Separation and Divorce Archives

An estimated 46 million people appear in family courts across the country each year, for cases involving divorce, custody, child support, guardianship, and housing. Surveys conducted have shown that in recent years, 75% or more of these cases have at least one self-represented litigant. The number of people representing themselves in court seems to be increasing, which is a concern for many in the legal community. Cases involving self-representing individuals tend to take longer to resolve, contributing to a growing backlog in the family court system, not to mention that people self-representing are at a distinct disadvantage in court.

Self representation isn’t always the first choice for people, but many may feel they have no other options because they do not have access to legal aid or have the financial resources to hire a lawyer. Others believe that self-representing, especially in divorce cases, will save money. However, there are plenty of reasons why representing yourself in court is a significant risk.

Saying or Doing the Wrong Thing

Preparing for a court case requires extensive preparation and a thorough understanding of the court system. Even if you are well-prepared and well versed in the system and you have a logical argument, it is easy to become emotional. You may end up turning to a defensive argument rather than sticking to facts and rational arguments. Without any experience in a courtroom, many self-representing people end up making incriminating statements or saying things that can easily be used against them by the other side.

Familiarity with the Process and Rules

Before making the decision to represent yourself in a divorce case, you should familiarize yourself with all of the steps involved. Pay careful attention to any deadlines or mandatory filings that are required by the court. Missing a deadline or overlooking a step could mean delays or cost you the opportunity to reach the settlement you want. It’s very challenging for an inexperienced and untrained person to ensure that all of the bases are covered before going to court.

The Courts Don’t Go Easy on You

If you represent yourself, don’t expect any special treatment in the courtroom. The court staff and the judge are not likely to coach you or give you any leeway if you make a mistake. It is their job to remain impartial and consider the arguments only. There is also some evidence that judges consider the arguments of self-representing individuals to be more likely to be biased. Overcoming bias can be a significant challenge for self-representing people arguing a divorce case.

Set Your Expectations

Litigants who choose self representation often have unrealistic expectations for the outcome of the case. Judges base their decisions solely on the law and the presented arguments and facts. So, if your expectations are unrealistic, getting what you believe is a fair settlement may be more difficult than you think.

Think About Alternatives

Preparing for and arguing a divorce case in court requires extensive legal knowledge and skills. If you are considering self representation, find out more about the options available to you for affordable legal aid, especially when child custody and child support are involved. Getting professional representation will ensure that you get a fair settlement and that your rights as a parent are protected.

Stephanie Krane-Boehmer is a divorce lawyer in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Stephanie’s goal is to make the process as comfortable for you as possible and will treat you with respect and compassion. Call 248-293-0048 or request a consultation online to get started.

Going through a divorce can take its toll. Many people don’t feel like themselves for quite a while after. It is important to know that you are not alone and that over time, you will adjust and find a new normal. Here are ten things you can do to help you and your family recover.   

1. Give Yourself Time

It is common, after divorce, to feel the urge to move on immediately. But your relationship probably didn’t break down quickly, and the divorce process may have been drawn out. So don’t assume that you’ll recover from the trauma overnight. Give yourself a whole year to adjust to new routines and getting through milestones like holidays and special events. 

2. Take Care of Yourself

Focus on looking after your needs first. Ensuring that you get enough rest and maintain a healthy diet will make it easier for you to deal with the stress and handle the things that haven’t changed, like caring for kids, work and other obligations.

3. Exercise Your Frustrations Away

Vigorous physical activity releases endorphins which promote feelings of well-being. Not only will you rid yourself of feelings of frustration, but you’ll feel better for having made a healthy choice.

4. Be Sad

While your situation may have changed, there were good times and happy memories as well. Treat the breakdown of a marriage as a loss and allow yourself to grieve without feeling guilty.  

5. Slow it Down

Take the time to recognize that the emotional upheaval of recovering from a divorce is exhausting. You may feel like you have less energy and feel more tired. So slow down your life a little until you start to feel more energetic. Take a break from volunteering or from your side hustle and enjoy a little more time off. 

6. Talk to People

You may feel like you don’t want to talk to anyone about your divorce or recovery experience. However, if the people around you know what you’re going through, they can help support you. Just be sure you say thanks, but no thanks to those people who offer you advice. What worked for them may not be appropriate for you.  

7. Support the Kids

Children are often caught in the crossfire during a divorce. They can sometimes fall into feeling like they are to blame or feel helpless about their new situation. Be sure that they get the support they need to adjust without taking on any of the stress.   

8. Get Support for Yourself

It helps to align yourself with a group of people who may have experienced divorce and recovered in a healthy way. Look for a support group in your area and regularly attend the meetings to regain your sense of stability. 

9. Do it Your Way

Understand that there is no recipe for recovery from divorce. You may have good days and bad days, advances and setbacks. Take care of yourself and your children, and don’t put pressure on any of you to ‘get over it.’ 

Perhaps you have recently realized that filing for divorce is the best option for your family or are beginning to considering it. Either way, get in touch with a family law attorney to answer your questions and help you navigate the process. A divorce lawyer can inform you about mediation options and ensure that your rights and the rights of your children are protected. The Law Office of Stephanie Krane-Boehmer is here to help you with separation and divorce matters, including child custody and parenting agreements. Call us for an appointment or book a virtual consultation on our website. 

Going through a divorce is often cited as one of the most stressful events a person will experience in their lifetime. Once it’s over, it can help to do a little cleaning and decluttering of your home and your head to start the process of moving on. Here are some tips on what to do to get started. 

Clean Out Your Closets

Physical reminders can be difficult to have around, and they can keep you from moving on by triggering memories of the past. While some of those memories may be happy ones, you want to avoid those that are not as positive. Take some time to clean out closets and other storage areas, so you’re not faced with those reminders later. Furniture or other household items that you purchased together can also go if they trigger negative emotions. Sell them online or donate the items because even if they are painful reminders for you, they may make new happier memories for someone else.

Change Your Passwords

In our connected lives, it often happens that accounts and passwords are shared between partners. It seems harmless at the time, but aside from the potential security risks associated with sharing passwords, it’s better to make a clean break. 

Change all of your passwords or open new accounts, so you aren’t presented with your ex-partner’s Netflix recommendations or left paying for Ubers you didn’t order.  

Reset Your Financial Expectations

After a divorce, your financial situation will almost certainly change, so you may have to adjust your expectations accordingly. Take some time to make a budget of your income and expenses to be sure you know where you stand. If necessary, make a few changes, and adjust your spending to make your situation work in a sustainable way that you can be proud of. 

Start New Traditions 

Holidays and special occasions can be difficult when a divorce turns some of your family traditions upside down. 

Even special weekly or daily routines can be hard to leave behind. Dwelling on what you can’t do isn’t going to help you move on. The way forward is to establish new traditions and new rituals. Over time, you’ll look forward to these and no longer feel like you are missing out. 

Tips For Surviving   

There’s no question that moving on emotionally from a divorce can be difficult and takes time. In addition to the support you get from your family, friends and other resources in your community, here are a few tips to help you get through it. 

  • Acknowledge your anger.
  • Think about why you are angry or feeling hateful.
  • Step back from the anger for a moment.
  • Deal with the issue.
  • Talk to people about what’s causing you to be unsettled.
  • Avoid unhealthy thought patterns and make small changes that will allow you to let go.

Contact the law office of Stephanie Krane-Boehmer for help with navigating separation and divorce matters. We are here to support you through mediation, litigation, parenting arrangements and division of property.