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DepressedDaddy posted 4/8/2014 10:56 AM

You'll will have to forgive me, but I have never been through a divorce, so I don't know what is right or wrong, good or bad, etc. My WW and I have discussed options if and when this became a reality. We talked about minimizing costs by doing mediation by ourselves and then going to the lawyer once we had everything worked out. Has anyone else done this and how did it work?

[This message edited by DepressedDaddy at 12:36 PM, April 8th (Tuesday)]

one2ndchance posted 4/8/2014 11:01 AM

Much depends on where you live as divorce laws vary from state to state. To start, go to your state government web site and look over divorce laws. Many are written in layman's terms so are fairly easy to understand.

When children are involved, it's best to consult an attorney.

Pass posted 4/8/2014 11:08 AM

The most important thing my lawyer told me: You probably feel some guilt over initiating the divorce (although you shouldn't). Don't let your wife use your guilt to make sure that you are destitute for the rest of your life. You deserve to be happy.

DepressedDaddy posted 4/8/2014 11:18 AM

I live in a state that an uncontested divorce can take place, which is what I would want if we went through with it.

[This message edited by DepressedDaddy at 1:29 PM, April 8th (Tuesday)]

justinpaintoday posted 4/8/2014 11:31 AM

Amicable divorce about 2000 each. REMEMBER. Divorce is adversarial by nAture. My wife and i were excited to b kind but just one week in the rubber meets the road it is a chess game. Mediation still standard and possible but b very careful.

crumbs posted 4/8/2014 11:58 AM

If you google "uncontested divorce with children" and include your state, you will probably find some good on-line resources to help. There are basically three areas you need to concentrate on, though there are dozens of issues under each one--the forms will help you keep on track and give you ideas of what needs to be included:
*How to divide your property and your debt;
*Whether anyone will pay the other spousal or partner support; and
*If you have children together, what child support and custody and visitation orders you want.

You may want to call some of the mediation centers in your area and get their advice--they may also have packets of information to help you work through. Especially since you have a child and have had so many years together, I really would not recommend trying to do this without professional help. There are simply too many details that are easy to overlook. And what may be OK today will become a nightmare when your daughter gets older and her needs/expenses/etc change.

I also wouldn't recommend going to one attorney. If you do come up with an agreement, each of you should have your own attorney to review. Spending some money now can save you a ton of headaches and dollars in the future if you have to make modifications.

You can stipulate not moving the child out of a certain area. It can be challenged in court later, however. And every state and every court (and sometimes every judge) is different. Still critical to address.

My TBX is an attorney so he wrote up our "agreement"...which was so one-sided and crazy (not to mention parts weren't even legal), that there was no reason to go forward with that. When we went to mediation, he told the mediator he would pay "zero" that didn't go well either We're now going into our fifth hearing just on basic issues--spending thousands to save hundreds. So if you can do this an easier way, it's certainly worth the try.

Good luck!

GotPlayed posted 4/8/2014 12:30 PM

I asked my IC this once (not being a lawyer but having lots of experience with lots of people who ended up D from his therapy practice). He advised me to assume an average of $14K per person (Northern California), once it's all said and done, all expenses in. The typical L around here wants a $5K retainer to start, $8K for an unemployed SAH parent. Remember these processes sometimes can take years, so it could be as simple as filing fees and doing it yourselves at your kitchen table, or lots, lots more. In general it depends on how cooperative you *both* are (and you can only control yourself).

The problem you haven't thought of is that infidelity is already a serious breach of trust, and KISA syndrome notwithstanding, the hurt party needs to be protected more than the predator. Someone wise here in SI said to me "You being here means she didn't give you a fair M, what makes you think she'll give you a fair D?". That's the best argument for being protected I've heard.

There's also collaborative divorce, where the Ls are less adversarial. Like my L said, "just pretend you're both just winding down a business so you can close it - it's really just assets, income and expenses."

I moved out of my house. My mental health was worth it, and it's better for the children not to see the fighting. As a man, you need to be very aware of the very real possibility of her accusing you of DV, particularly if she has no leg to stand on (sure, uncontested D and all, but if there's conflict and God forbid it ends up in front of a judge, the judge is going to want to know fault anyway and will only have a few minutes to make a decision for or against a party). Staying in the house makes this type of accusation more, not less, likely to happen. That's why you want to talk to a L first, regardless of what you do. I don't know what the deal is with nesting, but DD8 and DD10 have adapted very well to the two houses situation (if you're both good, involved parents, it shouldn't be an issue).

Moving out in my opinion also helps on the budget - how can you possibly know how much you can afford in alimony and support if you don't know your living expenses, your rent, your utilities, etc? Remember these orders can be hard to change once they become permanent - judges love something called the "status quo". You want to set the status quo to something you can live with long term as early in this game as you can.

Many Ls will give you an hour consult for free to get a feel for them. Make sure you take advantage of that. Talk to more than one.

Remember, even if it's uncontested, even if it's mediated, you have a right to legal representation. The L can be as involved or as uninvolved as you want him to. For example, it can be as simple as you draft everything yourself together (if you get along so well) and then send it to the L to "red-line" before signing. If you're the main wage-earner, you need legal representation.

If STBX balks at you getting a L for reviewing paperwork, be very aware that the reason could have been that she was intending to control the whole process (of all these D discussions, who was the originator of the idea?). This happened to me, as soon as she found out I paid a retainer, she freaked and wanted a full blown D, and got a more expensive L herself, a clear sign that her intent was to railroad me since I have been way too nice for 18+ years. As the first batch of bills after I moved out came up, she sent me a nastygram regarding "the mother of your children being taken care of". But since I mostly didn't engage, the Ls restored civility fairly quickly.

Hope this helps. We're all learning stuff we never wanted to know here in SI.

7yrsflushed posted 4/8/2014 13:51 PM

depends on how amicable your WS is, if you have kids, and how much you have to split. My advice do a few consults with attorneys and get some advice. If you have an EAP, employee assistance program, at your place of employment they often provide names of L's in yrou area. Many times those L's may offer a free consult. The one I chose did a free 30 minute consult and that was all I needed. You can google D laws for yrou state to get an idea of what to expect and make a list of questions you should ask.

STBXWW and I agreed on how to split everything. CS is a state formula and custody was 50/50. We both agreed to joint physical and legal custody. I kept all my debt and she kept hers. I kept my pension and she kept hers. Legally we had to split the brokerage account because it was in both of our names. We kept our own bank accounts etc. I retained a L. I went to the L and told her what WW and I agreed to and asked her a few questions. The L drafted the property settlement agreement which had everything we agreed to in it along with all the legal language. WW came in, lawyer advised her that she had a right to get her own legal counsel and she could only represent me but could at my direction answer any questions WW had about the agreement. WW asked some questions we made some changes on dates adn L sent a copy of the revised document to both WW and myself. I set a time with L and WW and I came in and signed the document which the L filed with the courts. We have to live apart for 1 year then I call the L back and tell her to send the paperwork to the judge and the judge signs and I am officially D.

[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 1:53 PM, April 8th (Tuesday)]

Sad in AZ posted 4/9/2014 07:52 AM

I lived in AZ at the time of my D. We had an uncontested divorce using an attorney; he was my attorney but the X agreed to let him draw up the paperwork. I decided to forego spousal support because I didn't want to be tied to the X for the rest of my life.

The cost was minimal--$2500 total (for both of us) which included the court costs.

Caretaker1 posted 4/9/2014 08:42 AM

Wow you all got divorces for real cheap. Looking at 100k , if you can work it out try

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