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Divorce Resources

Resource links

General Website Search Tip
Because the internet changes daily, consider typing in key divorce words such as "divorce mediation", "child custody", "child support" along with the name of your state to get state-specific information.

Legal Information
How to Learn the Laws in Your State
Legal Self-Help and Research
Computerized Databases
Retirement Plans or 401(k)
Stock and Other Investments
Real Estate Sites
Asset Searches
Divorce Information
Useful Divorce Websites
Useful California Divorce Websites
Preparing to Divorce in California
Dealing With Conflict
Public Records Databases
Finding People
Insurance Information
Health Insurance
Life Insurance
For Adults
For Children
For Parents
Divorce Mediation
What is Divorce Mediation?
Comparing the Costs of Divorce
FAQ about Divorce Mediation
How to Find a Mediator
Preparing for Divorce Mediation
Divorce and Parenting Support
Divorce Support Groups
Parenting Classes/Groups
Domestic Violence
Financial Information
Credit Cards
Helpful Financial Calculators
Financial Planning and Financial Planners
Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
Online Loans and Banking
Government Information
Estate Planning
Children’s Issues and Custody Sites
Custody Planning
College Planning
Attorneys (Los Angeles Area)
Attorney Referrals and Attorney Associations
Low Income Divorce Services

Your divorce advisor newsletters

Legal information

How To Learn the Laws in Your State
  • Consult a knowledgeable family lawyer on an hourly basis
  • Visit your local law library, public library, or law school library
  • Martindale-Hubbell, a legal publication which lists lawyers by geographic area and specialty also contains a digest of each state's laws. These books can be found at most local libraries as well as law libraries and online
  • Check the internet A huge database of legal topics can be found at Cornell Law School's legal research site
  • Direct links to the law of each of the 50 states
  • Many local bar associations and court clerk's offices maintain a list of state-specific and local resources, as well as not-for-profit divorce assistance organizations
  • Consult with your local Legal Aid society
  • Beware of well-meaning friends and family who have gone through a divorce who offer you advice. Their information could be inaccurate, outdated, or inappropriate for your situation.
Legal Self-Help & Research
The premier self-help law site is run by Nolo Press, a company dedicated for the past 28 years to helping individuals navigate the sometimes murky waters of the law. Find do-it-yourself kits for things such as divorce and estate planning, and a comprehensive site on many topics. Nolo press is known for its accuracy, and its products are typically very trustworthy.

A huge database of legal topics to help with your research can be found at Cornell Law School's great legal research site. They also have direct links to the law of each of the 50 states.

A comprehensive site with links to attorney and legal-research-oriented topics is All

Check out your lawyer at, a site sponsored by Martindale Hubbell, the nation's leading directory of lawyers. Attorneys are listed by specialty and geographic area, among other choices. Because Martindale is a paid subscription service, however, many smaller firms aren't listed.

Computerized Databases
You can use computerized databases such as Lexis and Westlaw, but they are expensive.

Some libraries may offer this service as well as CD Roms such as LawDesk to search the names of lawyers, judges, and witnesses. Simply type the person's name into the search field, and see if their name appears in any cases. You can then read that judge's decisions, or cases in which the attorney was involved.

Divorce information

Useful Divorce Websites DivorceNet is the Internet's largest divorce resource, offering state-specific articles, an online community and a nationwide directory of divorce lawyers, mediators and financial professionals. Divorce Headquarters is a source for divorce issues including alimony, child support, child custody, visitation, separation agreements, financial, divorce attorneys, divorce mediators, divorce services, free child support calculator, and more. Divorce Central offers help, support, and information, and the opportunity to communicate with others who are in various stages of decision-making, mourning, mediating, settling, litigating, and just plain "dealing' with divorce. Divorce Care provides you with resources to help you deal with the pain and emotions of a divorce. It offers information about local support groups and advice on looking forward and rebuilding your life. Divorce Info is a very comprehensive site with a lot of information on divorce in very simple language. This site covers the legal and emotional aspects of divorce. Because the website has a lot of information, I found that going to the site map [] is a lot easier to quickly navigate through what the site has to offer. Divorce Directory offers a broad range of national and local based services on the web. This site also includes informative statistics and articles on divorce.

Divorce Source The Divorce Source website gives resources, fee based divorce tools, and state based information. Support Scan offers a calculation program on-line to calculate child and temporary spousal support. ($15.00 for the first three calculations and $5.00 each after that). It creates reports you can view or print to predict proper levels of support. It is certified by the California Judicial Council and is admissible in all California family law courts Peace Talks Mediation is a full service mediation law firm that specializes in helping people in Southern California settle their divorce in a sane and sensible manner. This book will change the way you think about divorce. You can get divorced without ruining your life. We know that sounds improbable, if not impossible, but we can show you how to dissolve your marriage and move on without losing your shirt or your sanity-and emerge a better person. This book will change the way you think about divorce. You can get divorced without ruining your life. We know that sounds improbable, if not impossible, but we can show you how to dissolve your marriage and move on without losing your shirt or your sanity-and emerge a better person.

Useful California Divorce Sites
If you are getting divorced in California, you should be aware that California has its own specific laws and procedures. The following websites are helpful in understanding California law and how they apply to your divorce. This link will take you to a one page summary of California divorce laws. This website offers links to California court forms, resources, and information about California divorces.

Preparing to Divorce in California
The Peace Talks Mediation Services, the office of Diana Mercer, co-author of Your Divorce Advisor, has a website with a lot of helpful information on California Divorces. It is a great source for information regarding the process of divorce.

Dealing with Conflict
Conflict before, during and after a divorce is inevitable. Yet, if the conflict continues, you will never be able to reach an agreement. This helpful article tells us what we should keep in mind when facing conflict and arguments.

Public Records Databases
Public records database search charges pay-as-you-go. offers a background-oriented public records search (such as where someone's lived, and whether they lived with someone else) for $20-$40

Criminal Records database search: costs $25-$45

Sources Resources is an online investigation services, which, for a fee, will find out almost anything on almost anyone, including sending an investigator in person to check land records or court documents.

You can also try public records database, asset, and people searches through a number of other sites

Finding People
You can find a person with a name and address of the person behind the phone number with online reverse telephone directories, including:

The United States Post Office offers a zip code directory which works well for finding a specific address from partial information.

You can also use computerized databases such as Lexis and Westlaw (available online, for a fee. Some libraries may offer this service free of charge) and CD Roms such as LawDesk to search the names of lawyers, judges, and witnesses. Simply type the person’s name into the search field, and see if their name appears in any cases. You can read that judge’s decisions, or cases in which the people specified were involved in.

Credit Reports

Credit Reports
Experian, NCAC,
PO Box 2106
Allen, TX
(800) 397-3#742

Trans Union
PO Box 403
Springfield, PA
(800) 916-8#800
(800) 888-4#213

PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
(800) 685-1#111


What is Divorce Mediation?

Comparing the Costs of Divorce: Keeping the Cost Down in Divorce Proceedings

FAQ about Divorce Mediation

How To Find A Mediator
If you are located in the Southern California area, please give Peace Talks Mediation Services a call. Peace Talks Mediation Services is the mediation office of Diana Mercer, co-author of Your Divorce Advisor. Please contact us at to (310) 301-2#100

If you are not in Southern California, there are several mediator organizations that can refer you to a local mediator in your area:

The Association of Conflict Resolution is a national professional organization dedicated to enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. They offer "referrals' for mediators in your area.

The Southern California Mediation Association is a local organization to which offers referrals for mediators in the Southern California area.

Preparing for Divorce Mediation

Financial information

Credit Cards
You will want to double check that all your joint credit card accounts are closed, and for $40 will give you a credit report from each of the 3 credit reporting agencies along with tips on how to improve your credit score.

You'll also want to check before you apply for a loan.

Helpful Financial Calculators
How much will your savings be worth in 10 years? How much must you put aside now for your children's college education? How can you figure out a budget? How long will it take to pay off your debt? Financial calculators can help you figure out all of this in a matter of minutes. Below are several of the best and most comprehensive financial calculator sites.

Retirement Plans or 401(k)
Pension Appraisers is a national pension appraisal and Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) drafting firm. For a reasonable cost, they can do a pension appraisal or draft your QDRO paperwork.

Find the pros and cons of Roth IRA's at

Stocks & Other Investments
You can use these sites to keep track of your investments, and to get up-to-the minute values on your stocks and mutual funds provides easy access to stocks and investments, and permits you to personalize a portfolio online. is a comprehensive money management site focused on stocks and investments

Top sites for stock brokers and online trading can be found at Schwab, Harris Direct, e-Trade, Morgan Stanley and Value Line, one of the top companies devoted to stock analysis. Find bond information at

You can use these sites to estimate the current values of your stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Use the history features to decide which are worth keeping, which are worth giving up, and which need to be sold.

For tracking and selecting mutual funds, try, the ratings people,, and To know when to sell, try Fund Alarm, at

Financial Planning and Financial Planners
Decipher financial terms and learn the basics of financial planning at

Your divorce financial settlement needs to be more than 50/50 or fair according to the law. It needs to be the best decision for you and your future family, taking into consideration investment priorities as well. We suggest that you see an accountant or financial planner as part of your divorce.

We can refer you to a local accountant or financial planner by calling our office at (310) 301-2#100

The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts also has referrals of certified analysts that you can look for by zip code, city, or state.

Another source for finding a financial planner would be through the Association of Divorce Financial Planners website. Their members practice in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
Start with the source itself the The IRS has a surprisingly easy-to-use and straightforward site. You can download forms, search advise sections, and even e-mail questions.

Other useful tax planning and tip sites include, and, and

Online Loans and Banking
Find just about every personal finance topic on, from car loans, credit cards, mortgages, and money market funds.

Check out the best rate for mortgages in all 50 states at

Apply for mortgages online at and

Citibank's Online Bank is a full service, online bank, providing loan information and financial calculators.

Real Estate Sites
Online sites may be helpful in determining an estimate of your house's value, but always seek out a qualified appraiser before you make any final decisions about your divorce.

Get a ball park value of your home at
Find that new house at, or, and figure out how to buy it with help from Nolo Press's site by searching "buying a house". Check out the neighborhood at,

Arrange your move and notify the post office and your magazine subscriptions of your new address with Monster Moving

Asset Searches
Many asset searches charge a fee for their services. Be sure to inquire about the fees prior to utilizing such services. Because online businesses are difficult to monitor, be very wary. Neither the authors nor the publisher of Your Divorce Advisor endorse or encourage the use of such services. If you decide to use a service and would like to provide feedback (positive or negative), we'd love to include it on our site. If you have other suggestions for sites you've used, we'd love to hear them. E-mail us at

That said, the most reputable and reasonably priced service around seems to be Choice Point, which has access to many public records databases. Contact them on the web or phone (888) 333-3#365

The Kelly Blue Book is the standard source for valuing automobiles.

Government Information
Social Security Administration: You can use this site to check you and your spouse’s social security benefits and estimate your retirement income.

IRS Internet Address:

Estate Planning
Your Divorce will make you and your spouse's wills obsolete! Make a new estate plan as soon as you are able.

Peace Talks Mediation Services, the mediation office of Diana Mercer, co-author of Your Divorce Advisor can refer you to a qualified local estate planning attorney. Give us a call (310) 301-2#100 or email us at

Get a referral to a qualified estate planning lawyer at the official web site of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Double check your pick at to see if she or he is listed with Martindale Hubbell, the leading publisher of legal directories. Lawyers are listed by geographical area and specialty.

Prepare for your appointment with this estate planner by using the forms and tips on

Don't forget Nolo Press's do-it-yourself estate planning kits and information.

Insurance information

Health Insurance
If you have health insurance through your spouse’s employer, you’ll be eligible to stay on that coverage at your own expense (or your spouse’s expense) for up to 35 months through COBRA coverage. The problem is that COBRA coverage is typically very expensive.

You may want to shop around for health insurance before finalizing your divorce. Our office can recommend you to an insurance broker if you’ll give us a call. You can also check, a web site that helps people shop for health insurance.

Life Insurance
Find reasonable life insurance quotes through,, or

You can get a quote on line at and on numerous other web sites as well as through insurance brokers. Amica Life Insurance has also recently dropped their rates for level term insurance. You can contact them at or (800) 234-5#433.


There are several divorce books on the market that are filled with helpful tips, information, and insight. Of course, Your Divorce Advisor, is terrific, but there are also some other great books on the subject. Here are few of our favorites:

For Adults

Your Divorce Advisor Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce, by Diana Mercer and Marsha Kline Pruett. Fireside, 2001

Getting Divorced Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life: A Reasoned, Practical Guide to the Legal, Emotional and Financial Ins and Outs of Negotiating a Divorce Settlement, by Sam Margulies. Fireside, Revised and Updated Edition 2001

Using Divorce MediationUsing Divorce Mediation: Save Your Money & Your Sanity, by Katherine E. Stoner. Nolo, 2nd edition 2004

Divorce MoneyDivorce & Money: How to Make the Best Financial Decisions During Divorce by Violet Woodhouse and Dale Fetherling. NOLO, 7th edition 2004

For Children

Dinosaurs DivorceDinosaurs Divorce: A Guide For Changing Families (Paperback) by Marc Brown and Laurie Krasny Brown. Marc Brown, Reprint Edition 1988

Koko BearIt's Not Your Fault, Koko Bear: A Read-Together Book for Parents & Young Children During Divorce by Vickie Lansky and Jane Prince. Book Peddlers,1998

For Parents

HouseMom's House, Dad's House: Making Two Homes for Your Child by Isolina Ricci. Fireside, Revised Edition 1997

Emotional Life of the ToddlerEmotional Life Of The Toddler by Alicia F. Lieberman, Free Press, Reprint Edition 1995

Divorce and parenting support

If you are in the Southern California area, the Peace Talks Mediation Services office can refer you to several local therapists who have been recommended to us by clients, who we've studied with, or who we know professionally. Please email us at or give us a call at (310) 301-2#100 if we can provide you with this information.

Also, you may want to look on the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists' referral website.

The Family and Marriage Counseling Directory will also provide you with referrals for marriage and family counseling therapists in your local area.

Divorce Support Groups
Divorce support groups have been growing in popularity. They are often offered at your local church or community center. One of the oldest divorce support groups in the Los Angeles area is Divorce Dialogue. Divorce Dialogue is a support group for men and women who are separated, divorced, or considering either.

Parenting Classes/Groups
The Early Childhood Parenting Center located in Los Angeles runs six different types of parenting groups, with the goal of promoting parenting skills and increasing the joys of parenting.

If you don't live in the Los Angeles area, go to which provides various resources for parents and children in specific areas. The Breakthrough Parenting program equips parents with the tools to effectively communicate and create healthy relationships with their children. This organization has created an online interactive game for parents to take a timeout from their conflict to consider 100 Commitments they could make to their children in periods of conflict and stress.

Children have critical needs during times of high stress, such as a divorce. Parents can effectively meet those needs when they arm themselves with the knowledge and tools necessary to protect their children. On this site, the 'life jackets' section has great articles for parents with children.

Domestic Violence
The American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence has developed two brochures on developing a safety plan, one for adults, and one for children.

Children's issues and custody sites

Custody Planning
The Parental Plan Checklist found on the Peace Talks Mediation Services website, will help you to get a comprehensive idea of what Parental Plans should cover.

Also, you will be able to view a Sample of a Parental Plan here.

Also, read about what to expect and keep in mind when the Custody of Your Child or children will be a contested issue in your divorce here.

The Peace Talks Mediation Services website also has a helpful chart to organize Holiday Parenting Schedules. Also included are helpful tips in creating this plan.

An insightful article in helping parents to deal with the sense of loss when your child or children leave to visit the other parent, can be found here.

Create your own calendar with, an internet calendar which you can create and use online. It's easy to navigate and includes lots of graphics, which makes it fun to share with your kids. Printouts make it easy to keep everyone's schedule straight.

You may also wish to check out the Children's Rights Council, dedicated to maintaining parental contact between divorced parents and their children.

College Planning
Help your child shop for schools at Princeton Review, the test prep company. Kaplan also has a decent site.

Learn more about different colleges, SAT and ACT prep, financial aid, and scholarships here. Register for the SAT's at College Boards On-Line.

Comprehensive financial aid information can be found at This site also includes tips for maximizing your eligibility, financial calculators and loan comparisons.

If the financial aid numbers are too daunting, investigate scholarships at

Find the Free Application for U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid here.


Attorneys (Los Angeles Area)
We, at Peace Talks, have a good referral list of attorneys and can make a recommendation based on what you need. Please call (310) 301-2#100 or email us at so that we may be able to provide this information to you.

Attorney Referral Organizations and Attorney Associations
Los Angeles County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Panel: (213) 627-2#727

Beverly Hills Bar Association (310) 553-4#022

American Bar Association Family Law Section: This website is for the national organization for family lawyers.

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers: This website is a good source for finding the most experienced litigation attorneys.

Low Income Divorce Services
Levitt and Quinn Family Law Center, LLC (213) 482-1#800

Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law: (213) 388-7#515

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles: (323) 801-7#989

Forbes Magazine, Fall 1999
Your Divorce Advisor, Fireside, this site updated 8/2005