Myths about Collaborative Divorce

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Family Law on Tuesday July 12th, 2022.

The benefits of collaborative divorce are numerous. It enables you and your spouse to control the process and make all crucial choices. You can decide where and with whom your children will reside as well as how the marital estate will be divided. The outcome is a customized divorce agreement made by you and your spouse — not a judge.

However, because collaborative divorce is relatively new, a few myths are circulating about the process. This article will bust some of the three biggest ones:

Myth: I need a “bulldog” lawyer

Most people think of divorce as a nasty process and think they need an attorney that is ready to get dirty.

The truth is, you don’t need to pit yourself against your former spouse during the divorce process. While defending you, your collaborative lawyer won’t disparage your spouse. Instead, you, your spouse, and both your lawyers collaborate to find solutions to the problems brought on by your separation.

Myth: We need to be in complete agreement

Like any other divorcing people, couples that go through the collaborative process have arguments and problems in their marriage. Throughout the process, a group of experts will collaborate with you and your spouse to identify practical answers to those issues. The only requirements are your honesty, trustworthiness, and willingness to bargain in good faith to discover solutions that benefit your family.

Myth: Collaborative divorce is expensive

Although a collaborative divorce will cost you money, a contested divorce will cost more. Each spouse typically hires a lawyer and a divorce coach in a collaborative divorce. A financial expert and a child evaluator are two examples of impartial experts that the parties jointly hire. If necessary, mediation sessions can be planned and are also beneficial. While that may sound like a large and expensive team, a collaborative divorce avoids the costs of going to trial.

Is collaborative divorce right for you?

Collaborative divorce can assist you and your spouse with respectfully resolving any differences. You will collectively divide the family’s assets in a way that both parties find acceptable and establish a custody schedule that will pave the way for a successful co-parenting relationship. 

Contact us for a consultation if you would like to discuss the collaborative divorce process further.

The Dangers of DIY Estate Plans

On behalf of The Law Office of Wickersham and Bowers posted in Estate Planning on Tuesday July 12th, 2022.

DIY projects are popular, but is DIY estate planning a good idea? 

Do-it-yourself estate planning has become increasingly popular in recent years — especially since a global pandemic has people worrying about the future in new ways. DIY planning seems like an excellent way to save money. People often think grabbing forms from the internet will be sufficient. However, there are some reasons why this is one area where doing it yourself may not be the best option. 

Does It Meet Your State’s Requirements?

Each state’s estate planning laws are unique, and the rules that apply from year to year can change significantly. Unfortunately, there is no real way to verify if a DIY estate plan you download from the internet complies with your state’s laws, even if it promises to do so. 

Most websites that provide do-it-yourself estate planning disclaim any liability for any paperwork that doesn’t function appropriately after settling your estate. On the other hand, an estate planning law company assumes full responsibility for the documents they design and will be on hand to help if any problems occur. They are available to testify in support of your objectives should it be required. They can review the notes they took during your discussions with your beneficiaries after your death.

It’s More Than Just a Will

Most people mistakenly believe that having a will is all that is necessary to establish an estate plan. Even if you create a DIY will that is legal and complies with state regulations, it’s unlikely that it will be sufficient to meet your estate planning needs. Wills are only one component of a comprehensive estate plan.

Besides, wills are usually not a one-and-done situation.

Wills require updating. You must update your will to reflect any changes resulting from having children, getting married or divorced, or acquiring a sizable sum of money. It will be much simpler for you to make these modifications if a professional is accessible to assist you.

Get the Help You Need

In the end, assurance that your legacy is safeguarded motivates most people to make an estate plan with an expert instead of relying on internet research and DIY forms.