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From the Editor in Chief

From the Editor in Chief

Kathleen A. Hogan

Involvement in a domestic relations proceeding such as a divorce, child custody dispute, or child support matter represents a period of extraordinary stress. For most people, this is a venture into uncharted territory. The old adage “Don’t sweat the small stuff” really does not apply. There are seemingly countless details, some large and some small, that can cause moments of panic or even sleepless nights. One of the difficulties for the person navigating such a proceeding is that they may not know enough about the process to accurately distinguish between key issues and “the small stuff.” Another reality is that understanding how the process works as to those more minor details may provide not only peace of mind but also an ability to prioritize the focus on the more major areas of concern.

This issue is not intended as a substitute for working with an attorney. Instead it is intended to make your work with your lawyer more efficient by providing basic answers and information on a host of topics that are frequently of concern. Since there are significant state-to-state variations in the principles and procedures applicable to domestic relations proceedings, you will want to consult with your own lawyer to address further questions and the specific circumstances of your own case.

A person embarking on a family law proceeding can sometimes suffer from an information overload. Between well-meaning friends and relatives, the plethora of Internet sources, and the assertions of your spouse or co-parent, the task of sifting the information to find the answers to your specific questions may be daunting. In addition, your most trusted sources may not be accurate in this specialized area. Friends, relatives, hairdressers, bartenders, and others close to you may be more focused on telling you what they think you want to hear instead of telling you what you need to hear.

While you may be involved with a family law proceeding for the first time, you are not alone in the process. Many other people over the years have faced similar situations and had similar questions and concerns. The editors of the Family Advocate and our distinguished panel of contributors have compiled the most frequently asked questions about family law proceedings based on many years of combined experience. This issue is your opportunity to benefit from that shared experience.

For ease of reference, our questions and answers are divided into various categories, each relating to a different area of concern. Not all will be applicable in every case. However, this handbook will provide you with a handy starting point, as well as a ready reference guide as you navigate your family law proceeding.

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Kathleen A. Hogan is a principal with McGuane and Hogan, P.C., in Denver, Colorado, and editor in chief of Family Advocate.