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February 2012 Archives

Caution: Facebook may be used against you in family court

Do you communicate using Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms? Some Rhode Island residents know that in a divorce proceeding, it can be challenging gathering evidence that demonstrates the poor or malicious character of the opposing party. However, recent surveys from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) show that there has been an increase in the use of evidence taken from social networking sites and other technological devices for family law proceedings.

Workers' Compensation & Divorce

Some divorces feature Rhode Island workers' compensation issues, which impact child and spousal support and the division of assets. The loss of income and the injured employee being at home and out of work is often the beginning of the end of a marriage. But what are the ramifications if one of the parties is on workers' compensation?

High Conflict Divorce Resolution

High Conflict Divorces cost time, money and emotional energy. One hallmark of active disputing is verbal abuse: insulting, belittling and demeaning interchanges that occur weekly, often on the telephone or at a time of a transfer of a child from one home to the other. A Background Paper from the Department of Justice - Canada, shows the degree of conflict may be heightened. Significant others (extended family, friends, new partners) may fuel the conflict. Disputes can be sharpened by a party's humiliation, sadness, helplessness, guilt or fear.  Without intending to increase a dispute, attorneys, advocates in an adversarial system, contribute to the degree of conflict by advising clients not to talk to their spouse, making extreme demands to increase bargaining advantage and filing motions in a public forum that characterize the spouse in a negative light.

Cohabitation Agreement vital as many are unmarried with child

A Cohabitation Agreement describing rights of unmarried parties will become more important due to the changes in the number of marriages.  A recent news articles, "For Women Under 30, Most Births Occur Outside Marriage" described the sociological shift that has occurred.  Many underlying assumptions are described but the result is still the same. 

Rhode Island legislators seek harsher child support penalties

In recent news, there has been a push for change in support payment laws. According to reports, Representative Peter Petrarca and Senator John Tassoni of Rhode Island are in the process of introducing a new child support bill. The proposal would make it a felony to owe more than $5,000 in back child support payments. Violators would face up to five years in prison.

Child Custody Plans that Work

Child custody questions arise immediately after a parent has a growing realization that separation and divorce is inevitable.  What will the parenting plan look like as we go through a Rhode Island Divorce?  Where will Amelia sleep each night? When will I see Ryan?  What about Christmas Eve?  These are the natural concerns that come to mind. Each parent feels a sense of sadness that she/he cannot see the children every day; however, this may be a reality.  

Divorce Mediation or Litigation: Emotions are Costly

All divorce professionals, in mediation or litigation, know that parties going through divorce can be a bundle or raw nerves and emotions.  Dealing with those emotions can be very costly to a party.  Fears about the future, sadness, anger, depression and a sense of loss are emotions that can be used by a divorce professional to transform a divorce into a high conflict divorce costing tens of thousands of dollars.  Divorces, fueled by a party's emotions, can dissipate the parties' assets quickly and be very costly.

Brian Cashman strikes out

Many Rhode Island residents understand that going through a separation is a very difficult process. In the course of a divorce, you must make many decisions involving property, debt, alimony and children. Furthermore, these resolutions affect not only your future, but the future of your kids. In a national story, one renowned individual and his soon to be ex-wife will inevitably confront many of these separation-related issues.

Supreme Court Upholds $2.5 Million Disparity in Divorce Contract

The equitable distribution in a divorce agreement is not disturbed by the RI Suprme Court dispite a $2.5 Million dollar discrepancy.  The husband owned a 25% interest in a company. The Court appointed an appraiser for the husband's interest.  The appriased value was $2.9 million dollars.  The parties entered into a settlement agreement for the equitable distribution of their assets based upon that appraisal. They signed the agreement and testified to their approval of the agreement in March 2007 and the Court sanctioned the agreement.

Where is Alimony Going?

Years ago, alimony or spousal support, was understood by most parties.  When a marriage broke down due to the husband's fault and the wife had remained at home without a career, the wife needed life-long support.  Today, there are very few long term marriages in which the wife does not work.  The marriages of our parents or grandparents no longer exists.

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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