The Law Office of Russell H. Hippe, LLC

Step Two – Establish or Maintain Marital Counseling and Keep a Good CPA in Loop

Obviously, the easiest way to avoid the expense of a divorce is to stay married. If you have tried marriage counseling, try it again.

However, if counseling to save the marriage has been exhausted, and the decision has been made to divorce, especially if children involved, this is not the time to leave therapy. You should ask if your counselor would assist in a "divorce work out". If not, you should ask for a counselor who handles these type of divorce situations. Such a counselor can function as a confidential de facto mediator. As a general rule, in Georgia for example, anything that is said in counseling, provided the counselor is treating both of you as "patients" is privileged. So, you do need to consult your attorney re the confidence of statements made in counseling as applicable in your jurisdiction.

If custody is a point of serious dispute (if you have young children for example and can't agree on fair parenting time), it may be helpful to use the services of a reputable child psychologist to first evaluate the entire family and then make a recommendation within the privacy of a professional relationship. Again, as a general rule, in Georgia for example, voluntary evaluations in which the entire family is the "patient", that are not court ordered, will have the protection of confidence and privilege.

Notwithstanding, during this stressful time, it is critical to have someone to talk to just yourself - a therapist, psychologist or medical Dr. looking out just you. The emotional toll of ending a marriage can be sever. In a divorce, there are significant changes: time with children, households, finances, and financial burdens. It is a lot to deal with even if you can avoid a legal fight.

A trained professional can help you manage the anger, stress, and anxiety surrounding the divorce. (A failure to manage emotion can dramatically increase legal costs.) You should also be mindful of family and friends who may have excessive personal animosity toward your spouse. They should be excluded from influence over important decisions. And, when it comes to making legal decisions, rely solely on your attorney.

Additionally, you should engage a good CPA at the outset of marital problems. The common financial enemy of both spouses is the IRS. A good accountant should be in the loop, counseling on proper tax strategies for divorcing spouses. See general tax considerations for a Georgia divorce. As general IRS rules are applicable taxpayers in all states, this may help with some general knowledge. However, this information is not intended to give specific tax advise or counsel. This should only come from a qualified attorney or CPA.

Client Reviews
“Thanks so much Mr. Hippe for a great job. Mr. Hippe helped me with a problem with the mother of my child, who would not respect my visitation. He filed the contempt and took care of the situation before the judge in Douglas County, securing a clear order than she cannot interfere with my visitation ever again. Thanks again!” L.R. Atlanta, Georgia
“My experience with Russell Hippe has been wonderful. The first time I called him, I was in a panic not knowing what to do. He was able to see me the very next day. Two days later he filed my divorce. It has been a long road to freedom but he was available every step of the way and his conservative billing style was much appreciated. He is truly a trust worthy attorney. I will definitely recommend him to others seeking a divorce.” M.G. Atlanta, Georgia
“Mr. Russell Hippe is a fantastic lawyer. He took charge of my case involving my step children and helped my wife get custody at a contested hearing. Thanks to him my family is far better off. The children are much happier and are excelling. I can give him the highest, best recommendation as family and trial lawyer.” J.P. Atlanta, Georgia
“I can give Mr. Russell Hippe the highest recommendation. He took my divorce case, did not push me into filing, but once I decided to file, he did a great job. My wife hired a top, super expensive divorce firm, but Mr. Hippe was better, in my view. He handled discovery and depositions skillfully and managed to get the case settled on terms favorable to me. He was fair in his billing, and I know he saved me a lot of money.” S.A. Atlanta, Georgia
Mr. Hippe's hourly rate is $325/hr. Can you afford this?