- Gender and Relationships
Divorce Shark Bait
Divorce Shark Bait
What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know
(So You Can Avoid Becoming Divorce Shark Bait Yourself!)
If you're a Divorce Rookie, then there's a lot that you don't know about your divorce - and I don't mean just about what the divorce law says about child support. I mean, there's a lot about the divorce process itself - and how people behave during the divorce process - that you should know and need to know if you want to (1) get out of the divorce with your sanity, and (2) spend as little as possible on divorce attorney fees. Why? Because, if you don't learn it now, you'll find it out many months from now - and many thousands of dollars from now.
So, if you could use this Squidoo page to "go through a learning curve" about divorce law and the divorce process NOW- including how the personality dynamics tend to escalate things - wouldn't that be better than going through the divorce learning curve over the next two years and twenty thousand dollars later?
In my 10-plus years of experience as a divorce attorney (and for the last 5 years, I only do divorce work), I can tell you this: Most of the dynamics are fairly predictable (once I know a little bit about you and your spouse), and I tell my clients as much as possible all up front so they have the best change at getting out of the divorce process alive, with their sanity, and with spending as little as possible. Some of it is so repetitive and so predictable, that you could put it into a book - and I have. My ebook - Shark Bait: What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know can give you such a head-start, crash course in what to expect and how to respond - and most importantly - How Not to Get Sucked In, that you'll be well-armed for just about anything that's thrown at you in the divorce process!
What I also know is that if my clients choose to ignore my frequently-repeated advice about how to handle the divorce process, the anxiety, the money, the resentments, the frustrations, etc., they will make the same "divorce rookie" mistakes that everyone else makes, and waste all their time and money for no good reason.
On the other hand, those clients who take to heart the divorce wisdom and guidance that I give them at the beginning, end up a lot happier and with less money going to divorce attorney fees.
Don't Be Divorce Shark Bait
You CAN have a saner, cheaper, easier Divorce
If you're visiting this Squidoo Divorce lens, then you (or your friend) are probably either:
- About to go through a divorce and want to arm yourself with as much divorce advice and wisdom as possible so that you spend as little money as possible on divorce attorney fees and ... have the best chance of getting your desired divorce outcome
- Going through a divorce and can't believe that it is this expensive and frustrating, and that your desired outcome is depressingly far away.
Take heart and have courage! You can find helpful information here that can get help you RIGHT NOW.
I'm a divorce attorney and am here to share with you lessons of the divorce learning curve. Hang out here for a while and you'll leave wiser than when you arrived. And, remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said:
"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."
If you want your divorce to be saner, cheaper, easier - then you definitely need to learn from the mistakes of others.
Otherwise, you've got a good chance of ending up being divorce shark bait - and I don't mean dealing with divorce lawyers - I mean being chewed up by the entire divorce process, by your spouse, by the insanity, by the escalated fighting over irrelevant temporary problems. The list is endless. Let's start here - just take a small step now and read a little more on this page, written by an attorney who's practiced NJ divorce law for 10-plus years - and see if you can find out a few things from the divorce experiences (and mistakes) of others that could make your divorce life saner starting now.
Think of this page as Uncommon Divorce Wisdom from an Unlikely Source. I could be wrong, but I don't see every divorce attorney telling their clients to breath and laugh a little before going to court, or giving them emotional-support strategies to tackling the divorce financial statement, or telling them not to waste money paying me for attorney fees because a judge is going to make them pay the money anyway.
Even though you may be on the verge of getting sucked into the divorce whirlpool of insanity, you need to stay focused, stay sane, and stay calm because the insanity of the divorce process will eat you alive.
FIRST ASSIGNMENT: Ignore the Bad, Listen to the Good
Don't Be Divorce Shark Bait - Selectively Listen to Your Spouse
This is one of the first lessons that I teach my divorce clients:
You probably need to ignore most of what your spouse says. [Okay, short of him/her threatening to harm you of course. But hopefully you know that sort of stuff so we don't have to deal with that here.]
But, you also need to listen carefully to the few important pieces of information that he/she offers you.
How are you supposed to do all that? Good question.
Ignore the Bad as in:
- Why this divorce is all your fault.
- Why it's also your fault that we have to have divorce attorneys involved.
- Why you're not going to get anything you want in the divorce.
- How you're going to lose in the divorce.
- Why you never really loved him/her anyway - and it's corollary - why you're really a liar.
- Why you're a money-loving leech and always have been, "just like your mother."
- How ungrateful you are.
- What a bad parent you are.
Listen to the Good as in:
- This is how much is owed on the mortgage, and this is what the realtor thinks we can get for it.
- This is how much I'm willing to pay you or get from you for ___[fill in the blank]___ - the house, the pension, child support, alimony, the timeshare, the business, etc.
- This is the parenting schedule and custody arrangement I want.
- This is what I'm willing and not willing to do about my drug/alcohol/etc. addiction when I'm around the kids.
- This is where I'm planning on, or want to, move to.
- This is what I want to do with the house and the cars.
You have no idea how much money in divorce attorney fees most divorce clients burn though discussing, venting, arguing, litigating over the first set (that is, the "Bad" set that you should ignore)!!! I mean, this one tip alone - and knowing it up front - and keeping yourself from getting sucked into that insanity (and believe me, it's very easy to get sucked into that insanity and want your attorney to do something about it!) - can save you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS in divorce attorney fees.
It sounds simple. But so few people know it. And, even fewer people put it into practice. And, while many of my colleagues are good at helping their clients sort the real issues from the emotional issues (by suggesting that their clients not waste money on the irrelevant stuff) - many of them still don't educate their clients that litigating because of resentments about the "Bad" comments from their spouse is a waste of money.
Similarly, good divorce lawyers teach our clients how to listen for the "Good" and productive comments and information that will be helpful in solving the divorce. Even if (worst case scenario) my client will never agree to what his/her spouse wants to give/get for the house, just KNOWING what the spouse is THINKING helps me devise a divorce strategy.
You want me to do what?!
Okay, my guess is that you haven't laughed in about a year, right? Well, it's about time you do.
Go ahead - a few minutes of laughter can release a lot of divorce stress (although, I'm SURE you don't have any s-t-r-e-s-s!!!).
This skit is the closest guarantee to a laugh - just go ahead and try not to!
Laughter is Good Medicine for a Divorcing Heart AND Mind
Most people who are going through a divorce only get here after several years of exhaustive effort, struggle and pain. So, a year or two of a laughter drought is a l-o-n-g time.
Okay, so WHY do you need to laugh now? Because laughing will clear your mind so that you can CLEARLY see your options, the important stuff, and the facts through the emotions. Laughter can heal your emotional trauma. Laughter can heal your discouragement. Laughter can keep you focused and centered.
Want a sure way to get the worse possible divorce result? DON'T LAUGH. Stay stressed. Stay angry. Stay resentful. You'll get one of the worst divorce outcomes ever.
Laugh a little. You might end up crying a little along the way too, but then again, you probably need to. The release will be good for you. Go ahead - make progress toward your divorce goals - watch your favorite comedy today.
1982 - Oh my gosh. If you can watch Dustin Hoffman dressed up like a woman to try to get an acting job and at the same time try to date someone on the set and fend of the male suitors, then you really haven't laughed in a long time.
This is a modern day remake of sorts of the next movie - Some Like It Hot.
1959 - Directed by the genius Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis dress up like women so that they can get a job in a women's "hot" jazz band - and so they can get away from the mob after they witnessed a St. Valentine's Day hit. Their gig takes them to Florida where Jack Lemmon in drag must fend-off a frisky wealthy yacht owner, and Tony Curtis courting Marilyn Monroe. The laughs are endless.
Are you "Goin' through the Big D" and don't mean Dallas? (by Mark Chesnutt - see below)
Are you going through a Divorce now?
"Goin' Through the Big D" by Mark Chesnutt - Lyrics
[I loved this song when it came out and if I were going through a divorce, I think this would be my theme song. The lyrics are right on target. Unless you can be saved from being divorce shark bait, that is!]
"Goin' Through The Big D" (by Mark Chesnutt) - Chorus
I'm goin' through the big-d and don't mean Dallas
I can't believe what the judge had to tell us,
I got the Jeep, she got the palace
I'm goin' through the big-d and don't mean Dallas
Climb One Divorce Mountain
One great way to avoid becoming Divorce Shark Bait is to pick one big issue (maybe two) that's most important to you, and let go of how the rest turns out. In other words, climb one big mountain, because if you try to climb the entire mountain range, you'll waste a lot of energy and get nowhere.
For example, if your big thing is to make sure that you and your spouse have an equal amount of time with the kids, then let go of whether you get that painting that the two of you spent 5 years and $2,000 finding and buying.
My Biggest Issue is . . .
Divorce Shark Bait ebook - What's in it?
from "Shark Bait: What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know"
Shark Bait: What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know has a lot of information in it to help you through your divorce. Where did the topics of these Chapters come from? From clients like yourself - people struggling, in pain, frustrated, confused, sometimes hopeful, trying to get to the end as soon as possible, spending lots more money than they anticipated, spending money they didn't have, sinking deeper and deeper into the downward spiral of divorce, trying to escape, desperately wanting the divorce to be over . . . You get the idea.
Well, while each client's situation is completely unique and requires specific advice for his/her particular life, many times I find myself having the same conversations with clients - and thus, a Chapter was born. The Chapter on 101 Ways to Save Attorney Fees was created in a little bit different way - these ideas are here to help save you from the 101 learn-the-hard-way experiences of others. It is a compilation from my 10-plus years as a divorce lawyer of ways that I have found for you to pay me less, and keep more of your own money. [Weird huh? I know.]
IntroTwo Lies Find out which Two Lies (that you often hear from everyone) keep make the divorce worse - and make it more expensive. You may be very surprised! Learn how to tune those lies out. More importantly, learn what to replace those lies with.
1The Divorce Transition You know, when we have a baby, we spend months preparing and going to classes and reading books on what to expect and what to do during the transition from without-baby to with-baby. We do the same when we get married. We educate ourselves (in some shape or form) about how life will be different when we're married and how we'll deal with that transition. There's always a transitional phase in life when there's a change. Why doesn't anyone talk the time to talk to divorcing people about the realities of this divorce transition? Well, we do. And we think it'll go a long way to help you through it.
25 Tools to Start Improving Your Life Right Now! Some things in a divorce can talk a while, some things happen in their own time, and some things are out of your control. But these 5 things you can do right now! Almost all of my clients want relief right now - and if you're like them - then this Chapter is for you!
3Courage Without courage, your divorce goals are doomed to failure. You'll be your own worst enemy. Courage is more important - and can be more difficult - than you think. Courage is not false bravado. Courage is better defined as self-confidence, and a well-grounded centeredness.
4Settlement Basics & FAQ "What are my rights?" "I'm gonna tell the judge!" Also, child support, alimony, the house, NAV, deciding whether to settle, and other frequently asked divorce questions are answered here in detail.
5"Whatever" Learn my clients' most power-filled word that resolves disputes and saves thousands of dollars in attorney fees - and HOW and WHEN to use it. Your life could change with this one chapter.
6Assets & Debts This chapter gives you a detailed list of all of the assets and debts to help you think through all of the issues. In addition, it discusses each type of asset and debt, and the issues that go with it. For example, do you know what a QDRO is and how it helps you with your retirement accounts?
7How to Do the 50/50 Here are several creative ideas of how to divide things up - and some things to keep in mind when you do. For example, is it acceptable to have someone keep the house and the other person keep the entire pension? What if all of the credit cards are in one person's name? How do you divide that up?
8Divorce Agreement TopicsThe children, support and assets/debts may be the big 3 issues, but your divorce agreement needs to address a lot of details within those issues, and a few other key issues too! Be sure you have a GOOD Agreement, not a lame agreement.
9Living Together After the Divorce Decision How are you going to ever make this work now that you've decided to get a divorce? Well, many of my clients have navigated this minefield, and you can benefit from their experiences!
10Things to Know about Good Judges & Good Lawyers If you're doing to Get Smart about your Divorce, then you need to know what to expect from good judges and good divorce lawyers. Look, judges and lawyers are judges and lawyers because we're different "than the average bear." I mean really, what other person is a bookworm that likes reading 500 pages a week for each of 5 classes in law school? What other person actually enjoys arguing BOTH sides of an argument. Yep, we're a rare breed, and you might as well have as much insight as possible into how we tick and how we work, so your divorce can be as successful as possible.
11How to Go to War So, you've tried to be reasonable, but your spouse is somewhat insane. That's what trials were made for. Once the decision to go to trial is made, and the negotiations are over, stop waiving the olive branch. Hopefully you'll be in the 99% of divorcing people that don't need this chapter.
12Resentments I know you don't have any resentments now. But in case any pop-up unannounced, this chapter is there to help you through it - and to make sure that they don't get in the way of your successful divorce - and to make sure that they don't quadruple the cost of your divorce.
13101 Ways to Save Attorney Fees I think this chapter title says it all. Isn't this everyone's favorite chapter? But, this chapter is at the end of the book because it makes a lot more sense - and is a lot easier to put into practice - if you read everything else first!
Apx 1Asset/Debt ListThese Appendices give you the lists that are referred to in the ebook. This first one is the detailed list of assets and debts to be considered in your divorce.
Apx 2Inspiration Lists In case you haven't noticed by now, you need to laugh, to be inspired, and to take care of yourself. Here are your three long lists of resources to accomplish all 3!
This is the Table of Contents for "Shark Bait: What Every Divorce Rookie Needs to Know" ebook (an immediate PDF download). It's over 120 pages (not including the Appendices), and is an easy and entertaining read.
Who made the Divorce Decision in your case?
Divorce Support Books
These are your must-have divorce-related books. I recommend these all the time to clients.
(not that you'll have 2 cents left after a divorce, but we'd still like to know your thoughts)