• 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.


  • Divorce – 5 First Steps Of Divorce

    There are a lot of steps to follow in the divorce process. Below is a list of the 5 first steps that you can anticipate…keep in mind, the whole purpose of the divorce process is to get husband and wife together face to face enough times that they are able to negotiate a full settlement outside of court:

    Step #1 – The first step in the divorce process is for you to make up your mind that you are ready to let go of the marriage and move forward with a divorce. Once you know you are ready, call a divorce lawyer. If you do not know a divorce lawyer, just ask a close friend or family member for a referral. Chances are, you know someone who knows of a reputable divorce lawyer. When you call the divorce lawyer, be prepared to provide him with a short summary about the facts of your case and be prepared to schedule an initial interview.

    Step #2 – The initial interview will last 30 minutes to 1 hour. At it, you and the divorce lawyer will discuss the facts of your case in detail – you will also discuss the options, short-term strategy for getting the divorce process started, and long-term strategy for resolving each one of the issues either by settlement or by trial. You will be given a copy of an intake sheet (every divorce lawyer has one). The intake sheet will ask you questions about you, your spouse, your children, each item of marital property, and each account that is marital debt. You will take the intake sheet home, fill it out thoroughly and legibly, and then return it to the lawyer’s office.

    Step #3 – Once the lawyer has received the completed intake sheet from you, he will begin drafting the initial paperwork. Once the initial paperwork is drafted, the lawyer will then file it at the county court house and ask the judge to schedule the initial court appearance…your divorce will officially be underway at this point.

    Step #4 – The initial court appearance is usually just an informal conference. At the conference, you and your spouse will either sit down together and watch a video about helping your children cope with the rigors of divorce or you will meet with the judge and hold an informal conference with the judge about the status of your case. Either way, at the initial court appearance, you and your lawyer will have ample opportunity to meet with your spouse and your spouse’s lawyer to discuss settlement.

    Step #5 – If a tentative settlement cannot be reached at the initial court appearance, the matter will be set for hearing in front of the Judge – at the hearing, the judge will resolve the unsettled issues for you.

    Tulsa Divorce Lawyer Matt Ingham is the founder and owner of Bulldog Divorce: Law Office of Matt Ingham. If you have questions or comments for Matt, you can contact him by clicking here…or by calling (918) 591-2566.

  • Misconceptions About Filing for Divorce in NJ. Family Law Firm Morris Bergen Sussex Warren County

    Kim Kardashian Divorce Special – watch more funny videos

    If you are contemplating a NJ divorce, make sure that you have proper legal counsel because the divorce laws are complex. Some people make the mistake of trying to handle the divorce process on their own, which often leads to costly mistakes. This article will clarify some mistakes and misconceptions about divorce and the divorce process.

    It Does Not Matter When You File Your Divorce Papers and Divorce Forms

    There are several reasons why you should not be hasty in filing your divorce papers or divorce forms. A big reason why you might want to hold off filing is that a person receiving a Complaint for Divorce will generally become agitated, emotional, angry and distant. This can cause a break-down in your settlement discussions because the party being served may no longer be open to negotiate a final settlement agreement.In certain circumstances, it would be advisable to consider engaging in settlement discussions to achieve a total resolution and agreement before filing the divorce forms. However, each situation is unique and a skilled NJ divorce lawyer can advise you on the best approach foryour specific circumstances.

    Adultery Financially Harms You in a Divorce

    There is a common misconception in New Jersey (NJ) that if your spouse commits adultery, you will receive punitive damages against that spouse for their unfaithfulness to you and your marital vows. While this is true in many States, it is not true in New Jersey. It is natural for you to feel victimized by the act of adultery against you. However, the divorce laws in NJ are forgiving in this area. The New Jersey family law court system and judges will not generally require an unfaithful spouse to make payment for their wrong-doing. Still, in certain situations, relief from your spouse may be warranted. For example, if your spouse spent marital money on the other person (paramour) during their affair, then you may be entitled to collect reimbursement payments. Talk to a New Jersey divorce attorney for legal advice specific to yoursituation.

    A Defendant is the Wrongdoer in Divorce Court

    Many people believe that they should rush to file divorce papers with the NJ family court because this will mean that they will be designated as Plaintiff and their spouse will be designated as Defendant. It is true that filing the Complaint for Divorce forms first will translate into your being named Plaintiff for the entire divorce process. However, being named as Plaintiff in divorce court has no other real significance in your divorce matter. There is no inference of blame assigned to the party who is named as Defendant. This is not a criminal proceeding and therefore the label of Defendant is not meant to be accusatory. Rather, the label of Plaintiff in the divorce process generally translates into the party who will be expected to present his or her case first, should a trial occur.

    For more legal help and information about New Jersey divorce and family law related matters or to download a free copy of my divorce guide, visit my web-site at

    Attorney Bari Weinberger is the Associate Author of the book New Jersey Family Law Practice, utilized by virtually every NJ family law attorney. She also served as child custody new jersey lawyer for domestic violence nj, nj restraining order

  • Divorce Laws in Virginia

    Divorces and any type of alimony matters are of state law. During divorce cases, many issues are addressed. Issues of property division, child support or custody, alimony payments and other pertinent matters are brought up. The presiding judge will determine the appropriate measures to be taken considering each individual case separately. With the assistance of a lawyer, a Separation Agreement can be drawn up. A Separation Agreement is when the parties are in agreement with each other on how to divide their assets.

    In the state of Virginia, there are several grounds for divorce in its statutes. These include: adultery, conviction of a felony and sentence to prison, cruelty as in regards to repeated physical abuse, desertion at least one year ago, “living apart”, the no fault ground, which in turns means living away from each other continuously and permanently for one year. These grounds for divorce are recognized as valid reasons for a divorce, and unless one of these statutes are meant, the divorce will not be granted. At least once during the hearing or deposition, at least one spouse and at least one witness must testify. If the divorce is uncontested, it is still necessary for there to be a deposition with witnesses. Depending on which city you live in Virginia, will depend on how long the divorce process will take.

    There are five fundamental steps that take place during the divorce process. The first step is for the “Bill of Complaint for Divorce” to be filed by one of the spouses. This begins the Complainant and the Defendant stage process. When the defendant is served the papers he/she must give their answer as an Acceptance of Service. After the Defendants answer is filed, the complainants lawyer files to have the case referred to a commissioner in chancery for a hearing on the grounds of divorce.

    If there are any disagreements on matters of custody, property division or other matters, the issues must be heard by a trial judge in open court. The spouses’ lawyers compose a draft divorce decree and put it before the judge. However, if there is no dispute, a divorce decree can be written and this can speed up the divorce process. When the final decree is signed by the judge, the spouses divorce is complete. The entire divorce process may take a while, and each step may have different lengths of time. Keep in mind too that divorces cost money. You must take into consideration attorney fees and court costs.

    A native of Detroit Michigan, is married and is goal oriented. I have extensive experience in writing web content articles for companies, and have various poetry published in anthology books.  View profile

  • Separating Your Finances in Divorce: Taking the High Road

    Unfortunately, a divorce can bring out the worst traits in a person, especially when it comes to finances. You might end up in such a situation one day, so it’s best to know how to handle such situations. Some people can get really nasty during divorces and will attempt to get the most money out of joint accounts and separate finances too. Of course, dealing with and separating finances is all a part of the divorce process. It’s a difficult process to go through. In the end though, you should take the high road and attempt to be fair with your significant other.

    The Divorce Process and Finances

    During the divorce, joint accounts are usually broken up equally and that includes both assets and debts, such as savings accounts or credit card debt. Individual accounts usually aren’t split apart for both individuals, but they do come into play as far as alimony and child support are concerned – if applicable. Divorces are difficult for the overwhelming majority of people. With that in mind, it’s a good idea that a person takes care of the proceedings in a courteous and non-combative way to make everything easier.

    Therefore, you should take heed if you are ever involved in a divorce. Getting angry and doing a lot of yelling will not work in your favor in any manner. When assets are being separated, you should give your soon-to-be ex-wife or husband what they actually deserve. The same goes for debts. For example, you really should half everything with the other person if you both did things in a 50/50 manner while together. You shouldn’t let your anger get the best of you and try to take as much money away from the other person as possible.

    Without a doubt, the best route is to break up the finances according to how you and the other person did things while in a relationship. Assets should follow that same pattern. For the most part though, debts should be broken up in a half and half manner in the name of fairness. Divorces might be nasty, but that doesn’t mean that each party has to drain the other of its assets and leave them with nothing but debt. The courts usually don’t let that type of thing happen, but it would occur if the divorcing parties had anything to say about it.

    Why take the high road?

    Taking the high road during divorce proceedings is just the right thing to do, especially when it comes to debts and assets. Both parties should fairly split the savings and investment money. Of course, the same goes for credit card debt. For a home loan, things can get a bit tricky, but a jointly owned home might get sold during divorce proceedings. One party might gain control of the home during the divorce though in which case one party should take responsibility for the home loan if one exists.

    Aside from being the right thing to do, taking the high road when it comes to divorcing and separating finances can make things go a lot more smoothly between parties. Two soon-to-be divorced individuals might argue a lot less if they both agree to split things in a manner that was similar to how finances were split during the relationship. Sure, one person can make that tough in many cases, but couples can still continue to get along after a divorce. With that in mind, you should always attempt to be fair and just when it comes to finance separation during a divorce because it can make things a whole lot easier to deal with.

    View profile