12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 1 – Serving and Filing a Petition for Dissolution

Each month for one year, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

In doing so, we will also track two divorcing couples making their way through the process.12 Steps of Divorce - Andersen Law - January

Spoiler alert: Art and Angela Aingel take the high road. While divorce is not usually a fun process (I have yet to hear someone tell the judge at final orders, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”), the Aingels have a relatively straightforward experience before moving forward with their separate lives. Meanwhile, Draco and Desdemona DeVille make choices that, while initially tempting, detour them down a bad road laden with unnecessary drama, painful court appearances and skyrocketing costs.

The following is a roadmap of the 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult. Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 1 – Serving and Filing a Petition for Dissolution”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 2 – Responding to the Petition for Dissolution

12 Steps of Divorce - Andersen Law-2Former college buddies Art Aingel and Draco DeVille seemed to have less and less in common over the years — that is until they both found themselves on the receiving end of their respective wives’ divorce filings. Draco’s came first, so he was into the process sooner and had plenty of so-called “pointers” for his friend Art.  Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 2 – Responding to the Petition for Dissolution”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 3 – Completing Your Sworn Financial Statement, Disclosures and Attending Parenting Class

Each month for one year, the Andersen Law PC blog will spell out the 12 steps of divorce.

In doing so, we will also track two divorcing couples making their way through the process.12 Steps of Divorce.Step3. - Andersen Law

Spoiler alert: Art and Angela Aingel take the high road. While divorce is not usually a fun process (I have yet to hear someone tell the judge at final orders, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”), the Aingels have a relatively straightforward experience before moving forward with their separate lives. Meanwhile, Draco and Desdemona DeVille make choices that, while initially tempting, detour them down a bad road laden with unnecessary drama, painful court appearances and skyrocketing costs.

The following is a roadmap of the 12 steps of a divorce proceeding. And if you want to divorce in less than a year, feel free to call me with questions specific to your situation. I am happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult. Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 3 – Completing Your Sworn Financial Statement, Disclosures and Attending Parenting Class”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 4 – Going to Court – The Initial Status Conference

12 Steps of Divorce - Andersen Law-“I’m sorry pal, but I will have to skip the trip to Elephant Rock,” Art Aingel told his friend Draco DeVille. “Our Initial Status Conference (ISC) is that Friday.”

“That’s utter bull!” Draco shouted into the phone. “You don’t have to go to that stupid thing. It’s just a conference, not a trial. I skipped mine, and who cares? I heard you are in some office with a court facilitator lady half the time — not even a real judge.” Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 4 – Going to Court – The Initial Status Conference”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 5 – Discovery & Depositions

12 Steps of Divorce - Andersen Law-Step5.5.18.16More paperwork! Angela Aingel could not believe she had more financial and parenting “homework” to do. Her attorney had explained to her that she would need to serve DISCOVERY on her soon-to-be-ex-husband Art.

“We already did all that financial stuff!” Angela complained to her attorney.

“Those were the MANDATORY 16.2 DISCLOSURES,” the attorney explained.   This is DISCOVERY.”

“What’s the difference?” Angela asked, wanting to hear the explanation as to why she was forced to jump through all these hoops, as if the emotional stress of divorce wasn’t already enough. Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 5 – Discovery & Depositions”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 6 – Hiring a CFI, PRE, Vocational Evaluator, Real Estate Appraiser and Other Experts

12 steps of divorce: Hiring a CFI, PRE, Vocational Evaluator, Real Estate Appraiser and Other Experts - Andersen Law PCArt Aingel came home from work to find a series of emails from his attorney. She wanted to know if he was interested in hiring any expert witnesses or professional evaluators for his divorce.

He really did not know the answer to that question. All he knew was that he did not want to pay for anything unless it was necessary. Getting divorced reminded him of getting married and buying a house: you knew your life would change, you did not really understand what was happening, and every time you turned around, someone was asking you to write a check.

Art called his friend, Draco De Ville, for advice. Draco was also going through a divorce.

“Draco, all these experts I am hearing about: CFI, PRE, RE appraiser, vocational evaluator, business appraiser, it just goes on and on! I cannot afford to pay any of these people! And who are they anyway? It sounds like alphabet soup!”

“Well, you came to the right guy,” Draco answered. “Hire all of them and then just get your attorney to get your wife to pay for them! That’s what I am going to do. Why not stick it to her? Oh, and if they do make you pay half of the fees, just throw away their invoices and refuse to pay them. What’s she going to do? It all comes out of the same pot anyway!”

“Got it,” Art said, thinking to himself, to listen to what Draco says and do the opposite. Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 6 – Hiring a CFI, PRE, Vocational Evaluator, Real Estate Appraiser and Other Experts”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 7 – Motions to Compel and Telephone Conferences

 

Andersen-Law-PC-12-Steps-Divorce-Motions-to-Compel“What the heck is a Motion to Compel?” Draco DeVille shouted into his cell phone to his buddy Art Aingel.

 

Both of them were going through divorces. While neither of them were enjoying the process, Art and Angela Aingel’s divorce had been relatively calm. Draco and Desdemona DeVille’s divorce, however, seemed to be spiraling out of control. The DeVilles’ legal bills were well into five figures each and growing every day with seemingly no end in sight.
Draco continued to shout into his cell phone. “My lawyer just called and told me I have to tell my soon-to-be-ex-wife what person is watching my kids when I fly out of town! Also, I have to turn over three years of tax returns and my credit card statements. Like she can’t get that stuff herself, the lazy *#@$! Can you believe it?!”

Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 7 – Motions to Compel and Telephone Conferences”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 8 – Temporary Orders Hearing

Andersen-Law-PC-12-Steps-Divorce-Temporary-Orders-HearingDesdemona DeVille and Angela Aingel sat on the bench by the country club where they had just finished a less-than-heated round of tennis.

The whole match, Desdemona had kept stopping play and motioning Angela to the net so she could either boast about the Motion to Compel she had served on her soon-to-be-ex-husband Draco, complain about the exact same motion, which Draco had served, on her or both.

“I cannot wait to drag that man into court again,” Desdemona announced angrily after the match. “Over my dead body will Draco get this country club membership!” Desdemona was shouting loud enough to echo across the nearby courts to hear. She saw a member of a nearby foursome rushing off to the clubhouse and hoped it was not to complain about Desdemona’s antics. Angela remembered that Desdemona had been politely removed from the summer league due to her frequent outbursts after putting lemon vodka in her water bottle.

As usual, Desdemona was a lot more worried about her own emotions than any effect the volume of her rant might have on those nearby. She waved her racquet over her head for emphasis, complaining, “Draco says he needs the club membership for his business developments. Hmmph! What about my business and my personal development? This is where I plan to meet my next husband!”

“What about Danny?” Angela asked, referring to the younger man Desdemona had been dating ever since she and Draco were on the outs.

“That boy toy? He’s just something to do,” Desdemona rolled her eyes. “I will never marry again without reviewing three months of his pay stubs and bonuses, taking a solo meeting with his financial advisor and at least three credit reports!” Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 8 – Temporary Orders Hearing”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 9 – Mediation

12-steps-of-divorce-andersen-law-3-mediationPart One: When your know-it-all ‘friend’ tells you about how mediation is a waste of time.

Art Aingel was surprised when his friend Draco DeVille invited him golfing at the country club. Art, of late, had been running around like a college kid, getting the letters “L-I-V-E” and “F-R-E-E” tattooed on his knuckles and spending most nights in his young girlfriend’s Highlands bungalow she shared with four roommates. With each week that passed after Draco’s wife filed for divorce, Draco seemed to be getting less mature, going backward in time like Benjamin Button. Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 9 – Mediation”

12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 10 – Parenting Plans & Separation Agreements

12-Steps-Divorce-oct-12-steps-of-divorce-andersen-law-4Walking out of the mediation session with a fully signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) tucked firmly into her canvas messenger bag, Angela Aingel felt elated that her divorce was close to finality. Of course, from deep down, she was reminded that she was divorcing the father of her children, someone who had once seemed the man of her dreams, but that was long ago. In her opinion, Art made Angela decide on divorce when he went back to drinking, putting his addiction ahead of everything, including his job, his health, the children and her. Continue reading “12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 10 – Parenting Plans & Separation Agreements”