Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to surviving divorce
The complete idiot's guide to surviving divorce
Weintraub, Pamela.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxi, 358 pages : 24 cm
Subject Term:
Added Title:
Surviving divorce.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Anna M. Reinstein Library KF535 .W42 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Provides advice for making the painful experience of divorce as painless as possible. The book offers legal, financial and emotional advice and support for dividing marital assets; deciding if mediation or in-court settlement is appropriate; and breaking the news to your children.

Author Notes

Pamela Weintraub and Terry Hillman are cofounders of Divorce Central, an online service on divorce. Ms. Weintraub is a published author and editor of OMNI Internet. Ms. Hillman owns a business that produces multimedia educational programs. They both live in New York.
Elayne J. Kesselman is a New York City attorney whose practice is dedicated to matrimonial law.

Table of Contents

Part 1 Making the Decisionp. 1
1 Saving Your Marriage: When There's Hopep. 3
The Most Difficult Decision You Will Ever Makep. 4
Resolving Conflicts and Saving Your Marriagep. 5
Point of No Returnp. 7
When Is It Over?p. 8
Don't Burn Your Bridges: Be Absolutely Certainp. 8
When Divorce Is Urgentp. 9
2 Planning for Divorcep. 13
Think Before You Actp. 13
When It Comes as a Shockp. 20
3 Love in Ruinsp. 27
Breaking the Newsp. 28
Oh, the Agony!p. 28
Separation: Beginning of the End or a New Beginning?p. 29
Deconstruction: Separation as the First Stepp. 30
The Value of Separationp. 30
Surviving Forced Togethernessp. 32
4 When There's No Turning Backp. 35
Where to Begin the Endp. 35
Gathering Your Financial Documentsp. 36
The Price of Dating Before the Divorcep. 37
Hiring a Private Eyep. 38
Reviewing Your Prenuptial Agreementp. 39
Starting the Divorce Actionp. 40
Working Out a Settlement Agreementp. 40
Part 2 Navigating the Lawp. 43
5 How to Find and Retain an Attorneyp. 45
Why a Lawyer Might Be Essentialp. 45
How to Choose the Best Lawyer for Youp. 46
Your First Meetingp. 47
Fees and Billingp. 47
It's a Small World, After Allp. 48
Good Referral Sourcesp. 48
The Fox, the Shark, and the Lamb: A Look at Legal Stylesp. 49
How to Interview a Lawyerp. 50
You're Hired!p. 54
6 Your Lawyer's Obligations to Youp. 55
Great Expectationsp. 55
What Your Lawyer Should Be Doing and Whenp. 56
Crossing the Linep. 58
What Your Attorney Needs to Knowp. 59
How and When to Talk to Your Lawyerp. 59
How to Annoy a Lawyerp. 60
When to Fire Your Lawyerp. 60
7 Paying the Billp. 63
Why Legal Representation Is So Costlyp. 63
How Matrimonial Lawyers Chargep. 64
Before You Put Your Money Downp. 65
The Retainer Agreement: The Fine Printp. 66
Who Pays for What?p. 68
Twelve Tips for Keeping Fees Under Controlp. 68
How to Tell Whether Your Lawyer's Charges Are Legitimatep. 70
Getting Your Money's Worthp. 70
8 The Art of the Deal: Settling Your Case Out of Courtp. 73
"No-Fault" Divorcep. 73
Quick and Easyp. 74
Not So Quick and Easyp. 74
Working Through the Issuesp. 75
What Happens When the Settlement Is Reached?p. 79
The Cost of a Quick Divorcep. 80
Your Lawyer's Rolep. 81
The Default Divorcep. 81
9 The Circle of Mediationp. 83
Gentle Tacticsp. 83
Advantages of Mediationp. 84
When Mediation Works Bestp. 85
When to Avoid Mediationp. 86
Choosing a Mediatorp. 87
Mediation as a Processp. 89
All About Arbitrationp. 91
10 Taking Your Case to Courtp. 93
Here Comes the Judgep. 93
Behind Closed Doors: How Judges Resolve Issuesp. 94
How to Impress the Judgep. 94
Going Through the Motionsp. 95
The Discovery Zonep. 96
Trials and Tribulations: Your Day in Courtp. 97
Judicial Biasp. 98
Family Court Versus Civil Courtp. 102
You're in the Army Nowp. 102
Should You Appeal?p. 103
11 When Divorce Turns Viciousp. 105
The Nightmare Beginsp. 107
Harassmentp. 107
Order of Protectionp. 107
Serving the Orderp. 108
When an Order of Protection Is Not Enoughp. 109
12 Closing the Book on Your Casep. 111
When the Judgment Is Finalp. 112
After the Judgment Has Been Enteredp. 112
Your Benefitsp. 112
Changing Your Namep. 113
Modifying the Divorce Decreep. 113
How Remarriage Alters Thingsp. 114
What If You Lose Your Job?p. 115
When Your Ex Does Not Complyp. 115
Bidding Your Lawyer Adieup. 117
Part 3 The Economics of Divorcep. 119
13 Dividing It Upp. 121
The Art and Science of Divisionp. 122
Variations in State Lawp. 122
Fairness Under the Lawp. 122
Re-Learning Long Divisionp. 123
Dividing the Family Businessp. 127
Leave No Stone Unturnedp. 128
Toward Financial Resolution: A Worksheet Approachp. 129
14 Spousal Supportp. 139
The Who, When, and How Much of Maintenancep. 139
Safety Net for the Homemakerp. 140
Rules of Thumbp. 141
What's Fair? Coming Up with a Numberp. 141
You Can't Always Get What You Want, but You'll Get What You Needp. 142
Getting the Best Dealp. 143
When Circumstances Changep. 145
15 Child Supportp. 147
Understanding Child Supportp. 147
A Review of the Lawp. 150
What's Fair?p. 151
When a Parent Is in Defaultp. 155
When You Think You're Paying Too Muchp. 156
When You're Not Receiving Enoughp. 157
Insurance and Healthcare for Your Childrenp. 157
16 Managing Your Money Solop. 159
Expect Your Financial Situation to Changep. 159
Sharing the Responsibilities of Your Former Lifep. 160
Maintaining the Homesteadp. 161
Taking Stock of Your Financesp. 161
Looking for Workp. 162
Developing a Credit Historyp. 162
Handling Your Debtsp. 163
Devious Ways a Divorcing Spouse Might Hide Assetsp. 164
Up for Sale: Divesting Your Assets to Make Ends Meetp. 165
Selling Your Housep. 165
Living Within Your Meansp. 166
Part 4 Focus on the Childrenp. 169
17 What Does Custody Really Mean?p. 171
Negotiating Custodyp. 172
Custody Is Not Ownershipp. 172
When You Lose Custodyp. 173
Joint Versus Sole Custodyp. 174
Determining the Primary Residencep. 175
When a Mother Decides to Give Up Custodyp. 176
Custody Issues When Conflict Is Out of Controlp. 177
18 Breaking the Newsp. 181
When to Tell Your Childrenp. 181
How to Tell Your Childrenp. 182
What to Tell Your Childrenp. 182
When a Parent Moves Far Awayp. 185
Helping Children Deal with Intense Emotion and Painp. 185
19 Coparenting and Visitationp. 189
When Parents Live Apartp. 189
All About Attitudep. 190
Age-Appropriate Visitationp. 192
Scheduled for Successp. 194
If at First You Don't Succeedp. 196
Keeping the Joy in Holidays Despite the Divorcep. 197
Long-Distance Parentingp. 198
Managing Visitation in High-Conflict Situationsp. 198
20 Two Parents, Two Homesp. 203
Through the Eyes of a Childp. 203
Transitional Tool Kitp. 205
Six Strategies for Helping Your Kids with Changep. 205
Making the Exchange Smoothlyp. 206
Children Who Fight Visitationp. 207
21 Single Parentingp. 213
A New Beginning: Just You and the Kidsp. 213
If You Are the Custodial Parentp. 214
If You Are the Noncustodial Parentp. 216
The Ultimate Balancing Act: Parenting, Work, and a Life of Your Ownp. 218
Needs Water and Sunlight: Nurturing Your Kidsp. 220
22 Redefining the Familyp. 223
Math for Kids of Divorce: When Two Is Less Than One (Home)p. 224
Helping Your Kids Accept Your New Spousep. 224
The Dynamics of the Stepfamilyp. 225
How to Make Your Children Feel Welcome in Your New Familyp. 227
Shifting Sands: Different Homes, Different Rulesp. 228
How Stepparents See Itp. 230
Half-Siblings, Stepsiblings, and the New Babyp. 230
Part 5 Getting On with Your Lifep. 233
23 Facing Your Feelingsp. 235
The Heart of Darknessp. 236
Into the Lightp. 236
A Life of Your Ownp. 237
Rediscovering Your Sense of Selfp. 238
Now That It's Over, It's Okay to Feel Madp. 240
Dealing with Feelings of Guiltp. 241
The Life You Left Behindp. 241
Letting Go and Moving Onp. 242
When Doubt Lingersp. 243
How to Be Friends with Your Exp. 244
24 Learning to Live Alonep. 247
A Room of One's Own: Finding a New Place to Livep. 247
Pack Up, You're Outta Therep. 248
The Art of Divesting: Shedding the Baggagep. 249
Discover Your Own Stylep. 250
Life Skills 101: Basic Trainingp. 250
Rites of Passage: When New Rituals Enrich Your New Lifep. 252
Flying Solop. 253
25 The Ties That Bind: Family and Friendsp. 255
When You Can't Let Go of the In-Lawsp. 256
Helping Children Maintain Family Tiesp. 257
His, Hers, Ours: Who Keeps the Friends?p. 258
Don't Hold On When Friendships Must Changep. 258
Your New Circle of Friendsp. 259
Married Friends: Friends Just the Samep. 259
Joining In and Branching Outp. 260
When Your Career Can Jump-Start Your Lifep. 260
26 Looking for Love in All the Right Places: Taking Another Chance on Romancep. 263
Coming Out of Your Shellp. 264
Experimental Datingp. 264
When the Idea of a Real Relationship Finally Feels Rightp. 266
Be Prepared to Spend Some Time Looking for "the One"p. 266
Where to Go, What to Dop. 267
A Word About Dating Servicesp. 268
Dating for the Millenniump. 269
Keep Your Coolp. 271
Focusing In: Loving Againp. 272
Don't Make the Same Mistake Twicep. 273
The Second Time Aroundp. 275
Planning Your Prenupp. 276
Out with the Old, in with the Newp. 277
A The Complete Divorce Lexiconp. 281
B The Divorce Network: A Guide to Divorce Organizationsp. 287
Children and Divorcep. 287
Legal Resourcesp. 289
Single Parentsp. 290
Moms and Divorcep. 291
Domestic Abusep. 291
Dads and Divorcep. 293
Blended Family Supportp. 294
Financial Resourcesp. 294
Psychological Supportp. 295
C Suggested Readings and Online Resourcesp. 297
Books and Magazine Articlesp. 297
Divorce Online: Make the Connectionp. 307
D A Guide to Divorce Laws on the World Wide Webp. 309
A General Guide to Divorce Law on the Internetp. 309
A State-by-State Roadmap to Divorce Laws and Legal Resources on the Internetp. 311
E Sample Settlement Agreementp. 327
Indexp. 345

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