the others.
States do differ in how long it takes to get a divorce though. Bloomberg.com ranks the 10 easiest and 10 toughest states to get divorced, in terms of time and money. New Hampshire ranks as the easiest state, with the minimum time for separation, residency, and difference between filing and final divorce decree all less than one day. So if you're in a big hurry to end your marriage, this is the state for you.
On the other hand, in Arkansas, it takes a minimum 540 days of separation before your divorce is final. In general, Southern states have the toughest divorce laws, while it's usually easier to get divorced in the Western states, except for California with its high filing fees and comparatively longer time requirements.
Among the 10 states ranked easiest, and the 10 ranked toughest, Wyoming had the least expensive filing fees ($70), and California was the most expensive, with filing fees of $395.
Another factor that can affect the time it takes to get your divorce decree is a mandatory cooling-off period. Some states require this after the filing. If you're trying to get divorced in Pennsylvania, and your spouse objects to the divorce, you will have to endure a two-year cooling-off period.
Even though it's much easier to get divorced now than it was in the past, your attitude and spirit of cooperation, or lack thereof, can make the process easier, or much harder than it needs to be. This is especially true when it comes to the cost of divorce.
There are plenty of attorneys who would be happy to take your retainer fee, and then run up the bill for as long as they can, filing motions and orders to show cause, and generally stirring things up to cause more trouble, which translates into billable hours. When asked how much it costs to get divorced in California, do-it-yourself divorce advocate Ed Sherman counters with "How much money do you have?" The cheapest divorces are the ones that settle out of court, with no attorney involvements.
To learn more about your options for saving time and money on divorce, visit Simple Divorce.
According to a post today in the online version of the "Daily Mail", the UK may soon be implementing a do-it-yourself system designed to keep families out of divorce court. DIY divorces have been available in the US for 40 years now, ever since attorney Ed Sherman started the self-help law movement in 1971 by publishing the first edition of his famous book, How to Do Your Own Divorce in California.
According to the MailOnline post:
"A new DIY system is being proposed to speed up divorces away from court.
The 'divorce information hub' would be online with a step-by-step guide showing how to end a marriage legally as well as set up maintenance and access arrangements for children.
The new report suggests this route is the best way to keep parents and their children out of the courts.
New parenting agreements will help decide where the child will live and also how much contact the other parent will have.
The plan will mean that couples will only go to court as a last resort if the process above fails and they cannot agree."
To learn more about DIY divorce in Calfiornia, click here.
So, you've decided to get a divorce. You start looking into it, only to find out that you and your spouse cannot financially afford it. Lately, while many people are divorcing for emotional or financial reasons, in an ironic twist of events, they find out they don't have enough money to cover the cost of the divorce process. So, what's next?
Consider different styles of divorce. Mediation is a great option if you and your spouse can get along throughout the process. Mediation will cost less and probably be less time-consuming. You can write up a separation agreement, whereby you and your spouse live apart but all the benefits of marriage are still intact. You can also try a do-it-yourself divorce, although those usually only work for spouses who can work together to come to an agreement. Nolo Press Occidental publishes four excellent divorce books:
How to Do Your Own Divorce in California (a complete kit for an uncontested divorce)
How to Solve Divorce Problems in California (a complete kit for a contested divorce when added to the title above)
How to Do Your Own Divorce in Texas (a complete kit for an uncontested divorce)
Make Any Divorce Better (winner of 5 national awards--information applies to all states)
These books are by Ed Sherman, the famous divorce attorney who started the self-help movement 40 years ago, saving the public BILLIONS of dollars in legal fees over the years.
Nolo Press Occidental also offers CalSupport Child and Spousal Support Calculation Software for California divorces, and DealMaker software you can use to create your own professional quality marital settlement agreement in any state. In addition to these software programs, they also offer worksheets you can use to organize the information you need for your divorce, and all these products are very affordable.
For more information about cost-efficient divorces, click Simple Divorce.
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Buccharest, Romania is now the "Quickie Divorce Capitol" of Europe, according to Divorcesaloon.com. Divorces can be inexpensive and relatively fast - for about $5000, a European tourist can obtain a Romanian divorce in less than six months. Apparently, the Romanian capital is especially favored among Italians wanting to eschew their country's difficult divorce bureaucracy.
But, there may be legal pitfalls involving residency and jurisdiction. The law in Romania states that one of the parties is a Romanian resident. While the European Union "usually gives full faith and credit to divorces from other European countries without issue," a soon-to-be divorcee could face fraudulence under some circumstances. Sometimes, a European tourist will falsify their country of residence, just to obtain a quick divorce. While they could run into problems, the EU will usually recognize the divorce, no questions asked.
So, in European countries in which divorce is an arduous process, quickie divorces in Romania pose a good option for those seeking an easier divorce.
For more information about divorce, click California State Divorce.
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Have you noticed behavioral changes in your child ever since you got a divorce? With 50% of marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce, it's difficult to deny that children are often affected the most. While some marriages end amicably, many are ugly and scary. But, for a child, it doesn't matter whether their parents had a healthy or unhealthy marriage; what matters is that their family structure is broken.
During a divorce, parents will probably feel "anger, worry, fear, or confusion," writes Eva M. Selhub, M.D., for the Huffingtonpost.com. But, "the children usually experience more fear and confusion," especially during a divorce bred from "anger and the desire for avenge or revenge, or by sheer greed." On top of all that, children aren't as aware as adults - they don't really know what is going on. From of these ugly divorces, children can become more vulnerable to physical and mental illness, they are more likely to become binge drinkers, and they may have problems forming good relationships.
Thankfully, there is a way to avoid all that. If you know you're getting a divorce, watch out for any unusual behaviors from your kids. Children are developing and can be very resilient, so simply being a loving, nuturing parent who educates their kids and is an overall good role model works wonders. Seek help for yourself and, perhaps, your children as well. A therapist or counselor is a third, unbiased party that will give you and your children help and perspective on the situation.
For more information about divorce, click Simple Divorce.
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In a recent article from the Huffingtonpost.com, writer Cassie Goldring explains the new way to get a quickie divorce: by going on vacation. Here are some vacation spots that are not only divorce-friendly, but at which a couple can actually receive a divorce:
- The Divorce Hotel in the Netherlands. One weekend and 2,500 euros will get you a divorce at this hotel, which offers two single rooms, help from an estate agents, and access to psychologists. This weekend-long divorce process isn't for everyone, though - prior to your stay, you will have a pre-consultation session with the manager to find out if it's right for you.
- The Heartbreak Hotels in Holland and Belgium. A team of financial consultants, lawyers, and psychologists handle all the divorce paperwork while you and your soon-to-be ex don't have to.
- Oasis Of The Seas. This cruise line offers vacation packages especially for divorced dads and their children. You can also choose customizable packages to strengthen the bond between you and your children.
To learn more about simple divorces, click Simple divorce.
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Who really wants a stressful, drawn-out, expensive divorce? There are simple steps you can take at the beginning of the divorce proceedings that will make the process relatively better, and you will probably come out of the divorce with better results than you would have had you been contentious from the start. A recent post for Yahoo.com explains how men can avoid the "usual trappings" that come with a divorce.
- Men are often threatened with receiving little or no child custody. While this trend is changing, it's still important to keep in mind not to issue threats of your own. This will only make you seem less trusting. Instead, let it work itself out - usually the other parent realizes that you are a good parent, and your children should see you.
- One of the number one things that makes a normal divorce suddenly volatile is bringing another woman into the mix. Saying you already have a new lover will only make matters worse. Keep your personal life out of your divorce. Even better - wait until the divorce is final before engaging in a new relationship. You need time to digest the divorce.
- If your soon-to-be ex-spouse has hired an attorney, you should hire one, too. It's dangerous to fight through a divorce (especially against a professional!) without proper legal help of your own.
For more information about uncontested divorce, check out our Simple Divorce article.
Any suggestions? Post them in a comment!