Busy week!

It’s been a busy week – I was on a panel at CUNY School of Law about Contemplative Lawyering and alternatives to litigating on Monday. On Wednesday I was a panel at Cardozo Law School about mediating with non-traditional families. And today I published an article on FamilyAffaires.com about why second parent adoptions are still needed even when the same-sex parents are married.  They say that if  you love what you do, it never feels like work.  So true. I’m … read more »

Dividing Up the Property

One of the biggest decisions that needs to be made in a divorce is how you will divide up your assets.  Here is a link to an article I wrote recently about this topic, entitled “Equitable Distribution 101.”  This might be helpful whether you are using mediation, collaborative process, or using traditional lawyers.

Divorce Envy ~ Who knew?

I’m honored and excited that I was quoted in Amy Sohn’s Harper’s Bazaar’s article about Divorce Envy. It really is an honor.  And an interesting topic.  We feel the need to keep up with the Joneses to get the latest handbag, to do hot yoga and eat kale, why not to get divorced in the most healing way possible?  As I said, if it leads to a trend of collaborative process and divorce mediation, maybe peer pressure is a very … read more »

All Children Included!

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s will was filed in court yesterday, and has already gotten a lot of press. He did some unusual things – most poignantly, he did not create trust funds for his children.  But he also did not update his will after his younger two kids were born, nor did he make provisions for the possibility that he might have more kids.  So they are in a bit of legal limbo, as this article shows. How can you avoid … read more »

Pete Seeger’s Legacy – And Pete Seeger’s Will

I just read an article in the NY Daily News about Pete Seeger’s will.  While I am dismayed that they talk about the dollar value of his estate, I love that his instruments have names, and that the kids each got an instrument But Pete’s impact is not in his will.  It is in his legacy.  How he taught millions of people that they can feel community by singing together.  How music brings us together, rich and poor, young and … read more »

Second Parent Adoptions are Still Necessary!

The NY Times’ Motherlode blog ran an article today about 2nd parent adoptions, and Judge Lopez Torres’ recent decision to deny a petition for such when the adoptive parents were married. Here is my comment (which they also published): I am an attorney who does second parent adoptions. I have completed and filed several such adoptions in New York State since Judge Lopez Torres’ decision was published – parallel courts recognize them as still being necessary. While Judge Lopez Torres’ … read more »

Is Halle Berry’s child support too much?

According to People Magazine (and now on the AP), Halle Berry was recently ordered to pay $16,000 per month in child support.  Too much?  Perhaps.  It seems hard to fathom how a child could need $16,000 per month – especially when she and her ex- have shared custody.  But there are so many factors involved – one of which, in New York at least, is Nahia’s standard of living before her parents split up. A lot of people have a … read more »

Suddenly wealthy?

Once I lived the life of a millionaire, spending my money, I didn’t care I carried my friends out for a good time, buying bootleg liquor, champagne and wine … by Ida Cox & B Feldman, sung by Bessie Smith According to the NY Times, thanks to the thriftiness of depression-era parents, baby boomers are more likely to inherit great sums of money than previous generations. Some know to expect it, others do not.  What would you do if you … read more »

1 Step forward, 2 Steps back??

The Kings County (Brooklyn) Surrogate’s Court issued a strange decision today – it denied a second parent adoption where the lesbian couple was married and the non-bio mom’s name is on the birth certificate, saying adoption is “neither necessary nor available.” It seems to me that this denies the reality that same sex marriage is still banned in most states and in many countries, and refuses to protect the legal relationship between the child and the non-bio mother. Is this … read more »

Does Divorce Mediation Work?

here’s a link to a lovely pictograph that shows why it does! http://www.topcounselingschools.org/divorce-mediation/