Your Divorce Advisor : A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce
A lawyer and a psychologist offer a groundbreaking divorce strategy that protects both your finances and your family.
From your first thought of divorce through the final paperwork, Your Divorce Advisor takes you step by step toward a divorce that dissolves the marriage but not your dignity, your sense of family, or your financial security. Whether you hire a lawyer or a mediator, or do it yourself, this practical, direct, and empowering guide offers you the wise counsel you need for both the legal and the emotional processes of ending your marriage.
Your Divorce Advisor shows you how to:
- Keep a healthy perspective that leads to a successful legal strategy and recognize when emotions threaten your case
- Protect your assets without destroying your family
- Detailed coverage of all your legal options and guidance through every legal step, including anticipating the emotional repercussions of your decisions
- More information on custody than any other divorce book, including age-appropriate custody schedules
- A sample divorce agreement explained one paragraph at a time
Your Divorce Advisor helps you set yourself and your
family on a positive course toward a new life.
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February 12, 2001
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Excerpt from Your Divorce Advisor by Diana Mercer
Chapter 1: The Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce: A View from the Summit
Beginning at the End
Divorce is now a commonplace phenomenon in our society. Almost all of us have familiarity with it, either personally or through family or friends. As a result, you begin your own divorce with some knowledge about how to approach it. You have heard horror stories about the legal system, but you have also heard about couples who managed their own divorce without hostility and high costs. Each divorce has threads in common, yet each is unique, reflecting the particulars of two people and their balance of personality, resources, hurts, and desires.
When you're thinking about beginning a divorce, it's also useful to think about your goals for the end of the divorce. Thoughtful planning, anticipation, and goal setting will help you stay on the path to a successful divorce: one which dissolves your marriage, but not your sense of family or financial security.
Looking back after your divorce is finalized, you will feel a combination of the sorrow, anger, hurt, relief, exhilaration, and exhaustion of reaching the top of a long, hard climb. The perspective from the top of any peak is often startling, as you see the view below with a clarity that eluded you during the journey. At the same time, the details become distant and the sights and sounds along the way become memories, each one giving way to the next, until only a hazy watercolor landscape is fixed in your mind. How you feel at the top of the summit depends on the way in which you approached the path. Did you have the right gear? Did you have a positive attitude? Did you work well with your partner? Did you take enough water and emergency supplies? Did you choose a good map? Did the weather cooperate? Some aspects were out of your control, but many were not.
Both the legal and emotional processes of divorce mark your path. How you arrived at the decision to end your marriage matters less than how you plan for that ending and beginning your new life. How you care for yourself during the process can mean the difference between a bad situation that never ends, and a future that permits you to move ahead and grow. You can set either a positive or a negative course that will influence your family through a lifetime. Much of your experience will be colored by how you prepared, and how you responded to hardships and curves in the road.
This chapter outlines for you the path you'll follow through the legal forest, and what you can expect to feel at every turn. At the beginning of a divorce, you need to have a picture of the whole journey, so that you will be confident that at the end you'll know:
You made the best decisions for your children and yourself
You made agreements based on sound decisions rather than emotional responses
Your choices minimized the inevitable hurts and losses for you and your family
Your actions are leading you in healthy directions toward the next phase of your life, whatever that turns out to be
Overview of the Legal Process of Divorce
In most states, the legal divorce process is clear-cut and simple, which is ironic, given the number of emotional roadblocks that can complicate and slow the process. How long it takes to complete a divorce case depends on your local rules and court systems. Variables such as court scheduling times and judges' vacation schedules can also delay your case.