Most clients that choose mediation or the collaborative law processes prioritize the health and welfare of their children because they understand that their children continue to need their love, support and guidance when separating into two homes. Sometimes professional help is needed when developing the best possible co-parenting agreement for the children. The agreement addresses how major decisions will be made, day-to-day decisions, support and the parenting schedule moving forward. (This schedule is often referred to as a parenting access plan. Continue Reading
Mediation has become a common option to resolve issues related to separation and divorce without the need for litigation. It is a preferred choice where individuals want to make their own informed choices rather than have a judge decide. An experienced neutral mediator can facilitate the sometimes-difficult conversations surrounding financial disentanglement and parenting decisions and access moving forward.
Many people have heard of mediation as a means of dispute resolution, but when it comes to how the mediation process works, there are some myths and misconceptions. To help people understand how the mediation process works, I have compiled some common questions that people have when deciding on the process for their divorce. Continue Reading
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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