Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rotating contact may be detrimental to infants

If you have a child under 24 months old and you are seeking a divorce, finding a contact schedule that satisfies parents and child may be difficult. Although there is a trend for parents to try a rotating contact schedule with their children, rotating contact may be detrimental to infants and children younger than 24 months.

Recent research shows that babies who live alternatively with their divorced parents develop long-lasting psychological problems. In fact research now suggests that infants who are caught in the parents plan of alternating their primary residence, develop alarming levels of emotional insecurity and poor ability to regulate strong emotion as adults because these arrangements do not provide a "secure predictable existence with their primary attachment figure be that the father or the mother. "

Rather than providing security and comfort to babies that both parents love them, the research showed that a prolonged absence from the primary caregiver confused infants, especially when their parents were in conflict. Attachment was normal however for infants with regular access to their non-residential parent, but no overnight visits.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Alimony- Would you accept $53,000 a week?

If you read the story about the wife married to the former United Technologies Corporation chief executive officer who is not willing to accept $53,000 a week in alimony after only 7 years of wedded bliss, you may think the wife is delusional.

Despite a lifestyle that included a Park Avenue apartment, three residences in Sweden, weekly limousine service, and $4,500 a week for clothes, a judge could rule that she needed less than that paltry amount of $53,000 a week.

If the princess wanna be lived in Florida then the court would consider the lifestyle as just one of several factors, but not the primary one. Under Florida's statute the court's primary guidelines is the determination of the spouse's ability to pay and the asking spouse's need. In order to determine those two guidelines the court looks at a host of factors including the asking spouses' ability to earn income and other income producing assets that he or she might have.

In this case, she herself earned one million a year from United Technologies while her husband made $27 million in salary and bonuses. Although there is a disparity in income streams of the two individuals, the court could determine that the $1 million she earned was sufficient to meet her needs, not necessarily her luxury items but her needs for adequate housing, clothing and lifestyle.

In Florida, although a spouse does not have to go to poverty level after living in a wealthy lifestyle, there is still presumably room somewhere between one million dollars and the poverty level for this soon to be ex wife to live quite comfortably.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Every good family law attorney knows a good therapist.

Well, its true. But not necessarily for the reason you might think ( attorneys dispositions will be saved for future blogs). I have been practicing in family law and working with divorcing husbands and wifes for almost 20 years, and few if any of them, should be try going through a divorce without a good therapist.

Attorneys are not therapists. We do what we can to help but our focus has to be primarily on your legal process and making sure you achieve a result that will assist you in transitioning from your married life to being single again- sometimes with children. In addition to not having the training to be a therapist-the cost for us to be your counselor and do what most others refer to 'hand holding" accrues billable hours that show up on your bill and at the end of your case you may say- was unjustified and unexpected.