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Divorce Expenses: Don’t Be Taken to the Cleaners

By Colleen Honquest Divorce is not only difficult, it can also be a major hardship. Pursuing mediation could potentially keep costs down, keep you out of court and help you maintain power over decisions that will affect your respective futures and children, if applicable. In the event you’re navigating a high-conflict divorce, hiring an attorney might ultimately be necessary. There are ways to control costs. If you are working with an attorney, be aware of how you are being billed. Ask questions like “If we have a five-minute phone conversation, will I be billed? What about text messages?” Make sure you are getting a monthly statement. This is important as it will make it easier to budget for legal fees and also to look for mistakes in billing or questions that you may have regarding billing by ancillary staff. Be aware that you hired your lawyer and that you do have a say in your

Avoid Costly Mistakes in Your Divorce

By Colleen Honquest You don’t have to be a lawyer to be an expert in family court. No, simply go through the family court system with a nasty ex, and, you too, will be an expert. Granted, your expertise will come at a very high price. If you are dealing with an ex with a “difficult personality”, you will soon find that the scales of justice are not tipped in your favor in family court. The chaos and confusion that will ensue as you get bombarded from your ex and his/her lawyer will tie up all of your mental and financial resources for months or years to come. You will then hire (and fire) a few sets of lawyers as you find out that most lawyers do not understand how to deal with High Conflict Divorce. You will spend a LOT of time and LOTS of your hard-earned money in

Divorcing a Narcissist? You Need Boundaries to Prevent Post-Separation Abuse

By Colleen Honquest The most frequent types of questions that I hear from people who are separated, or divorcing are those that involve how to respond to an ex-spouse whose calls, texts, and emails are negative and harassing in nature. Usually, there has been a pattern of abuse in the marriage and the separation or divorce tends to escalate the abusive behavior as the ex-spouse feels a loss of control. Should I respond or not? The spouse who is the target of the harassment doesn’t know if they need to respond and often feels compelled to respond so as not to be seen as non-communicative by the Court. If they are working with a lawyer, they are often not given clear direction as to how to respond in a way that shows that they want to co-parent and communicate but not on the abuser’s terms.   I tell my clients that when they

Do I Need an Attorney If I Choose To Do Mediation?

By Colleen Honquest While you don’t need to have a divorce lawyer to do divorce mediation, it can be a good idea to speak to one to know exactly what your legal rights are. Mediation is a private process in which the couple works with a neutral third party to discuss their issues and reach a mutually beneficial agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) outside of the court system. The couple is able to schedule mediation sessions based on their availability. This last point is priceless for those who are working and juggling children while going through divorce.  What Can an Attorney Do For Me in Mediation? If you underestimate the strength of your legal position, you may give away the farm; on the other hand, if you drive too hard a bargain, you may cause the other party to walk away from negotiations. Before starting mediation, it’s helpful to be

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