In the most general sense, a nesting arrangement is one where the children remain in the family home while the divorcing parents take turns living in the family home and in another location. In some of my previous blogs, I have covered the basics of nesting arrangements including what nesting actually means in the co-parenting sense and some common logistical considerations. It is an option that sometimes gains popularity in the media when used in celebrity divorces. When this happens, I often see an increase in clients wondering whether nesting is more of a fad for celebrities, or if the arrangement can actually work. Although every family is different, nesting can be beneficial in many situations. Continue Reading
Cohabitation Agreements: Can Certain Rights Be Protected for Unmarried Couples?
I have written at length about the benefits of prenuptial agreements in building a strong marital foundation. While many couples seek the benefits that a prenup can provide, there is an increasing number of couples that choose to live together for the long term without getting married. Although they may not choose to marry, these couples often want the same (or similar) protections that are sought through a prenup. While certain benefits and protections come only with marriage, there are certain issues that can be addressed in a written agreement. Continue Reading
Co-Parenting after Divorce
An integral part of a divorce agreement is the custody and parenting piece. Parents are able tailor a unique plan that addresses how co-parenting will work post-divorce. Working cooperatively to develop a plan that reflects the parents’ schedules and the family’s needs helps to alleviate stress and provides stability for the children. Custody provisions detail how major decisions concerning the children will be made. Parenting plans can include many details about how the week will work, including: when each parent will be responsible for the children, pick-up/drop-off times and locations, holiday schedules, and communication preferences. These plans can also address special terms related to COVID, domestic and foreign travel and significant others. All of the provisions should be clearly laid out to eliminate confusion and possible frustration. Of course, some families prefer a more flexible, liberal schedule; especially with older children and that can be memorialized as well. Each family has a unique situation and the parenting plan should be consistent with the parents’ priorities and values as well as their work schedules. If the Children are young, parents can include a provision concerning when the parenting arrangements will be reviewed. Provisions that address what happens if there is a disagreement can also be included. The following are considerations for co-parenting agreements: Continue Reading
What is the Purpose of a Prenup Agreement?
A Prenuptial Agreement (“Prenup”) is more than just a legally binding contract. Prenups can help create a solid foundation for how the financial aspects of your relationship will work during the marriage. This helps to build trust and effective communication moving forward. That makes it a wise investment. Negotiations should be conducted with a spirit of cooperation and transparency about financial matters. The goal is to enter the marriage with a full understanding of your situation and clarity on expectations. Continue Reading
Can I Afford to Get Divorced? The Importance of Understanding Your Marital Finances Prior to Divorce
Prenups, Post-nups and Separation Agreements are used to address finances and other issues concerning marital rights and obligations. As I have written in the past, prenuptial agreements are an opportunity for couples to have comprehensive discussions about each partner’s finances leading up to the wedding. Additionally, prenups provide an opportunity for the couple to navigate the financial path they would like to take during the marriage. Similarly, post-nuptial agreements afford couples the opportunity to have conversations about finances during the marriage. If a couple is contemplating divorce and has not executed a pre or post-nuptial agreement, a Separation Agreement can be negotiated. A Separation Agreement is a very detailed written contract that you and your spouse voluntarily sign without involving the court. It addresses all of the financial and other issues of the marriage. Continue Reading
Claiming Social Security Benefits after a Divorce
The divorce process includes negotiating a plan for what will happen to assets and debt as well as the support needs of the family. There are many misconceptions about how social security benefits may be claimed after a divorce. Outlined below are some of the most common misconceptions about social security benefits for ex-spouses and general information on how the process works. Continue Reading
Planning for Marriage During the Pandemic: A postponed marriage may be an opportunity to plan for the future
The effects of the COVID pandemic are being felt throughout the world in big and small ways. The impact is seeping into the many aspects of daily life. As we all adjust to remote attendance at work, school and other activities, the COVID pandemic has brought home the importance of family relationships. Couples planning their wedding (or expecting to be married soon) have had to rethink the timing and nature of the event. Romantic partnerships have been tested and priorities reassessed.
While some couples have chosen to adjust their wedding plans and are having virtual ceremonies for family and friends to attend via live stream or Zoom, others have opted to trim down the guest list and attempt to celebrate safely and socially distanced. For many couples, the best plan has been to postpone the wedding until a return to “normalcy.” For these couples, there may be a silver lining. Continue Reading
Reconcilable Differences: Using a Fact-Based Approach to Separation and Divorce
There is a distinction between irreconcilable and reconcilable differences when it comes to separation and divorce. The focus of this article is on the reconcilable ones. When the relationship changes to a point where there will be a separation and divorce, there are certain issues that need to be addressed so that both parties can financially disentangle and move on with their lives. Emotional disentanglement takes time. When there are children, emotions can be purposefully directed to a cooperative parenting plan so that the children can benefit from the qualities that each parent brings to the family. For more on co-parenting agreements, please see my article entitled: Co-parenting, Where do I start? Continue Reading
Considerations for Choosing an Attorney
When initiating the divorce process, selecting the right attorney may seem challenging and stressful. Finding someone who aligns with your process choice and objectives can help the process move more smoothly. Just as there are different process choices for your divorce, there are different attorney styles. Having a consultation with an experienced family law attorney helps to determine whether the attorney has the requisite experience for your matter and whether he or she will conduct the negotiations in a way that comports you’re your intentions and goals.
There is not a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to a legal matter, including divorce. Parties should ideally agree on the process that will promote a mutually beneficial outcome. In working toward that goal, finding the “right” attorney is also an important decision. In choosing an attorney, some of the considerations that clients can keep in mind are outlined below.
The Effect of COVID-19 on Elements of a Separation and Divorce
When parties initiate the divorce process, there are certain major issues that need to be addressed in coming to a final agreement. These issues include the distribution of property and debt, support (spousal and child, if applicable), health insurance, and custody and parenting arrangements. With the Coronavirus affecting many areas of daily life, some of these common divorce issues may become more complicated as parties work through divorce negotiations. Continue Reading