Saturday, May 26, 2007

Resources for those thinking of divorce

This post rounds up some of the things I have caught online but have not been able to write about. Bill Nye of the Maine Divorce Lawyer finally got me off the mark - as I explain a bit later. I suggest that if you are thinking about divorce that you read all of this post. If you know anyone thinking of a divorce, send them a link of this post so that they can read it.

My original inspiration was Kansas Family & Divorce Lawyer who posted links to posts on Divorce Preparation by The Alabama Family Law Blog. I do not think I have ever had the luxury of a client prepared for their divorce. Here are the Divorce Preparation posts:

Maine Divorce Lawyer blog wrote about the Woman Divorce Support site. I agree that it looks very useful. I would quibble when Mr. Nye writes: "a new site today that does something lawyers almost never do for divorcing women: provide them with support both during and after their separation and divorce." Whether we would provide support gets mooted by the fact that we lawyers do not get to see clients until the decision has been made to divorce. As for afterwards, Mr. Nye is on much better ground. Still, that phrasing made me decide to get this post collected.

Kansas Family and & Divorce Lawyer posted Thursday a post titled Online Tools for Divorce Parents which spotlighted I will point out this is a site for parents with joint custody and I am impressed by its services. I really have not seen where joint custody works but I am thinking that for $9.95 a month here may be a way to help it work.

Another site that might have useful information is
The Child & Family WebGuide from Tufts University.

Here are a few resources that may also be of use but I think some of these have their own agenda:

The Children's Rights Council:

Formed in 1985, the Children's Rights Council (CRC) is a national non-profit organization based in Washington, DC that works to assure children meaningful and continuing contact with both their parents and extended family regardless of the parents' marital status.
The Divorced Fathers Network:
Participants learn how to:
  • Create lifestyles that support co-parenting.
  • Choose effective mediators, counselors and attorney.
  • Negotiate fair custody agreements that benefit children.
DivorceCare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable DivorceCare resources to help you deal with the pain of the past and look forward to rebuilding your life.
I found Linda J. Miller's website during a Google search and thought I would see what her FAQ page was like. She has a FAQ entitled What should I do if I suspect my spouse wants a divorce?. She says two things that got my attention:
...In addition to the legal perspective, you should consider input from a counselor....

Some folks are reluctant to make an appointment with a divorce attorney because they don’t want a divorce and feel contacting an attorney somehow means that divorce is inevitable. In all of my years practicing in the area of family law, I have never pushed a client into getting a divorce. Even if your goal is to save the marriage, you need to know as early as possible what you can do to protect yourself in the event that divorce becomes inevitable.
Both caught my attention after I reading around the Woman Divorce Support site.

I also never met a lawyer who was happy that a client decided on a divorce. Better to get advice from a lawyer than depend on your second cousin's best friend or your hairdresser. Better to be prepared than not. For those in Madison County, I offer another resource: the Center for Mental Health for marriage counseling. Their fees are on a sliding scale based on your ability to pay. Outside of Madison County? Check out your local resources for marriage counseling.

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