Summer is supposed to be the most relaxed time of the year and for many of us the time of year when we can enjoy vacation time with our kids. But planning summer day trips, camps, activities, get-togethers with family and summer vacations can be difficult. Plus figuring how to pay for all of this can be stressful. Especially, for those of us who are divorced or separated. Here are my top tips for navigating summer parenting time issues:
When it comes to divorce, everyone has heard the time-honored phrases, “I’ll see you in court!” and “you’ll be hearing from my attorney.” But what a lot of people don’t know are that there are several options for how to resolve your divorce that don’t involve going to court. Attorneys call the method by which a divorce is conducted “dispute resolution”...
- Cost-Effective: Recent statistics from the American Bar Association indicate that mediating your divorce case will cost you 40-60% less than litigating your divorce case;
- It’s Better for Your Children: Mediation avoids your children being involved in the divorce litigation, reduces the overall stress on the family and allows your children to see their parents cooperating;
I read a gorgeous New York Times Article recently about Dr. B.J. Miller, a palliative care doctor, who became a doctor after becoming a triple amputee. He has become famous in the last 2 years from his 2015 TED talk entitled “What really matters at the end of life,” (which has about 5 million views). What struck me most about Dr. Miller is how in learning to embrace his injuries he learned the truth about what truly makes us whole. A truth that he uses to help dying people face death.
The question he asks of his dying patients with maybe only months, weeks or even days to live is “What is your favorite part of yourself?” “What do we want to protect as everything falls apart?”
When matrimonial issues arise, the world seems to come apart at the seams. Friends act oddly and the stress on the family is intense. At a time like this, the last thing needed is the feeling that you are alone and that you are just one more case to a big corporate law firm.
For this reason, Attorney Georgia Fraser opened her solo practice in 300 Carnegie Center on Route 1. “Having practiced in New Jersey for nearly 20 years, I have experienced the inflexibility and remoteness of large firms. Clients often come to me because they feel cut off from the lawyer they thought they hired. They only see an associate or paralegal and often realize that when they do get to court, the partner is only marginally aware of the details of their case.”
Sometimes the end of your divorce case is just the beginning of a long road of dealing with your ex-spouse. Maybe you have small children and will be co-parenting for many years, you have a home or retirement assets that you have to work together to divide or maybe you have support obligations that will have to be adjusted or revisited in the years following your divorce. The emotional and financial cost of continuously litigating with your ex-spouse is great and can dramatically impact your quality of life post-divorce. In my almost twenty years of practicing family law, the following are my most frequently recommended tips for avoiding unnecessary court costs and post-divorce conflict:
This year I realized that I was ready for a new beginning. That new beginning was the creation of my own law practice after many years in private practice. New beginnings can be scary and filled with anxiety. They require us to step into the unknown. What I realize from my personal experience, and in my work as a family lawyer helping others, is that in order to step into a new beginning you have to be ready to face uncertainty and change. Some of us choose to step into a new beginning for ourselves, while others get forced into it by circumstance; tragedy, painful endings, betrayals, or crisis. But either way, we all have to become “ready,” at some point to face a new beginning.
When I was in college I conducted an oral history of the Holocaust. I interviewed women and men who had survived the most unthinkable and unspeakable things. The overwhelming and amazing lesson was not what they had tragically endured, but how they had endured it. How their spirits had survived when maybe others had given up hope. Resilience. Resilience is defined as essentially the ability to get back up when you get knocked down. And in study after study researchers have come to learn that resilience is the single biggest predictor of future success.
On September 26, 2016 the New Jersey Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of Thieme v. Aucoin-Thieme involving a dispute over whether a $2.25M post-divorce bonus was subject to equitable distribution in a short term marriage of fourteen months, due to the fact that the parties had lived together eight years before the marriage and the bonus had been “earned” during that period. Among the issues to be considered by the Supreme Court is whether an asset acquired during the period of cohabitation should be subject to equitable distribution. Although not presently contemplated under the equitable distribution statute, defendant’s counsel has argued that this is an issue of “equity.” Stay tuned for the outcome of this very interesting case, which may potentially change the nature of equitable distribution in cases involving a period of cohabitation prior to the marriage.