Lessening the effects and making informed decisions requires knowledge. Do not limit yourself to only one source of information. The web offers a number of excellent basic educational resources.While knowledge is power, before proceeding with any legal action, we strongly recommend that you consult with a financial consultant or attorney before proceeding with any legal action that may have tax or legal consequences.
Court administration, mediators or co parenting educators are not allowed to provide legal advice. We recommend that you retain an attorney for divorce proceedings involving custody, division of pension and real estate, large business assets, or other potentially complicated issues. Even if you will be proceeding without an attorney, which is not unusual and is not always difficult to do, you will still benefit from an hour of consultation with an attorney. You can hire an attorney on an hourly basis rather than paying a large retainer fee. There are free attorney services for low income parents through Legal Aid and the Volunteer Attorney Program, but the resource is limited and is difficult to access in our experience.
Mediation processes lessen litigation cost, so the earlier you enter a mediation process the better it may be for you. However, we advise that it is wise to consult an attorney before proceeding with an alternative dispute resolution process (mediation) to ensure the process is effective. Always enter a mediation process with the information you need to make informed decisions. Please check your local listings for attorneys specializing in family law. If you are proceeding with a divorce unrepresented and you choose to a pension division according to marital contribution, the court may require a QDRO. Division of pensions can be complicated and every pension is different. You should check with your plan administrator to see if they provide a service to help you with the division of pension or drafting of the QDRO. Consult with an attorney before proceeding unless one party will be retaining their pension 100%.
Family Support Web Resources
- www.Familieschange.ca - This is an educational website that includes video segments for children, teens and adults. It has a Kids Guide, Grown-ups Guide and a Teen Guide to Parental Separation and Divorce. This is excellent!
- www.focusonthefamily.org - is a Christian website that has a number of resources and information for families, relationships, transitions, and parenting. This is also an excellent resource!
Legal Support Web Resources
- www.childsupport.dhs.state.mn.us - Includes basic explanations of the new child support laws and a web calculator for determining child support under the new guidelines. Requires accurate input of financial income of both parents.
- www.courts.state.mn.us - You can download needed court forms from this site. It also provides other sources of information.
- www.lawhelp.mn.org - Find answers to legal questions and how to contact legal aid offices in your area.
- www.divorcesource.com - Is an excellent research site on various topics related to divorce and tax and financial consequences by state. It is linked to a number of other informational web sites as well.
- www.ourfamilywizard.com - Is a web-based communication service specifically designed for co parenting. It works like a communication notebook through a secure website. It keeps communications within businesslike boundaries, provides a record of communication, and has other helpful tools. We strongly recommend our parenting plan process before use of this product.
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