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Not All Divorce Attorneys Are Created Equal

If you’re thinking about dissolving your marriage, finding the right divorce lawyer with adequate experience is a critical step in the process. Not only do you need to hire someone with experience in family law, but also someone who can implement a legal strategy that fits your specific circumstance. As anyone who has gone through the divorce process can tell you, not all attorneys are created equally. The following are things to look for in a divorce lawyer that will help you make the right choice.

The Divorce Process Varies

It’s important that you choose the lawyer that will implement the divorce process you want. During this phase, you’ll decide whether your marriage will be contested or uncontested. If your spouse is agreeable, things can go quite smoothly. If they’re uncooperative, and every single aspect of your divorce is disputed, you’ll want a lawyer with plenty of experience in negotiation. When you talk to prospective lawyers, go over with them what you want out of the divorce.


If you own properties and have a comfortable salary, then yes, splurging on a top-notch divorce lawyer is a good idea. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, have no assets and a ton of debt, then hiring a powerful attorney may not be the best option for you. Even if it feels good in the short term to “stick it to your spouse” with a powerful lawyer, you could end up in bankruptcy court before you know it if they cost beyond what your budget allows.

Setting Realistic Expectations:

A divorce conjures a lot of negative feelings on both sides. When you let anger dictate your approach to a divorce case, things can go wrong quickly without the right legal counsel. If you hire an attorney who will do exactly what you want without advising you along the way, then you are setting yourself up for disappointment and unnecessary emotional and financial turmoil. The bottom line is to hire an attorney that will tell you when you’re making a questionable decision, and in turn, will try to steer you in the most advantageous direction.

The Right Experience

An attorney who doesn’t specialize in divorce and custody matters may not be able to provide competent representation. There are many legal nuances in different types of law, so keep that in mind when searching for a divorce attorney. At a minimum, they should have family law experience, as well as experience in your jurisdiction. An attorney who knows the local rules in your county and is familiar with the rulings of your judge will be able to advise you with a better strategy going forward. 


A divorce will test your emotional, physical, and financial stamina like few other life events can. While there are many things to take into account when you decide you want to dissolve your marriage, finding the right attorney for the proceedings is perhaps the most important thing you can do. For assistance with your family law matter, don’t hesitate to call or visit the professionals at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. Our team is ready and willing to attend to your needs.

The 3 Steps to Take Before Asking for a Divorce


Divorce tends to be a messy, emotional process. It’s easy to let the whole thing turn into a disaster when you have hurt feelings and financial problems getting in the way of the separation. However, there are some steps you can take before you even ask your spouse for a divorce that will make it a less stressful and time-consuming process. This blog post will go over three steps you need to take before asking for a divorce.


Prep Your Paperwork


Divorce relies heavily on documentation. Because of this, it’s important that you get your paperwork in order beforehand. Step one is to gather your paperwork. Here is what you will need:

  • Bank statements, credit card statements, paycheck stubs
  • Paperwork regarding investments, properties, and other assets
  • Medical coverage and insurance information
  • Tax information (tax returns, W-2 forms, etc.)
  • Marriage certificates, prenuptial or post-nuptial agreements
  • Trusts and wills
  • Other documents relevant to you and your marriage

The second step is to organize your documents. The more you organize your own documents, the less you have to pay an attorney to gather and organize them for you. It’s important to do all this before actually asking your spouse for a divorce. Not everyone is going to react favorably – your partner may feel inclined to make it difficult for you to access these documents. It’s better to be safe and obtain this information while you still can. Also, be sure to make a copy of your documents and give them to a trusted friend or family member for safekeeping.


Figure Out Your Finances


Before you even begin the divorce process, you need to understand your finances. Look over your personal accounts and accounts you may share with your spouse. This could include investments, retirement funds, and joint bank accounts. You will need to separate everything from your spouse once the divorce process is in motion, so it’s suggested that you open up new financial accounts that your partner cannot access. Depending on your situation, you may want to wait on this, so consult a financial advisor before doing anything you’re unsure of.

Planning your finances is incredibly important to make sure that you’re able to stay financially stable once you’re separated. To start, put together a simple spreadsheet of your assets and debts. You can’t make a plan until you know what you have and what you owe. Once you understand whether or not your budget is enough to keep you afloat, you can begin thinking of ways to increase your income or decrease your expenses. This will also help you further understand what you and your spouse will split, and how much you can afford to spend on an attorney and the divorce process.

Make a Plan


Getting a divorce is scary, but you can’t do it blindly. There’s a lot to think about after you ask your spouse for a divorce. Are you able to move out of the house if you need to? Would your spouse move out? Do you have enough money to support yourself for a few months if your spouse cuts you off? What about the living situation for your children? What do you want to accomplish for yourself? The sooner you set goals for yourself, both during and after the divorce, the more likely you are to achieve them. Having answers to these questions ahead of time can save you a lot of time and stress during the divorce process.



After you complete these steps and ask your spouse for a divorce, the next step is to find an attorney. Attorneys are educated, experienced professionals that offer you advice and information about what to do in your unique situation. Attorneys come at different experience levels and pricing, so you need to find someone that works with you and your budget.

You need an attorney who will listen to you, understands your goals, and has your best interests in mind. That’s why you should call on Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates! We have the qualifications to handle any divorce case, and we work hard to find the best resolution possible for both parties.


The One Thing You Need to Do Before Moving In With Your Significant Other

It’s no secret that cohabitation, the practice of living with a long-term partner without being married, is a popular lifestyle choice among adults today. Most young people agree that it makes sense to live with their significant other for a period of time before plunging into the commitment of marriage. However, cohabitation still comes with its own risks and that’s why cohabitation agreements were created. Read on to learn about what they are and how they can protect you.

What is a Cohabitation Agreement?

First, let’s define what a cohabitation agreement is; it’s essentially a legal contract that’s made between an unmarried couple that’s deciding to live together. They outline things like the ownership of property and how household costs will be handled. Depending on the couple’s situation, the agreement can be highly specific or fairly loose. Similar to a prenuptial agreement, it allows both parties to walk away with their personal property should the relationship end.

Why Get One?

Now that we have an idea of what a cohabitation agreement is, we’ll outline some of the advantages to having one.

First, it helps you communicate your preferences with your partner. For example, if you insist on a tidy home, you can include terms about how chores like cleaning will be taken care of. Knowing from the get-go how you both feel about these kinds of issues can prevent future arguments and misunderstandings.

Second, you will both know the financial situation that you’re in. Many relationships have dissolved after one partner discovers that the other has debt or bad spending habits that they’ve been hiding. When drawing up your cohabitation agreement, you can see the bank statements and debts that your partner has.

Finally, having a cohabitation agreement can save you from losing personal property or assets if you separate. There will be little to no opportunity for disputes over who owns what. No one likes to think about the possibility of breaking up, but at least you will have peace of mind.


Moving in with that special someone can be both exciting and a little scary. By getting a cohabitation agreement, you can start this new chapter of your life responsibly and with reassurance for the future. Get started today by getting in touch with Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. Visit our website to learn more about how we can help you prepare for a successful life together with your significant other.

When Should I Seriously Consider Filing for Bankruptcy?

A recent survey concluded that over 30 percent of Americans have trouble meeting their financial obligations. Whether you’re mired in student loan or credit card debt, have a mortgage or car loan, or perhaps don’t even have that much debt but still struggle to stay current due to the ever increasing cost of living, perhaps you’ve come to the conclusion that bankruptcy is the option for you. Before you take the first step, it’s important to know what you’re getting into with this extremely serious decision.

Bankruptcy in America:

The U.S. Congress had passed numerous bankruptcy bills since 1800, but the law was always repealed after a few years due to corruption and favoritism toward creditors or debtors. It wasn’t until 1898 that a lasting if not flawed bankruptcy bill was finally agreed upon. The Bankruptcy Act was reformed heavily in 1978 and again in 2005, but still remains intact and functioning.

What is Bankruptcy Exactly?

Bankruptcy is a legal process where you tell a judge that you’re unable to pay your debts. The judge then analyzes your assets and debts with a court trustee to determine whether to liquidate those debts. If they find that you have no reliable means to pay what you owe, you can declare bankruptcy. This declaration will cancel all or most of your debts but doesn’t help with things like student loans, back taxes, and luxury items bought immediately before filing.

Chapter 13, Chapter 7:

When you declare bankruptcy as a consumer, you’ll file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. Chapter 7, which stays on your credit report for 10 years, amounts to the court seizing all your assets so you can pay back as much debt as possible, after which the remaining unpaid balance is erased. This process could result in losing your home and your car at the judge’s discretion. Courts usually only allow Chapter 7 bankruptcy if they determine your income is too low to pay back your debts.

Chapter 13 is when the court supports a plan for you to pay back some of your debt over a 3 to 5 year period. Under this provision, you can keep your stuff and given time to bring your car payments and mortgage up to date. The court also organizes a strict budget for the consumer that’s monitored by the court throughout the repayment period. Chapter 13 stays on your credit report for 7 years.

Drawbacks and Benefits:

If you feel you have exhausted every other option and decide it’s in your best interest to pull the trigger on bankruptcy, it’s important to remember how much it will affect your life in the years to come. With bankruptcy on your credit report, potential employers, businesses, landlords, and basically anyone can see that you’ve declared because of its public domain. If you plan on buying a home, you’ll have to wait sometimes up to 4 years before you qualify for a loan again.

Bankruptcy will erase your debt, and depending on how underwater you are, that may be the best outcome for you overall. It is a way to start anew on a more sustainable financial path and provided you’re willing to be more fiscally responsible, it can drastically increase your standard of living in the long run.


Bankruptcy is serious, and any professional would recommend financial coaching, fixing your budget, taking on a second job, or whatever it takes to avoid filing. Sometimes the circumstances call for drastic solutions. If you have come to the decision you’re going to declare bankruptcy, make a list of every debt you’ve incurred and talk to a reputable lawyer. Better yet, come by the offices of Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates. We will gladly walk you through the process and manage your expectations along the way.

Why Should You Start a Trust?

While death isn’t fun to think about, it is still important to plan for those around you after you pass on. Starting a living trust is a great idea to protect your assets and property. A common debate is whether you should start a will or a trust. Today, we are going to discuss the benefits of starting a trust rather than a will.


Two Types of Trusts

First, there are two kinds of trusts. A revocable trust (also called a living trust) allows your assets to avoid probate after you pass, while allowing you control over these assets while you are alive. This trust offers flexibility, so you have the option to get rid of it at any time. It is not set in stone.

An irrevocable trust is more permanent and doesn’t allow you access to your assets while you are alive. It cannot be dissolved or altered until after you die. However, this makes your assets able to pass by probate and reduce the amount of estate taxes. Also, if your trust assets generate income, you are not subject to tax liability.Trust Fund


The Benefits of a Trust

Now that you know about the two types of trusts, let’s look at the benefits of having a trust. Trusts allow you to specify each and every term, so you can limit what distributions may be made and to whom. If you have a revocable trust, you still have access to your assets during your lifetime, so you have control in that aspect, too. Then, the remaining assets will be distributed accordingly after you pass on.

Trusts help your assets and estate avoid probate, meaning that it can be directly distributed after you pass without any taxes, fees or the hindrance from the court. Probate is public record, so a trust allows your assets to stay private. In addition, trusts protect your wealth and estate from creditors or beneficiaries who are not good at managing money or assets.

Revocable trusts allow you to name your family members or other trusted individuals to have authority over your assets if you somehow become unable to manage your estate – wills do not let you do this.


It is important to have either a trust or a will because without them, your property will be distributed according to the state laws that remain out of your control. However, a lot of people find that a trust works better for them and their specific situation. Your age, wealth, and marital status help determine whether or not you need a trust.

If you need help planning a trust, or if you are trying to figure out if a trust is right for you, contact us at Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates!



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