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hire a divorce lawyer

4 Critical Things to Know Before You Hire a Divorce Lawyer

Choosing who will represent you in your divorce is a big decision. While it makes sense to ask people you know for recommendations or even to engage the ‘free’ services of a friend of family member to help you, here are 4 critical things you should know before you hire a divorce lawyer:

What kind of support is best suited for your case. Not every divorce is handled by an attorney litigator. Many people are unaware that there are divorce mediators, collaborative attorneys as well as litigators. Some mediators are attorneys and others are not. With a number of options available, the first important thing to understand is what kind of representation or support is best suited for your situation.

Who your partner’s attorney is if they have already hired one. One of the most significant wastes hire a divorce lawyerof money in divorce is spending money on attorneys who have a track record of battling it out rather than finding ways to help a couple settle. While it may feel counter-intuitive to hire two separate lawyers who know each other and have a track record of working with one another, this can actually be one of the best things you do for your case. The healthiest thing for any couple and family is a quick and fair settlement so hiring attorneys who can help you achieve this while protecting your personal rights is a smart choice.

Who you really need on your team. One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that their attorney can help them with every part of their divorce. They bring all their issues – legal, emotional and financial directly to their lawyer. Your lawyer is your legal expert only and there are other professionals such as certified divorce financial planners, divorce coaches and therapists who can help you address other issues more effectively and in a more cost efficient way.

The family court culture in your county. One of the most overlooked factors in hiring an attorney is how well they are recognized and known within the family court system in which they will be operating. While hiring the top rated attorney can feel like great protection, if they are unknown or not well regarded within your local court system, you may be at a disadvantage. 

Deciding how you will divorce and who will represent you is a critical decision that can have significant financial and emotional ramifications. It is important to make this decision thoughtfully before you hire a divorce lawyer.

 

For a complete step-by-step guide to hiring an attorney and navigating your divorce, visit www.divorcecompanion.com.

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Adina Laver is the founder of Divorce Essentials™ and author of the Divorce Companion™ a multi-media step-by-step guide to navigating divorce.  The Divorce Companion™ is the only resource of its kind that provides guidance and decision making tools for every aspect of the divorce process, including determining whether divorce is the next step.

Adina also provides limited one-on-one coaching support for those who recognize that divorce is a sign that life has gotten off track and are aching to finding happiness again – or perhaps for the first time ever.

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Served Divorce Papers

The Day I Was Served Divorce Papers: A Moment to Remember

Valentine’s Day, 2014 – the day I was served divorce papers – a moment to remember.

 

The afternoon is quiet with the stillness that descends after a long snowfall.

The snow lies as if at rest—glistening like diamonds lighted by a winter sun that whispers:

“I am here…I’ve never left you.”

 

My children are out and I sit alone awaiting the sound of the postman’s feet. He arrives here each day. I am mostly oblivious to his presence but on occasion, I have heard the weighted sound of his footsteps against the mahogany floor of our front porch.

 

Today, I sit in my favorite rocker, hyper conscious of his impending arrival and of what his visit to our home today will mean.

 

No other day shall pass like this one.

 

Soon, he will arrive as he always does but today, on Valentine’s Day, 2014, he will ring the doorbell. I will answer, greet him and he will ask me to sign for a letter or package.

I will sign for a large envelope that will contain paperwork that indicates the dissolution of my marriage in a language I don’t quite understand.

I think I will sigh. I think I will say: “Well…this is certainly a moment to remember.”

I think I shall remember the heaviness of the snow all around me…the sharp, crystal icicles that hang with such elegance from the edges of the roof on the house next door…the smell of the mid-day coffee I have just brewed. This is not a moment to forget.

 

I was alerted earlier in the week from my husband that I would be served with divorce papers today. I’ve arranged my schedule so that I can be here to answer the door. I’ve arranged for the children to be with my mother, enjoying homemade waffles that she will make with great love and care because she is worried about their breaking hearts. I have arranged that I am here alone with my beautiful Stella—my constant animal companion, a gentle, giant Great Pyrenees. She can be here because she knows me better than I know myself.

She can be here because she has known that this day has been coming—for a very long time.

This afternoon she rests—curled up in a ball, her back pressed firmly against our large front door. I will have to ask her to move in order to open the door when the postman rings. I think she knows this and she has positioned herself this way because she knows that I will need such a pause—just a very short moment to breathe before opening the door to being served divorce papers—before opening the door to a very new and different life.

 

Most who know me know that I am home today for this reason. Most react terribly to this idea—the idea of being served divorce papers on Valentine’s Day. But I don’t…I really don’t.

As painful as the process of coming to the decision to divorce has been, the arrival of these papers does not mark for me an “ending.” I will likely hold the weight of them in my hands and think: “Wow…this was the weight of our life together.” And then I will set them down.

The arrival of these papers, for me, at this time, represent the first day of a new life and all of the hope and excitement, and all of the fear and uncertainty that any “new beginning” entails.

 

They represent eight years of my life within which I did my very best—gave my very best—was my very best.

 

They represent a long, windy journey together—a path walked with someone I thought I’d walk a lifetime with…a path walked until we could walk together no more…a path walked until we reached a fork in the road and saw that now—now—two paths were before us.

 

And this happens sometimes…and when this happens we look to one another and we look deeply inside of ourselves and we ask the only question left to ask: do we continue to walk together—or do we part and embark on new and different journeys?

The heart always knows the answer to such a question. Always. It may take us time to really hear the answer and to accept it, but the heart knows.

Mine did.

 

I knew to the core of my being that my growth and evolvement moving forward meant that I must walk alone. That I must let go of his hand, his heart, and our life together for to do otherwise, would be to betray myself, him, and our relationship.

I knew also, that his own growth now depended on our parting.

A fairly clear and simple realization.

But a very frightening place to be—that fork in the road faced with that one essential question: do we continue to walk together—or do we part and embark on new and different journeys?

 

I love myself to know what it is I had to do—what it is I must do. And the arrival of the divorce papers are symbolic of a choice I’ve made and are a tangible expression of the degree to which I am loving and honoring myself—perhaps for the first time.

 

So today, Valentine’s Day, 2014, I accept the postman’s arrival. I will carefully sign my name and I shall accept the large, weighted envelope he will place in my hands.

And I might weep. But my tears will be a bittersweet honoring of what was and a joyous expression of what lies ahead for me.

Today is sacred to me. The snow, the ice, the blazing sunlight…the postman’s feet, the sound of the doorbell, the papers in my hands…Stella’s eyes…the steam from the cinnamon coffee rising up from my mug…my tears…my joy.

 

Valentine’s Day, 2014 – the day I was served divorce papers – a moment to remember.

 

I pull my sweater tightly around me and I pause and feel this as an embrace of sorts.

 

Today I love myself as I never have before.

 

A sacred, holy, divine day.

 

My day. My life. My love.

 

This post was contributed by Christine Kiesinger, PhD.

Christine Kiesinger holds a Ph.D. in Relational and Family Communication Studies. After spending twenty-five years teaching relationship communication in university settings, Kiesinger realized that her students not only hungered to improve and deepen their close relationships, but also wished to move beyond content that focused on “fixing” and “repairing” close bonds. They were in search of tools for transformation. In an unorthodox move, Kiesinger began weaving spiritual principals into her course lectures as a means of more fully satisfying her students need to truly “ascend” in their relationships. This ascension creates what Kiesinger calls “sacred partnerships”—connections that are precious and rare. Christine is also a yoga teacher, a certified Reiki Master Teacher and is presently competing her studies in clinical aromatherapy. Her work in these holistic healing modalities shape and impact her teaching and writing.

 

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Divorce Advice: How to Prep for Change vs. Disaster

We are living longer. Who we are changes over time. Sometimes we change with the partnerdisaster vs change we have. Sometimes living authentically and pursuing happiness requires bigger changes.

One of my greatest pieces of divorce advice is this: If you are contemplating divorce, don’t ask yourself what you want less of, what you are tired of, what you want to escape. Instead, ask yourself what you want more of.

What is the change you want in your life?

What does this change require of you?

Only after you have pursued the work of knowing what it means to live more authentically, will you uncover the next step forward.

Crucial divorce advice you must remember: Divorce is a change, not a solution. Divorce is a change, not a disaster.

Define the change you will have in your life. Then begin creating that road map to get you there. Introspectively seek out what that will be required of yourself to make that change come to life.

No more deflecting; no more blaming. When you take the reins, the “disaster” becomes the change and your new future will begin to develop under your guidance.

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