An increasing number of Americans are starting their own businesses, joining the record numbers of Americans who already own and operate businesses. That’s simply the way the American workforce is moving, and on the whole, I believe it’s a positive thing. Continue reading
Some people think that once their divorce is being litigated, or is being mediated, that they’re bound to that decision until the divorce becomes final. And people who think they’re stuck with that first choice might come to regret it.
Deciding to litigate a divorce, for example, might feel good in the heat of the moment – especially when responding to adultery or some other immediate, painful disruption to a marriage. Continue reading
One of the most concerning things I’ve found in my years of practicing family law – especially with my decision to move entirely away from litigation – is that not all lawyers who claim to be collaborative lawyers are actually Collaborative lawyers.
Some lawyers feel that the word “collaborative” has marketing value, and that it sounds friendly and welcoming, so they use that word without acknowledging that Collaborative law is a particular branch of family law with its own specific set of rules. Continue reading
I’d love to see, at some time in the not-too-distant future, a world in which divorces are primarily settled through Collaborative Law. While that might be challenging – especially for lawyers who pride themselves on the ability to be “bulldogs” – I do think that it is possible for more divorces to bring Collaborative Law principles into the mix. Continue reading
One of the most challenging issues in any divorce case is parental interference. When a divorce decree is signed, parents either agree to a time-sharing schedule with their children, or, in litigated cases where they can’t agree to the schedule, cede that decision to a judge who creates a schedule for them. Before a divorce is finalized, standing orders can help orchestrate time-sharing schedules and make sure that each parent gets a reasonable amount of time with their children. Continue reading
With the start of a new year comes the inevitable set of New Year’s resolutions, and for many of us, the equally inevitable breaking of New Year’s resolutions. The idea behind a New Year’s resolution is based on sound principles – we want to change for the better, we see places in our lives where we can make those changes, and then we initiate a change in behavior.
The problem that many of us encounter, however, is that we don’t come into a resolution knowing why we’re making the change, and don’t have the attitude that allows that change to stick. We might decide to quit smoking or lose weight or watch less TV because we somehow feel that we should, but when it gets difficult not to stray back into old, familiar habits, a vague sense of obligation to what one should be doing typically isn’t enough. Continue reading
One of the most challenging timesharing issues for divorcing parents is where children celebrate the holidays. In Florida’s typical orders for timesharing, children spend Thanksgiving weekend with their mother one year and their father the following year, and alternate the first half and second half of winter break with the parties usually alternating Christmas Eve and Day with the children. Continue reading
I’m starting this blog to articulate something I believe in strongly – that divorce should not be fought in a courtroom. I have been practicing family law for over 25 years and have witnessed first- hand what happens when divorce becomes about winning and losing rather than trying to seek common ground.
Courtroom battles can be long, costly, time consuming and they can be taxing emotionally. Even worse, they can do incredible damage to formerly married couples who still must co-exist and cooperate as parents. Far too often, children are the ones who feel the long-term effects of adversarial divorces. Continue reading