• The Do-It-Yourself Divorce Trend Continues, with a Record Number of Litigants Handling their Own Divorce Cases during the First Quarter of 2012

    New York, NY (PRWEB) March 31, 2012

    The do-it-yourself divorce trend shows no sign of slowing, and that is probably good news for everyone except divorce lawyers. According to statistics released today by online divorce provider DivorceToday.com, during the first quarter of 2012, a record number of Americans filed for divorce without hiring divorce attorneys. The uptick in do-it-yourself divorce filings cuts across all geographic areas and income levels. Online divorce services now play a major role in the divorce process for many divorcing couples.

    According to Marc Rapaport, founder and CEO of Empire State Legal Forms, Inc., even high-income Americans are now foregoing lawyers and opting to do it themselves. Rapaport states, "at all income levels, there now appears to be a realization that particularly with the availability of online divorce kits, divorcing couples are capable of resolving their own financial issues, and thus are able to retain control over the process. Middle income divorcing couples cannot afford divorce lawyers, and high-income people don’t want to be caught in the downward spiral of out-of-control legal fees and protracted litigation."

    According to Rapaport, clients of his company’s divorce website, DivorceToday.com, not only save money, but also benefit by staying in control of the divorce process. According to Rapaport, people now realize that "divorce lawyers are, all too often, part of the problem – not the solution." Rapaport states that do-it-yourself divorce is "healthy both financially and emotionally. There is good reason to be wary of divorce lawyers, and the do-it-yourself divorce revolution helps couples take control of their own destinies."

    Rapaport observed that the do-it-yourself divorce trend now encompasses far more than simple no-fault dissolution kits, and that there is an increasing level of comfort with do-it-yourself qualified domestic relations orders, which are also known as QDRO forms. A QDRO is a specific form that is required to divide or distribute a retirement asset in the context of a divorce or marital separation. In the past, lawyers would charge thousands of dollars to draft simple QDRO forms. Rapaport’s website, http://www.QDROpedia.com, enables users to download QDRO forms for as little as $59.00. QDROpedia.com has qualified domestic relations orders, ready to download and sign, for distributing pension plans, 401k plans, profit sharing plans, and other retirement assets. According to Rapaport, QDROpedia.com is now the fastest growing site operated by Empire State Legal Forms, Inc.

    Certainly, the rich and famous will continue to keep divorce lawyers occupied. However, for average Americans, the process of divorce is now a matter of downloading forms from the internet and filing their divorce papers with the court.


  • Best Atlanta Lawyers

    You never know when you will find yourself in a tricky situation with legal help as the only way out. At times like this, it pays to have a good lawyer. Given that lawyers are everywhere, finding one is not exactly a hardship. What is challenging is getting the right one for the job. Like doctors, lawyers have specializations. There are personal injury lawyers, criminal lawyers, accident lawyers, divorce lawyers, mortgage lawyers, adoption lawyers, patent lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers… You get the idea.

    Of course, to find out what kind of lawyer or lawyers you need, you have to reassess your situation. Lawyers can be costly and since you are going to pay expensively, you may as well hire the lawyer who is more likely to get you out unscathed, so to speak. There are lawyers who practice more than one specialization but one-size-fits-all is better left to clothes. Although your real estate lawyer knows a thing or two about corporate law, it is best to look for a corporate lawyer to handle the legal matters of your business.

    Personal injury lawyers are paid to help their clients file a suit if they have been hurt. To be clear, the word hurt is not limited to physical harm. If you are emotionally hurt, a personal injury lawyer can still help you take legal action. If you need divorce lawyers Atlanta divorce lawyers can help clients in filing litigation related to divorce, making inquiries regarding any changes to Atlanta judicial marriage law, and registering all the assets which are to be divided.

    If you find yourself or someone you know being charged with a crime, you better find a good criminal lawyer to help with the case. Criminal charges can be as minor as jaywalking or theft or can be as serious as rape or murder. Atlanta has many accident lawyers. You will have no trouble finding a lawyer who will take your case. However, you must keep in mind that not all accident lawyers are suited to your case.

    For more information and tips On Best Atlanta Lawyers visit, http://atlantalawyers.com


  • Billing Process of Divorce Lawyers

    If you are thinking about divorce and need to know how divorce lawyers bill the process, you can be sure it is a very complicated process and does not entail just one single thing. There is an entire structure divorce lawyers do, and the fees may not always include just their services but others in their office as well. It is for this reason they tend to use a combination of flat fees and hourly rates.

    For many lawyers, the flat fee structures pertains strictly to the preparation and filing of necessary paperwork. They will also charge you for the filing fees the court requires as well as any fees they must pay to obtain certain types of documentation that are necessary in the preparation of your case. The more work they have to do on your case, the more money you will need to pay to obtain your divorce.

    Each divorce lawyer is different, so if you think you will be able to obtain an accurate estimate of how much your divorce will cost, you are definitely going to be disappointed. There are too many factors divorce lawyers incorporate into their fee structures for them to be able to tell a potential new client how much their divorce will cost with any degree of accuracy. Certainly if you provide important information such as all the forms that will be necessary and have all your paperwork prepared ahead of time it may allow the him to give you a more accurate estimate than he or should could ordinarily provide.

    There are many different tasks for which they will bill clients either on a flat fee basis or hourly basis. How each one bills these items will vary, so you will need to question each of the divorce lawyers you are researching for his or her individual assessment of the divorce preparation process.

    • Preparation and filing of the divorce petition

    • Valuation of all marital and business assets

    • Assignment of property ownership

    • Preparation of ancillaries such as child support, alimony/spousal support, property division and custody of the children

    • Representation in court

    • Negotiations with the ex-spouse’s divorce lawyer

    • Re-assignment of the deed to real estate

    • Preparation of the divorce settlement

    • Any time the office staff spends on sending letters, filing and making telephone calls that are related to your case

    • Fees for the process server or certified mail for delivery of the divorce filing and the final decree

    You should not take this information as gospel since each divorce lawyer will structure their fees differently. Some of the above items may not be necessary in your case while some divorce lawyers may even combine some of the items into one more general category. The important thing to remember is you will definitely find that divorce lawyers use a combination of flat fee and hourly billing that is personalized for each individual client. There are no two divorces that will be exactly alike, so therefore the fees will vary.

    Christy Oconnor is a divorce lawyer specializing in getting divorced, effects of divorce, relocation and divorce, custody and moving, divorce application, credit and divorce.

  • How To Save $37,500 On Legal Fees AND Protect Your Co-Parenting Relationship

    This will probably surprise you but divorce is NOT a legal issue, it is a personal issue and most people should get a divorce with little or no lawyer involvement. If you want to have the smoothest divorce possible the solution is to resolve your problems outside of court.

    1. Avoid Lawyers and Courts as much as possible! The first thing you should know is that our legal system is not child-focused or family-friendly; it is adversarial by nature. The emotional and financial price you pay when you each hire separate divorce lawyers is higher than you can now imagine. Before I became a divorce attorney I was a special education teacher. My Masters is in Special Education, focusing on teaching severely emotionally disturbed children, so I came to the law with a powerful bias to act only in the best interest of the children. That is NOT the focus of most divorce lawyers. Many divorce lawyers are very comfortable spending a client’s college fund instead of quickly and economically helping the couple to negotiate a fair deal. After 8 years of litigation and witnessing the total financial and emotional devastation of too many families, I vowed to no longer take adversarial divorces and to do only divorce mediation. In the following 3 years, after working with over 185 couples with 100% success rate, I am convinced that divorce mediation should be the solution of first resort for 85% of the couples who are contemplating divorce.

    2. Learn the divorce laws in your state. It is easier to deal with a situation when basic information is already known. In the 8 community property states (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin) property division is pretty clear. What ever was totally owned prior to marriage or received by gift or inheritance is separate property that goes to the spouse who owns it. If it was partially paid for using wages or income earned during the marriage, the “community” gains an interest in it that can be calculated. Division of property in community property states is one of the easiest issues to deal with because it is so clear cut. But what about the other 42 states? These states use an equitable distribution system to divide marital property. Each state has its own rules that can be ascertained prior to starting the divorce process. So there is some uncertainty in non community property states but an experienced lawyer/mediator generally knows what the court will do in most situations and can be a valuable guide to couples who are unfamiliar with the laws. All states have some kind of guideline child and or spousal support rules. Paralegals in your area will have the state program or otherwise be able to help you determine what support should be. There is nothing to fight about. Would you think of arguing about whether or not 2+2+4? It is a math problem that does not require a court fight unless someone is hiding income.

    3. Acknowledge that PARENTS are the best people to decide child issues! Custody is the issue that needs to be settled outside of court! The bad feelings that come from litigating child issue will ruin any ability to co-parent later. A judge might look at the papers you file for a few minutes but often they are looking at your papers while the attorneys are arguing. You only get a limited amount of court time and then a decision will be made by a stranger who does not know or care about you or your children. It makes NO SENSE to put yourself at the mercy of lawyers and judges who will tell you how to raise your children. A far better approach is to use the services of a child therapist or another parent who has successfully raised their own children. Go to a therapist or trusted friend and let them act as a judge. They have more insight into the two of you than a judge would. Why make strangers rich by hiring lawyers? It is to their benefit to keep the two of you fighting.

    4. Find out about the alternative to divorce court: mediation. In litigated divorce cases, child custody and visitation issues can be the most contentious and emotional. As described above, you can and should deal with child issues outside of court. If the parents can agree to a custody arrangement, which they eventually do in 90% of custody cases, they can avoid court altogether. Why should a couple wait until they are on the courthouse steps to make a deal? Only 10% of custody cases are litigated. The courts typically apply a “best interest of the child” standard in determining who should get primary custody. You know the parents themselves are in the best position to decide how their children should be raised. When a couple works together in mediation they are in control of the final outcome, not lawyers or judges. When the couple has an intention to effectively co-parent by always keeping the best interest of the child foremost in their mind, they will produce a much more satisfying outcome than if a solution is imposed upon them from above. Child custody issues are the most inappropriate issues to be decided within an adversarial system. The win/lose game that is played in court always results in tension between the parents. Not only will this tension negatively affect the health and happiness of the parents but the children will be caught in the middle of a battle, ducking verbal and emotional bullets as they fly over their heads. The adversarial system does not protect the co-parenting relationship of parents and should be avoided if at all possible. An emotionally vulnerable client in the hands of a “zealous advocate” who is more concerned with enriching themselves than in helping their client is a dangerous combination. Working with an attorney/mediator protects the couple by having an expert giving them legal information in a way that does not encourage them to fight.

    5. How to find the mediator who is right for you? The phone book is full of divorce attorneys. How do you know who to trust? When looking for a mediator it is best to avoid the wolves in sheep’s clothing. You do not want an attorney who primarily practices adversarial law. While it is best to use a mediator who is an experienced lawyer so they can give accurate legal information to the couple, you want to use someone who focuses primarily or better yet, exclusively on mediation instead of litigation. Ask the mediator how many mediations they have done (the more the better), what their success rate is, how long it takes and the cost. Then compare the answers to see who the two of you like best.

    In conclusion, the primary thing to keep in mind is that avoiding divorce attorneys and court should be your #1 priority if you want to protect your health, spirit, co-parenting relationship and pocketbook. The divorce process is an emotional and personal situation, not a legal situation. Because so many people have already been divorced, there are no more mysteries. All the legal questions have already been answered so an experienced divorce lawyer who is acting as the mediator, will have a good idea of what the court would order. There is no reason to fight. But mediation is not for everyone. Approximately 15% of the population are high conflict personality types. You have met these people before. They have problems with all the people in their life, at work, school, home, family, etc. They thrive on drama and create a lot of problems for themselves and others. Ask your friends if that sounds like you or your spouse. If so, consider if that really works in your life. With a powerful intention you can create more peace by changing your outlook and actions. You may even save your marriage. If both of you agree that it is best to move on as single people and are rational enough to work together instead of making divorce lawyers rich, then take a good look at mediation. You only get one chance to create a peaceful divorce. Your children will thank you for not putting them in the middle of a nasty court fight.

    Ms. Rachman has been a family law attorney since 1996. For more information about how divorce mediation works please go to http://www.divorce-inaday.com where you can hear a very informative audio program about the differences between mediation and litigation. If you are considering divorce it is important to have all the information before you proceed. You only get one chance to have a “good” divorce and you owe it to your children to consider mediation.

  • 5 Steps To A Pain-free Divorce

    Divorce is a incident which we are not able to overlook, at times.A few people are not conscious of this, mainly because marriage was destined to last eternally. Usually,in many cases various unwanted tough decisions as well as problematic conditions occurs because the reality of divorce mostly hits the well-built relationship too.Despite of the different reasons that bring about divorce, this procedure mostly accompanies diverse feelings similar to annoyance, aggravation, and grief all together. Divorce always implies a new lifestyle including challenging times. For that reason, it is vital to recognize which feelings are causing trouble in the divorcee or husband’s life. This way it is easier for both parts and lawyer to proceed legally and emotionally.

    As a whole the regular procedure that surrounds divorce, less attention is paid to the feelings concerned. In truth, feelings or emotions have no direct relevance when making legal decisions like bargaining, partition, custody, debts, appraisals, and much more. Though, it is extremely significant to seize control over feelings so as to make it a fast and fair procedure for both parts. For that reason, it would be beneficial to get support from a therapist or psychologist in order to manage feelings when dealing with divorce papers and laws. Considering this, these are five simple steps to a pain-free divorce.

    One of the first steps to get a free-pain divorce is to be aware of your current emotional state. You can list all your feelings so as to discover what in reality cause them. Certain common sentiments such as rage, depression, aggravation, denial and grief are feelings which you should control; while resolving a divorce. Once all pessimistic feelings are identified, it will be simpler to work on them for not having problems in the future. When both husband and wife do not agree on some particular decisions, in that case divorce procedure period extends. This is mainly caused by pessimistic feelings that affect the impartiality of the procedure and turns it to a tough challenge for public prosecutors.

    The second step consists on following a better lifestyle. Physically and emotionally, any divorce changes the way of living of an individual. It is quite necessary to spend as much as feasible time with your spouse, prior taking any decision. Feelings do not always implies that spouses may not talk or see each other merely because they are about to get divorced. Instaed of fights some divorces are legal agremments, at times. For that reason, it is significant to always seek communication and close interaction for the advantage of all members involved.

    Considering regarding the bright outcomes of divorce is the third step of pain-free divorce. Not all things concerned in divorce are mostly pessimistic. As it is said that it is best to learn for the mistake we do and become a best human; so this is at times the best opportunity. This situation certainly aids to become more conscious of sentimental relationships and marriage laws.

    The fourth step consists on learning more about marriage laws in your state. Mostly, people are seriously amazed when it moves towards to proceed to officially. It is important to be aware of all marriage regulations, prenuptial agreements, property partition, custody, estate appraisals, and so forth.

    Finally, the fifth step just consists on hunting the services of a law firm. In this case, a divorce lawyer makes sure that this process will be followed legally and fairly. Law firms always have expert lawyers to look after all divorce papers and last judgement.

    The best place in New Jersey is Weinberger Law, if you are searching for an official firm. Here, you may get exceptional divorce lawyers in NJ to handle this procedure more accurately. If you are looking for a help to make your divorce easier and speed up the process, it is best to take help from NJ divorce lawyers to solve all the divorce disputes .

    To find out more details about this fantastic firm of New Jersey divorce lawyers check out the Weinberger Law firm online; also SEO services firm ClickResponse.

  • Divorce Lawyer

    The rate of divorces has increased drastically in recent years, not just in Australia but in many parts of the world. This is due to many reasons but most will agree that the change to no-fault divorces has increased the rate of divorce. Whereas years ago, couples had to prove the their spouse was “unfit” or did something wrong, with a no-fault divorce couples can obtain a divorce by merely stating they no longer wish to be married. Regardless of the reason a couple chooses to get a divorce, it’s in their best interest to find a good divorce lawyer.

    Australia has very clear and relatively easy-to-satisfy divorce laws. The only requirements are that you be domiciled in Australia, be an Australian citizen or an Australian resident for at least 12 months. If you meet these requirements, and have been separated from your spouse for at least 12 months, you can file for a divorce in Australia. In certain cases, the spouses are not required to attend their court hearing. One of these situations is if there are no children under the age of 18. If you do have children under the age of 18, and both you and your spouse sign a joint divorce application, you will not need to make a court appearance unless the court waives this requirement for some reason.

    In spite of how easy it is to obtain a divorce in Australia, it will still be beneficial for you to have a divorce lawyer, particularly if minor children and/or property are involved. A good divorce lawyer can help you with separation, divorce, property settlement, child custody, maintenance and defacto property settlement. Occasionally, a couple will choose to handle a divorce themselves without the assistance of a divorce lawyer. This is not recommended unless there are no children or assets and both spouses are in full agreement of the simplicity of the divorce. In all other cases, a divorce lawyer is highly recommended to help stand up for your rights regarding the many issues involving family law and divorce.

    Australia has made every effort to make divorce as easy, inexpensive and pain free as possible for the couple by requiring the using of arbitration in divorce cases. The private arbitration system for divorces was implemented by the federal Attorney-General of Australia to help eliminate the many disputes brought on by divorce.  Divorce lawyers authorized by the courts will handle the arbitration. The couples seeking the divorce can choose their own divorce lawyer from the court-appointed list. The main purpose of the arbitration is to help resolve money issues. Arbitrators, however, have no authority to rule on disputes involving child custody.

    Many people confuse arbitration with mediation or believe they are the same thing when they are actually quite different. A good divorce lawyer can explain the divorce an assist you with your needs during your divorce proceedings. A mediator cannot make a decision for or against a wife or husband but is there to listen to both sides and offer suggestions on how they can both compromise to come to an agreeable solution. If the couple cannot come to an agreement, the job of the mediator is over and an arbitrator is brought into the case. In some cases, however, the mediator is asked to come to a decision for the couple, although this is not recommended because it’s often difficult for a mediator to suddenly switch roles and become an arbitrator.

    Arbitrators are divorce lawyers set by the court and can set their own fees, which can often be quite expensive. Couples have the choice of choosing their own arbitrator if they’re not happy with the one chosen by the court. A divorce can be a small matter between two individuals but can also be a huge court case involving a couple, their children and jointly owned property. In such a case, you will want a good divorce lawyer. You will want to make sure you have a lawyer that is experienced enough to help you in your divorce. Because there are many circumstances in divorces, you may need a checklist of questions for your divorce lawyer to help ensure you are getting the best possible divorce lawyer for your needs, some of which may include:

    1.    How many divorces have they handled? You do not want a divorce lawyer with little or no experience in divorces. Unless they’ve actually handled a divorce, they’re not going to know what to expect or if there courts lean towards any certain trends.

    2.    What is their specialty in divorces? Although some divorces may be simple, some involve property settlements, custody battles, child support, maintenance, etc. You’ll need to know your divorce lawyer has experience that will meet your needs.

    3.    What kind of reputation do they have in divorce cases? You may notice in divorces of wealthy couples, women seeking large settlements often seek the same divorce lawyer or couples seeking custody will use divorce lawyers that are successful in these issues. Find out what your divorce lawyer’s success rate is.

    4.    What are the costs? The cost of divorce can be as low as hundreds (doing it yourself) and as high as thousands of dollars. Have your divorce lawyer explain what the expenses will be. Find out if there are any expenses that can be lessened or eliminated without hurting your case.

    5.    How many arbitrations have they been involved in? If they are a court-appointed arbitrator, as is customary in Australia divorce cases, they’ve probably been in arbitrations before. Find out how many and how they resulted.

    6.    What type of arbitrations has your divorce lawyer been involved in? If you suspect your divorce is going to become a nasty fight for custody, you want a divorce lawyer that’s experienced and successful in child custody cases.

    7.    What does your divorce lawyer hope to accomplish in your divorce? Have him explain the most and least he hopes to get for you. Don’t be afraid to compare divorce lawyers if you don’t feel the first one you see can help you.

    8.    If asked, would your divorce lawyer be willing to work as an arbitrator and mediator? The answer you get from your lawyer may determine if he’s the right divorce lawyer for you.

    Lawyers compared

    is a handy online guide for individuals seeking the services of a lawyer in Australia. This online guide covers such areas as divorce lawyers, family lawyers, commercial lawyers and more.

  • Understanding Divorce

    As a word, divorce is easy to understand, and has become a common part of modern day vernacular. But the practical and legal realities of the act of divorce are much more complicated. Divorce dissolves a marriage, however there are a number of other separate considerations – such as property settlement and parenting arrangements – that make the separation process more complex.

    If you’re considering divorce or are interested in learning more about the actualities of the decision, then here’s a quick rundown of what to anticipate.

    - How do I get a divorce? In order to obtain a divorce, a married couple must have been separated for 12 months or more and one party to the marriage must believe that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. After 12 months of separation, one spouse can file a divorce application in the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. Once filed, the application is then served on the other spouse. A hearing date is set usually four to six weeks after the application has been filed. Often the divorce lawyers alone will attend the hearing, where a Divorce Orders is granted. The Divorce Order takes effect one month after the day it is made. Once the Divorce Order takes effect, the marriage is officially dissolved and the parties are free to re-marry at any time in the future if they so wish.

    While the marriage is then officially dissolved, it is often property settlement, child custody and and parenting arrangements that complicate and lengthen the separation process.

    - Property Settlement. Property settlement involves the division and distribution of assets of a marriage following separation. Property settlement can occur either before a divorce is obtained, or within twelve months after a Divorce Order takes effect. If a property settlement cannot be resolved out of court, the Family Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia have the power to decide on those settlements. After establishing what property is available for division between spouses, the Courts consider the financial and non-financial contributions of both parties (including homemaking and parenting contributions), and factors relevant to the future needs and circumstances of each party.

    - Parenting Arrangements Family and child custody lawyers can advise on and formalise parenting and custody arrangements for children following the separation of parents, and in other circumstances. Should parents and other carers not be able to reach agreement about the parenting arrangements for their children, parenting issues can be decided by the Court. Court decisions will be made in the best interests of the relevant child, even if they conflict with the wishes or desires of the child’s parents, or other carers.

    Experienced Sydney divorce lawyers are available to walk you through all aspects of the separation and divorce process. Understanding the full implications of separation and dissolution of a marriage is important before you enter into a divorce. Make sure you understand the decisions that you are making and the agreements you are signing, and that you feel comfortable with the legal representation you have chosen.