Saturday, June 26, 2010

LA Law and Divorce

LA Law is one of my favorite legal shows. (Right after Perry Mason) My favorite episode was season 7, episode 18 which was aired on April 22, 1993, entitled "Come Rain or Come Schein." In the show, Becker represents Mitchell Schein, a greedy man who holds out for material concessions before agreeing to grant his wife a divorce following Jewish law (A get. See my March 10, 2008 blog, Religious Divorce and Annulment). As you may know, according to Jewish law only the husband can agree to a divorce. Women want this for many reasons, including the ability to have another Jewish marriage. In the episode, it has been a very rainy period in Los Angeles and there have been numerous mad slides. The show concludes with a split screen where you see the Husband agreeing to the Jewish divorce as the marital home his wife just agreed to give him in order for him to agree to the Jewish divorce is sliding down the hill as a result of the rain. I often relate this story to clients to remind them, not to be too greedy.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Great book "The Good Karma Divorce"

'The Good Karma Divorce' is a GREAT BOOK written by Judge Michele F. Lowrance of The Cook County Circuit Court, Domestic Relations Division. We were able to sit in a very personal interview with the Judge at Chicago-Kent College Of Law as she gave insight as to why she wrote the book and the different approach she takes in running her courtroom.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When is Custody Established? Rights and Duties of Parents

A lot of people wonder who has custody when a child is born and what are the rights of the mother and father, particularly if they are not married or living together. Many times Fathers want to know their rights and wonder if they have any rights. Unless otherwise determined by Court, South Carolina (§ 63-5-30) spells out the rights of the biological parents of a child.

According to the statute,

"[t]The mother and father are the joint natural guardians of their minor children and are equally charged with the welfare and education of their minor children and the care and management of the estates of their minor children; and the mother and father have equal power, rights, and duties, and neither parent has any right paramount to the right of the other concerning the custody of the minor or the control of the services or the earnings of the minor or any other matter affecting the minor. Each parent, whether the custodial or noncustodial parent of the child, has equal access and the same right to obtain all educational records and medical records of their minor children and the right to participate in their childrens' school activities unless prohibited by order of the court. Neither parent shall forcibly take a child from the guardianship of the parent legally entitled to custody of the child."

For more information on your rights, consult an attorney regarding your specific situation.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

End of NY Fault Divorce Near?

I have been following with interest the attempt to eliminate fault divorce in New York and stop the subterfuge in obtaining a divorce. As I discussed in my May 20, 2010 blog Divorce Japan Style, I worked for legal services one summer and watched what fault divorce was like in Connecticut prior to no fault. There have been a few articles about what is happening in New York in the New York Times. See article and editorials at No fault divorce always made sense to me but it is only the first step. I am glad to see New York is also considering alimony guide lines and more use of mediation. We now need to work for true no fault divorce where attorneys do not charge exorbitant fees and play to their client’s anger, children are not hurt, and couples can get on with their lives.

As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(177) 6/19/10

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Brighter Side of Shared Parenting Time

The idea of a weekend without your children may be a nice break for many parents. I love my boys more than anything. I also cherish my quiet moments, because they are very few and far between. And when I don’t get enough “me time”, I feel like I can’t breathe, I’m stressed, my boys seem determined to stretch my last nerve into dust, and I want to scream. But when you are going through a divorce, negotiating alternating weekends with the other parent can feel gut-wrenching. The idea of time without your children becomes painful; no longer a positive “me time”. I’ve written many articles on “perspective” in conflict situations. Here, perspective, more than ever, can affect how you view this part of the process, and how you can strengthen your relationship with your children and make this a positive experience for them and for you.

It is very easy to miss those “family moments” in the hustle and bustle of daily life. We have to get the kids’ breakfasts ready, lunches packed, get them to school on time, get to work, prepare for our meetings, pick them up from school, get them to karate and tutoring, help them with their homework, prepare them for their spelling and geography tests, get dinner ready, make sure teeth are brushed, put them to bed, clean the dishes, and pay the bills. When the weekend arrives, you have soccer games, laundry, groceries, and so on. Family nights are difficult for most and usually only one night out of the week, if at all. What if you could get all the other “stuff” out of the way with when the kids are not with you? Where would your focus be when they are? What if you had an evening to get a massage, or go to dinner with your friends - “me time”? How would you feel when it’s “your weekend” with the children?

No one likes not being able to have their children with them when they want. No one likes wanting to have some time to themselves, when they can’t. It’s all a matter of perspective. Shared parenting allows you to take the time you need to get yourself relaxed, centered, and focused for when your children are with you. If you are relaxed, centered, and focused when your children are with you, your children will feel relaxed, centered, and loved. Truly in the “best interests of the children”.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Success at The Association of Family And Conciliation Courts Conference

All About The Children recently attended a conference in Denver with many professionals in the field of divorce. We would like to thank the Judges, Therapists, Mediators, and Lawyers who had nothing but great things to say about our website AATC's goal is taking the children out of the middle and giving the parents a healthy forum to communicate with one another.