Adultery

First of all, to our past, present, and future readers, we want to thank you for reading and wish you all a very Happy New Year!  We hope that our articles provide you with some new insight and perspective, as well as the occasional levity to the often challenging (but always interesting) divorce process.  In this “fake news” era, I thought it would be helpful to start the year by dispelling some “myths” and “misconceptions” of the divorce process, specifically, as they apply to the ubiquitous issue of dividing assets in a divorce.  I hope you enjoy.

Divorce practitioners are very familiar with our clients’ “friend” who was awarded all of the assets in the divorce because [insert divorce myth here].  The topic of these unscathed friends comes up frequently in the context of the initial intake meeting in which we discuss goals and expectations in the divorce process with our prospective clients.  Truth is, everyone going through the divorce process (for the first time) will inevitably have certain expectations about how the marital assets will be divided at the end of the divorce.  Often times, the expectations are rooted in someone else’s prior experience with the process.  As … Keep reading

First of all, to our past, present, and future readers, we want to thank you for reading and wish you all a very Happy New Year!  We hope that our articles provide you with some new insight and perspective, as well as the occasional levity to the often challenging (but always interesting) divorce process.  In this “fake news” era, I thought it would be helpful to start the year by dispelling some “myths” and “misconceptions” of the divorce process, specifically, as they apply to the ubiquitous issue of dividing assets in a divorce.  I hope you enjoy.

Divorce practitioners are very familiar with our clients’ “friend” who was awarded all of the assets in the divorce because [insert divorce myth here].  The topic of these unscathed friends comes up frequently in the context of the initial intake meeting in which we discuss goals and expectations in the divorce process with our prospective clients.  Truth is, everyone going through the divorce process (for the first time) will inevitably have certain expectations about how the marital assets will be divided at the end of the divorce.  Often times, the expectations are rooted in someone else’s prior experience with the process.  As … Keep reading

If Beyoncé can be cheated on, is there any hope for the rest of us?
Really though, if Beyoncé can be cheated on, is there any hope for the rest of us?

Hi there,

On a gorgeous day like today, you just want to sit outside and sip on a tall glass of lemonade. Recently though, the taste of lemonade has been made a little sharp by the fabulous Beyoncé. Infidelity became a hot topic with her recent release of Lemonade, a scathing, seemingly confessional visual album. As strident a response to infidelity as it was, she has also shone a light on the number of marriages that do survive unfaithfulness.… Keep reading

Our barn cat, Ashley, is shocked and appalled.
Our barn cat, Ashley, is shocked and appalled.

Hi there,

Well, cheaters beware! Last week I posted on the Ashley Madison hack. The hackers were largely silent for about a month after they went into Ashley Madison’s database and lifted information on 32 million of the 37 million subscribers.

Lo and behold, last night the hackers released the stolen list of Ashley Madison users. I think our Divorce group may want to do some cross referencing of names here…… Keep reading

Ashley, our barn cat, is very upset to have her name associated with this kind of scandal.
Ashley, our barn cat, is very upset to have her name associated with this kind of scandal.

Hi there,

This seemed like an apt post following CiCi’s miniseries on the The 7 Deadly (Tech) Sins of Divorce. There’s a huge scandal right now revolving around precisely what you shouldn’t do BEFORE getting divorced.

I remember being shocked when I first found out about Ashley Madison’s business. I shouldn’t have been, since you can find anything on the internet. I know, as do all divorce lawyers, that certain folks will cheat, and they will cheat serially throughout their marriages. But there was just something uber-contrived about a site for people who wanted to cheat to find people with whom to cheat. Especially one that claims it has 37 million members! I mean, really, if you can’t find your own mistress, that’s just plain lazy.

And now they’re in deep trouble. Ashley has been hacked. Some of her clientele has been outed, including a man from Massachusetts‘ own town of Brockton! At our divorce group lunch there was a not-entirely-humorous suggestion that we check the names of parties against the published names of Ashley’s clientele. While most … Keep reading

Hi there,

Photograph: Tom Merton/Photodisc/Getty ImagesThe last couple of times that I have been asked to be interviewed on television and on the Internet, the interviewer has been interested in stories of cheating spouses.  The recent interview on the Internet was about how Facebook relationships have affected divorce.  That made me go a step further and think about how the Internet has really changed the availability of pornography and how that very commonality has changed how the viewing of online pornography is considered in the divorce process.

When I first started practicing (when dinosaurs roamed the earth), catching a spouse viewing or reading pornography was almost as severe a shock as discovering a spouse cheating.  It was brought up often as a reason for the divorce, in hushed tones and with a request to not let anyone know, because there was a LOT of shame associated with even mentioning it.

But, boy, has that changed as porn has become so much more easily available.  In fact, we all spend a lot of money screening our computers to keep it from showing up unwanted, like say mice?

As a result, it has become much less of a hot button issue in divorce; … Keep reading

Hi there,

As someone who has been a divorce lawyer for 33 years I consider myself pretty surprise-proof; however, I just heard about  a series of emails where a husband was contracting on line for a "Sugar Baby."  He wanted to meet a young woman he could spend money on.  You can imagine what the quid pro quo was.  If you are conducting personal business of this sort on your home computer, I would suggest that you have a password no one in your family knows and that you not leave the screen open for your family to see.

I frankly thought  the "Sugar Daddy" thing seemed a lot like prostitution, under the "if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck"  theory.  But, apparently this can be argued to fall in a grey area where the sexual congress piece is not the most important one.

I am not sure if this is a result of the popularity of "Mad Men" or just a new way to sell an old profession, but once I got over having the giggles, I was a bit horrified.

Best,

Nancy… Keep reading

Hi there,

I was stunned (although given my job I shouldn’t have been) to hear about Schwarzenegger’s love child.  This is so wrong on so many levels.  It was a betrayal of his wife and will make her ability to come to grips with the end of her marriage that much harder.  He has a child his children didn’t know, which means their view of their father and their place in the family will be forever disrupted. His 4 children (with Maria)  are old enough, and this is public enough, that they undoubtedly already know.

Then there is the fact that given the time frame, he had an affair with an employee.  That is problematic legally.  She was married to someone else, which is problematic for that gentleman. And finally, he has a child who he did not acknowledge.  How hurtful is that?

Then, of course their are the voters of California, he has betrayed them.  I seem to recall he was considering a run for the presidency a few years ago – shades of John Edwards?!

I tend to think of actors and politicians as narcissistic, but when you combine the two in one person, … Keep reading

Hi there,

Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday hands down, but I recognize that for anyone involved in a divorce not so much.  I still think that you can not overestimate the therapeutic value of chocolate, no matter the circumstances.

A friend sent me an article from the ABA Journal, “Divorce Lawyers Tell Twisted Tales of Valentine’s Day,” essentially about how Valentine’s Day increases the number of folks filing for divorce.  I have never noticed that myself, but practices differ.  The same friend (you know who you are) asked if I had any amusing Valentine’s Day divorce stories.  I think that concept is a contradiction in terms, but then I remembered….many years ago (so many years ago that the folks involved have passed away) defending the deposition of a paramour.  That usually involves instructing the individual on how to raise her fifth amendment privilege, as adultery is still a crime in Massachusetts.  In this instance, the witness had been asked to bring any cards or letters she had received from her lover.  There were about 5 years worth of birthday and Valentine’s Day cards.  The wife went ballistic, as it seems the gentleman in question had … Keep reading