November 10, 2007
To individuals looking for a divorce attorney,
I am writing to provide a testimonial for Debra Everman as a collaborative divorce attorney. I lived in Idaho at the time of my divorce, which was final in 2007. I had read about collaborative divorce in a national newspaper and then read the book "Collaborative Divorce" by Tesler and Thompson. I was resolved that my wife and I would end our marriage collaboratively in the interests of our children, who are dearer to both of us than any other human beings. I also wanted to remain friends with my ex-wife, whom I always have highly respected despite our differences.
In Idaho, collaborative divorce is still a new idea, and I found no Idaho attorney who advertised a collaborative practice. Fortunately, Debra had put some comments up on a collaborative website in another state, and so I was led to her.
Debra knew about collaborative divorce and, after I called, took some further training outside Idaho. She found another like-minded attorney to represent my wife. (Both Debra and her colleague have been divorced with children, and they knew first-hand how we felt and what our emotional needs were.) All four of us agreed to pursue a collaborative process, knowing that we were pioneering it in Idaho.
I am an attorney myself but I am a business attorney, not a divorce attorney. I was able to save some fees by preparing a family balance sheet and getting our house and retirement plans appraised independently. With that information, we moved forward and had a series of discussions-my wife and me to discuss many possible ways to divide property and take care of the children, and all four of us to put our goals in writing, weigh options, choose options, and put those choices in legal documents for the court. The two attorneys appeared in court for us to keep the judge informed of our progress, but we did not have to appear ourselves. The two attorneys asked us good questions and advised us of our choices, and helped us with the pros and cons of each. We hired an experienced counselor to listen to our older child and make sure that her needs and viewpoint were heard in our process.
It took a long time to complete, because my wife and I had a lot going on, including my relocation to another state during the process. In the end, however, we made a very fair settlement with solid protection for the kids, and mutual respect between us that still exists today. I visit the children regularly. The children moved forward with their lives with minimal disruption and are as happy as you could hope. Children are better off when their parents don't fight, even if the parents separate from each other.
On behalf of my children and for myself, I recommend Debra as a collaborative divorce lawyer. She did a great job for us in our pioneering effort, and I'm confident she will do better and better with each new job she performs. She is honest, hard working, and caring. We remain friends to this day.