Basic questions Tips

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My ex is paying for everything, will it continue?

Preparing for the storm

If your spouse has left but continues to pay all of the household bills, do not be fooled. Your spouse may end the financial support at any time. Get copies of your household TRW as well as mortgage and bank statements. Go for a consultation with an attorney to plan your next move.

   
How do I handle my money?

Your money

Open your own checking account as quickly as you
possibly can. If you have joint checking and savings
accounts, get those accounts closed out and get your
own money so you are able to make financial decisions. Protect yourself and do it quickly.

   
I want to end my marriage where do I start?

Getting ready to file for divorce

When you decide that you will file for divorce, be prepared. Get all the financial information you can find. Know what your liabilities and assets are, know your spouse's social security number. Your lawyer will need all of this information to begin the foundation of your motion.

   
What is the difference between occupancy and possesion?

Exclusive possession

When going through a divorce, and you are seeking to have the marital property for a period of time, be sure to ask for exclusive *possession* rather than exclusive *occupancy*. The difference is that if you have possession, and at some point want to move and rent it...you may, if you have exclusive occupancy, then you must live there in order to keep it.

   
My spouse is charging up a storm, what do I do?

Keeping your credit in the black

When divorcing, ask creditors to close any joint accounts and provide you with written confirmation. Try to reopen these as individual accounts. If your ex-spouse handles a joint account irresponsibly, your credit record may suffer.

   
My ex is paying for everything, will it continue?

Do not agree to anything without being informed

When your marriage is ending do not make any agreements with your spouse until you know the laws in your state, and the tax consequences of your choice. Then seek legal advice and proceed.

   
Can I just ignore the divorce papers I was given?

When you are served with a motion for divorce

When you are served with a motion for divorce, you must get a lawyer. Do not think that if you do not answer these papers or cooperate that your spouse will not be able to divorce you. In fact, your spouse may be able to not only get a divorce, but everything that they ask for. Once you are served with papers, it becomes a matter between you and the Court. Do NOT call the lawyer that your spouse is using just to get him/her to understand that you do not want a divorce; this person works for your spouse and will not do anything that is in your best interest. Find a lawyer of your own and counterfile.

   
How do I tell the children that I am leaving?

Inform your children together

Decide with your spouse the best way to inform your children of why you are divorcing, and tell them together if possible. Try to let them know what to expect in straightforward and realistic terms. Answer any questions simply and directly. It is not necessary to give them more information than requested. If they ask embarrassing or inappropriate questions, let them know that these subjects are between mom and dad.

   
Any good books about divorce?

Help through books

Reading a series of books recommended to me by a
Support Group located in the DC area helped change my
life. Here's just a few:
"First Person Singular" by Stephen Johnson, PH.D. (1977)
"Life Lessons: 50 Things I Learned From My Divorce" by Beth Joselow (1994)
"Crazy Time" by Abigail Trafford (1982)

Please see my attached Links for other recommended
readings. Good luck.

   
My husband´s family claim we owe them money, will I have to pay?

Property

When you file for divorce the division of property will be determined by the laws of your state. If you are in an equitable distribution state, then property that is not in both names will be divided by number of years of the marriage, and what each has contributed. In a community property state it is divided 50 - 50.

   
How long does a divorce take in my State?

The divorce process duration and waiting period

This question depends on the state you are in. For example: a divorce in Michigan takes 60 days without children and 180 days (6 months) with children. This time period begins from the time you first file your first papers with the court. Call your Circuit Court in your county to find out your exact "Waiting Period" or look for Divorce Guidelines for your state.

   
Is it better for my children if I wait until they are grown to divorce

Divorcing when children are young

Divorcing when your children are young can have beneficial affects for your children. They do not grow up in home that has been filled with angry words only to end up having their parents divorce. A young child from a divorced family does not know any other way of living, and, if the parents are cooperative and respectiful, comes to feel that he\she has two homes.

   
Why shouldn´t my children know that me ex cheated on us?

What to tell the children

When the children want to know why their parents are getting divorced, do not go into detail. Tell the children that you fight too much and you have both tried, but cannot resolve the issues. Do not tell them it is because mom sees other men or dad has a girlfriend, this will only hurt the children and their sense of self. Tell the children that you each love them and that this will never change, but that mom and dad can no longer live together.

   
Where do I look to find the right lawyer?

Hiring a lawyer

When divorcing someone in the military, you need an attorney who has an expertise in this area, as the laws that apply are different from a civilian divorce.

   
How do I find a lawyer I can trust?

What to look for in a lawyer

When searching for a lawyer there are some important qualifications you should look for. He should: have experience in matrimonial law; be familiar with current pension, retirement and tax issues relevant to late-life divorce, if that's your situation; be affordable or willing to allow you to pay in increments; be sympathetic to your personal values; be able to negotiate with your spouse's attorney and litigate in court if necessary; be comfortable advising you if you decide to seek mediation.

   
When will my divorce end?

Different states, different laws

There is no set time limit on getting a divorce. You must find the laws in your state or seek legal advice from a local attorney to estimate how long it will take.

   
Where do I start my divorce?

How to start an action for divorce

To start an action for divorce, you should research the laws in your state and become familar with those laws, then go to a lawyer and file your motion.

   
Can I just take the children and move?

Relocation

After the divorce, and one parent moves away from the other parent, the Court may find that the parent who moved must bear the expense of any visitation travel involved. If both parents have agreed to the move, then the Court may find that both parties must share in the cost of transportation.

   
Is it better for my children if I wait until they are grown to divorce

To divorce or not to divorce

Often, parents wonder if it would be better to wait until the children are grown to file for divorce. The parent's first concern should be for their children. If you feel that you can wait for the children to grow up before you file, you might want to try marriage counseling. If you are living in a toxic environment, then it is hurting the children and you more than a divorce will.

   
How do I find a lawyer?

How do I find a lawyer

Call your local bar association, call your local Court and look in the phone book. Interview the lawyers remember they will be working for you. Ask other people who have gone through a divorce. Make sure that the lawyer is an expert in the field of domestic law not one who does a small case load of divorces and the majority of his work is real estate. Look for a lawyer who is well known at the court and well respected in the legal community, this means that they are seasoned and that is what you want.

   
We are not married what last name does my child use?

Putative fathers

If you have a child out of wedlock you do not need to use the father's surname for your child. You can put who the father is on the birth certificate and use your surname for your child.

   
Can I just get a mail order divorce?

Know the law for your state

Many firms and sites advertise quick, inexpensive divorces. Before using them find out if the laws in your state will accept this form of divorce.

   
Who pays on a date?

The finances of dating

Generally, the man pays for the first date or two, and after that, it's up for grabs. Maybe he gets the movie tickets and you spring for popcorn. Or she buys dessert after the theater. It's ok to expect the man to pay, and it's ok for the woman to offer.

   
My husband´s family claim we owe them money, will I have to pay?

Money from inlaws

If your inlaws gave you money during the marriage and they now claim that it was a loan, you may be held equally responsible for repaying the "loan".

   
Can I represent myself?

To use a lawyer or not to use a lawyer

Before choosing to go 'pro se', get some legal advice. A mistake made in the divorce often cannot be undone.

   
When can I move?

Relocation

If you move to another state or country while separated, you will have to wait until you have met your residency requirements before you can file for divorce in your new location.

   
Can I get a divorce when I can´t find her?

When you can't find your estranged spouse

It pays to get a lawyer and file for a divorce as you will continue to be held financially responsible for your missing spouse.

   
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