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Category: Doing Divorce

Angela Dunne provides practical advice based on real examples of what she and her clients have faced through the transition of divorce.

Doing Divorce

Angela Dunne provides practical advice based on real examples of what she and her clients have faced through the transition of divorce.

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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A Mom in Shining Armor

“I hate him,” she sent the text in a fury.  It came across my screen like an arrow, not so much aimed at my heart but at least my shoulder, causing me to metaphorically wince.  “What happened?” I replied.  She told me the tale – none of the details relevant – because all my heart hurt about was her distress, sadness, and pain. All kids experience this at some point about each of their parents.  And if you are sitting there smugly reading this and thinking my child will never hate me – let me tell you the day is
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Speak to Me: The Cost of Poor Communication Part 1

Wife to attorney email: I need to file taxes.  Can you ask Husband’s attorney if he agrees to file jointly? Attorney to wife email: I will ask. Wife’s attorney to me email: Does your client agree to file taxes jointly this year? $65.00 charge to wife Me: Review email and email client.  Are you agreeable to filing taxes jointly this year. (Adds additional recommendation on best filing strategy). Client (Husband)to me email.  Yes, I am agreeable.  I have emailed her multiple times over the past several weeks asking her if we could do this. Me to Wife’s attorney email:  My
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The Last Thing

“I agree with the parenting plan for our son and the child support amount.”  Pause.  “I agree with receiving half of the retirement accounts and home equity.”  Pause.  “I agree with how the debt has been distributed and it is fair.”  Pause.  “But I want the snow blower.” If I had a snow blower for every time negotiations in a divorce action came to a screeching halt over an item of personal property, I could pass them around like Oprah at Christmas.  “You get a snow blower, and you get a snow blower – snow blowers for everyone!” Although it
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Single Parent Seesaw

I looked at the month ahead.  Wait. Is that a mistake, I wondered.  Three weekends in a row I had marked down “girls” in my calendar.  Just the thought perked me up.  3 weekends in a row!  Simultaneously a shift and a gift!  My feet danced a little in my shoes as I felt the irresistible urge to jump around and bring my fist down in a triumphant “yes!” I remembered that my former spouse was going on vacation and the result was 3 weekends in a row for me, followed by 3 weekends in a row for him.  As
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Preservation Paradox

We woke early with our mission in mind.  On this misty morning, we found the tide reaching as far back into the ocean as possible.  We walked quickly on the smooth, sand-soaked surface to discover this spot of local magic.  Here in the tiny town of Neskowin, Oregon (population 134) – just past Proposal Rock – we ventured to Ghost Forest. Ghost Forest reveals the remnants of an ancient spruce forest.  It is presumed that the trees were likely abruptly lowered due to an earthquake and then were covered by mud from landslides or debris from a tsunami.  The forest reappeared in
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Featuring Fun

I couldn’t catch my breath.  I was in a public place and tears were streaming down my face.  The threat of urinating on myself was real.  I could not stop laughing.  It came wave after therapeutic wave – the fits of giggles in between the gasps for air. When I think back to the four days I recently spent in New Hampshire with two of my dearest friends since age 12, what I most remember is the laughter:  tons of it – days of it – literally stomach hurting from it.  I felt alive, refreshed, and so happy. Traci and
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Mandala Madness

Preface:  If in your mind’s eye you fancy me a sophisticated and/or elegant lady lawyer:  number one – thank you; and number two – you should probably stop reading now. One of my favorite hobbies is hand stitching.  My preferred medium is felt and sequins (think 1980’s childhood and me adoring the handmade ornaments my mom made out of sequins and felt).  One of my prized possessions is a plastic box with 16 compartments that holds my rainbow-color-coordinated sequins.  My daughters tease me that I would save that box before them if our home were burning.  Point is – I
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Absent

There was a hole on the wall.  She stared at it with the tears coming anew.  This hole was not the kind that needed spackling and sanding, but the kind that needed time and space to replace the vacancy.  She had just taken down the wedding portrait of her son and now former daughter-in-law.  The divorce decree had been signed and the woman who had frequented their kitchen table would now be permanently absent. There are similar hallways in houses we have all been in.  Black and white photos of founding family members, baby pictures never being replaced to the
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Courage and a Conversation

A wave of nausea hit my stomach every time I thought about it.  There was a conversation about our financial obligations for our kids that I needed to have with my former spouse that I did not want to have.  I dreaded it.  I delayed it.  I downright ignored it. Our co-parenting relationship has been consistently strong.  We are able to attend parent-teacher conferences together as parents.  Recently, we sat at one table together at our daughter’s 8th grade graduation reception with our respective families and it was pleasant.  I can send him messages with the eyeroll emoji attached when
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