Do Judges Interpret The Law The Same in Divorce?

 

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Divorce and Community Property

3,142 counties equals 3,142 different flavors of divorce. This is your divorce – don’t let it happen to you

Storey Jones

Everyone starts a legal consultation asking the same questions in a variety of ways, “How much will I get?” or “How much will I have to give?” “How can I keep the house?” “What do we do about the debt?” or, “Well clearly since he/she (fill in the blank) drinks, uses drugs, is absentee, stopped working, is depressed, spends all the money… then I will get what I ask for, right?”

The biggest surprise of all is that no one really knows for sure. If you listen carefully, every lawyer will give you an educated guess, or base their response on a similar case, but they will surround any suggestion of an outcome with 101 disclaimers because the truth is, they don’t really know.

How could a lawyer who has practiced in a particular county for a few years or a few decades not know for sure? The dissolution of a marriage or a domestic partnership is a transaction governed by state laws and local bias. In family law court, there are two types of family law code, Community Property and Equitable Distribution, but there is wide interpretation of that code by judges across over 3,000 counties. Judges have a tremendous amount of latitude in the interpretation of how the law applies to each situation. It is widely known that even different judges in the same county might rule differently on the same set of facts which is often why lawyers will try to get a case moved to a different judge. Each and every family situation is complex and the issues and nuances unique, therefore it is impossible to know exactly what to expect should your case go to court. Most spouses do not realize the degree to which the local bias and judge can impact the outcome. Sometimes just the tenor of the cases heard in the morning can affect the judge’s reaction and ruling to a case heard that afternoon. The lack of predictability around what spouses often believe are clear paths to a fair and equitable settlement is unsettling.

This is precisely why it is imperative to spend time educating yourself  about Divorce and Community Property http://www.seasonsofdivorce.com/CommunityProperty organizing the facts Get Organized developing forward-looking budgets and if at all possible, actively contributing to a creatively structured settlement that avoids court altogether. This will allow you to better participate and contribute to the outcome of your own case. This is your divorce- don’t let it happen to you.

How could a lawyer who has practiced in a particular county for a few years or a few decades not know for sure?

It is also important to note that how it is supposed to work and how it actually works, are two very different concepts. The law dictates, for example, that each spouse provide full and complete financial disclosure, but what if they don’t? A parenting plan is meant to be legal and binding, but what if one parent simply decides to ignore it? These and other situations are the reality of how it actually works, and it is so frustrating, but that is the current system.  Depending on the court, the judge, and myriad other factors, it can feel as if no one cares and no one can or will make your spouse do what he/she is supposed to do. We know. We don’t have all the answers, but we absolutely do know that whenever possible it is better to design the outcome with your spouse rather than risk a third party’s interpretation. it is essential to your mental health, your family’s emotional health and your financial future to be empowered with education, financial tools, parenting tools and a mindset to complete this detour and get back on the main road. That’s where Seasons of Divorce comes in, helping you to create an outcome that will prepare you for the transition of your lifetime.

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of, and access to, this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Dtour, Inc., dtour.life or any affiliate of Dtour, Inc. Seasons of Divorce and the user or browser.  Any opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of Dtour, Inc. or dtour.life or Seasons of Divorce

 

Divorce Road Signs

At Seasons of Divorce
we help manage the Workflow of Divorce with Dtour

Divorce Road Signs

1.    We have a LEGAL system, not a JUSTICE system.

No one knows what will happen in court except that no one wins.

2.    Do not hire the first lawyer you meet.

Interview more than one lawyer to compare philosophies.

3.    Divorce is more than a full-time job; it is ALL consuming.

Do not underestimate the amount of work required; don’t be fooled into thinking that your lawyer will take care of everything. Pace yourself.

4.    Do not be a passive participant in your own divorce.

This is your family, your business contract. Educate yourself, take the time to ask questions, understand your finances, develop a budget, so that you can make informed decisions that you can live with.

5.    Be very selective about the voices in your ear.

Emotional support is one thing, but stay focused on a constructive process, not a destructive one because of what your friends and family think about your soon-to-be Ex or tell you that you should do.

6.    Do not expect your spouse to make-up or “pay” for emotional pain.

Punitive damages for emotional stress do not exist in family law; emotions are expensive. Focus on a settlement and an exit rather than spending resources on illusory pay-back or punishment.

7.   You know your spouse better than anyone; trust your intuition.

No one knows your spouse better than you do; don’t allow the professionals to dismiss any legitimate concerns you may have. Be the architect of a process that can be successful for both you and your spouse.

7.    Lawyers are capable of escalating adversity with the simple stroke of their pen.

Some lawyers use a writing style in communication with opposing counsel that is rude and condescending to the other spouse. This is not a requirement of the process. Escalated conflict means greater cost and rarely does it lead to a more generous settlement. Not all lawyers are created equal, so while there are family law attorneys who are complicit in needlessly escalating adversity and churning fees, there are many reasonable, ethical, strategic, and solution-oriented attorneys. It is worth taking the time to find them. Do your research.

9.   Temporary Insanity

The overload of emotional triggers is so profound that there isn’t one spouse who doesn’t utter, at one point or another, “I don’t recognize my spouse, this isn’t the person I married” (and if they are really honest with themselves, “I don’t recognize myself”) Try to step back and allow some space for temporary insanity. It is just temporary.

10. Respond, do not react, to inflammatory email, voice mail or calls.

Allow space for reaction. Don’t be fooled into engaging with the bully. The process tests everyone but will ultimately reach resolution.

11. If you are married to “crazy,” all bets are off.

We do not have a system that is capable of protecting spouses from personality disorders that affect another spouse’s ability to compromise or participate in a rational process. Be aware, do your research and consider alternate expectations of an outcome that at least provide an out and an end.

We hope this will help you to navigate the divorce process and to avoid the common pitfalls of divorce.

 

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of, and access to, this Web site or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between Dtour, Inc., dtour.life or any affiliate of Dtour, Inc. and the user or browser.  Any opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of Dtour, Inc. or dtour.life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can I Keep the House When I Divorce? That Depends…..

When you are considering or in the beginning seasons of divorce you may wonder if you can keep the house.  That will depend on some factors, But either way you should keep it for the right reasons.  Don’t get me wrong I totally get why you would want to, you may have raised your children there or you are just really attached to your marital home or you may just want to stick it to your soon to be Ex.  BUT is it really the right choice for you after the Divorce is final.  Here are some things you need to consider:

$ KNOW WHAT YOU OWE

There are some documents you need to find but the first one is your mortgage  and your latest statement.

 

 

♠ KNOW WHAT YOU OWN

You need a copy of your Deed to make sure how it is titled.

Has it been appraised?  If so you need a copy of that to determine the value. Property Condition will affect the value, there are other factors that might need to be investigated as well like market conditions.  As a Divorce Coach who specializes in Real Estate I will give you answers to these concerns.

¿ KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING STUCK WITH

 

There are other considerations to think about  too; such as, can I afford to make the payments on my own after the Divorce?  Or how much will I have to pay my ex in the Divorce Property Settlement and will I have to refinance it.  This is a good time to consult a Loan Officer before the Divorce Papers are signed.

 

This can be a daunting or overwhelming task especially when you are dealing with all the emotions of a Divorce.

We can offer FREE help click here

¿ KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING STUCK WITH

You should consider a Home Inspection sometime before Divorce Mediation concerning the Property Settlement

by a licensed inspector BEFORE you agree to any property settlement.  After you sign the property settlement divorce agreement or go before the Family Law judge it may not be admissible.

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