By: Anna T. Merrill, Esq.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average woman’s family income drops by 37% after divorce. Do you know what assets or how much alimony or child support you are entitled to receive? Has your spouse threatened to leave you penniless? Have you spoken to an attorney and gotten sticker-shock? Do you earn too much money to qualify for free legal aid? Are you unable to decipher the scary-looking legal forms your spouse keeps sending you in the mail? This book was written to help the low- and moderate-income women the legal system has abandoned by walking a hypothetical self-represented woman step-by-step through the divorce process. Including:
1. How to prepare financially to stand on your own two feet;
2. What the court can, and cannot do for you;
3. ‘Legwork’ that can save you money on legal fees and help you get a better outcome;
4. How much child support and alimony you might be entitled to receive;
5. How to show a judge that your spouse is lying about his assets and income;
6. What property you are entitled to receive … and should ask for;
7. Ways vindictive ex-spouses can screw you over;
8. Real life dirty tricks, traps, and pitfalls highlighted so you can avoid them;
9. How to find a good attorney, save legal fees, or piece together legal services if you can’t afford a full-service attorney;
10. Mediation … benefits and pitfalls;
11. How to dig up information your spouse doesn’t want you to know (discovery) like an attorney does;
12. Common court forms and how to fill them out;
13. Separation Agreements dissected and clarified (including a sample boilerplate);
14. Sample discovery requests and motions;
15. Sample hearing scripts for common court hearings (including Temporary Orders and Trial);
16. Restraining orders … how to get one … how to keep one;
17. Custody disputes … ‘fatal flaws’ and how you can fix them.
Everything you NEVER wanted to know about divorce … but need to come up to speed … FAST!!! This is the only self-help legal book written by a woman who was once in your shoes who later went back to school to become an attorney!
Information that will help you navigate through the chaos of divorce proceedings.
- by Rhonda Hopkins (07/22/2013)
I hope you never need this book, but if you do, it’s definitely an asset. The best part of this book is that it’s written in plain English that anyone can understand. A lot of books written by attorneys and judges are very dry and difficult to read. But not this book. Ms. Merrill speaks directly to the reader and makes it easy to find the information you need. I highly recommend this book. But remember, it is only a tool and if at all possible, you should consult with an attorney. While Ms. Merrill doesn’t and can’t guarantee you’ll win your case, at least you will be armed with much-needed information before entering the courtroom. (More detailed information about why this book is handy to have can be found at the Navigating Family Court website.)
Anna T. Merrill is a corporate-trained attorney who transitioned into family law. She has over a decade of experience serving low- and moderate-income families.