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Not Just a Divorce Application
The divorce process has many steps. Many will vary depending on the particular characteristics and demand of the divorce. Some must be done sequentially, and some may be done in parallel. Issues such as marital property versus divorce property, custody of children and pets, post divorce living arrangements, and alimony will need to be addressed in a successful divorce proceeding.
Here we will offer guidance to help you lay out the divorce steps that must be taken to navigate through the entire process of getting divorced from the divorce application to the final divorce settlement. Here is a brief overview of the divorce steps however we will go into more detail later.
- Find a divorce lawyer
- Obtain copies of all financial records and forward to lawyer
- Discuss terms of the divorce with your lawyer
- Your lawyer negotiates the terms of the divorce with your spouse's lawyer.
- If an agreement is reached, those terms will be included with a petition the lawyer files with the court.
- If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, the petition and ancillaries will be filed with the court and left to the judge to decide.
- The court will add your case to its docket and notify you of the date. In most cases the ancillaries (alimony/spousal support, child support, child custody/visitation, and property distribution) will be held at a later date. Several court dates may be needed.
- Wait for the final decree
The Realities versus the Legalities of Divorce
The process of getting divorced is surprisingly filled with steps that are not legally defined or binding. The majority of the effort goes into preparing a divorce application with attached asset values and agreements between parties. The judge will then modify the agreement to suit the legal requirements of the area in which the case is filed, and modify the agreement at his or her discretion to make the terms of the agreement fair in his or her opinion. There is a great deal of work to do before the court is even approached.
Find a Divorce Lawyer
In all but the rarest cases, you and your spouse should chose and retain the services of divorce lawyers. Of course, it is very important to retain the services of a legal expert familiar with the requirements placed on the process by local law. However, there is another important reason to retain these services.
That is that divorce can be a very emotional process, and a key benefit provided by the divorce lawyer is to make sure that the outcome is to the direct benefit of their client and is not swayed or clouded by emotional concerns that may exist between the parties. With this in mind, it is considered unethical for the spouses to have the same divorce lawyer (and any ethical lawyer will refuse to serve in that capacity).
The Divorce Application
A divorce application, readily available from a number of sources, is the written framework that must be prepared and presented to the court. It must contain some key elements.
It must contain as complete a summary as possible, with as much supporting detail as possible, of the assets being divided. This includes real property, saving and retirement accounts, and potential for future value generation. Some values will be relatively straightforward to calculate, such as real estate. Others will be far more difficult, such as the value of a jointly owned at home business. This may require that estimations be made by qualified professionals.
Then there is the matter of liabilities that these assets carry with them. The outstanding unpaid part of a mortgage is the classic example. A very important one is that many of these assets provide the promise of future earnings, such as a highly paying job, and that the loss of their martially merited income is a severe burden on the other party. This will not only help to determine the amount of alimony needed to continue the lifestyle of the spouse, but also becomes a key factor in the support of children and other expenses that will continue after the marriage ends. These things must be taken into consideration because they were a direct result of the marriage.
Any agreements that can be made in advance of the legal filing and submitted as part of the divorce application will greatly enhance the chances that the matter will be resolved to the best possible benefit of both parties. The divorce attorneys should handle the crafting of these agreements after the parties have made their desires clear. Unfortunately, any issue that cannot be agreed on will result in counterproposals from each party being presented to the judge, who will make the final decisions.
When all of this is accomplished, it is important to let go of any recriminations and move on with the process of starting your new life. It is time to rely on family and friends rather than lawyers and judges to help you totally finish the process of getting divorced. The use of social and support groups are common once a divorce is finalized. You may find it cliché at first, however helpful when the chaos subsides. After it is all over, don't forget to give yourself and your children, if you have any, a soft place to land and time to heal.
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Last Updated: January 2010
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PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING TERMS OF SERVICES & LEGAL NOTICES ("THIS AGREEMENT") CAREFULLY BEFORE USING THE Real-Estate-Yogi.com WEBSITE (the "Site" or "REY"). These terms explain your (and our) rights under this Agreement, and make certain disclosures required by the law. By using the Site, you give your assent to the terms of this Agreement. If you do not agree to these terms, you may not use the Site. Real-Estate-Yogi.com. ("REY"," "We" or "Our") has the right, in our sole discretion, to modify, add, or remove any terms or conditions of this Agreement without giving individual notice to you, by posting the changes on the Site. Your continuing use of the Site signifies your acceptance of any such changes.
Use of this Site is licensed to one law firm located in each area code across the United States (the "law firms" or "Law Firms") to (i) allow each such Law Firm to promote their own web site and practice within the area code in which they are located, (ii) facilitate the public's ability to learn about divorce law and (iii) interact with divorce attorneys (it being understood that not all area codes will include a licensing law firm at all times). In addition to educating the general public about divorce law, each Law Firm provides users with the ability to submit information about their specific divorce case, and to request to be contacted by such Law Firm to discuss their case and to possibly hire it to represent them. You understand that REY does not refer attorneys or law firms, and does not endorse any of the law firms which license use of the Site. It is your decision alone whether or not to work with a licensing law firm.
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THIS SITE MAY CONTAIN ADVERTISING MATERIAL OR LAWYER ADVERTISEMENTS
Some jurisdictions may consider the Site to be a form of advertising for legal services and as such may require specific disclosures. Please read the following carefully:
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT. The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer's credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. Hiring a lawyer is an important process that should not be based solely upon advertisements.
The attorney responsible for the content of this Site is Kevin W. Chern, Esq., 25 East Washington, Suite 510, Chicago, Illinois 60602 ("Chern").
Neither Chern nor any of the Law Firms operate as a lawyer-advertising cooperative, lawyer referral service, prepaid legal insurance provider, or similar organization the business or activities of which include the referral of customers, members, or beneficiaries to lawyers for the performance of fee-generating legal services or the payment for or provision of legal services to the customers, members, or beneficiaries in matters for which they do not bear ultimate responsibility.
FREE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
Before you decide to hire any of the Law Firms, ask them to send you free written information about their qualifications and experience. Additional information about the lawyers or firms may also be obtained by contacting the Bar Association in the State in which such lawyers or law firms are licensed.
No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers. Memberships and offices in legal fraternities and legal societies, technical and professional licenses, and memberships in scientific, technical and professional associations and societies of law or fields of practice do not mean that a lawyer is a specialist, expert, authority or is certified in a particular field of law, nor do such memberships or licenses mean that such a lawyer is more expert or competent than any other lawyer.
A description or indication of limitation of practice does not mean that any agency or board has certified such lawyer as a specialist, expert or authority in an indicated field of law practice, nor does it mean that such lawyer is more expert or competent than any other lawyer. We urge all potential clients to make their own independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer being considered.
Except where otherwise indicated, neither Chern nor any of the Law Firms are certified by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education, the Texas Board of Legal Specialization ("Not Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization"), or any other entity or body. The fact that certain attorneys or firms concentrate their practices in divorce cases (or any other field) is not meant to imply that they have gained any specific type of certification in these areas. Indeed, many states-including Illinois-do not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and explicitly state that any such certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in those states.
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No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.
The Alaska Bar Association does not accredit or endorse certifying organizations.
The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience.
The supreme Court of Hawaii grants Hawaii certification only to lawyers in good standing who have successfully completed a specialty program accredited by the American Bar Association. Illinois The Supreme Court of Illinois does not recognize certifications of specialties in the practice of law and that the certificate, award or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in Illinois.
The determination of the need for legal services and the choice of a lawyer are extremely important decisions and should not be based solely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise. This disclosure is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa.
Memberships and offices in legal fraternities and legal societies, technical and professional licenses, and memberships in scientific, technical and professional associations and societies of law or field of practice do not mean that a lawyer is a specialist or expert in a field of law, nor do they mean that such a lawyer is necessarily any more expert or competent than any other lawyer.
A description or indication of limitation of practice does not mean that any agency or board has certified such lawyer as a specialist or expert in an indicated field of law practice, nor does it mean that such lawyer is necessarily any more expert or competent than any other lawyer.
All potential clients are urged to make their own independent investigation and evaluation of any lawyer being considered. This notice is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Iowa.
Any attorney listings or other information pertaining to a particular attorney or law firm on this Site constitutes a paid attorney advertisement, and do not in any way constitute a referral or endorsement by an approved or authorized lawyer referral service.
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Free Background information is available upon request to a Mississippi attorney.
There is no procedure in Mississippi for approving certifying or designating organizations and authorities.
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Any certification as a specialist, or any certification in a field of practice, that does not state that such certification has been granted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey or by an organization that has been approved by the American Bar Association, indicates that the certifying organization has not been approved, or has been denied approval, by the Supreme Court of New Jersey and the American Bar Association.
All attorney listings are a paid attorney advertisement, and do not in any way constitute a referral or endorsement by an approved or authorized lawyer referral service.
Any certification by an organization other than the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization does not constitute recognition by the New Mexico Board of Legal Specialization, unless the lawyer is also recognized by the board as a specialist in that area of law.
The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law. The court does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.
Certifications of Specialization are available to Tennessee lawyers in all areas of practice relating to or included in the areas of Civil Trial, Criminal Trial, Business Bankruptcy, Consumer Bankruptcy, Creditor's Rights, Medical Malpractice, Legal Malpractice, Accounting Malpractice, Elder Law, Estate Planning and Family Law. Listing of related or included practice areas herein does not constitute or imply a representation of certification of specialization.
Unless otherwise indicated, Not Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
The Supreme Court of Washington does not recognize certification of specialties in the practice of law and that the certificate, award, or recognition is not a requirement to practice law in the State of Washington.
The Wyoming State Bar does not certify any lawyer as a specialist or expert. Anyone considering a lawyer should independently investigate the lawyer's credentials and ability, and not rely upon advertisements or self-proclaimed expertise.
Within the Site, we may include descriptions of successful lawsuits brought by Chern, the Law Firms, or other attorneys not affiliated with us or the Site. These descriptions are not meant to create any unjustified expectations that similar results can be obtained for others, for each case turns on its own specific factual and legal circumstances. No attorney can guarantee the success of a case and past successes even in very similar lawsuits do not mean that success in a subsequent case is guaranteed or even likely. Past success cannot be an assurance of future success because each case must be decided on its own merits. Results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case.
The material on this site is not intended to, and does not, include any advertisements for legal services that contain dramatizations, testimonials or endorsements. This site is intended to provide useful, factual information presented in a non-sensational, objective and understandable manner. The images and pictures on this site are not meant to represent or depict actual persons or events, but rather are merely provided for illustrative purposes only.
This Site is not intended for the purpose of advertising legal services to be performed in any state solely by the Law Firms, unless they are specifically licensed to practice in that respective State.
To the extent that this Site does not comply with the laws or regulations of any jurisdiction in which it may be received, the Law Firms do not wish to, and will not knowingly, accept legal representation based on or resulting from the use of the Site from a person located in that jurisdiction. None of the Law Firms wish to, or knowingly will, accept legal representation based on or resulting from the use of the Site from a person located outside the United States.
19. Disclaimer of Warranties
YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT:
YOUR USE OF THE SITE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. ALL CONTENT AND SERVICES ON THE SITE IS PROVIDED SOLELY ON AN "AS-IS/AS-AVAILABLE" BASIS. TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, WE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, SATISFACTORY QUALITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE, AS TO THE RESULTS YOU MAY ACHIEVE ON ACCOUNT YOUR USE OF THE SITE, AS TO THE RESULTS YOU MAY ACHIEVE ON ACCOUNT OF ANY RELATIONSHIP YOU ELECT TO CREATE WITH AN ATTORNEY OR LAW FIRM, AND NON-INFRINGEMENT. NEITHER REY NOR ANY OF ITS LICENSORS OR AFFILIATES MAKES ANY REPRESENTATIONS OR WARRANTIES REGARDING ANY LAW FIRM, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY LAW FIRM’S ABILITY TO OBTAIN A FAVORABLE RESULT FOR YOU.
WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, WE MAKE NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY THAT (i) THE CONTENT AND SERVICE OF THIS SITE WILL MEET YOUR REQUIREMENTS, (ii) THE CONTENT AND SERVICE OF THIS SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE, OR ERROR-FREE, (iii) THE RESULTS THAT MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE USE OF THE SITE WILL BE ACCURATE OR RELIABLE, OR (iv) THE QUALITY OF ANY PRODUCTS, SERVICES, INFORMATION, OR OTHER MATERIAL PURCHASED OR OBTAINED BY YOU THROUGH THE SITE IS ACCURATE OR WILL MEET YOUR EXPECTATIONS.
WE DO NOT GUARANTY THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF ANY CONTENT OR SERVICES AND WE DO NOT GUARANTY IN ANY SERVICES OR GOODS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SITE WILL BE ERROR-FREE OR UNINTERRUPTED, OR THAT ANY SERVICE OR GOOD WILL CONTINUE TO BE AVAILABLE.
ANY MATERIAL DOWNLOADED OR OTHERWISE OBTAINED THROUGH THE USE OF THE SERVICE IS DONE AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION AND RISK AND THAT YOU WILL BE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE TO YOUR COMPUTER SYSTEM OR LOSS OF DATA THAT RESULTS FROM THE DOWNLOAD OF ANY SUCH MATERIAL.
NO INFORMATION, WHETHER ORAL OR WRITTEN, OBTAINED BY YOU FROM US OR THROUGH OR FROM THE SITE SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY STATED IN THIS AGREEMENT.
20. Limitation of Liability
YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT WE SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF REVENUES, PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA, FAILURE TO REALIZE EXPECTED SAVINGS, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), RESULTING FROM: (i) THE USE OR THE INABILITY TO USE THE SITE; (ii) THE COST OF PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS AND SERVICES RESULTING FROM ANY GOODS, DATA, INFORMATION OR SERVICES PURCHASED OR OBTAINED OR MESSAGES RECEIVED OR TRANSACTIONS ENTERED INTO THROUGH OR FROM THE SITE; (iii) INVALID DESTINATIONS, TRANSMISSION ERRORS, OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO OR ALTERATION OF YOUR TRANSMISSIONS OR DATA; (iv) STATEMENTS OR CONDUCT OF ANY THIRD PARTY ON THE SITE; (v) YOUR FAILURE TO RECEIVE ANY THIRD PARTY SERVICES OR PRODUCTS REQUESTED THROUGH THE SITE OR (vi) ANY OTHER MATTER RELATING TO THE SITE. IN NO EVENT ARE WE LIABLE TO YOU FOR AN AMOUNT IN EXCESS OF THE AMOUNT PAID BY YOU TO US FOR THE SERVICES IN QUESTION, IF ANY.
21. Exclusions And Limitations
SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN WARRANTIES OR THE LIMITATION OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES. ACCORDINGLY, SOME OF THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS OF SECTIONS 19 AND 20 MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU.
22. Entire Agreement
This agreement constitutes the entire agreement between you and us and governs your use of the Site, superseding any prior agreements between you and us. You also may be subject to additional terms and conditions that may apply when you use or purchase certain other services, affiliate services, third-party content or third-party software.
23. Choice of Forum
Any disputes arising out or related to use of this Site, this agreement and/or the relationship between you and us shall be submitted to arbitration in Chicago, Illinois carried out in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association.
24. Waiver and Severability of Terms
Our failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of this agreement shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any provision of the agreement is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, the parties nevertheless agree that the court should endeavor to give effect to the parties' intentions as reflected in the provision, and the other provisions of the agreement shall remain in full force and effect.
25. Statute of Limitations
You agree that regardless of any statute or law to the contrary, any claim or cause of action arising out of or related to use of this Site, this agreement and/or the relationship between you and us must be filed within one (1) year after such claim or cause of action arose or be forever barred.
26. Attorney Ethics Notice
If you are an attorney, participating in any aspect of this Site, you acknowledge that rules of professional conduct apply to all aspects of your participation and that you will abide by such rules. The rules include, but are not limited to, the rules relating to advertising, solicitation of clients, unauthorized practice of law, and misrepresentations of fact. We disclaim all responsibility for your compliance with these rules.
The section titles in this agreement are for convenience only and have no legal or contractual effect.