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Keeping the Humanity in a Divorce
We've all heard the tragic story from a family member, co-worker or friend -- they got a divorce and in the process, spent an unseemly amount of money for a lot of stress, aggravation and a settlement with which they were not really happy. The damage created by the experience is great; not only were they dealing with the loss of a mate and the loss of a significant amount of money upon which they were counting to rebuild their life, they were also dealing with the loss of their own humanity. To really win at a litigated divorce, it is necessary to emphasize the worst about one's ex-partner by pointing out all their deficiencies as a parent, financial planner, money manager and, worst of all, their failings as a human-being in general. Litigating spouses find that they are at their worst when severing the ties that bind them, and are shocked to realize after all is over, they have lost some of their dignity in the process.
There is an alternative to the usual process of hiring an attorney and engaging in dirty battle. More and more, couples are turning to mediation. This process utilizes the skills of a neutral third party to assist the divorcing couple in communicating and negotiating a final, personalized settlement that meets the needs and interests of both parties.
The benefits of mediation are many
Generally, debts incurred during the marriage are community obligations. This includes credit card bills, even if the credit card is in one name only. Student loans are an important exception because they are considered separate property debts. Community property possessions and community property debts are divided equally unless both spouses agree to an unequal division in writing. If spouses can't agree on the division of debts and possessions, a judge makes that decision.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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