If you’re considering a divorce, prepare to face some of the most difficult questions of your life. The divorce process doesn’t have to be a minefield of uncertainty, though. Some of the most common mistakes are also the most avoidable, as long as you have the right direction.
Join my colleague, attorney Michael (Mick) Judge for an inside look at the divorce process. He’ll touch on pre-divorce considerations (including pre-nuptial agreements, divorce mediation and marriage counseling), the divorce process, and post-divorce matters (including modifications and contempt actions). A financial advisor will join him to address many of the pressing financial implications of your divorce.
A deposition is a commonly used discovery device in many divorce cases. Many people are nervous or even afraid of being deposed. Follow these nine tips to help relieve some of the anxiety surrounding a deposition.
A deposition calls for a witness (often, but not always, one of the parties) to give oral testimony under oath before trial. Depositions are conducted in front of a court reporter and are then reduced to a transcript. Transcripts are often admitted into evidence at trial, where they may be used to either strengthen or dispute the testimony offered.
As a family law attorney, I use depositions for three purposes:
Discover relevant information.
Observe the demeanor, poise, and memory of the deponent (the person being deposed).
A deposition is a tool that lawyers use to get information from witnesses or from the other side. It’s one of the most effective tools the lawyers have, both to find out what has really gone on and to discover what kind of a witness their client and the other side will be. It’s a formal procedure through which every word spoken is taken down by a court stenographer and can be used at a hearing or at a trial. Depositions can be taken over the telephone, out of state and via video as well as at your attorney’s office. Depositions are expensive, they require a lot of legal preparation as well as the time questioning the witness.
It is a part of the divorce process that needs to be taken seriously, but which can be made less stressful by the tips my talented colleague Ron Barriere will be posting next.
Well, here’s the explanation for all the coverage, mine included, of that loony bill out of Wrentham, MA that would require permission from a judge for a divorcing spouse to have sex with a new partner in their home. It will be interesting to watch how this story evolves — or if it will completely fizzle.
The Twitterverse, (one of my favorite time wasters) and the news media in Massachusetts were a buzz yesterday as word spread that a State Senator filed on behalf of one of his constituents a bill that would ban parents from having sex in the former marital home before the finalization of the divorce. If the bill were to pass, it would require a divorcing party to obtain special permission from a judge in order to have sex with their new partner! It certainly won’t pass, and the mere concept is enough to cause near-terminal giggles, in this divorce lawyer at least. But it does raise important issues: When should children learn that their parents are dating other people? When should children learn that a parent is in a serious relationship?
Divorce is tough on children. They need to go through the grieving process, just like their parents. And since, hopefully, they learned about the divorce after their parents, it’s going to take them longer to adjust. The parent/child dynamic is very different, of course, from the spouse dynamic. In the best-case scenario, parents will agree on when the kids should become aware the parents are dating. Then … Keep reading
Some of the heaviest divorce filing times of the year are February (after Valentine’s Day) and March. I see a lot of new clients but also quite a few clients who I had met with before, but weren’t ready to move forward with divorce when we first met.
It’s OK to get cold feet. It’s OK to change your mind, too. And if you are the initiator of the divorce you should be doing some heavy-duty soul-searching before you initiate the process. It’s one of the hardest decisions you will make.
Often it’s actually good to take the time, if you safely can, to process whether or not divorce is really what you want to do. Many times folks decide to delay divorce until the kids have left for college. Unless you are going to be the spouse paying alimony, there may be no specific economic reason for filing sooner rather than later. You should carefully consider your economic relationship. For example, would your spouse seek to hide money, should you delay filing? Or do either of you have an immediate expectation of a considerable inheritance?
I believe that the above title rings true for lots of folks since we tend to evaluate our lives around New Year’s Day. And if your marriage is bad, divorce is a reasonable resolution.
Most divorce lawyers will agree that the first few weeks of the new year are busy with new clients. I had attributed this to folks wanting to get through the holidays before they made drastic changes, but after reading this great post by a firm in New Jersey, I changed my mind.
If divorce is your resolution for the new year, it is important to have an understanding of the process first. Then you need to line up the professionals who will help you get through it. And, finally, you will need to get a good understanding of your own finances.
If divorce is your New Year’s resolution, may you have an effective and peaceful one!
As you can no doubt tell I am as new to blogging as you probably are to divorce. New beginnings can be scary, but I find it helps to understand what the process is. This is particularly true when you are dealing with something as arcane as the court system. My next posts (although I may interrupt them) will be the divorce process in 10 not so easy steps. Divorce is never one size fits all, so this is intended to be an overview of how the procedure often goes in a litigation; mediation will be the topic of another post.