Synopses & Reviews
A lawyer and a psychologist offer a groundbreaking divorce strategy that protects both your finances and your family.
From your first thought of divorce through the final paperwork, Your Divorce Advisor takes you step by step toward a divorce that dissolves the marriage but not your dignity, your sense of family, or your financial security. Whether you hire a lawyer or a mediator, or do it yourself, this practical, direct, and empowering guide offers you the wise counsel you need for both the legal and the emotional processes of ending your marriage.
Your Divorce Advisor shows you how to:
-Keep a healthy perspective that leads to a successful legal strategy and recognize when emotions threaten your case
-Protect your assets without destroying your family
-Detailed coverage of all your legal options and guidance through every legal step, including anticipating the emotional repercussions of your decisions
-More information on custody than any other divorce book, including age-appropriate custody schedules
-A sample divorce agreement explained one paragraph at a time
Your Divorce Advisor helps you set yourself and your family on a positive course toward a new life.
Nancy Dunnan author of Dunnan's Guide to Your Investments, 2001 We know that divorce creates problems -- for the couple, their children, their family, their friends....Mercer and Pruett have done something other experts have failed to do: They have created rock-solid solutions based on their recognition that financial and legal decisions are inextricably influenced, even governed, by emotional feelings. The result: They offer a rare combination of legal, emotional, personal, and financial advice that makes this guidebook must reading, not only for anyone going through divorce but also for anyone knowing someone who is.
Nancy Dunnanauthor of Dunnan's Guide to Your Investments, 2001We know that divorce creates problems -- for the couple, their children, their family, their friends....Mercer and Pruett have done something other experts have failed to do: They have created rock-solid solutions based on their recognition that financial and legal decisions are inextricably influenced, even governed, by emotional feelings. The result: They offer a rare combination of legal, emotional, personal, and financial advice that makes this guidebook must reading, not only for anyone going through divorce but also for anyone knowing someone who is.
Louis Parley author of The Ethical Family Lawyer Your Divorce Advisor is the most comprehensive divorce book on the market. It covers the legal issues extensively and is the only book to also tell you what you can expect to feel along the way. It offers an invaluable strategy for coping with the emotional demands of divorce, and has the best advice on talking with your kids about the divorce that I've read anywhere. It is the one book I will recommend to my divorcing clients.
Janet Johnston Executive Director, Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family in Transition, and author of In the Name of the Child Your Divorce Advisor, written by a seasoned lawyer-and-psychologist team, is a gem of a guidebook that empowers divorcing adults to take control of their own divorce -- legally, financially, and emotionally. It walks the reader through the divorce process, step by step. Vital information about financial matters and state-of-the-art research about the needs of children allow the reader to make constructive decisions for themselves and for their children, setting them on the pathway toward solutions that work for everybody involved. All of this is presented in a manner that is compassionate, sensible, and most comforting.
Forrest S. Mosten President, Mosten Mediation Centers Your Divorce Advisor brilliantly and compassionately deals with the common challenges facing anyone going through a divorce. If your marriage is in trouble, you should buy Your Divorce Advisor before you hire a lawyer. Lawyers and therapists should recommend Your Divorce Advisor before the very first client meeting.
About the Author
Diana Mercer, J.D., is a divorce mediator in Santa Monica, California, and a partner in the law firm of Noyes & Mercer, P.C., which specializes exclusively in family relations law.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce:
A View from the Summit
Beginning at the End
Overview of the Legal Process of Divorce
Emotional Guideposts for Divorce
Chapter 2: Planning For Success:
Your Success Depends on the Path You Choose
The First Steps
How Do I Start the Legal Process?
How Could This Be Happening to Our Family?
Why Are My Feelings So Complicated?
What Will My Family and Friends Think About Me?
The Next Steps
What Should I Do Before Leaving?
What If I Can't Mobilize Myself to Do
Chapter 3: Making the Initial Decisions:
Charting Your Own Course
What Are My Legal Options for Ending a Relationship?
What Are My Options for Divorce Representation?
How Do I Find, Choose, and Use a Mediator?
How Do I Find, Choose, and Use a Lawyer?
Emotional Ramifications of Early Legal Decisions
How Do I Handle the Conflicts That Arise Between Us as We Prepare to Divorce?
Chapter 4: Steps to Success: Taking one Hill at a Time
Filing for Divorce
Does It Make a Difference Who Files First?
Preparing Your Spouse to Receive Divorce Papers
Arranging for Service of the Papers
The Mandatory Waiting Period
Staying in or Leaving the House
What Are the Legal Issues We Must Settle During the Waiting Period and Prior to Divorce?
Personal Property in All Jurisdictions
How Do We Use Our Assets for Mutual Benefit?
What Should We Do About Our House?
Will Fault Issues in the Divorce Impact Asset and Property Division Even in "No-Fault" Divorce?
If Fault Rarely Affects Asset and Property Distribution in Court, What Role Does Fault Play in the Divorce?
What Will Be Happening Between My Spouse and Me During This Time?
Negotiating with Your Spouse: Skills and Tips
How Do I Manage My Anxiety During This Time?
What If I Have Sex with My Spouse?
What If I Want to Date Someone New?
What Do I Do If I Want to Have a Calmer, Friendlier Divorce but My Lawyer Has Advised Me to Be Tougher?
Chapter 5: Evidence and Pretrial Procedures:
You Can Never Be Too Prepared
Putting the Evidence Together
Discovery: Releases, Interrogatories, Depositions,
Personal and Fault Issues
What Are the Standard Pretrial Procedures?
Court-Sponsored Settlement Conferences
How to Use Pretrial Process
When and Why Should I Go to Trial?
Effecting a Settlement
Chapter 6: Trials: Taking the Long, Hard Route
What Is the Procedure in a Trial?
What Counts as Evidence?
What Documents Are Needed by the Court?
How Can I Do Much of the Work Myself and Save the
What Kinds of Witnesses Should I Consider?
What Kinds of Discovery Can Be Used at Trial as
How Do I Prepare for the Financial Part of the Trial?
If I Did Something Along the Way That May Hurt My Case, Should I Lie About It?
What If My Spouse Is Lying?
What Am I Likely to Be Feeling During the Trial?
Chapter 7: Taking Care of Myself and My Children:
How Not to Get Lost
The Decision to Separate
How Do We Tell the Children?
How Will My Children Feel and React?
How Can I Best Help My Children During This Early Stage of Divorce?
Will My Children Be Okay in a Divorced Family?
Chapter 8: Legal and Residential Arrangements:
Finding Familiar Paths For Your Family
What Are Our Legal Options for
Raising Our Children After Divorce?
Shared Parenting (Co-parenting) Versus Custody
What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Shared
Do Children Fare Better in Shared Parenting Schedules Than in More Traditional Custody Situations?
Developing a Schedule for Living Arrangements
What Are the Most Common Living Arrangements and Schedules Adopted by Divorcing Parents?
Are There Alternatives to the Typical Shared Parenting
What Are Recommended Schedules for Children of
Common Misconceptions in Thinking About Shared
What Are the Necessary Elements of a Parenting Plan?
What If We Can't Agree?
What Do I Do If My Child Doesn't Want to Visit?
Can I Relocate?
Where Child Support Fits In
What Are Child Support Guidelines?
Child Support Versus Custody as a Financial Decision
Where Child Support Is Spent
Chapter 9: Contested Custody Cases:
Hazardous Territory and Loose Footing
When to Consider a Custody Battle
Telling Your Children About Why You Are Involved
in a Court Battle
The Special Features of a Contested Custody Case
Evaluations of the Child and Family
How Is an Evaluator Chosen?
What Happens in an Evaluation?
What Are the Criteria Considered in an Evaluation?
How Can I Maximize My Chances of Attaining a
How Does the Court Use Evaluation Recommendations?
In the Event of a Trial
How Do I Help My Children at This Stage?
What Do I Do If I Think My Spouse Has Turned the Children Against Me?
Chapter 10: Domestic Violence and Other Forms of Abuse:
When the Route Is Really Dangerous
Definitions of Violence
Patterns of Abusive Relationships
Setting Clear Boundaries for Yourself and Your Children
When Your Children Are Involved and Affected
What If My Child Has Witnessed the Violence?
Assessing and Acting When You Are at Risk
How Do I Recognize Whether I Am at Risk for My Partner's Abuse or Escalating Violence?
What Do I Do First?
What Constitutes an Abusive Relationship as Far as the Court Is Concerned?
Types of Protection Afforded by Law: Restraining Orders and Orders
How Should I Prepare to Successfully Obtain a Temporary Restraining Order?
How Do I Enforce the Orders with My Spouse?
Both Men and Women Can Qualify for a Restraining Order
What the Order Can and Cannot Do for You
Children's Involvement in the Legal Process
What If My Child Is the One Being Abused?
Should Any Child Involved in a Violent Family Be Forbidden to See the Offending Parent?
What If My Children Don't See It My Way?
Emotional Blackmail of Children
Chapter 11: Life After Divorce:
When the Horizon Beckons Anew
Obtain a Certified Copy of Your Final Judgment
What Kinds of Changes May Need to Be Made in
If You Do Not Have Children
If You Have Children
Enforcement of Orders
Embarking on Your New Life
How Can I Re-create the Healthiest Life for Myself and
How Do I Handle Disciplining My Children?
What About My Own Dating and Sex Life?
How Do I Establish New Family Traditions?
Will I Ever Be Free of the Court's Reach?
Chapter 12: Conclusions: At the Summit