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New & need help please. Don't know how to even begin separating

Posted by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:54 PM
  • 6 Replies
Hi ladies. I'm heavily considering separating from dh, but don't even know where to begin. I go to the courthouse & ask for a form...then what. Do we just sign it and turn it in? How much does that typically cost and how long until we're legally separated? Do I file for child & spousal support at the same time? How long does it take from filing until you start recieving the support? Thanks ladies!
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:54 PM
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by Bronze Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:57 PM
Every state is different. If your courthouse doesn't have self help area to get these answers, you may want to try to do a free consultation with an attorney.
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by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 10:48 PM

I can't help on the seperation issue because I filed for divorce right away. But I can tell you how cs went. But keep in mind that every state is different and every case is different. But I filed for divorce in August 8th. We had our first hearing 3 weeks later. My attorney asked what kind of visitation I wanted him to have (so be ready with that). Our case was differnet because I also needed a restraining order (he admitted to beating me). But anyway the attorney went back and forth for a few minutes until we agreed on the terms of visitation. We also agreed to an initial monthly payment of 400 per month in cs, to be revisitied in 3 months. (400 was based on minimun wage to give him time to get on his feet). And that was it. We spoke to the judge for less than 5 minutes and we were done. 

The real battle came later. I never went back to court to increase his support (why bother, he wasn't going to pay anyway). The state decided to go after him a year later (because my kids were getting state health ins). He fought and appealed every step of the way. I wasted several days of sick time sitting in court, listening to him (via phone conference) whine about how it's not fair. 

It's different for everyone. But if you don't mind, here is a little advise since you havent left yet. 

1. Get a copy of all important documents, his paystubs, insurances, birth certificates, marriage certs, his drivers lic(came in handy for me b/c he claimed we were residents of the state I filed in), savings and checking balances, and any financial info (stocks etc). Once you split, it can be hard to put everything together. You should both have a copy of everything. 

2. Try to leave on good terms, it makes everything easier. 

3. Try to keep him involved with the kids right from the start, it wasn't possible in my case, but it would have been nice. 

4. Decide right from the beginning, everything you want in the custody agreement, add in everything you can think of. Make it as detailed as possible, it will make it easier for you, your ex and your kids in the future. It can be hard to change custody later, so it is in both of your interests to be detailed. 

Best of luck. 

by on Jun. 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

bump for more eyes I'm sorry i was never married no clue

by on Jun. 22, 2013 at 12:34 PM

Here's what I wish WE had done.

I wish we had sat down and decided how we wanted to reorganize our lifes.  Try a week or more of it.  Take notes about what works and doesn't.  Draw up a new plan and take that plan to the lawyer and ask the lawyer to file all of the legal forms but don't let the lawyer into the design of your family.   It takes good communication.  If you are fighting, that's difficult.  Try writing a note... "Here's what I want to do"... and set a day to talk about it without lawyers.  If you go to a lawyer, try one who will mediate before filing. 

Try to listen to your heart and make decisions based on how to make a peaceful future.  Try to disregard stories of how much someone got in support, or how to work the system...   

Just call me by my Indian name "head in the clouds"   :) 

by on Jun. 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Go see a lawyer.

Don't think you can do this without a lawyer.  You can, but you shouldn't.

I would not reccommend filing for separation.  You will pay to legally separated and then after a year, if you need to get divorced, you'll just pay more.  Skip legal separation.  If you need to take care of custody and support issues, file for divorce unless you actually think you guys will work it out.

Tell the lawyer you see that you need to file for divorce, temporary custody and child support.  Pay the lawyer to take care of it for you.

Don't say "I can't afford a lawyer."  You can't afford not to have a lawyer during a time like this.  I make no money and I would never go through custody/support/divorce issues without one.  A lawyer looks out for your best interests.  I took out loans to pay mine.  You can get loans from the bank or a cash advance place.  Initial consultations are free.  Even if you don't hire a lawyer, at least go consult with one to get you in the right direction.

by on Jun. 27, 2013 at 4:07 PM

When I divorced my ex I consulted an attorney.  He filed papers on my behalf.  In my state filing fee was $175.  Once my attorney filed my ex was notified of the separation.  Then I sat down with my atty and wrote out a settlement agreement with my ex.  I had all of my financials in order, a credit check done (for free), and looked at all the money he owed me that I wanted him to be responsible for.  I didn't want his retirement and I asked for the home.  Everything in order financially is all you need to do when divorcing. 

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