prenuptial agreements

Heavy Drinking is a High Risk Factor in Divorce

Hi there,

It is a perfectly putrid winter afternoon in Boston AND tomorrow is the first day of spring.  Last weekend was Saint Patrick’s Day, so I decided I would write about the endlessly cheery subject of alcohol abuse.

We always have a few divorce cases open here that involve alcohol in one way or another.  Generally the most egregious deal with custody or parenting.  Alcoholism is an insidious disease in that it is both an illness and a choice, and the non alcoholic family members pay a considerable price.  What I had not realized until recently is that heavy drinkers change their brains somehow so that they are less resilient than non heavy drinkers.

It also turns out, and I was not surprised at this, that heavy drinking leads to divorce, especially when only one spouse is a heavy drinker.

If you are contemplating marriage in addition to possibly considering a prenuptial agreement, you should also take a hard look at your partner’s drinking patterns.


Nancy… Keep reading

Hi there,

I hope you all had as nice an Easter as I did, although looking at this rainy Thursday, it seems too long ago.

Once upon a time, (a long, long time ago) I represented a woman who was convinced that her ex was hiding mega millions of dollars, both from her and from the government.  She was a very bright, very organized and very driven woman, and lo and behold she was right!  Imagine my surprise to see her on a TV program on expensive divorces.

On another note, I have written a number of times about the need to be wary of social media when you are divorcing.  Put nothing on the web that you don’t care to have your spouse show the judge!  A New Jersey belly dancer didn’t post her pictures (because she was afraid of the blow back), but her words sufficed.

And finally, I simply could not miss an opportunity to comment on this latest Royal Wedding.  I remember getting up at the crack of dawn to watch Princess Diana get married, in what was probably the ugliest wedding gown ever.  I have no intention of getting up tomorrow to watch … Keep reading

Hi there,

Every now and again I have the luxury of getting a colleague to guest post for me.  Today it is my partner, Robin Lynch Nardone.  With spring in the air (well maybe) and with socioeconomic trends making prenuptial agreements more necessary, her article is very timely.


Guest post by Robin Lynch Nardone, Partner at Burns & Levinson LLP.
Ms. Nardone specializes in family law litigation and mediation. In her litigation practice she handles all aspects of divorce, custody disputes, paternity, post-divorce modification and enforcement of alimony, child support, and other judgments.  She has extensive experience in the negotiation and drafting of prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, and divorce agreements. In addition to litigation, Ms. Nardone is a trained family law mediator. As a neutral mediator, she helps couples amicably resolve family law issues through informed negotiation.

As I look out over the six inches of new snow blanketing my lawn, I dream of summer sunshine, the smell of cut grass, back yard barbeques and summer weddings! If you are in the midst of planning your wedding, as you review your checklist of “to-do’s,” don’t forget that while this winter’s snow will melt … Keep reading

Hi there,

I keep getting sidetracked from the 10 Steps In The Divorce Process by breaking news stories and I have to admit this one (Mel Gibson’s divorce) is a bit tacky!

Admittedly when Mel Gibson married he could have had no idea as to how phenomenally successful he was going to be. He also, given his very public religious convictions, probably did not anticipate a divorce, but still…

Most states, including Massachusetts, recognize the validity of prenuptial agreements.  Mr Gibson hails from Australia, so perhaps at the time he married it was not an option; but here and now if there are, or may be, considerable assets, a prenup is a good thing. Prenups are important to consider if you or your spouse is marrying for the second time and there are children of the first marriage; if there is an inheritance expected in the future; if one party or the other has an interest in a family business. Prenups cannot decide anything regarding children but pretty much everything else can be dealt with.

I do have a warning, or perhaps caution is a better word, prenups do require partners to talk about finances but the process can … Keep reading