The Superman myth means many things to many people.  It is uniquely open to interpretation.  While a key element of the Superman story is Superman’s amazing capabilities, he also had certain weaknesses.  Such may be the case with Jon Peters, a talented producer in the Superman franchise who is being sued by his ex-wife, Mindy Peters, over what Mindy claims was a gift entitling her to a stake in the Superman profits.  Continue Reading

Negotiating a divorce settlement is stressful even under the best of circumstances.  Real property owned by the couple (such as the marital residence) is often part of the negotiation.  Knowing how to obtain a fair, impartial and accurate assessment of the value of real estate is integral to the process. Once the value is determined, there are many options available for the distribution of the property.  The choice of options depends on the priorities of the parties and the economic situation of each family. Continue Reading

A postnuptial agreement (“postnup”) is an agreement entered into by a couple after marriage. The agreement can cover a range of topics from lifestyle issues to the couple’s wishes if they choose to divorce. A postnup, like a prenup, is designed to protect the marriage and provide the couple with security. Because it is a legally binding agreement, a postnup must conform to certain requirements based on the state in which it is enforced. While couples often choose to work with an attorney to execute a postnup, some couples try to do it on their own. This was the case in the recent Ballesteros decision.  Continue Reading

I have written in the past about the importance of choosing the right attorney for your legal needs. From time to time, potential clients come to me with a set of papers prepared through an online service.  These papers often lack important details and/or do not address core issues – especially in more complex or unique situations. When you are not working directly with an attorney, how can you be sure your needs are being met?  The internet is saturated with sites offering legal services at a deep discount. The services can be used for anything from business formation to wills. While many of these providers emphasize the role of attorneys in drafting the documents, this type of disclaimer sometimes leads the users to believe that the role of the attorney is then to review these pre-packaged documents. . Many people choose to use discount legal service providers because the price can often be lower than working with an attorney with specialized experience and also because of the perception that the process will be quicker through the service provider. Continue Reading

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASocial media serves as an open journal or scrapbook for many people. It allows distant friends to reconnect, family members to keep in touch, and people to share accomplishments. However, social media has also become an easy way for people to get a window into someone’s hobbies, spending habits, and even one’s schedule. In the divorce process, care should be taken so that social media does not frustrate the negotiations.  Continue Reading

When a family goes through the divorce process, there is often an emphasis placed on co-parenting – both parents sharing the responsibilities of caring for the children. It is important that spouses and co-parents find an approach to child custody and timesharing that suits their own family’s background, circumstances, needs and preferences. Continue Reading

The divorce process involves many aspects of the relationship from an emotional and financial standpoint.  The most contentious issues often center on the parties’ finances. Because addressing cash flow and the distribution of assets can create added stress during the divorce process, mediation is often considered as the best alternative to going to court.  In this process, both parties have an opportunity to obtain complete information on the family’s financial situation and make informed decisions about how to move forward.  This is especially important when there is an imbalance in the relationship caused by either a disparity in income or understanding about the finances. Regardless of the reason for the financial imbalance, mediation allows for both parties to have a fair process and equal opportunity for his/her questions and concerns to be heard and addressed while coming to an agreement.  Continue Reading

January is a month that people often decide to make life changes.  If you and your spouse have made the decision to separate or divorce, you may be thinking about how to proceed.  Choosing the right process is an important decision because it will affect how negotiations take place.  There are three main processes: mediation, collaborative law and litigation.  For couples that want to make their own decisions, rather than have a third party decide, the choices that make the most sense are mediation and collaborative law. Negotiations in both of these processes take place outside of the court system in a series of meetings.  In both processes, the couple actively participates and sets its own pace.  Both processes are voluntary, meaning the process can be ended at any time for any reason.  Both processes are also confidential.  That means that discussions and all materials developed for these processes are generally not admissible in any subsequent court or contested proceeding.  Both processes offer a full opportunity to obtain the information needed to make decisions.  Continue Reading

Mediation is a process where a neutral professional facilitates the communication between two parties in order to help them reach a mutually acceptable resolution of a dispute. Mediation is used in many types of legal disputes, but can be especially valuable in the context of family law, more specifically divorce. Aside from the usefulness of the process itself, there are many benefits of mediation that are often overlooked.  Continue Reading

Prenuptial agreements can include many different areas, including maintenance arrangements in the event of a divorce. Specific requirements and limitations on maintenance provisions vary from state-to-state. A celebrity prenup has recently come into the news because one spouse is challenging the maintenance provision of the agreement and requesting a modification. It does not appear that he is challenging the prenup itself, just the maintenance provision.  Continue Reading