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IT Security in Family Law Matters

A contested family law matter brings about certain IT security risks that may not seem obvious now, but may present grave problems in the future if they are overlooked. As family law attorneys, our job is to alert our clients - and potential clients - to these risks. Consider the following suggestions: 

What to Expect at the Final Dissolution Hearing

The dissolution hearing is the final step in the process of dissolving a marriage. Agreements have been reached through counsel or mediation, and the hearing simply puts the agreements into place, making them legally enforceable.  Prior to the hearing, you will have reviewed the Judgment Entry. This is the document that the Court will sign incorporating your agreements and adopting them as a court order. If there are children, both spouses will be required to attend a Parenting Seminar, and it must be attended prior to the hearing. If you receive a certificate of attendance, you will want to provide that to your attorney prior to the hearing so she can file it with the Court.

When Parenting Comes Lately

Many divorcing parents are surprised to learn that their spouse, when faced with daily separation from the children, seems to suddenly take interest in mundane parenting tasks like filling prescriptions and attending regular dental checkups. Take, for example, this recent conversation between parents:

Fresh Starts

Sometimes, we all find ourselves ready to try something new, to do something different. After years of shopping at the same store, you might decide to try a new place. After months of the same haircut, you go a little crazy and get a different style completely. After days of silence at home, you break it with an olive branch in the form of wine, cheese and crackers for your husband, along with some quiet talk laced generously with forgiveness and apology.

The Resiliency of the Human Spirit

Over the past 26 years of practicing family law, I have witnessed many clients walk into my office looking torn, broken and in complete despair. The pain in a person's heart and soul seems to ooze out of their pores. The energy of their pain is palpable. It is not easy to be witness to so much pain and sadness. The human spirit, however, is resilient. And as time goes by, as the process moves forward and IF the client is doing what he/she needs to do to take care of himself or herself, the wounds start to heal. The torn and broken pieces start to be put back together, and despair is replaced with HOPE! While this may be a s-l-o-w process - it can and does happen. The transformation is incredible to witness. The client, once broken and despairing, months later appears happy and healthy. The difference in appearance is truly astonishing. I went through this sort of metamorphosis myself, never thinking I would recover and be happy again - not thinking it was possible. However, I know it is! Through personal and professional experiences, I have experienced it and seen it, over and over. There is always hope that tomorrow may be better. The pain will subside. A new normal will emerge. There is ALWAYS hope!

Still on the Collaborative Path ...

"Remember when we so badly wanted children?" he asked me a few days ago, after discussing some troubles we had been having with our now-teenaged son and daughter. We laughed. We've been divorced for almost six years, but we still have to talk about things, make arrangements for the kids and solve "kid problems" together.

Cost Differences in Litigation v. Collaborative Divorce

There are several different types of costs when a couple is divorcing: financial, emotional and relational. I have been witness to the phenomenon of how emotional and relational costs increase the financial outlay when a couple is divorcing, in turn depleting the family's resources. During my twenty-five (25) years of practice, I have watched the pain that couples go through - emotionally, relationally and financially - and more often than not, that toll is much higher in a litigation case versus a Collaborative case. When I looked at the difference in the legal fees in two of our firm's cases with somewhat similar facts, I was not surprised to see that the fees in the litigated case were thirty-three percent (33%) higher than the fees in the Collaborative divorce case.

"But I LOVE to Tell Everybody Everything on Facebook!"

Remember when Facebook was brand new, and instead of all the pictures and videos posted today, it mainly was "status updates" about what everyone was actually, physically doing? Remember playing the "Note" games - answering a group of often very intimate questions, tagging only the people you wanted to read it, and then waiting for others to do the same and tag you back? I always hoped someone would finally reveal that his secret crush in high school was me.

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