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June 2014 Archives

Family Law TV- "Untying the Knot" Episode 3

Family law comes back to TV in episode 3 of "Untying the Knot."  This week we meet young Chicago couple Tim and Kelly Weiss who are divorcing after 8 years of marriage.  In the first two episodes, the couples seemed more clinical and able to discuss their division of property as a busines transaction.  Here, the couple seems more emotionally raw.  Finally, the human side of divorce is represented in this "reality."

Exciting Announcement- DCS, Esq. Nominated for 2nd Year in a Row for "Lawyer on the Fast Track" Award

I am honored to announce that for the second year in a row I have been nominated for the "Lawyers on the Fast Track" award.  This year the nomination comes from McQuaide Blasko Shareholder, Janine C. Gismondi, Esquire.

Each year The Legal Intelligencer selects bright, motivated young attorneys under the age of forty to receive this prestigious award. The list is typically comprised of go-getters, trail blazers and community leaders.  The recipients will officially be announced at the end of July, then a full profile will be published in September followed by a formal reception in November.

To be nominated is a huge honor, especially coming from a mentor I respect and admire. Please keep your fingers crossed and thank you to all who support The Law Office of Diana C. Schimmel, Esquire.

Adoption in the News

A May 2014 adoption battle in Dickson, Tennessee recently became a topic of popular attention when nine-year-old Sonya was removed from her adoptive parent's home on January 30, 2014. Sonya, who has been living with the Hodgins since the age of two was adopted by the family in 2008. The child's birth father plead guilty to transporting firearms prior to the adoption finalization in 2008, and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

Family Law TV- "Untying the Knot" Episode 1

Family law made it's reality TV debut last night as Bravo aired it's new show, "Untying the Knot." I should provide a disclaimer before you read any further that 1) I am a Bravo TV-a-holic. It is my guilty pleasure and I watch pretty much every show they produce; and 2) I am a huge law nerd who loves anything related to my field of speciality. For me, this show is a marriage of the two (pun intended). In case you aren't familiar with the show's premise, the thirty-minute program centers on divorce lawyer and mediator, Vikki Zeigler, who spends the span of the show with one couple going through their divorce struggling to find the best possible split of assets. She wears more of a mediator hat than that of an attorney, but she still provides legal quips.  Bravo obviously makes this process more intriguing by finding super hot couples with exotic items to divide. When I sat down to watch, I was most interested to see how the niche of family law would be portrayed. Would it be somewhat accurate or dressed up for the bright lights of television? While each state has it's own unique set of family laws (or a family of laws) a show like this one can still make accurate representations if done correctly. I was also interested to see how Attorney Zeigler, who practices in New York and New Jersey, applied the laws of her state and how that compared to Pennsylvania and how I would handle a case for my clients. In this episode, we meet Jacques and Mira Theraube. They are separating after 6 years of marriage and have mostly been able to divide their big ticket assets on their own. They called Vikki to help them with 3 key items: an apartment in Paris, the wife's wedding ring and Buddha sculpture. Yep, a Buddha Sculpture. This articulates one of the main hurdles I see all the time with divorcing couples- an emotional attachment to an item not traditionally valuable but that is invaluable to both parties because of what it represents. Attorney Zeigler is clearly centered as a mediator in this show because there was no mention of attorneys, conflict of interest or whether she would be representing one party or the other. She employs a three-step process when dealing with her clients:

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