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Month: February 2018

February 2018

Awards of Attorney’s Fees in Divorce

Divorces can be costly and the total expense is often unpredictable. The cost of your divorce will depend upon many factors (such as whether you have children, the value of your assets, the willingness to settle versus going to trial, and the length of time from filing to resolution). In addition, you may be responsible for filing fees, mediation fees, witness fees, and, most commonly, attorney’s fees. You may ask the court to order your spouse to pay your legal fees. When you file for divorce, if you are without sufficient funds you can ask that your spouse contribute to
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Kept in a Drawer, Still Dancing

“We kept you in a drawer,” she said. My devoutly Catholic mother was not much for telling stories and even less for telling lies. Still, I suspected the veracity of the claim until my sister verified the details. “Oh yes. We rented a furnished apartment on the second floor. Down the hall from the dentist’s office.  Above the bar. We didn’t have any furniture of our own.” Dad was customarily laid off from construction during winter, assuming his chronic alcoholism had not already left him jobless. Mom returned to her waitress job to support our family of seven when I
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Permission to Parent Part 3: The Prepared and Practical

The truth about my daughters going to the mall, as I describe in Part 1 of this series, was that I wasn’t ready.  Not only was I not ready, I wasn’t consulted in advance or even at the time.  I was just told.  And worst for me, I was not prepared.  If he had asked me, I would have been able to provide (hopefully) a measured response.  I would have had time to process the pros and cons.  Instead, when I was taken off guard and forced to react to the news an hour before they were leaving, it felt
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What to Expect from the Mediation Process During Divorce

When you and your spouse are unable to reach settlement during divorce, one of the first resources available to work past impasse is mediation. In divorces with children, Nebraska law requires mediation, but mediation is often utilized even when children are not at issue. What is mediation? Mediation is a way for you and your spouse to talk with the help of a neutral third-party. The role of the neutral third-party, the mediator, is not to take sides, but rather to help you communicate your goals and concerns, while also encouraging you to brainstorm resolutions. While the process of mediation
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Lost and Found

I climb up the stairwell to the landing. The door is locked.  Another flight up I open the door. Nothing looks familiar. I slowly walk down the long hallway, peering into empty rooms, hoping to for some sense of where I am. My heart is pounding. I am hopelessly lost. Suddenly my eyes pop open. Versions of this dream visit me from time to time. Sometimes I’m in massive complex of buildings, sometimes in a foreign country. Always lost. Always knowing I’m supposed to be somewhere other than where I am, but unable to orient myself because I have no
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Permission to Parent Part 2: Planting Perspective

We have all made the mistake of responding to a co-parent in the heat-of-the-moment-haste.  What would it have been like if you instead had paused?  Would your heated reaction have been the same an hour later? “But this is an emergency!!  My children are in danger!” I hear you and my clients calling out with urgency.  So stop right there.  If it is a true emergency and you truly believe that the safety of your children is being jeopardized, you need to call the police.  If you hesitate in the slightest at calling the authorities, then your children are not
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Rosie the Riveter Pays a Visit

Rosie made a surprise visit the week she died. I entered the room and saw her sitting on the floor looking down at a framed photo of me with a microphone in my hand, wearing a white dress and a fierce face. The tiny plastic figure of Rosie the Riveter is one of the many bits of inspiration sprinkled about my home. She had fallen off my bookshelf along with the picture of me giving a rallying speech at a women’s march held decades before. Naomi Parker Fraley, the woman whose photograph inspired the original image of the beloved icon
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Permission to Parent, Part 1: Can They Do That?

My stomach and heart clenched up when I received my daughter’s message.  “Dad is going to drop us off at the mall while he runs an errand.”  My children were 6th and 4th graders at the time. “He what????”  I wanted to reply.  But I didn’t.  First I fumed for a full two minutes.  Then I surveyed my options: I could coincidentally be at that very mall at the exact same time my girls were wandering amidst a crowd of predator strangers; I could call and tell him exactly what I thought of that plan and threaten to take him
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How Temporary is a Temporary Order?

During your divorce, some issues between you and your spouse are time sensitive and must be addressed before you reach a final settlement, or the court enters a final ruling on your case. For example: Who gets to stay in our home? What will parenting time look like between us? What amount of child support or alimony will either of us pay? Who will be responsible to pay for our family’s health insurance coverage? When spouses are unable to reach agreement on time-sensitive matters, either spouse may ask a court for a temporary order to decide these issues. When does
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Finally I’m Asking

“Why didn’t you tell me you were getting a breast biopsy?” “Why didn’t you call me when your car wouldn’t start?” “Why don’t you let me help?” One of the best things about growing up one of eight with an alcoholic dad and an overworked mom is that you learn to manage exclusively on your own. One of the worst is that you live managing on your own to the exclusion of others. The biggest fights I’ve had with my closest friends were instigated by my failure to reach out to them. I had surgery without saying so. I walked
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