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Month: March 2018

March 2018

Necessary Companion

It’s familiar. The heaviness in my legs and chest. My trudge up the stairs instead of my usual scurry. The dullness of my energy as I carry on in a meeting. Grief is back. My sweet winter romance ended before I saw my first daffodil bloom. Gone overnight is the one who could not wait to see me, gifted me poetry on a paper plate, and wrapped me in a sweet cherishing on the dance floor. Neither of us young, we met on a Monday as I sat at the counter eating lunch alone. When he walked in wearing his
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Universal Good

“He is a well-known athlete.  He came to every meeting with a complete entourage of bodyguards, accountants, and managers.  I advised him that he would need to leave said entourage at home for the child support hearing in front of the judge.   The day of the hearing, he arrived with his entourage and finally agreed to leave them in the hallway – out of the courtroom.  I then eyed the diamond encrusted watch on his thick wrist.  I told him he would need to take off the $75,000 watch if I was going to proceed with advocating for a lowered
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What is a Child Support Abatement?

The Nebraska Child Support Guidelines provide for adjustments in child support if the parent paying support has 28 days of parenting time or more in any 90-day period. This is known as a child support abatement. Adjustments to a parent’s child support obligation can also be made if that parent’s parenting time substantially exceeds an alternating weekend schedule. An example of when an abatement would be appropriate could look like this: Mother has physical custody of the parents’ two children. Father pays child support to Mother. Father has routine parenting time every other weekend and one overnight per week. During
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Seeing Your Season

I lay under my quilt the morning after a return from a long weekend at the beach. The comforting sound of the rain excuses me from rushing to the responsibilities of the day. I listen to the morning weather report with my eyes closed. “Light snow falling in the metro area” gets me on my feet and to the window.  Welcome to day one of spring. A start of a spring grounds me in the reality that nothing is permanent. Despite the mix of rain and snow on this day, I am reminded all winters end and it’s time to
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Black and White Best Interests

She felt sick to her stomach and ran to the restroom.  She was embarrassed as she bumped past her third grade classmates.  Her cheeks were tear-stained when she made it to the nurse’s office. “I just threw up and I don’t feel good.”  The nurse took her temperature revealing a fever. “Ms. Smith?  This is Nancy, the school nurse.  Rebecca just threw up and is running a fever.  Are you able to come pick her up?” “I am.  But today is her dad’s day.  I can come get her, but you should call him first.” “Mr. Smith?  This is Nancy,
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Filing Taxes During Divorce

As April 15th creeps closer, spouses often have questions and concerns about how to file their taxes both during divorce and after. What filing status should I report on my taxes? Who gets to claim our marital deductions this year? How is our tax refund divided? Here are some answers to tax questions commonly asked by spouses going through divorce. Which Marital Status May I Choose? Whether you may file as single or married is determined by your marital status on December 31st of the tax year. For example, if your divorce becomes final on October 1, 2018, you may
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Packing Light

“Pack clothes for beach yoga. And shall we go sailing on Saturday?” I was about to escape the gray skies that insisted upon holding tightly to the final few days of a midwestern winter. I paused at the suggestion of a St. Patrick’s Day sail.  My mind raced to a past where criticism of my incompetency on the water left me feeling a failure not just as a sailor but about everything in my life. The flash from the past left as quickly as it arrived, and I began to think about what I’d pack for blue skies and sunny
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Gathering Information to Prepare for Divorce

If you are considering divorce, or are in the beginning stages of your divorce, you may wonder what information or documentation will be needed throughout the process. Depending on the issues of your case, you may need to provide bank statements, pay stubs, or bills. Here are the most common documents you will need during your divorce: Federal income tax returns for (at least) the two most recent tax years, including W-2s, 1099s, and all Schedules and Attachments. Why? Tax returns include a lot information that will be helpful for you and your attorney during your divorce. They provide an
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Goal Given Up

I gave up before I began, and I had good reasons. Writing that book just wasn’t going to happen. With life full from sunrise to bedtime, I could not see giving up dancing at night or sleeping my eight hours to find the time. Book writing never made it on to my lengthy list of January set goals that typically looked like this: I host a summer rooftop party by May 31st. I submit an article to The Nebraska Lawyer by September 1st. I take a hike on the John Muir trail with Jack by October 15th. My focus was
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Permission to Parent Part 5: Betting on Benefits

“It would be so easy.  He deserves it for making this decision without you.  Who does he think he is?  You are their mom!” The snarky and self-satisfied devil sat perched on my shoulder whispering into my ear. I could firmly press down one of his vulnerability buttons and expose the worry that he would not be an active and fully engaged father.  I could quite successfully play my trump card by dismissing his decision with contempt and judgment and sent a text message that read “If you want to get out of your parenting responsibilities today, I am happy
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