Miscellaneous

For the Love of Pets

I grew up in a family where pets were always present. My dad was known to just randomly show up at home with a new puppy.  At one point in my childhood, I think there were two dogs, two cats, two hamsters and a few fish living in our house.  I have continued to share my home with pets in my adulthood – with always at least one cat (ok, often two). I have had my pets photographed with Santa (it was for charity!). I am known to give birthday cards from my dogs. At least I don’t dress them up in costumes – well, not usually.

Many people – myself included – consider their pets to be much more than property and love those pets almost as much as they love their children. Pets can become non-judgmental friends, companions for long walks, and a shoulder to cry on during difficult times. As my colleague, Andrea Dunbar, wrote in her recent post, pets are considered property in the Probate and Family Court when it comes to who will keep a pet after a divorce.  But, where there is abuse, the Court can give a victim care and control … Keep reading

Best Legal BlogHi there,

Our team of attorney bloggers takes great pride in bringing you important legal updates and helpful suggestions. We’re honored to have been nominated for The Expert Institute’s 2016 Best Legal Blog Competition! This election year, there have been some tough choices to make. We’re glad that out of hundreds of competitors, our readers nominated us!

If you find the Divorce Law Monitor blog to be a helpful resource, it is up to you to vote for something you can truly rely on. Best of all, it only takes a few clicks.

Vote here!

Thank you for your continued readership. We look forward to bringing new and interesting content to you.

This may be the easiest decision you have to make this November.

Best,
Nancy… Keep reading

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.… Keep reading

best law blogIf you find the Divorce Law Monitor blog to be helpful, we could use your assistance with something! Please indulge us as we ask for a quick favor. The Expert Institute is accepting nominations for the 2016 Best Legal Blog Competition, an annual list of the 100 best legal blogs. If Divorce Law Monitor is a good resource for you, we would be grateful for your nomination! The more nominations a blog receives, the more likely it is to be included in the contest, so every vote counts.

Submit here!

The nomination form, which asks for your contact information and a quick sentence or two about why you’re fan of the blog, will take just a couple minutes to fill out.

Nominations are due by September 5th at 12:00am (EDT). Thank you so much for the support!

Best,
Nancy… Keep reading

Do these things come with instructions?

Hi there,

In addition to being a busy practicing partner here at Burns & Levinson, I’ve been the chair of the Divorce & Family group and co-chair of the Private Client group since 1989. I’ve had the privilege of assisting more people than I can count through some of the most challenging times in their lives. It’s been rewarding, fun and occasionally crazy. The legal world has changed so much, staying up to date with new laws, technologies and ways to communicate continues to be exciting.

I’m thrilled to announce that my very able partner, Robin Lynch Nardone, has agreed to replace me as chair! Robin and I have worked together for 20 years and I know she’ll do a terrific job. Not to worry though, I’m not retiring! This will just give me more time for focusing on my clients, writing these blog posts and my one true love – spending more time with my animals. My horse, Noah, is a big proponent of this decision.… Keep reading

Advice on adopting a horse-child will follow.
Advice on adopting a horse-child will follow.

Hi there,

I spent the weekend celebrating my 50th wedding anniversary. I gave my husband a horse. Horses are high maintenance critters and I have come to realize that, due to the plethora of horses at our home, I haven’t been writing blog posts as often as I used to. To fix this, I’ve decided to ask a team of brilliant folks in the Divorce & Family Law group at Burns & Levinson to help me. I’m thrilled that they said yes, and I’m also thrilled that my daughter is one of them. For more information about the new contributors, visit our revamped “About” page. Be on the lookout for new authors and topics over the next few months!

As you can see, we’ve also made changes to our appearance and our name. Burns & Levinson has an office in Providence, and since we do divorce and family law work in Rhode Island as well, I’ve dropped “Massachusetts” from the logo.

In honor of Father’s Day weekend, our first post under the new format will be about how to adopt a stepchild.

Best,
Nancy… Keep reading

TAGS:
Lawyers, Legalese and Latin: Why Lawyers Are Such Language Junkies

Hi there,

I think of myself as a down-to-earth person,  but I unthinkingly use language that is the opposite. I blame this on my law school education, although I think lawyers self-select with a love of language and words.

Last week’s post was titled “Domestic Violence Redux.”  It wasn’t until I was asked for the meaning of “redux” that I realized how arcane the normal language of the law can be. So with no further ado a dictionary, of sorts, of the more commonly used legalese you may hear your attorney using in your divorce or other matters.

  • Redux = revisited
  • Pro se = a litigant is by himself, no counsel
  • Guardian ad litem = a guardian for the purposes of the litigation, commonly referred to as a GAL
  • Propounded, as in “we propounded interrogatories” = “we asked”
  • Interrogatories = written questions to be answered under oath in a set time frame
  • Pro bono = literally means “for good.” Lawyers do a lot of pro bono work for free or reduced fees generally representing folks who can’t afford lawyers, and also when writing briefs for causes the lawyers believe are good
  • Res judicata = already
Keep reading

Hi there,

Please indulge me as I ask for a very quick  favor.

The American Bar Association Journal is accepting nominations for their Blawg 100 Amici, an annual list of the 100 best legal blogs. If you’re a fan of MassachusettsDivorceLawMonitor.com, I’d be grateful for your nomination, which you can submit here. You’ll be asked to provide your contact information and a quick sentence or two about why you’re fan.

Nominations are due no later than 5 p.m. ET on Aug. 8, 2014. Thank you so much for the support!

Best,

Nancy… Keep reading

Hi there,

I am thrilled, personally and professionally, to be able to say that my daughter, CiCi Van Tine, joined Burns & Levinson as a partner this week. She brings with her Mick Judge, who is an associate in our Private Client and Divorce and Family groups. You can read the firm’s full announcement here.

I’m looking forward to working with both of them at the firm… and on the blog, too!

Best,

Nancy… Keep reading

Social Data and Divorce: What is Your Data Predicting?

Hi there,

This time of year there are always articles making their way around the internet about relationships and marriages.

Facebook keeps all kinds of statistics and can tell from posts where folks are in their relationships. It is fascinating to me that they can track when the relationship gets serious, and when it goes bad.

There was another interesting piece on how the “cost” of sex has lessened, and how that affects choices for men and women differently (shades of my grandmother).

The most interesting piece, though, was a rather lengthy New York Times opinion piece on how marriages have changed and how the differences affect what we expect of marriage.

Best,

Nancy… Keep reading