As the summer winds down and kids start back to school, a lot of folks decide to take their first real step in the divorce process. I routinely see a lot of people in August who haven’t decided what to do and need to know what will lie ahead of them legally before they make a very tough decision.
There’s something about the beginning of fall and the kids going back to school that clarifies things. It’s a time of new beginnings and for some the new beginning is divorce.
Divorce is hard. It doesn’t matter if you’re the one who chooses to divorce or the one on whom the choice is imposed. It is a life-altering event. Like all life-altering events, it makes you stop and really evaluate your life. The good, the not so good. 25 years ago I had breast cancer, and at the time I’d been a divorce lawyer for 10 years and thought I understood my clients. I found as time went on that I had really hadn’t understood the unexpected positives that come from pain endured and fear survived. You learn how strong you really can be.
In my previous post, The 7 Deadly (Tech) Sins of Divorce – Part 1, we discussed the importance of protecting email accounts and passwords, not reading your spouse’s email and not recording anything without informing them. Here are the remaining four sins to avoid!
4. Sharing Too Much on Social Media
I frequently remind clients not to put in writing or, God forbid, take a picture of anything they don’t want handed to the Judge in an open courtroom packed with interested listeners. The same rule holds true for social media. In a perfect world (we are talking about my perfect world here) a divorcing client would not involve themselves in any kind of social media sharing for the duration of the proceedings. They’d shut down their old accounts and they wouldn’t open new ones. However, we don’t live in a perfect world. People insist on keeping their Facebook accounts and posting to Instagram. If this is you, be very cautious. If you keep these accounts active, please do not denigrate your spouse. If it’s public information, the opposing attorney will find and use it against you.… Keep reading
For anyone involved in a divorce there are always pitfalls to be avoided, no matter where you are in the process. Some of the pitfalls are obvious, others less so. Today we’ll discuss the first three in a set of seven areas of technology to approach with caution. Apologies for the dramatic title.
1. Your Email Is Not Secure
Virtually everyone has an email address, either at home or at work, so nearly everyone will be impacted by many of the problems that can come from that. If you are divorcing and you have an email account, stop reading this post and go set up a new account. Then come back and finish reading. Create a new Gmail or Outlook account that you can use exclusively for personal communications such as those about your divorce, with your lawyer, questions for the accountant, etc. If you have an account you can’t get rid of, such as a work email or an AOL email you’ve had for 15 years, change the password right away.… Keep reading
A little over a year ago my daughter, Cici Van Tine joined us here as a partner. It has been a wonderful change and she is a terrific addition. As a proud mom I could happily write an entire blog post about how good she is and what fun it is to work with her… She is more tech savvy than I am, as ones’ children often are, and she worked in a tech crimes division as an Assistant District Attorney.
Our next couple of posts will be by Cici on the 7 Deadly (Tech) Sins of Divorce, enjoy!
Lots of us live on or close to the Massachusetts/Rhode Island state border. We don’t even think about it as we cross back and forth. But when you’re involved in a divorce and one of you moves to the other state, this can add a layer of complexity to the process. There are significant differences in some aspects of the law.… Keep reading
“Service of process,” also known as “serving divorce papers,” is one of those things that is extremely important but usually only interesting to lawyers. Its timing is important in Massachusetts because the length of the term of alimony is dependent on it. Otherwise and critically the purpose is to give the other side notice of the divorce. Fairness and due process require this. But in some cases, the other side is missing with no forwarding address or they are deliberately evading service.… Keep reading
“Don’t hold together what must fall apart. The familiar life crumbles so the new life can begin.”
— Bryant McGill
A friend recently sent me that quote. I love it because it’s so hopeful. February and March are historically a very busy time for new divorce filings. In general, divorce attorneys see a lot of new clients in the first quarter of any year. While gyms fill up in the new year as well, it’s been my experience more folks follow through with resolutions to end their marriages, than with resolutions to get fit. A sorry commentary, superficially, but it can be hopeful or even positive when looked at in the light of the quote above.… Keep reading
Spring vacation is almost here for many private schools and April vacation is just around the corner. Whether you’re taking the kids on vacation by yourself for the first time or you’re going to be the parent staying home, these tips will help ensure your travel plans run effortlessly!… Keep reading
‘Tis the season for holiday parties, and it’s my belief that narcissists are overly prevalent at parties. Social gatherings provide a great opportunity for a narcissist to show off and shine. However, behind the scenes, narcissists aren’t so pretty. I’ve blogged about it before and not much has changed, although there does seem to be more public awareness of how difficult a divorce and dealing with one can be.… Keep reading
Yesterday the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided to treat Civil Unions like marriage. My colleague, Robin Lynch Nardone has some thoughts on this.
A civil union may not be the same as a marriage, but in the eyes of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, it is. The SJC has ruled that a Vermont civil union is the equivalent of a marriage in Massachusetts.
The SJC was asked to rule on the question of whether or not a civil union must be dissolved before a party to that civil union can enter into a valid marriage in Massachusetts. Todd Warnken entered into a civil union in Vermont in 2003 and then entered into a marriage with Richard Elia in Massachusetts in 2005. Mr. Warnken had not taken any steps to legally end his civil union before marrying Mr. Elia in Massachusetts. When Mr. Warnken filed for divorce in Massachusetts in 2009, Mr. Elia, having learned of the civil union, moved to dismiss the complaint for divorce on the grounds that the marriage was void under Massachusetts law. In Massachusetts, polygamy (having more than one spouse at the same time) is illegal. A marriage is not valid … Keep reading