Words of Wisdom from Nancy Van Tine

Nancy Van Tine
Commander in Chief of Divorce Law Monitor

You may know Nancy as the founder and editor of this terrific blog. Clients and colleagues know her as refreshingly honest, open, positive and tenacious – a challenging combination to find in this often contentious world of divorce law. Divorce is messy. Nancy always focuses on how to determine the best course of action for her client and the situation as a whole. She’s been a terrific role model for us all.

As a team, we’re proud to congratulate Nancy for being selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as one of their “Top Women of Law” for her outstanding contributions to the legal profession. The award celebrates outstanding achievements made by exceptional women lawyers who are pioneers, educators, trailblazers, and role models.

I’ve had the honor of working with Nancy for over 20 years. We met when I was in law school, and I started as her paralegal. While under her guidance, I passed the bar, became an associate, was elected a partner, and this year was named as her successor – chair of the Divorce group. The one thing that has remained the same is Nancy’s positive and calm demeanor. Even in the middle of a trial or when faced with an emergency, you can always count on her to remain steady and confidently on course.

She views the whole department as a team, whether a legal administrative assistant or a high level partner, and treats everyone with the same level of respect. With Nancy, you always work with her, not for her. In her interview with Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, she mentions, “I have always been aware that women are treated differently but I never saw it as an obstacle, just something I had to deal with.” Nancy shared her wisdom and has made it her goal to give the women (and men) working with her the confidence to succeed.

There’s a key suggestion I hear her give to divorce clients regularly. You’ve spent a significant amount of time with your life, emotions and finances entangled with your partner’s, and it can be tough to untangle all of that. Once you’ve made the decision to sever the ties with your spouse, take a step back. View the financial part of divorce as a business transaction. Leave out the revenge and manipulation tactics. Think of it as just two people trying to come to the most fair arrangement. This advice has helped many clients to positively resolve the financial aspects of their divorces.

It is a true pleasure to work with Nancy and to learn from her. Everyone in the Divorce group at Burns & Levinson is thrilled with her accomplishment and know it is well-deserved. Congratulations, Nancy!

Until next time,