In this short handbook, a family law attorney offers advice, checklists, and worksheets on preparing for and dealing with divorce.
To those contemplating divorce, the move might seem overwhelming. “Divorce often brings significant adjustments, but these adjustments can be managed with the right guidance and planning,” writes DeTorres (Breakthrough Results!, 2016), a matrimonial law attorney practicing in New Jersey. This book aims to give readers a starting point in the divorce process. Her first, most important, and often repeated recommendation is to choose a qualified legal adviser, preferably one who’s an expert in family law. (DeTorres reminds readers that this work isn’t “to be construed as legal advice and should not be regarded as such.”) The first section, “Before Divorce,” provides questions to consider in deciding to divorce; possible challenges; and how to assemble a legal team and the documents that will best help the members serve as advocates. She cuts through built-up emotions, helping brace readers for realities like “how you were treated in the marriage will not make a difference in your financial settlement,” barring serious injuries. “During Divorce” discusses splitting assets and debts, protecting your interests, dividing a shared business, arranging custody and other child-related matters, evaluating options, saving money, and reaching an agreement. Equally important, she provides a list of things readers should not do. “After Divorce” goes into more detail on separating assets and dealing with residences plus tips on moving forward post-divorce. Eight appendices provide checklists and worksheets on topics like what to ask an attorney, holiday arrangements, and spousal support. DeTorres explains legal concepts clearly, such as the difference between separate and marital property or shared versus joint custody, but she doesn’t oversimplify either. The volume touches on matters older books may not include, like the advice to shun social media and protect one’s privacy or the treatment of divorce dilemmas related to blended families. On the other hand, it would have been nice to have links to printable forms for the worksheets; many such checklists are already available online for free.
A compact and straightforward guide to a well-planned divorce.