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May 2012 Archives

Mother must pay child support after returning adopted son

Parents paying child support in Rhode Island might be interested to learn that an American woman who sent back her adopted son from Russia will have to pay child support. The woman adopted the young boy and then sent him on a one-way flight back to Moscow. She has now been ordered to pay child support for the boy until he turns 18.

Needing to Blame A Spouse - Expensive and Shuns Mediation

Having completed a 4-day contested divorce trial, I look back with the eyes of a litigator and a Rhode Island divorce mediator, understanding why this case never settled in mediation. The wife's driving motivation was assessing blame.

How court-ordered child support might harm children

Parents in Rhode Island who are receiving or paying formal child support will be interested to learn about a recent study linking court-ordered child support payment to increased aggressive behavior in children. The study suggests that children of unmarried parents who live with their mothers and receive court-mandated financial support from their fathers exhibit more aggressive behavior than those who don't get any formal child support at all.

Parenting Plans: Support A Child's Relationship With Each Parent

As a Rhode Island divorce mediator and lawyer, I see separating parties in two different processes.  The methods of parenting before and during the divorce and the preparation of a parenting plan for the future are the same in either process. Every mediator and divorce attorney tells clients that the child is entitled to have a significant relationship with both parents, unless there is an abuse issue.

Family pets are treated as property in divorce

A growing concern for Rhode Island residents seeking a divorce is who will get custody of the family pet. Divorce attorneys say that decisions about who gets the family pet is becoming a more common issue that can make or break a divorce settlement. Some attorneys are even suggesting couples make arrangements regarding their pet in prenuptial agreements.

Deion Sanders Divorce: Pay child support but no spousal support.

Deion Sanders' divorce is front page news because of his star status. Other than Deion having star power and being in the news, the issues between Deion and his wife Pilar in their break up are no different than those in a Rhode Island divorce.

Preparing for Divorce Mediation

You or your spouse have decided that the marriage relationship is over and that you need to move towards a Rhode Island divorce - the legal end to the relationship. The next major decision is the process you will use to untangle your lives.  Will you use the adversarial or mediation process.

New bills may impact same-sex couples in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, a couple may choose to dissolve their marriage with either a no-fault or a fault divorce. Generally, a no-fault divorce is one in which irreconcilable differences have caused the breakdown of the marriage that is irreversible or the couple has been living separate and apart without cohabitation for at least three years. A fault divorce means that the breakdown of the marriage involved impotency, adultery, drug or alcohol abuse or extreme cruelty among other things.

Alimony & Child Support - More Women Are Paying

Traditionally, alimony and child support were paid by men to women. Occasionally, clients tell me that the Court's are biased against men - that Courts award women custody, child and spousal support and that a man does not receive the same treatment.

Preparing for Divorce and Post Divorce Negotiations

A lawyer or mediator visualizes a Divorce in various buckets.  One bucket concerns custody and parenting plans.  Another bucket is filled with bank accounts, brokerage accounts and retirement accounts.  One bucket is real estate.  There are various buckets containing items like vehicles and personal property, insurances and so on.

Parties face emotional pressures when divorce or post divorce disputes arise.  The prospect of sitting with adivorce professional, often a first contact with the judicial process can add to the stress and anxiety.  As a lawyer and mediator, I can reduce your stress, as we meet and develop some trust in each other and begin to unravel  and resolve your worries.
Stress lessens when you learn about the various buckets.  Here are three places to start.  Accepting the reality of the situation may not make you happy, but discovering the information mentioned below brings the clarity of the situation that reduces stress and allows you to focus on solutions that put you back on the road to your goal.  The unknown always seems worse than reality.
·      The "children" bucket.  Become informed of and involved in your child(ren)'s daily life.  Know their teachers, IEP's, daycare providers and doctors.  Know their allergies and weaknesses.  Know their favorite dinners.  Know their routines, friends and playmates.  Know their activities and sports.  You can never know too much about your children in order to help you create a parenting plan that is the best for your child.  A parenting plan just based upon more time that the other parent (if I have more of the kids' time, I must be the better parent) might not be sustainable or in the best interest of your child.
·      The "financial" bucket.  Get copies of your last 3 years of income tax returns.  You can review income generated by each party.  Interest or dividends on savings accounts, checking accounts, bonds and investment accounts will be listed along with capital gains.  This is one way to find assets, though retirement accounts are not listed.  You can review declared income and expenses listed for a self employed spouse. 
·      The "insurance" bucket.  Get copies of all life insurance policies and verify if the premiums are bring paid or if there are any loans against the policy.  Know if the health insurance plan allows a divorced spouse to remain on the policy with no extra course or if not, what the cost of COBRA might be.
We can help you map your journey using the buckets of information that you obtain and what we may need to discover.


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