Chapter 2: The Pre-Divorce Plan: The Secret Steps Every Wife Should Take Before the Divorce
Papers are Filed
Chapter 3: Show Me The Money! Where to Find the Dollars Tangibles and Assets of Your
Chapter 4: Seven Insider Tips on What to Do Once Your Divorce Begins
Chapter 5: Whose Fault is it Anyway? Fault Divorce, No-Fault Divorce and Legal Separation
Chapter 6: How to Shape Up for the Divorce Battle
Chapter 7: From Wedding Ring to Boxing Ring: What to Expect in a Divorce Lawsuit
Chapter 8: How to Navigate Divorce Court: Taking Your Case Through Hearings and Trial
Chapter 9: Don't Cry Out Loud: How to Prevent Emotions from Weakening Your Bargaining
Chapter 10: Getting "Affair" Settlement: Capitalizing on Your Husband's Infidelity
Chapter 11: Croughing Tiger, Hidden Assets: How to Find Missing Money, Assets and Property
Chapter 12: The Quickie: A Do-It-Yourself Divorce
Chapter 13: What's Mine is Mine, What's Yours is Mine: How Property Gets Divided in a Divorce
Chapter 14: To Have and to Hold Onto: Which Assets are Yours to Keep After a Divorce
Chapter 15: Divide and Conquer: A Beginner's Guide to Do-It-Yoursef Property Division
Chapter 16: The Support Report: How Much Alimony and Child Support Will Be Coming Your Way
Chapter 17: Cashing Out: How to Negotiate Like a Pro
Chapter 18: Seven Things To Do Before You Sign Your Divorce Papers
Chapter 19: Case Closed: What to Expect When the Marriage is Officially Over
CHAPTER 1, INTRODUCTION
Half of all married women in America will inevitably ask:
“What do I do now that my marriage is over?”
Because I was a divorce attorney at the time my own marriage was ending, I knew exactly what to do. I had an arsenal of insider’s information to set myself up before the divorce papers were even filed and to ensure my future success on the divorce battlefield. I knew the importance of establishing my own bank account, secretly photocopying our financial records, and staying in the family home while the divorce was under way, no matter how uncomfortable I felt there.
I knew that divorce brings out the worst in people, and that I should keep my “relationship” as amicable as possible, so I could convince my husband to give me what I wanted. I knew to begin working on resolving our issues and dividing our property early in the process, before the divorce became adversarial. I knew it
was crucial for me to treat my husband respectfully—or at least appear to—to gain his cooperation and allow for the divorce to move quickly.
Finally, I knew that I could get through my divorce with less agony and frustration if my husband and I communicated without the assistance of lawyers. There have been some divorce situations where I have seen attorney interference do more harm than good, actually causing communicating couples to permanently shut down contact. That is because once lawyers enter the picture, the entire tone of a divorce changes. I have consoled many clients and friends after their so-called “dependable” husbands hired an attorney and reneged on their initial promises to provide for their spouses after the divorce “at the advice of counsel.” As an ex-wife and a former divorce lawyer, I want women to know that they can take control of their divorces—sometimes eliminating the lawyers from all or part of the process—and plan stable financial futures for themselves and their children.
What I Learned from My Own Divorce
Almost a decade ago, I walked out of my uncomfortable fiveyear marriage and straight into divorce court. As an attorney, I already knew the rules of the game and the tricks of the trade. I applied those rules in my own divorce but treated my husband with dignity and respect, without antagonizing him the way a lawyer typically would. After convincing him that we could handle our divorce on our own, without lawyers, I got the exact settlement I wanted with little bickering.
Everyone we knew was shocked at how well my spouse and I got along during the divorce, considering we barely got along during the marriage. When our no-fault divorce was granted by the judge without delay, arguments, or roadblocks, I walked out of divorce court arm in arm with my exhusband, and we hugged each other good-bye. I have never witnessed a similar sight in all my years of practice. It was at that point that I realized I had a winning formula for a successful divorce outcome that could revolutionize the way women approach the process.
While my experience as an attorney assisted with the paperwork and procedure, the main reason for my divorce success was our ability to eliminate half the battle, most of the nastiness, and all of the expense by handling the process ourselves. By negotiating face-to-face without involving lawyers, my husband saved money that went straight to me as part of my divorce settlement. We were able to work together peacefully to resolve all our issues. And although a do-it-yourself divorce is not for everyone, it will always serve you well to understand the process and take control of as many aspects of your divorce as possible.
Taking Control of Your Divorce, with or Without a Lawyer
He Had It Coming will show you which tasks you may be able to perform on your own, without a lawyer, allowing you to shave big bucks off your legal fees. However, this book should not be used as a substitute for legal counsel in cases where professional expertise is necessary or advisable. If ending your marriage involves complicated legal or financial issues, or requires complex litigation or legal argument, professional legal advice will be needed to prevent you from losing out on your fair share. If your divorce is acrimonious or contested, or you have substantial investments or assets, make sure to consult a local attorney. But even with an attorney handling your divorce case, it’s always helpful to have a greater understanding of the tasks he or she is performing to demystify the divorce process and allow you to proceed with confidence and control. That’s another hidden benefit of having a divorce manual by your side.
For years I have been frustrated that women don’t get their fair share in divorce. This inequity exists because most wives are at a natural disadvantage to their husbands when a marriage dissolves, making it harder for them to come out ahead. We typically have fewer resources to help us fight: smaller paychecks, diminished earning potential due to less time in the workforce and more time at home raising kids, and often lack of control over family finances.
So women need to be as strategic as possible when planning their divorces. To help you accomplish this, I will teach you the secret arrangements every wife should make before the divorce papers are filed, as well as the inside tactics, techniques, and maneuvers that divorce attorneys use to gain the upper hand, both inside and outside the courtroom. Armed with information on how to weather the storm, both emotionally and financially, a soon-to-be-ex-wife can survive even the nastiest legal showdown.
A Divorce Road Map
Divorce is a major event in any woman’s life. Dealing with the loss of a spouse and family unit, and the change in your identity and standard of living is daunting, particularly when you are in a fragile emotional state. The best thing you can do to take care of yourself is to learn everything you can about divorce before you begin the process, and devise a strategic plan to protect your marital assets and preserve your lifestyle. By arming yourself with a divorce road map, you will help shape the course of your own future, rather than leaving your fate to your soon-to-be-ex or a divorce court judge.
For any wife changing her “I do” to an “I don’t,” He Had It Coming will give you the tactical advantage you need to achieve the settlement you deserve. By being proactive and managing your divorce, you will build the confidence you need to outmaneuver your husband and win. Because where once there was courtship . . . now there’s just court.
Stacy Schneider, Esq.