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San Diego Family and Divorce Law Blog

Striving for a healthy post-divorce credit score

We have previously discussed the fact that divorce may be an expensive process. Even if you and your spouse are able to achieve a relatively straightforward and inexpensive contested divorce process, the aftermath of the decision to divorce may be expensive.

Depending on the terms of your marital settlement agreement, you may or may not have retained the rights to much of your real property and personal belongings. As a result, you may need to purchase a new place to live, new appliances, new bedding, new dishes. Even items like light bulbs tend to add up when you are attempting to furnish a new home. As a result of your expensive divorce, you may find yourself overwhelmed by credit card debt.

What your future self wants to tell your newly separated self

It is often observed that hindsight is 20/20. This is a frustrating reality, given that your future self has no power to speak to your present self about what he or she ultimately knows and understands. Thankfully, a number of human experiences are navigated by hundreds, thousands, millions and even billions of people. As a result, your present self may not be able to learn from your future self’s hindsight, but you can learn from the hindsight of others who have weathered similar experiences.

For example, if you have recently chosen to file for divorce or legal separation, you can learn from the experiences of individuals who have navigated these processes. There is strength and wisdom to be had in understanding what these individuals have learned to be true.

Avoid being penny wise and pound foolish during divorce

For many Americans, one of the most frustrating aspects of the divorce process is how expensive it can potentially be. Divorce filing fees vary from state to state, though they tend to be no more than a few hundred dollars. However, even an amicable divorce will necessitate that each spouse seek out the advice of an experienced attorney and that advice can be costly.

In addition, the transition between married life and single life can be expensive. One or both spouses will almost certainly choose to move in the wake of the divorce and moving is not a cheap process. If the couple has been together for some time, one or both spouses will likely need to purchase many kinds of possessions that were once shared and are now the sole property of the other spouse. Yes, divorce can be expensive.

How to be successfully proactive about your divorce process

From the moment that you began telling friends, loved ones and colleagues about your divorce, you have likely received numerous pieces of unsolicited advice. Because divorce is such a personal process, you have likely not appreciated much of this unsolicited advice because your process is ultimately your own. While this advice may be well-meaning, it can understandably grate on your nerves.

When it comes to divorce, it is important to seek advice from professionals including attorneys, financial planners and counselors. You may ultimately take or leave all non-professional advice you encounter. What is most important to keep in mind is that you should take advice that corresponds with your values and priorities and leave the rest. Do not simply ignore all advice that comes your way, because in doing so you will likely fail to act on the advice you receive which is valuable, life-affirming and positive.

Should you hire a new family law attorney?

If you are navigating a divorce, a child custody dispute, an adoption, a domestic violence case or any other family law matter, you have likely hired an attorney to help you through the legal aspects of your situation. Although some legal matters can be successfully navigated without an attorney, family law cases tend to be uniquely complex and uniquely personal. It is therefore arguably just as important to have an attorney who can keep you focused in such an emotionally charged situation as it is to have an attorney who understands the nuances of the family legal system.

But what if your attorney is not keeping you focused? What if your attorney is adding to your stress as opposed to lessening it? Is it time for you to get a new family law attorney? Only you can properly answer this question. But if you are experiencing any of the following red flags, you may want to consider switching counsel. Family law disputes are so personal and their consequences tend to be so long-lasting that if you are not paired with an attorney who is a good fit for you, you should almost certainly find one who is.

Divorced parents should tell their kids these things

We frequently write about the challenges that co-parents tend to face when trying to raise their children from two separate households. But no matter how carefully your child custody arrangements are constructed with your children’s best interests in mind, it is important to remember that your children are likely facing certain challenges related to your split as well.

Co-parents are often very, very busy individuals. Oftentimes, divorced or separated parents must work and juggle childrearing simultaneously. This kind of hectic lifestyle can become overwhelming. However, it is important to pause regularly in order to tell your kids a few simple truths that they will likely need to hear repeatedly, even if they insist that they do not.

Understanding why couples choose to divorce

We frequently write about many of the legal, social and emotional realities that couples often face after choosing to end their marriages. Choosing to divorce can be a lonely experience. However, it is important for divorced and divorcing couples to understand that you are not alone. In addition to numerous qualified attorneys who can help you through the process and its aftermath, a great number of individuals who have previously divorced may be able to offer insight and guidance as you transition from being married to being single.

A newly released survey conducted by Slater & Gordon provides a glimpse into what other divorced individuals may eventually tell you about their past and present experience. The survey results were released after 1,000 divorced individuals answered numerous questions about their divorces.

Legal separation and the concept of conscious uncoupling

A new phrase has been spotted all over the Internet this week. The phrase is “conscious uncoupling.” This phrase widely entered the media and public’s frame of reference after Gwyneth Paltrow used it to title a piece she wrote when announcing her separation from her husband Chris Martin.

Whether or not this phrase survives the media buzz surrounding this couple’s split, it serves as an interesting starting point from which to discuss the subject of legal separation. Many Americans remain confused about what legal separation both means and entails.

Do not fret, simply be prepared if you cohabitate before marriage

There are many reasons why couples choose to live together before marriage. Oftentimes, the economic benefits of sharing living expenses are simply practical. A couple may be unsure if they want to marry and opt to cohabitate first in order to see if their living habits mesh well. In addition, far less pressure to marry before living together exists now than ever before. Therefore, couples are increasingly choosing to cohabitate for these and many other reasons.

Good news about this kind of living arrangement has recently been announced in the form of a study. This study was conducted by a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has determined that there is no link between choosing to cohabitate before saying “I do,” and an increased likelihood that cohabitating couples who eventually marry will ultimately divorce.

Keep these things in mind when navigating a family law dispute

If you have decided to divorce, to modify an existing child custody agreement or to engage in any other kind of family law dispute, it is important to keep a few things in mind as you move forward. As you may know, family law tends to be an intensely personal area of law. As a result, many of the legal strategies and tactics that you may see employed on television, in movies and in books in regards to other areas of law are likely not useful in the family law context.

For example, it may benefit you to go to trial. However, because family law is so personal, family law disputes are often best settled by negotiation, mediation or some other alternative to litigation.

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