Originally Posted by Emerging Buddhist View Post
Time to get him to foot part of the bill to get you back into college as well... part of your mediation.
5 years worth at least...
Exactly. This is one of the legitimate moral purposes of alimony. You gave up your college education for the family. For him. So he owes it to you to finish your own education.
Most atty's will give you a free 15 to 30 minute consultation where you can get your basic questions answered. You can find out from a real atty how things generally go where you live. They give this free consult as a sales pitch to get you as a client, so don't feel bad about going.
You can do research online about your state laws. Your state website should have some do-it-yourself divorce resources, which is a good place to get some information. You can even use the state's standard divorce and custody paperwork.
Because you have children, you really should have a lawyer involved. You can use a lawyer as an advisor and to review paperwork before you sign it. You don't have to use a lawyer to argue with your stbxh's lawyer. You can file the paperwork yourself even if you use a lawyer to advise/review. You would pay per hour for your lawyer's time. The details and specific words used in the custody agreement are critical. That, to me, is where you need an atty to advise and review.
I would suggest you immediately start documenting everything. Write down a timeline of your marriage and of his infidelity. Document what he has done and said regarding parenting. This documentation can be extremely helpful if it comes to a court fight.
Mediation is a good thing. Just be sure you know what you want before you get there. Know what you are entitled to as a minimum by the law. Ask for more than you want, and give away things you don't care about in order to get things you do want. I suggest you don't sign any binding agreements without thinking about it overnight and/or having your atty review it. Don't get pressured into signing anything until you are certain you are ok with it.