Divorce sucks, but hopefully this helps

I have a saying.  There are three certainties in life.  Death, taxes and after a  major holiday weekend I will get a lot of calls from people looking for a divorce lawyer in Chicago (DUI too).

I don't think there is a lawyer in town that you could hire where at the end of a divorce you will be saying to yourself what a great time you had.  But there are some things you can do to make the case go as smooth as possible.

1. Become goal focused.  When you are hit with getting divorced, especially when there are children involved or a fight over money, it's really easy to only think about the now instead of your future.  You need to think about your life six months from now, two years, five years, ten years and 20 years in to the future.  Where you want to live, education and religion arrangements for the kids, what type of work you will be doing, how will you be able to retire, etc.  A good divorce attorney doesn't manipulate your emotions based on the current problems (hello father's rights), but rather deals with the now and helps you also think about the later.  If you have ten major goals and achieve most of them then the case should wrap up.

2. Take out the emotion.  I know this is easier said than done, but if you make decisions based on goals and facts versus anger, sadness, etc., you will be amazed at how much smoother your ride is.  If you have a real friend who will tell things to you straight, seek out their opinion and ask them to give advice objectively not emotionally.

3. Rip off the bandaid.  I'm not encouraging anyone to end their marriage, but if you know it's a lost cause then get it over with.  The sooner you do that, the sooner you will find happiness instead of being miserable.

4. Talk it out with your spouse first.  The best divorce is an amicable one.  You could pay lawyers a lot of money, but before doing that see what you can agree on.

5. Do something for yourself.  Take a trip, go to a concert or ballgame, catch up with old friends, take dance lessons, etc.  Don't wallow in the misery of divorce as a full time job.

I'm curious if anyone who has been through divorce or works as an attorney has anything to add.  Please send in your comments.

 

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  • When I went through my divorce I was so upset that I would have panic attacks. I saw a counselor which was great for me, although it might not be for everyone. Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started thinking about how I had to look out for myself, things improved. I also realized that as hard as my situation is, there are plenty of other people in a worse predicament.

  • Being unmarried, I can't speak of divorce. However, the cartoon depicts fairly rational people. What happens when one of the participants has Princess Di syndrome, more than likely provoking domestic abuse? One or the other then has to get out of the house, and it has innumerable times been proven that restraining orders have no effect, except perhaps allowing a contempt charge once the inevitable assault occurs.

    Heck, I've know unmarried people who claimed to be irrevocably harmed by a breakup. One, in particular, is pining over such an incident 25 years ago. The other party married, and died a couple of years ago, but she claims to be psychologically scarred for life. Now if that was a divorce....

  • Thanks Michelle, glad things worked out for you. It's a good lesson for anyone in that position.

    Jack, I'm working on a list of divorce horror stories. One big problem is that people get attorneys who tell them to file false order of protection complaints to get the other spouse out of the house. Domestic abuse of course is a big problem. If I had to add one comment to my list it would be to be safe. Some people think if they leave a house they are abandoning it and lose their rights. This is not true and certainly if you are physically threatened you should get out, call the cops, etc.

  • In reply to Findgreatlawyers:

    Hate to disagree, but in terms of a father who wants primary custody of his children, moving out of the house is the very WORST thing to do.
    By the time the divorce is finalized, all the court can see is the 'new' family structure of Mom and the kids, and Dad becomes the walking ATM machine.

  • The article headline states that divorce rates spike after Labor Day. Why is that?
    Also, what is Princess Di syndrome, as referred to in Jack's comment?

  • Thanks for the comment Resu. I didn't write the headline in the mailer you got, but it's a great question.

    The reason divorces spike after holidays like Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. is that these are usually times when families are together. As a result it leads to problems occuring for couples that don't get along or some people realize that they aren't in the marriage that they want to be in. If your best friend is having a family barbeque and you are being yelled at your house, that can be the tipping point to make you file.

    The other reason people file around the holidays is that is a common benchmark for many. e.g. I'm going to give until Labor Day for me to feel better about my divorce and if not I'm going to pull the trigger and see a lawyer.

    Hope that answers your question. If not let me know.

  • Forgot to add. I have no idea what Princess Di syndrome is when it comes to a divorce.

  • I agree with much of Michael's advice. However I would say that with respect to #4, be careful about what you are agreeing to with your spouse, and make sure you consult with your attorney. In my case, I went through mediation and in that process worked out an agreement with my ex. In dealing with my guilt and sadness over the end of the marriage and trying to be "fair", I probably agreed to give up more than I should have. That relates back to #2, which is very important. Take out the emotion. A good domestic relations attorney will help you focus on what you are entitled to in the context of property division and financial settlement absent the emotion.

  • My SIL works for a domestic abuse agency; she and her team always have to gear up around the holidays, so what you say makes perfect sense. The headline that came across my email says "Divorces Spike After Labor Day", which just seems a bit specific. Anyway, I'm thankful not to be in this situation - best of luck to all those who are!!

  • Great point about consulting with your attorney. I've seen some people give up a six figure interest in a pension while trying to be "fair." There is a fine line between amicable and foolish. I was referring more to a situation where you had an understanding about your rights and tried to work things out that way.

  • As a society we are aware of the devastating impact of divorce on children, yet we seem resigned to do nothing to prevent it. I propose a simple change to existing divorce laws to help. For lack of a better term, we could call the change one from "no-fault" divorce to "no-harm" divorce. If one spouse initiates a divorce where any children of minor age are present, there should be a presumption that custody of the children would go to the respondent in the divorce. Custody would not necessarily go to the respondent

  • In reply to rlaspari:

    Thanks for the comment, but I couldn't disagree more. This isn't a "simple change," but nuking the divorce laws in Illinois. The biggest flaw in the proposal is that you would trap an abused spouse in a marriage.

    I am happily married, but I don't think marriage should be viewed as a sacred institution. If you want a divorce you should be able to get one. I personally think it's worse for children to see an example of two people that don't love each other than it is to see them separate, but happy. To make someone stay married so they can see their kids more is just a bad idea and I believe would lead to more abuse and adultery.

    Of course a happy family is the goal, but we don't live in a vacuum or in the Beaver Cleaver world of TV. People are upset that the divorce rate is 50%. The PC answer would be to be upset about that. But if you talk to people that are divorced, their lives have improved and many of them re-marry with the right person who is also able to help their children.

    If you really want to get nuclear on divorce laws, require pre-nups for everyone on every issue except the kids. So that way if you want out or you want in, you know exactly what's going to happen. It wouldn't help lawyers, but I personally believe that if you want a divorce we should make it easier, not harder. When it comes to the kids it should still be based on their best interests for custody, but even then you could pre-determine child support before the marriage. If you can't agree on what you'd do if you break up then maybe you shouldn't get married. Might sound extreme, but that is what every good business partner does before they start a company with someone else.

  • In reply to Findgreatlawyers:

    The small number of ACTUAL abuse cases in divorce belies what you've written. Anytime the divorce industry talks about reforming custody decisions, the lobbying money flies to Springfield.

    Custody battles are moneymakers for divorce lawyers. When a proposed bill for a presumption of shared custody was introduced in Springfield, the divorce attorney lobby descended on the Capital in force to kill the bill in committee.

    And FYI, child support amounts are based on statutory guidelines as a percent of non-custodial parents' income. It is almost unheard of for parents to 'agree' to deviate from the guidelines. Also, the custodial parent's assets and income are almost NEVER considered when a court sets a child support award.

    Lastly, there is ZERO accountability required for how child support is used. Mom can put it in the bank for herself, hit the casinos, or whatever, and the courts will not interfere. That's part of what makes child support so maddening for non-custodial parents (read: Dads).

  • In reply to Findgreatlawyers:

    I also reject the notion that anyone who feels 'unhappy' is entitled to a 'no questions asked' divorce. That concept implies that one's happiness depends on your spouse and not on your own ability to enjoy life.

    Marriage is supposed to be a lifelong commitment, with all that 'for better or worse' stuff as part of the bargain.

    Telling people that you should divorce if you feel unhappy marginalizes the whole concept of commitment. Marriage isn't like an old pair of shoes. You don't dump your marriage like you do your shoes when the heels wear down.

    Being married takes work. Sometimes it's hard, very hard. It requires both people to be committed toward MAKING things work. The real test of your marriage isn't when things are going smoothly. The real test comes when life deals a few setbacks. Strong people in strong marriages survive. The rest take refuge in 'no-fault' divorce.

  • In reply to Findgreatlawyers:

    Michael,

    Your analysis is deeply flawed. This change would trap no one. It would be a *rebuttable* presumption -- if there was real abuse, that would be sufficient to rebut the presumption. Also, RegularGuy is correct that the vast majority of divorce cases don't involve actual abuse.

    As a lawyer, Michael, you probably know all of this. You probably also realize that the change I propose would reduce the number of divorces -- and that's not good for your business. It's better to simply discredit the idea as quickly as possible.

  • In reply to rlaspari:

    This topic certainly provokes strong feelings. Few responses to you and "Regular Guy."

    1. I don't handle family cases personally so even though I have talked to thousands of people about this topic, it wouldn't affect my practice. In fact, what I propose would make divorces cheaper.
    2. In an ideal world no one would get divorced and if they did, they would have done everything possible to save the marriage. Of course that is not realistic to how life works.
    3. Forgetting abuse, your proposal does not account for marriages where there is infidelity, substance abuse, verbal and mental abuse, etc.
    4. I also speak to many women who get cut off financially by a man who refuses to play any role in helping with the kids. So in this situation, the woman would have to risk losing her kids to someone who doesn't take care of them in order to get away from someone who doesn't provide any financial help and basically treats them like an indentured servant.
    5. In the real world of how relationships work, your proposal would cause spouses to drive each other as crazy as possible to try and provoke the other to file for divorce and risk losing custody. I have spoken to many men (and women) who would do this just to avoid child support.
    6. I could go on and on, but the bigger point is that every case is different so to say that one couple that just isn't in love any more should be held to the same standard as a couple where the Dad boozes it up all night and screws his secretary and the mom is on Facebook six hours a day and has a pill problem, is wrong.

  • In reply to Findgreatlawyers:

    Michael,

    It's clear to all, except the most biased among us, that our divorce system is profoundly broken. That someone would chose to defend the current system instead of seeking alternatives is indefensible.

    In most cases divorce is very harmful to children. I could fill pages with links to studies of all the different ways children are harmed by divorce. Here are just a few:

    http://www.sethschwartz.info/pdfs/Divided_World_of_the_Child.pdf
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/x16531815nl11t07/
    http://www.pewtrusts.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=58966

    In spite of this people get divorced. Actually, in college educated households, women initiate divorce 90% of the time. They do this even though it is very harmful to their children. Why do they do it? Because they know they can expect a favorable outcome and get custody. Studies like this one have shown this:

    http://aler.oxfordjournals.org/content/2/1/126.abstract

    According to the most recent census, 5 out of 6 custodial parents are women. If our current system was not biased, I would expect to see half of the custodial parents be men and half the divorces initiated by men. This is not what we see though. Our current system is biased.

    Michael, once again you seek to confuse by introducing a lot of hypothetical situations that are not the norm. Regardless, the idea of a rebuttable presumption that children remain with the respondent is simple. It *does* account for all the hypothetical situations you mention. It's a *rebuttable* presumption. If there is a real reason why the divorcer should have custody of the children, the presumption can be rebutted. The important thing is that we would have a presumption that the respondent is innocent until proven guilty. This is a great standard for the rest of our legal system. Why do you think family court respondents don't deserve the same standard? It's our current system that doesn't address your hypothetical situations properly.

    Also since divorce is so harmful to children most of the time, does it make sense to presume custody should go to the parent who is so willing to harm the children based solely on personal whims and desires? I would think it would make more sense to have a presumption that custody should remain with the parent trying to preserve the marriage for the sake of the children.

    You would defend our current divorce system where baseless accusations can be leveled just so someone can punish someone else. It's a good thing the rest of our legal system doesn't work that way. There needs to be some risk when someone levels harsh accusations, or else everyone would do it -- which is just what we are seeing happen in our family court system today. Only the lawyers benefit from a system where people can level accusations and launch hearings without real cause. This is also just what we are seeing happen in our family court system today.

    The real problem is people are not really looking out for their children. A rebuttable presumption that children remain with the respondent would encourage people to think about how to improve their marriages instead of abandoning them. They would have to think about their children's needs first. It would take away the advantage given to those who initiate divorce (And really, what other areas of law are there where someone gets rewarded for breaking a contract without sufficient cause?). Actually, even the couples would benefit. Studies like this one show that people who stay married after tough times are usually happier:

    http://www.americanvalues.org/UnhappyMarriages.pdf

    Really, the only people who wouldn't benefit from this change are those whose livelihoods depend on the status quo and on our current corrupt and sexist divorce system.

    rlaspari

  • In reply to rlaspari:

    Thanks. All interesting and thoughtful points. Check back in a couple weeks as I'll have a post on whether divorce should be easier, harder or the same.

  • In reply to rlaspari:

    I have to completely disagree with those who profess that divorce damages children and who believe in the American fairy-tale of "for better or worse."
    Although I believe that one's happiness is not dependent on their spouse if one's spouse stiffles their happiness, does nothing to show affection and/or respect, does not support ones values, does not care for them when they are ill, and puts $$$, stuff, and career before the marriage and will not take the necessary measures to fix all of this (over a period of 3-5-10 years or more), than that someone has a duty to themselves and their children to move on (divorce).
    So marriage is a contract but is it not considered a breach of contract when one of the parties does not fulfill their promises made in that contract and repeatedly (for years) subjects the other to all of the above? In business, violating a legally binding contract either causes the contract to become null & void or results in legal repercussions to the breacher (the respondent), but in a marriage contract we are supposed to allow the breach. Better yet; ignor it, give the other party 5, 10, 15, 20 years to try to fix it and if they don't....just learn to live with it "for the sake of the children?" Imagine this type of approach in business contracts.
    What kind of a message does it send your children to stay in a marriage/contract where the other party is not holding up their end of the deal? That it is acceptable to be taken advantage of, to be disrespected, humiliated, and otherwise kept in a situation where you not only continue to get @#$%-ed but where you have no choice but to be unhappy. The ideal situation for a happy childhood is a "happy" marriage where each parent lives up to their end of the "marriage deal." Yes, divorce is traumatic for chidren but an unhappy, unfullfilled, "breach of marriage contract" existence is far more damaging to children and their socialization and this is a proven statistic and I won't start listing sources, we all know how to research and read.
    It is time for America to wake up and smell the coffee and stop living in the fairy tale of "for better or worse" and "happily ever after." Divorce is a necessary part of our culture just like arbitration/mediation is in the case of business law.

  • In reply to MyTwoCents:

    I couldn't have articulated my thoughts on the subject any better. No one is saying you just give up when things go bad, but if it's broken for good and you know it, it's unhealthy for everyone to stay together. And I'm sure that there haven't been studies on the impact of bad marriages on children.

    Check back in two weeks or so as we will have a post on this debate.

  • In reply to Findgreatlawyers:

    Michael, you say "And I'm sure that there haven't been studies on the impact of bad marriages on children."

    What do you base that on? Of course there have been. In a lot of studies scientists know they when talking about divorcing parents, the marriage could not have been good. So they compare all kinds of families. Studies show divorce may actually be beneficial for children who are in a home with violence or threats of violence. This however, is pretty much the only case. In all other instances, a child would be better off even in home with a "bad marriage" than in home broken by divorce.

  • In reply to Findgreatlawyers:

    You must compare the harmful effects of a bad marriage to those of divorce. These studies show that after a transition period and after conflict between parents subsides, that children in divorced families do just as well or even better in school performance and behavior than children in unhappy families. Mavis Hetherington, Abigail Stewart, Frank Furstenburg & Andrew Chetlin to name just a few have all done recent studies that demonstrate this and how the single most harmful effect on children is having two parents who argue all of the time.
    It is up to us as individuals what we want to expose are children to and if you can't agree with your spouse, well than there is another conflict to expose your child to. Lastly, requiring that custody default to the respondent is ridiculous and punitive, will never happen.

  • In reply to MyTwoCents:

    Even Hetherington -- who is the go-to lady for all divorce apologists -- begrudgingly admits that divorce has detrimental effects on children. She just tries to gloss over and minimize it and paint in a better light. In her hands -- and she's hawking her books most of the times -- it's more marketing than science. And there's an all-too-eager crowd to eat that stuff up.

    One of the important factors you overlook (and it's mentioned in at least one of the studies I listed, though I can track down several more if you wish) is that most of the time parents get along WORSE after a divorce. This is why the more reputable scientists try to compare families that have similar levels of conflict and then follow the ones which divorce and the ones that don't to see how they compare.

    Divorce increases conflict, it does not remove it. I find it fascinating to watch lawyers try to gloss over something that should be as obvious as this. Most divorces are highly charged, combative, and filled with argument. No one is happy with the situation, and when it's over the couple's problems are not usually resolved, but left to linger. Arguments only grow from there. Changing the divorce system might help with this problem, which is why I am proposing the idea of a rebuttable presumption that children remain with the respondent in a divorce.

    Lastly, I do not "require" custody go to the respondent. It would be a presumption. It can be rebutted with sufficient cause and evidence. It is hardly punitive. What is punitive and ridiculous is our current system that takes away custody from parents staying faithful to the marriage even when that parent has done no wrong.

    How can anyone support such an awful divorce system as the one we currently have?

  • In reply to rlaspari:

    It confounds me when courts are faced with high-conflict divorces and assume that simply splitting up the husband and wife will end the conflict.
    IL divorce law even directs courts to award sole custody in high conflict divorces. That creates a scenario where one parent (usually Mom) has all the decision-making authority granted to her, and Dad is permitted only to pay bills. The courts effectively subsidize the conflict by creating this imbalance of authority over the children.
    For most divorces, joint legal custody is a pablum held out to fathers who are being stripped of most of the parental rights they had when they walked into divorce court. Their 'joint' rights begin and end where the custodial parent says they do.
    I have to agree with 'rlaspari'. If you feel you need to leave your marriage to be happy, fine, but until the custody field is leveled, there will always be a reward for women to file, and a penalty for men. That may be why two-thirds of all divorces are filed by women.

  • In reply to rlaspari:

    I happen to see reason in your position but what about a situation where the woman is the significant bread winner and the man wants out? Yes, he has to forfeit his rights to custody or settle for joint custody but do you think he is going to be "paying the bills" when the woman made double or triple his salary???
    The problem isn't the divorce field isn't level. It is personal reponsibility & accountibility (or lack there of). The absence of such is a pandemic in America; i.e.-where adults simply cannot accept that their relationship doesn't work, take responsibility for such, and part with respect, dignity, and mutual love and concern for the lives that they brought into this world.

  • In reply to MyTwoCents:

    MyTwoCents, if you are talking about our current system, generally speaking the woman is always favored regardless of circumstance. Even a stay-at-home dad will probably get at most joint custody and not be awarded child support. Contrast this with what happens to most stay-at-home moms.

    In a system where there is a rebuttable presumption children remain with the respondent, no one necessarily has to forfeit any rights. The question that needs to be asked is why is the person who is divorcing doing so? Is the person leaving because there is evidence of physical abuse in the family? Well that's a pretty good reason to end a marriage, and custody could go to the divorcer. Is the person leaving because he or she is simply unsatisfied with the marriage and thinks single life would be happier? That's not a satisfactory reason to inflict divorce on children. Custody should remain with the respondent in such an event.

    Changing our system to a rebuttable presumption that children would remain with the respondent would be a lot more fair to both men and children.

    Regular Guy, I agree with you. BTW, in families with children, the fraction of women who file might be even higher than two-thirds. In families where the couple is college educated, women file 90% of the time. Family courts often use the phrase "best interests of the child," but their actual policy appears to be "best interests of the mother."

  • In reply to rlaspari:

    If 90% of all jobs were held by men, women would argue that it is gender discrimination. If 90% of all college students were men, women would call that gender discrimination.
    Yet when 90% of divorces with minor children result in custody to the mother, courts try to argue that it is 'the best interest of the child.'
    We are well past the point in time when fathers should expect the same rights in the family as women have attained in education and in the workplace.

  • In reply to MyTwoCents:

    MyTwoCents, you say you "completely disagree with those who profess that divorce damages children and who believe in the American fairy-tale of 'for better or worse'"
    Do you have any basis for this disagreement apart from personal feelings and wishes? I'm guessing no, seeing as numerous studies on the subject are quite conclusive that divorce is harmful to children except in marriages where there is violence or threats of violence.

    Also, interestingly enough, the examples you cite for "breach of contract" wouldn't even really be sufficient in the days when fault was required for divorce. They certainly shouldn't be sufficient for taking custody away from a parent either. They're definitely not problems that cannot be repaired with effort if people stayed married and worked on them instead of taking the easy way out.

    Regardless, I think the main point should be that our current divorce system is profoundly broken. It encourages women to initiate divorce, and takes children away from their fathers without cause. No good can come from such a system.

    Switching to a divorce system where there is a rebuttable presumption that children remain with the respondent in a divorce would help fix all these problems without taking away any freedoms.

    You say, "we all know how to research and read;" but, I've seen no evidence you've done any research at all. You seem to be just throwing around a lot of catch phrases to try to encourage divorce. That's just bad for families.

  • In reply to Findgreatlawyers:

    Michael,

    It's clear to all, except the most biased among us, that our divorce system is profoundly broken. That someone would chose to defend the current system instead of seeking alternatives is indefensible.

    In most cases divorce is very harmful to children. I could fill pages with links to studies of all the different ways children are harmed by divorce. Here are just a few:

    http://www.sethschwartz.info/pdfs/Divided_World_of_the_Child.pdf
    http://www.springerlink.com/content/x16531815nl11t07/
    http://www.pewtrusts.org/news_room_detail.aspx?id=58966

    In spite of this people get divorced. Actually, in college educated households, women initiate divorce 90% of the time. They do this even though it is very harmful to their children. Why do they do it? Because they know they can expect a favorable outcome and get custody. Studies like this one have shown this:

    http://aler.oxfordjournals.org/content/2/1/126.abstract

    According to the most recent census, 5 out of 6 custodial parents are women. If our current system was not biased, I would expect to see half of the custodial parents be men and half the divorces initiated by men. This is not what we see though. Our current system is biased.

    Michael, once again you seek to confuse by introducing a lot of hypothetical situations that are not the norm. Regardless, the idea of a rebuttable presumption that children remain with the respondent is simple. It *does* account for all the hypothetical situations you mention. It's a *rebuttable* presumption. If there is a real reason why the divorcer should have custody of the children, the presumption can be rebutted. The important thing is that we would have a presumption that the respondent is innocent until proven guilty. This is a great standard for the rest of our legal system. Why do you think family court respondents don't deserve the same standard? It's our current system that doesn't address your hypothetical situations properly.

    Also since divorce is so harmful to children most of the time, does it make sense to presume custody should go to the parent who is so willing to harm the children based solely on personal whims and desires? I would think it would make more sense to have a presumption that custody should remain with the parent trying to preserve the marriage for the sake of the children.

    You would defend our current divorce system where baseless accusations can be leveled just so someone can punish someone else. It's a good thing the rest of our legal system doesn't work that way. There needs to be some risk when someone levels harsh accusations, or else everyone would do it -- which is just what we are seeing happen in our family court system today. Only the lawyers benefit from a system where people can level accusations and launch hearings without real cause. This is also just what we are seeing happen in our family court system today.

    The real problem is people are not really looking out for their children. A rebuttable presumption that children remain with the respondent would encourage people to think about how to improve their marriages instead of abandoning them. They would have to think about their children's needs first. It would take away the advantage given to those who initiate divorce (And really, what other areas of law are there where someone gets rewarded for breaking a contract without sufficient cause?). Actually, even the couples would benefit. Studies like this one show that people who stay married after tough times are usually happier:

    http://www.americanvalues.org/UnhappyMarriages.pdf

    Really, the only people who wouldn't benefit from this change are those whose livelihoods depend on the status quo and on our current corrupt and sexist divorce system.

    rlaspari

  • In reply to rlaspari:

    I have had many prospective clients come to my office stating, that "things are not so bad right now, I think I am going to wait to get my divorce." My response is that the best time to get a divorce is when things are in fact amicable. Waiting for things "to turn bad" is when the cost of a divorce sky rockets. When a divorce is imminent, couples should try to put their emotions aside and treat the situation as a business problem. It is a shame when I see hurt feelings and emotions bankrupt a couple. My objective is to get clients to focus on the future rather than vendettas or seeking retribution.

  • In reply to JohnKay:

    Great point John. If you do it when things are amicable, assuming you both truly want the divorce, it will be smoother and cheaper.

  • Divorce attorneys can't charge a contingent fee the way personal injury lawyers can. So to make any money by handling divorce, attorneys like to 'fan the flames' by telling both parties not to 'give up too much' or to 'fight for more'.

    The very best way to get divorced is for the parties to agree on who gets what FIRST, then get lawyers involved.

    If there is one certainty, it is that anyone who finished their divorce with a small fortune started that divorce with a LARGE fortune.

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