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Although you have approximately one year to your trial date from the filing/service of the Summons and Petition, it is not as long as you think. There is much preparation before and during the divorce process that you need to address. Not everyone uses professional help. Some obtain their divorce without even the help of an attorney. Obviously this is very risky. Generally, the more professional help you have the more prepared you are. Below is a visual provided by the financial advisor Kathleen Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org, Telephone: 425/451-1519). The visual outlines the distinct stages of divorce with suggestions as to what you should be doing at each stage.
Note: Look below at Kathleen's Implementation column. You should have planned all of the elements listed there before your final divorce. If you go to trial you may not get what you were prepared to receive so further planning may be necessary post-dissolution.
The Integrated Divorce Process: A Team Approach to Divorce Settlement.
(This link opens a Word Document)
The following are some of the professionals commonly used to help people get through their divorce:
It is fairly obvious that divorce attorneys help you through the divorce legal process including advice as to the law and procedure;
Estate planning attorneys provide new roles and estate planning now that your family situation is changing;
Sometimes other attorneys such as tax or business attorneys will be used to assist with particular issues for example complex legal business or tax questions;
CPA's for all tax issues and all stages of divorce (there are many tax issues in divorce);
To help you plan for your future in the job market or to use as an expert witness to explain to the trier of fact why something should or should not be expected of you;
Real Estate Appraisers for valuing the family home and other real estate;
For example, when either party operates or has a significant interest in a business;
Mortgage Brokers are used to advise how and under what circumstances you can finance your new home;
Financial Advisors suggest what you may need to achieve during your divorce to obtain your financial goals and how to manage your assets once your divorce is over.