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April 2015 Archives

Top Family Law Myths Busted!

People often have a lot of misconceptions about the family law process. They have never been through anything like it before so they turn to experienced friends or the internet for answers before going to an attorney. This usually leads to a lot of confusion and questions. Here are three common myths that I get asked all the time by clients and the truth behind them:

Divorce and the Service Veteran

When going through a divorce clients often ask me what can and will be divided. The general rule is that all items considered "martial property" are divisible; a definition we get from the law. Of course there are exceptions to this rule and as a result, my answer for my clients is not always cut and dry. This becomes even a bit more complicated when one party (or both) are service members. Specifically, this becomes an issue when dealing with military retirement benefits. Military retirement benefits are subject to division as marital property, military disability payments however, are not. These two intersect when a service person opts to change his or her retirement payout into disability payments. What a spouse previously thought he or she was entitled to could now be protected property. It is important to know what is classified as what type of benefit and plan for an unexpected change. Another wrinkle for spouses in the service is determining where to file for divorce. Many military families move around a lot and do not necessarily meet the minimum time requirement to establish residency in order to file. For such couples, there is a presumption that where they enlisted can be used and is their home jurisdiction. Unless there is clear evidence that the couple intended to put down roots elsewhere. These are just two of the differences that impact military families. If you or your spouse are or were in the service and are facing a divorce, make sure to consult an attorney who is familiar with the law and how it applies to you. 

Prenuptial Agreements & The Young Couple

You just got engaged and while flipping through your bridal magazines, you might be thinking, "Oh, I don't need a prenup, only the rich and famous need a prenup." But, that is not always so true anymore. A prenuptial agreement is part financial plan and part legal contract (also part romance squasher to some), yet at the end of the day it protects your interests should divorce occur. Here are a few basic Q&As about prenuptial agreements to help you decide if drafting one is right for you:

  • Q: Does getting a prenup mean my fiance doesn't trust me?.
  • A: No way! It actually means that they are trying to protect you. No one goes into a marriage wanting to get divorce, but no one gets behind a car wanting to get into an accident either. You still would buy insurance and that is what a prenup can be.
  • Q: I don't have any money, do I still need a prenup?.
  • A: While most often a party with some degree of wealth is the one to request a prenup, the party who is financially dependent shouldn't miss out. You may have quit your job or relocated before the marriage and lost out on income. The prenup can help you recoup financially should the marriage end.
  • Q: What goes into a prenup?.
  • A: Usually the agreement includes who gets what in the event of a divorce. Most commonly these are related to financial assets. But couples can include anything of value (monetary or sentimental) that they want to specify. Some parties will even include pets!

26 Divorce Myths from 12 Divorce Professionals

What do you get when you ask twelve divorce and family law professionals about misconceptions in their field?  You get an amazingly informative e-book that dispels 26 of the most common myths in family law.  26 Divorce Myths: Straight Answers from 12 Professionals in the Trenches is the brain child of several like-minded professionals (Diana C. Schimmel, Esq. included!) who see recurring issues and struggles present themselves in most of their cases.   Together, they attempted to answer these questions in an easy-to-digest way that hopefully will put you at ease while reading.  

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