Lately, I have had a few clients who have come to me asking for a prenuptial agreement because their parents insisted that they have one. Prenups used to be thought of only for the rich and famous. But they are becoming much more common, and are losing some of their stigma. When should you consider having a pre-nup? Here are some common examples when a pre-nup can be helpful. If: You are part of a family business, and you want … read more »
In the News
Three articles have caught my eye this week, because I provide all 3 services. This is why I love my varied practice — all geared toward helping families through their many transiations! The New York Law Journal published an article (in which I am featured!) by colleagues Ellie Wertheim and Abby Tolchinsky entitled Elder Mediation Addresses Range of Family Decisions, explaining that often, mediation can address important issues that the law cannot. The New York Times article, If ‘Forever’ Doesn’t … read more »
There are several articles in today’s NYTimes that reflect a change in today’s families, on this Father’s Day, 2011: A front page article about President Obama’s evolving views of gay marriage. Baby Makes 4, And Complications – A long and very personal portrait of a Park Slope mother, child, sperm donor/father and his partner. How Divorce Lost Its Groove, about the attitudes young people have toward divorce, and how they are trying to make it gentler on their kids — … read more »
How to Pick a Divorce Lawyer
The New York Times has been running a fantastic series about Divorce and Money. Tonight they asked people to comment on the best way to pick a divorce lawyer. Here is my answer: The best way to pick a divorce lawyer is to find someone who will try to optimize the situation for everyone involved (particularly the kids), not just for you. Think about the emotional and psychic costs as well as the financial costs. I am an attorney who only … read more »
Good for Your Health!
The New York Times published an article in the Well Column of the Science Section last week, entitled, “Divorce, It Seems, Can Make You Ill.” Similar news stories came out as well, based upon a study done by sociologists at the University of Chicago and at Johns Hopkins, that followed over 8,600 people, about 40% of whom had gotten divorced. The researchers found that divorce and widowhood are extremely stressful, physically as well as mentally, and that even getting remarried … read more »
Secrecy in Collaborative Law
Two people, a man and a woman, came to me separately in the past week to explore the possibility of doing collaborative law. Both were people in short term marriages with no kids. The real estate wasn’t really the issue. And so it seemed that their situations were relatively simple, and that the collaborative process would be relatively simple. But scratching the surface made me see nuances that would not make the case appropriate. The man asked … read more »
Where are We?
President-elect Obama. Was the election really only 9 days ago? Doesn’t it seem as though the whole world has changed since then? It’s as though we have a whole new outlook, a new range of possibilities that didn’t exist before. You knew the moment was coming, but didn’t realize how profound a shift it would be until it really got here. How could it be? Many of my friends are strangely quiet, introspective, trying to get used to this new … read more »
Is bankruptcy a possibility for you? For your ex? Are you worried about how it will affect the financial terms of your divorce or separation? Bankruptcy cannot discharge court-ordered obligations of child support, alimony or equitable distribution. That means that even if you declare bankruptcy, you must pay support to your family. It also means that if there is any money that will be divided among creditors, the family comes first. But what if you are not legally married? … read more »
A New Mindset!
“We are living in a society in which victims are compensated with money.” – Rod Wells Rod is one of my colleagues on the Board of Directors of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, and he is also a Financial neutral in mediation and collaborative cases. He stated this at a meeting of the NYS Council on Divorce Mediation a few weeks ago. If we come to a separation with that mentality, we must show how … read more »
Either/Or or Both/And?
My friends and I used to talk about a concept of “both/and” as opposed to “either/or.” What we meant was that, when making group decisions, we could look for solutions that were good for the group as a whole – and therefore each person in the group (a win-win approach), rather than one person winning at the expense of another losing. This really describes the basis of mediation and collaborative process, as opposed to litigation. It’s not about individual … read more »