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Month: February 2019

Month: February 2019

Courtroom Career: Observations from my Daughter

I am not sure which of us was more excited or more nervous.  My daughter was coming to court after school to watch me.  This was the first time in her 14 years that she had taken interest in what her mom does.   After watching me spend atypical evenings and weekends working on what I described as a “big case,” her curiosity was piqued.  She was asking questions about what made cases hard, how the process worked, what I liked about trial. Day three of trial arrived and so did my daughter during the afternoon session.  She observed over 50
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Tips for Creating a Divorce Agreement You Can Live With

Whatever disagreements may have attributed to your impending divorce, your goal should be to forge a divorce agreement that both parties can live with over time. The goal is not to be punitive; rather, it is to find a way to build new and separate lives where you both will thrive without bitterness or retribution. Keeping that in mind, here are some tips on creating a good divorce agreement: Understand your finances. If your spouse has always handled the financial stuff, it’s time to get educated about your financial picture. If you need help understanding them, hire a financial advisor
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Wednesday Women

On an ordinary winter Wednesday each woman revealed her fear. Keeping them up at night in three different states across the country were uncannily consistent concerns throughout the course of the day. Each was well-educated, bright, and hardworking. All were achievers in professional careers—one running a financial institution, one running a law firm, one running a classroom.  All three were loving and devoted mothers. They were stylish and smiling. The demons they dealt with daily were invisible to the outside world. Each knew that their life as they knew it could not remain. None were certain of their path forward.
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#TBT Courtroom Care

Last week, Angela had one of the most complicated and intense trials of her career. She was reminded of this blog she wrote back in 2016, and the timeless advice contained within. I could feel it before I could see it.  I knew immediately that something was off.  I walked down the courthouse corridor, unaware at first that I was walking directly down the battle line.  I spotted my client and his family nervously waiting for me.  I did not recognize, because they were strangers to me, that his wife and her relatives sat on the bench opposite.  As soon
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Protecting Your Parenting Time During a Separation or Divorce

If you have separated from your spouse or partner and there are children involved, you are no doubt concerned about protecting your parenting time during your separation, whether or not it leads to divorce. Here are some guidelines to ensure you have equal access to your children (unless there are mitigating factors like domestic abuse or other crimes): Talk with a family law attorney. To enforce your rights, you have to first know what those rights are. If the child was conceived out of wedlock, you must establish paternity. If your child was born or adopted within a marriage, your
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Perspective Appreciation

There was seriousness about them that I understood. Each was their own boss, and their boss had high expectations. Do excellent work. Take good care of your clients. Make money. And don’t work too much. This small group of established solo lawyers each made a commitment to spend a year together looking at their law practice and being coached. It may be painful to examine the imperfection of something of your own creation. Even critiquing my pot of black bean soup feels uncomfortable when the recipe was my own. Yet taking a truthful look is like taking a taste from
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In Love

In light of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would re-post my blog from 2014 about dating after divorce (not during divorce, after divorce).  I sat in my pajamas, clutching a fistful of candy conversation hearts, I filled out an online dating profile.  I also signed up for speed dating at the library on Valentine’s Day to get some first-hand experience as to how this all works. I quickly realized that online dating requires a separate blog (or ten) all its own.  I haven’t quite recovered from the shock of it and I am not able to type most of the
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How to Successfully Co-Parent with a High-Conflict Ex

If you endured a high-conflict marriage and a high-conflict divorce, chances are you will be facing many of the same challenges when it comes to co-parenting with your ex. Here are some tips on how to successfully co-parent with a high-conflict ex: Control your reactions. Ongoing conflict between two people is pretty much a product of habit. To keep peace in your co-parented family, you need to break this habit. First, realize you only have control over you, so work on your communication skills by remembering to take the high road, no matter how nasty your ex may get on
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Our Mother of Perpetual Hope

“I’d like to go with,” I say. “Don’t you have something on Saturday?” “Just another funeral,” I say, stifling a small nervous laugh. Five funerals in six weeks is a record in my world. For the first time I grasp a glimmer of what it must have been like for my brother Tim during the AIDS crisis of the 80’s when deaths of his friends kept coming, warning him of his future. As we walked in bitter cold toward the luncheon of ham and cheese sandwiches and hot coffee, another mourner remarked, “I don’t remember temperatures this cold since the
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Raw Regret

Sophia wanted her turn.  We sat at the dinner table going through our days and she was anxious to share.   It was a 7th grade drama – a mild version of mean girls.  Sophia set the scene.  “We were playing a trick on Josie and hiding her book.  I don’t know why.  It’s just a thing.  So I told her I had her book.  I didn’t.  So I don’t know why I said it, but that’s what I told her.”  I could see the snowball forming as she moved through her story.  “Sophia, you are too dumb to have my
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