10 Tips on How to Talk to Your Children about Divorce

10 Tips on How to Talk to Your Children about Divorce

No parent wants to hurt their children. It is difficult for parents to tell their children about the divorce because the conversation will be hard, hurtful, and perhaps even traumatic. It will become a conversation etched in time; a moment when their world suddenly changed. There is no way to remove the life shaking disruption that breaking the news of your divorce will have on your children. But here are some methods that will minimize the trauma and maintain a sae place for healing when it becomes possible. 1. Do not keep the divorce a secret. This is tempting because you know it will hurt them, and you are a good parent who does not want to hurt their child. But just like cleaning your child’s cut, it will hurt a lot more later if not treated right from the beginning. Don’t try to hide the divorce, and don’t wait until the last minute to spring it on them. However, you should wait to tell your children about the divorce only when it is a sure thing and the changes are coming (give them at least a few weeks before any significant changes in the family occur.). If there is a reasonable possibility of reconciliation, you might consider waiting to break the news to your children. 2. Tell your children with the other parent (if possible). Determining whether to be together when breaking the news can be very tricky. The worst scenario for your children would be for this tender conversation to morph into a fight between you and your spouse. However, the ideal scenario is that you can control your bitterness and your spouse can control theirs, and you both can be present to...

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The 7 Steps After Filing for Divorce

The 7 Steps After Filing for Divorce

Most people who file for a divorce do not have an attorney to represent them. They confident on their own because, while the initial filing process is a little complicated, most people can figure it out.  The next steps get considerably more complicated and many people get frustrated and let the divorce linger for years at a time. Couples move out, separate and move on with their life, content to let the courts hold onto the “divorce” papers. Often I meet with clients who have moved on with their life and ignored the lingering divorce filing until they want to get married again, their spouse refuses to continue supporting the family, or other life events remind them they are still married. In the mean time changes in family structure, financial increase or decrease, and other life factors may have significantly altered the issues of property division, child support, and spousal support. It is almost always in a couples best interest to move through the divorce process as quickly as possible. The following steps may help (of course every situation is unique so feel free to contact Stucki Law Firm if you have a question about your case)   Step 1: File  File for Divorce – CHECK, you’ve done that. Step 2: Serve  Serve the papers on your spouse. The court doesn’t even consider itself to have jurisdiction over your divorce until you serve the papers on your spouse. That means the clock hasn’t even started for your divorce. If you have not served your spouse, do it ASAP  (click here to find out how to serve another person with the divorce papers) Step 3: Wait “Hey, I am already waiting!” you...

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11 Benefits of Divorce Mediation

11 Benefits of Divorce Mediation

11 Benefits of Family Law Mediation Family Law Mediation brings divorcing couples and parents together to facilitate a legal resolution of their dispute without going to court.   Here are eleven benefits of mediation: Less Expensive Mediation is almost always less expensive when compared to the expense of litigation and other forms of divorce and custody.  In addition, the cost of mediation is usually split between the parties, rather than each party paying separately. Quicker Results In California, family courts are overrun.  It can take as long as a year to get a court date, and multiple years when the case is appealed.  Mediation doesn’t rely on the court trial system to achieve divorce or custody orders.  In fact, you probably won’t even have to go to a courthouse.  So mediation is beneficial if the parties want to move on with their lives quicker. Satisfaction Divorcing couples and parents are more satisfied with solutions that they both have agreed to, as opposed to solutions that are imposed by a judge.  Nobody gets everything they want, but coming to an agreement gets everyone more of what they want and is much more satisfying than having one imposed on you. High Rate of Follow Through Divorcing couples and parents are more likely to adhere and follow through with a mediated agreement than an order imposed by a third party. Highly Customizable Mediated agreements are able to address both legal and extra-legal issues. Mediated agreements can include functions and psychological issues that the legal system is not designed to address. Divorcing couples and parents can adapt the agreement for their particular situation. Control and Predictability Parties who...

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Divorce in California: A Self-Help Guide

Divorce in California: A Self-Help Guide

All California courts use the same standard divorce papers and family law forms. There is a form for nearly all divorce or child custody issues.  What forms to use, and how to fill them out can be complicated, but they are possible to complete without a family law attorney.  However, be prepared to spend a significant amount of time researching the proper methods, language, and court process. If you choose to file your own divorce papers, the California Courts website will be an invaluable resource for information and guidance. You can also check out free family law forms here to get PDF copies of California Divorce Papers and Forms that you can fill-out electronically, save, and/or print. Download our FREE Self-Help Divorce Guide here if you want to print out this checklist.   [heading size=”4″]Filing the Initial Divorce Papers[/heading]   Step 1. Gather and fill out the following forms: FL-100 (marriage) or FL-103 (domestic partners) FL-110 FL-105 (only if you have minor children from the relationship you are dissolving) Step 2. Make copies of your forms. Step 3. Go to the courthouse, and file your originals and copies with the clerk.  The clerk will stamp all your papers and give you back the copies.  The court filing fees are $435.   [heading size=”4″]Serve the Forms[/heading]   Step 4. Gather the following forms: The stamped copies of the forms you filed in Step 3. FL-120 (marriage) or FL-123 (partner).  Leave it blank. FL-117 (Include ONLY if your spouse is served via mail.) Leave it blank. Step 5. Serve your spouse or partner with the forms from step 4 (and optionally with the financial disclosure forms in Step 8.) by having another person who...

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Reviews of the Best New Divorce Options in California

Reviews of the Best New Divorce Options in California

A steady and ongoing policy shift in California makes family law matters more accessible to regular people.  This has led to the development of new and user-friendly ways to get divorced. When you think of divorce, you probably think of lawyers, paperwork, and court rooms.  But there are many alternatives to a litigated divorce, and more and more people are taking advantage of them.  In California 67% of family law cases involve one or both parties not having an attorney.  By the time the case is decided, that percentage jumps to around 80%. ((Judicial Council of California, Statewide Action Plan for Serving Self-Represented Litigants (2004), available at: stuckilawfirm.com/docs/action-plan-for-self-represented-litigants.pdf))  So much of what goes on in family law courts is not led by attorneys, but by unrepresented parties. California has changed its laws and policy to become more supportive of this huge population of unrepresented people (called Pro Se or Pro Per).  The goal is to move family law cases through the courts more quickly and effectively.   The steady policy shift that makes divorce more accessible to regular people led to the development of alternative methods of divorce.  The following alternative options are almost always cheaper and faster than divorce with lawyers. Divorce Mediation Instead of lawyers arguing in court before a judge who ends up making the decisions, you and your spouse develop your own agreement.  Coming to an agreement with the person who you are divorcing is not easy.  So a divorce mediator will provide a safe and confidential environment and knowledge of the law that can help ensure an agreement can be made.  When you come to an agreement, the mediator then writes a Marital...

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