Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ouch, this hurts! Easing the stress & pain of divorce with a support group.

"I recently separated from my spouse. So far things are amicable but I have a lot anxiety regarding the legal process and how it will work with two separate households and three kids"

"Private therapy is too expensive but I'd really like to do some self-work so I don't end up with the same type of guy as the jerk I was married to"

"My wife just announced that she wants a divorce, I'd like some support from people that are not connected to the both of us (e.g. friends, family). I'd like a group setting, where I can share and participate -- and hopefully learn from others' experience"

"I am angry, confused and overwhelmed. I don't know anyone else who is struggling with the same issues."

"I am a professional in my 40's with two very young kids. My spouse just announced his/her plans for divorce. S/he has been thinking about this for months -- planning where we would live, where the kids would go to school, and how things will be paid for. I don't even know where to begin. Help!

There are several Divorce / Separation Support Groups in the Bay Area. Below are a few resources that have been raved about by some of our former clients. I don't care who you are -- when you go through a painful separation, it is helpful to gain the support of others. No matter your resources or your situation, Divorce is not fun and can feel very alienating. A Support Group is a great option to assist you with transition, as you are faced with a whole new way of living!

-Separation/Divorce Support Group by Susan Regan
999 Sutter Street                                                                                      Every Tuesdays                                     5:30PM-7:00PM
San Francisco, CA. 94109                                                                     $60.00
(415) 800- 1185                                                                                                            All Genders

-Women and Divorce by Dr. Mary Thomas
2241 Central Ave. Ste. 1                                                                       Every Wednesdays          
Alameda, CA. 94501                                                                               $40-$50
(510) 470-7238                                                                                                             Genders: Female

-Woman’s Relationship/Separation/Divorce/Support Group by Illana Berger, PhD.
 Mindful Partnership/Mindful Divorce                                       Times Vary
 1832 Gouldin Road                                                                                 Call for Rates
 Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 759-8758 

-Divorce/Separation Support Group for Women
2315 Prince St.                                                                                           Thursdays                              6:30PM-8:00PM                
Berkeley, CA,                                                                                               $50 (one time reg fee) $50 per session
Topics Center On: Loneliness and Unmet Needs, Grief and Loss, Anxiety, Guilt and Shame, Decision Making, Children and Parenting, Rebuilding and Self Care
Another website you can visit is: http://www.meetup.com/ there you can find, and/or start a variety of support groups from self-help to divorce and grief groups, at the location of your choice.

Alameda County Divorce Support Groups:
-Christian Life Center 4121 Lowry Road Fremont, CA 94555
Contact: Roger McCarthy                                                  Phone: 510-489-3265
-Neighborhood Church 20600 John Drive Castro Valley, CA 94546
Contact: Nancy Mathiasen                                              Phone: 510-537-4690
-Trinity Baptist Church 557 Olivina Ave. Livermore, CA 94550
Contact: Tom Walsh                                                             Phone: 510-447-1848

Kelly Cushner and Mara Rosen Nachtsheim have small groups that meet on College Avenue in Rockridge.   

Here is the link:   http://bayareasupportgroups.com

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Why Computer Generated Divorce Documents Suck

In the last six months, several people have come to me requesting that I 'fix' their divorce after an online document preparer screwed up their case. They thought the (legal) aspect of their divorce would be painless, quick and cheap. They purchased a "DIY" package from Legal Zoom or the like and had all their documents prepared. Just when they thought it was over, their relatively simple Divorce Judgment was rejected by the court. Prior agreements became unenforceable and in some cases - resulted in the other party 'lawyering up.' They made phone calls (a lot) and spoke to customer service representative after representative -- to no avail. They tried making the changes themselves, after all -- it's not brain surgery right? Right. But the local rules for each jurisdiction can be complicated and difficult to navigate.

Soon, the convenience of an online Divorce Document preparer became more time consuming, expensive and frustrating than ever anticipated. That's where Levine Law Group enters the picture. "Can you please please please push my judgment through so I can finalize my divorce?" 

Every jurisdiction is different. Every Judge is different and interprets local rules and state Family Law codes differently.  If your divorce documents do not meet the procedural requirements, it will not get past the court clerk -- and therefore, it will not be signed (or even seen) by a Judge no matter how simple your divorce is. 

Why not get it right the first time? For as little as $500 - $3,500, we will prepare, file and serve your documents. We will also personally ensure that your divorce is finalized and that you are updated along the way. If you so choose -- everything can be processed and completed online -- using our secure and personalized case management web portal. 

Legal document websites definitely have their place in our lives. But when it comes to filing a legal action --- you're probably better off with a local paralegal / document preparation service who has an attorney to oversee any issues and approve all documents and a staff to ensure your experience is nothing less than convenient, affordable and friendly. The last thing anyone needs when their going through the trauma of a break up -- is learning that your divorce was never finalized or the agreements made between spouses are not enforceable in your jurisdiction!