Attorney Merrill leads women through the complicated process of divorce while warning against common mistakes.
In this exhaustive 558-page guide, the author covers a range of topics related to contested and uncontested divorces, including how to gather documentation of assets, estimate child support and alimony, and even, if necessary, obtain restraining orders. She discusses many topics related to asset division and child custody, including marital debt and visitation rights. The book is aimed at the broadest possible audience, but it also discusses variations in state laws. Much of Merrill’s advice revolves around how women can receive the best financial result. For example, she advises readers about cancelling joint credit cards and spotting instances of “asset hiding” by their soon-to-be-former spouse. She explains how to prepare for trial, the rules surrounding court appearances, common lines of questioning, and other circumstances women may encounter during the legal process. The author even describes her own negative experience with divorce, which happened before she went to law school. Throughout, Merrill mixes serious instructional information with humor and pop culture references, which often gives the book an informal, colloquial voice, as if the reader is attending a seminar with the author. However, it also means that there’s some variation in tone, depending on the chapter. Some readers, particularly those who view divorce as a traumatic rather than freeing experience, may find Merrill’s style a bit off-putting or even jarring. However, the author consistently provides sound and helpful advice to inform readers about the many possible pitfalls of divorce.
A solid, informative self-help divorce guide.