Author: mpontrelli

Top 7 New Year’s Resolutions If You Are Planning A Divorce in 2018

The presents are unwrapped, the mistletoe is put away, and you somehow managed to get through another holiday season with the in-laws.  Now, it’s a new year and reality sets in again.  If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to explore the possibility of a divorce, there are seven other resolutions you should consider:  1.  Make it a point to understand the divorce process in your state.  All states have different laws when it comes to divorce. The law that will apply to your divorce is the state where you permanently reside so long as you have resided in the state for the required period of time.  Knowing the law in your state and how it affects finances, property, and child custody is important, and may guide whether a legal separation or a divorce are worth considering.  2.   Explore other alternatives.  Consider the reasons you want the divorce and whether there are other alternatives.   Exploring these other alternatives should be done in the first consultation with your lawyer.  Other alternatives include a legal separation, establishing trusts for your finances, entering into a post-nuptial agreement, or engaging in counseling.    3.   Consider discussing the divorce with your spouse.  As difficult as it might be to discuss a divorce with your spouse, the shock and awe effect of filing without some advance warning, can make the process more litigious than necessary. ...

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A Child’s Perspective On Divorce

The people who are often hurt the most in a divorce are the minor children. If the children could really tell you what they are thinking, the results may surprise you.  Knowing how and when to react to parenting decisions, comments or complaints regarding the other parent may be easier if you consider the divorce from your child’s perspective. I am not getting a divorce, you are. You are divorcing each other, but I am not divorcing either one of you. You are still both my parents, and that will not change after the divorce. Please do not say negative things to me about the other parent. I love you both and it hurts me to hear you say bad things about the other parent. When you say negative things it just makes me mad at you for trying to make me feel bad about the other parent. Please do not put me in the middle of your dispute. I am not going to take sides, and even if I did it would only be to satisfy you and make you stop talking about it. Please do not use me to communicate messages to the other parent. If you have something to say to the other parent please find a way to communicate to them directly. I am likely to get the message wrong anyway. Do not ask me...

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How to Minimize Holiday Stress on Children During a Divorce

The holidays are approaching and with it the normal amount of family, food, and stress that go along with it.  However, if you have a child and are recently separated or divorced from your child’s other parent, understanding and helping the stress your child will undoubtedly feel during this time is important.  For you, it may be a sense of relief to not be sharing the holiday with your former spouse and his or her family. If you are the child though of recently divorced or separated parents, the holidays can bring confusion and a sense of sadness in not sharing the day with both parents. The following tips can help reduce some of the anxiety, questions, and hurt that your child may be feeling. Avoid Duplication. Avoid trying to duplicate holiday meals and activities to outshine the other parent. While it is nice for a child to be able to spend the morning of the holiday with one parent and the afternoon or evening with the other parent, depending on the age of the child, it can also be exhausting. Imagine having a big Thanksgiving meal in the morning, only to have an equally big Thanksgiving meal later in the afternoon.  If you share parenting time for the day with your former partner, consider establishing who will do the main holiday meal, and then agree to alternate it...

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Steps You Should Take If You Believe Your Spouse Is Considering A Divorce

Things may not have been good in the marriage for the last several weeks, months or even years.  The two of you may have talked about getting a divorce or a legal separation and one of you may have even threatened to leave the marriage. However, in the back of your mind, you never really thought that would occur.  Or would it?  Protecting your financial future may not be something you ever had to consider. But now that it is possible your spouse may indeed be serious about going forward, financial worries are natural. You also may be concerned that while your spouse has had time to think about the divorce, there may be actions you need to take now to ensure that if there is a divorce or legal separation, you are protected.  Here are five steps you can take to ensure that, regardless of whether a divorce or legal separation is imminent, your financial future is protected.  1.  Educate yourself about the finances.  The first step to understanding how to protect your share of the financial assets if a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed is to understand the marital financial situation.  Locate and make a list of all bank accounts (with account numbers), including all investment and retirement accounts.  If there are life insurance policies, make copies of all policies. Identify all credit cards and...

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The DW Family Law Blog Blog is published by Dickinson Wright PLLC to inform the public of important developments within the firm and practice areas. The content is informational only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. We encourage you to consult a Dickinson Wright attorney if you have specific questions or concerns relating to any of the topics covered in this blog.