Control Your Divorce
1. “Your divorce does not have to be World War III. In fact, approximately 90-95% of all divorce cases settle without the need for a lengthy, emotional and costly trial. Through processes such as mediation, collaborative divorce and arbitration, you can choose to amicably and privately reach a resolution in your divorce, thereby saving a great deal of time, money and energy. Simply put, you can have more control over the decisions that are made in your case, your private matters can remain private, and you can focus your energy on what matters most: yourself, your children and your future as a family.” - Meghan Warning
The Right Attorney
2. “Prior to filing for a dissolution determine what your ultimate goal is. One should think of the dissolution process not as breaking something apart, but as beginning a new part of life. Thus, just as you would plan your financial future or retirement, know where you want to be. This will also help you in knowing what issues may arise. Additionally, knowing where you want to end up, and why, will assist you in choosing the best attorney to help you through the process.
Not every attorney is a good fit for you, and getting to your desired goals will largely depend on your comfort level with the attorney you choose. It is often best to interview the attorney first to see if they have the same goals as you. An interview may also assist you in figuring out what your goals might be. Oftentimes, emotions and other factors may cloud what your real goals are. An attorney can put those goals into focus and make what is already a very difficult experience much easier to cope with.” – Michael Chin
3. “Make a list of goals for your divorce and new post-married life. Most people wouldn’t go to the grocery store without a list of items to pick up nor plan a day in Disneyland without deciding which attractions they want to see. Your divorce should be no different. If custody is the most important issue for you to deal with, then make that a focal point for your intentions and make sure to put your children’s best interests first. Making a list will also help you determine what’s not important to you.
Determining your intentions beforehand will help you in every step of the process toward beginning your new life. Negotiations will be easier, your attorney’s time will be used more efficiently, and the difficulty of the process in general will be minimized.” – Dane Hansen
4. “Divorce can be a confusing and stressful process to try to navigate on your own. Even if you believe you have a ‘simple’ divorce, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney at least once during the process. Doing so will help you make sure you do the paperwork correctly, know how to best protect your rights, and properly navigate the court process.
If you cannot afford to retain an attorney to do the work for you, consider purchasing just an hour block of time with an attorney to have your forms reviewed and get tips for success. This type of one-off legal service is often called ‘unbundled legal services’ and can be a cost-effective way to guide you through the divorce process. Some companies, such as Divorce on Demand, offer unbundled drafting and consultation services that can be mixed and matched to tailor services to your needs. You can also contact the Oregon State Bar for a lawyer referral by calling 800-452-7636 or 503-684-3763.” – Shirley Farmer
5. “No matter how good your attorney is (or is not), your case will be defined by the decisions you make. Rather than thinking of your attorney as your representative, think of him or her as a team-member. You should engage your attorney early on and stay involved with your case. Ask questions often. In addition, remember that your team consists not only of you and your attorney, but also all of the other professionals and advisors in your life. The more steps you take to educate yourself and use all of your team, the better decisions you and your attorney will make."
- Andrew Newsom
6. “Be willing to let go of small annoyances and focus on what is important: your children, the house you live in, your retirement account and your income. Fighting over what can be replaced later is like stumbling over a dollar to save a dime. It costs more to fight over the television than it does to buy a new one. The less time parties spend fighting, the less money they will spend on attorney’s fees and in the long run, that means the parties will have more money to divide between themselves.” - Martin Thompson
7. “Organization is key to keeping your sanity, as well as keeping your legal fees down. Create a binder. In that binder, list your questions, your thoughts, and your emotions. During the divorce process, you will likely become emotional and your instinct will be to call your attorney. Many times, your attorney has already answered the question you are about to ask. If you can keep a log of your questions and the answers you received, you can access them whenever you are concerned without incurring additional fees.
It is a good idea to have someone (other than your attorney) to talk to during the divorce process. You will be emotional – that’s almost a guarantee. Find someone you trust and discuss your thoughts with them before those thoughts consume your life. Many attorneys will recommend counseling to get through the process. If you decide to take this route, you should make notes in your binder regarding your therapist’s advice and how it pertains to your divorce." - Jennifer Kirkman
The Emotional Process
8. “It is your divorce, and that means it is about you. It is not just about your assets, your debts, or your spouse. Divorce is an emotional process, and your emotional wellbeing is important. Share your emotional, as well as practical goals, with your attorney. For example, if you want to be able to tell your story as part of your divorce, share this with your attorney. Setting the topic aside as too emotional or personal will likely only turn what could be a good goal into a roadblock, preventing you from moving forward and working towards resolution. You are not being too pushy or demanding by making your personal and emotional goals clear. After you make them clear, you can listen carefully to your attorney about the strategy for reaching these goals, the costs and benefits of pursuing these goals, and make informed decisions about how you wish to proceed." - Sandy Faber
“Don’t lose sight of your final goal while fighting over the silverware. Reaching the final resolution of a divorce is a journey with many detours. Count on getting sidetracked at some point along the way. During the divorce it is important to take breaks to make sure you are still heading towards your final goal and are not getting sidetracked." - Frederick Schroeder
10. “Take comfort in knowing there is an end. Start making plans for your new life. Don't leave someone. Go somewhere." - Sarah Denner