GENERAL DIVORCE INFORMATION

The purpose of this guide is to teach you some of the basic rules regarding divorce. The more you understand about the process, the more effectively you will be able to communicate with your attorney, and, quite frankly, the less alien and frightening the process itself will seem. Please feel free to review this guide whenever you have a general question or need a refresher. Understand that we have created portions of this guide, updated others throughout the years, and gathered other parts from other publications that we liked. We wish to give credit to those other authors but as we have been using this guide for five years frankly we do not know where the original source material came from or who the original authors may have been.

Remember, however, that these are just some of the basic rules and are NOT substitutes for detailed discussions with your attorney and his or her staff. If you have any questions about your particular case, speak to your attorney.

DECIDING TO GET A DIVORCE

At the outset, you should be absolutely sure that your marriage is beyond saving. If you are uncertain or there is any chance you and your spouse may get back together, go see a marriage counselor – not a lawyer. A counselor can actually help you and your spouse work through your emotional and relationship problems. That is not the job of your divorce lawyer. I have heard it said that when your marriage is truly over, you’ll know. Then and only then, call a divorce lawyer.

Speaking of counseling, if you find you are experiencing emotional problems, you may want to consider employing a professional counselor for your individual benefit. Also, there is a new field developing called “divorce counseling”, which consists of individual sessions and/or group sessions designed to help people through the emotional trauma of a divorce. Similar programs are also available for children, because divorce is never just about the soon-to-be-exes.

WARNING: Some people hope that filing divorce will shock their spouse into reality and, therefore, save the marriage. This almost never works. Usually, it causes the other spouse to become more hostile, causing the marriage to crater that much faster. Do NOT file for divorce unless you are absolutely sure you want to get one. Remember that snide comment you made about your spouse 2 years ago that comes up in every argument you have? File for divorce and then drop it. See how many arguments THAT comes up in.

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