Collaborative Divorce: An Unfamiliar Option Explained

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Collaborative Divorce: An Unfamiliar Option Explained

collaborative-divorce

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Collaborative Divorce is an alternative to the traditional “courtroom and judge” divorce process. Unlike the mediation process, where the couple typically sits down with a single mediator to discuss matters, spouses going through the collaborative process each hire a specially trained collaborative-divorce attorney. The attorneys are not always the only people helping the spouses sort out their affairs. Oftentimes, specialists like counselors, coaches and financial advisors will join in the process. As a group, the attorneys, spouses and specialists will work together, outside the watch of the court, and walk through the issues at hand. [Read more…]

The Power of a PDL Motion

25874107431_e4e4283128What is a PDL Motion?

The initialism PDL stands for “pendente lite,” latin for “temporary”.  Divorce can be a lengthy process.  Too often, spouses are left to their own devices when it comes to finances, the house, cars, and their children.  Figuring out how to divide the household while a divorce is pending can be extremely stressful for couples parting ways.  This is where a PDL can help.

A PDL motion can be filed to ask the court for temporary assistance in a divorce case. It can also apply to paternity cases as well, although the law is a bit murkier on that topic.

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Will I Have to Pay Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal-Maintenance

Spousal Maintenance, also known as alimony, is payment made by a husband or wife to their former spouse following their divorce. In Missouri, there is not a set calculation to determine Spousal Maintenance. Judges typically evaluate case-by-case whether or not you will be paying (or receiving) maintenance, and, if so, how much. The following are some factors that contribute to most spousal maintenance decisions:

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Risk Factors That May Lead to Divorce

divorce

Statistically speaking, approximately 50% of marriages will end in divorce. However, recent studies show that this “typical” percentage can be affected by a multitude of factors. The following are categories that often play a statistical role in the odds of a marriages success.

1. Age

Were you married as a late teen? Early twenties? Then your odds for divorce may be higher than your older counterparts. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, couples who marry between the ages of 20 and 25 increase their chance of divorce to 60%. Conversely, couples who marry after the age of 25 decrease their risk of divorce by almost 25%.

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Divorce Through The Ages

divorcethroughtheages_infographicClick the following infographic to learn what Bardol Law Firm, LLC can teach you about divorce in the United States over the years. The infographic shows the pros and cons to different ages in your life and why being married at that particular age is a good or bad idea.

How Do I Make My Divorce Less Emotional?

Easier said than done, I know. As a divorce attorney, almostFrustrated-Face every client I encounter is dealing with the rocky emotions of divorce when they come into my office for the first time. While completely taking the emotions out of a divorce case is nearly impossible, there are steps you can take to improve things drastically.

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Is Hiring a Divorce Lawyer Worth the Money?

moneyCost? It’s the first question that every attorney gets asked when they receive a call from a potential client. Clients want to know if they can afford the attorney, will hiring the lawyer improve things, and could they be doing this on their own without spending the money. These are all reasonable questions to be asking and depending on whom you ask, you will get a variety of answers.

text boxTo be blunt, without an attorney, mistakes will likely be made. In many cases though, clients do not realize what they are leaving on the table. As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know.

We always give our clients a very realistic example of a very typical lawyer vs. non-lawyer case. In a case without a lawyer, parties typically agree to a child support number or fill out a Form 14 themselves to determine a number. When someone unfamiliar with the Form 14 fills it out, they generally will miss some of the nuances which drastically change the number.

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Rosie O’Donnell Learns After Previous Messy Divorce Tries to Keep Latest One Clean

BardolNothing leads to a bigger divorce mess than a household celebrity name and multimillions at stake. Rosie O’Donnell thought she learned her lesson back in 2009 with a divorce battle that raged on, got ugly quickly, and led to her forking over a big chunk of change and creating stress for her four children with her ex-spouse.

This experience made Rosie realize that she had to plan for the worst but hope for the best. Her next civil union involved a very specific prenuptial agreement that, while not publicly detailed, focused on minimizing the mess she had previously experienced.

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Will Lawyers Make My Divorce Worse?

There are times when it may seem like that. And there are some lawyers out there that might actually make the divorce worse. That being said, the majority of the time, lawyers will help your case and can substantially improve things. Something I always compare it to is a doctor/patient relationship. You would not even consider performing surgery on yourself. Yet, people regularly try to proceed with their own divorce. Similarly to health issues, a poorly handled divorce can leave terrible side effects for years to come.

I will give you a couple of examples. In Missouri divorce law, almost all pensions are divisible as marital property and Judges regularly choose to divide them 50/50 unless parties settle otherwise. However, a teacher’s pension is considered separate property and is not divided as marital property. If you are a teacher handling your own divorce, you might give away half your pension without knowing any better. Judges often sign off on settlement agreements without reviewing the exact terms and then half a pension would be gone for no reason. [Read more…]

Myth or Fact?…About Missouri Divorce

woman with question mark1) It takes at least a month to get divorce.

Fact.  Missouri has a 30 day waiting period after a divorce case has been filed before the case can be finalized. This includes parties that have already reached settlement or that have an uncontested divorce.

2) A spouse can deny the other spouse a divorce.

Myth. Unfortunately, even if one spouse does not want to get divorces, the divorce is going to be pushed through.  In Missouri, the petitioning spouse must only show that the marriage is irretrievably broken to be granted the divorce. This is generally not a hard burden to meet as the petitioning spouse filing the divorce in the first place is a pretty clear sign that the marriage is broken. [Read more…]