“No, It Isn’t All Yours”

Piece of of chocolate cake on the tableWe have all been faced with the following situation: there is one slice of cake left and everyone wants a piece. How can you ever hope to divide the remaining piece so that everyone who wants some is satisfied? Well, the simple answer is that you cannot without some form of compromise. Similarly, ending a marriage, dividing property, and agreeing to a parenting plan, all involve choices, and compromises. Continue reading

“Houston, we have a problem”

Spaceship In Space Most of us remember these words spoken by Tom Hanks in the movie “Apollo 13” (or if you’re old like me you remember the actual event), and for me the words represent a moment in which the astronauts realize they had a problem beyond their ability to solve. We all have these moments, but as to when we recognize such moments is different for each of us, and sometimes it can be too late.   Continue reading

Say It Isn’t So!

Black silhouette of a baseball player In 1919 “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was part of a group of Chicago White Sox players who were accused of “fixing” the 1919 World Series. During the investigative proceedings a reporter for the Chicago Daily News wrote a column for the paper titled, “Say It Isn’t So,” which expressed his hope that Joe Jackson did not participate in fixing the series. While the jury is still out on Joe, I find that parents often need to hear those things they do not want to during a divorce, child custody case or child support matter.   Continue reading

Parents Matter

Paper man chain of familyI originally was going to title this blog, “Dads Matter,” but I changed it to the present title because both parents matter in the lives of their children. The impact of a parent will be for either good or bad depending upon the choices each parent makes, but there will be an impact one way or another. In my own life I cannot overstate the influence of my parents in my life. My father told me he loved me for the first time the night before I married. I was 20 years old, but I remember him sitting on my bed and telling me. It was great to hear it, but he had told me in so many ways while I was growing up it was almost unnecessary for him to say the words. My dad is 88, and I speak to him weekly as do my siblings. We honor him for his influence in our lives.    Continue reading

Divorce Primer 101

Students writing testWe all probably remember being in high school and having to write a report on an assigned book, and realizing late in the game that the report was due the next day and that we had not read the book! I still have nightmares on occasion about being late for an exam or failing to turn in a paper when due, and this is after 30 years. I know that I sometimes resorted to using the Cliff Notes version of whatever book I was to have read. You might think if this is all I have nightmares over that my life must be pretty boring, but let me assure you I have my share of trials (pun intended).  Continue reading

And So the New Year Begins

Choclate.jpgIt seems that change and the New Year go hand in hand. As we all know, this is a time in which people make resolutions they desperately hope they can keep, knowing it will never happen.  For example, I love Hershey’s Chocolate bars. Sure, there is better chocolate out there, but Hershey bars are cheap. So, I have resolved to eat fewer of them, and I now call them medicine. Consequently, I am not eating chocolate; I am instead taking medicine to help me cope, which chocolate does on so very many different levels. Continue reading

Now What?

not again             I cannot believe it has actually been two months since my last blog post. At that time I wrote of my mother-in-law’s death, and I mentioned how hectic life had been as a consequence. Well, life has continued unabated and at full steam. One bit of good news is that my daughter successfully defended her thesis, and she will graduate with a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. My daughter emphasizes her degree is in “Fine Arts” as opposed to mine which is simply in the “Arts.”  Regardless, it sounds like both my daughter and I have degrees which might enable us to live under highway underpasses for long periods of time.  Oh, and I’ve had another back surgery.

When I last posted a blog post I addressed the issue of divorce in Colorado. While I want to return to that subject, I think the first think I want to address is what not to do during your family law case. First and foremost, bad behavior is never acceptable, and more importantly, if you are going to engage in reprehensible behavior do not post evidence of it on social media! Judges are always interested in what parties to a case really think about one another, and there is frequently no better place to see what mom and dad really say to one another than on Facebook, Twitter, by text or email.

So, the first lesson everyone involved in a domestic or family law case should learn is to “just say no.” Say no to the madness, and do not give into the temptation to blast the other party in your case. This means taking the higher road, something all of us often find hard to do, but ultimately doing so will pay dividends. Do not post nudes of the other party or make threats; do not comment on their choice of a new significant other, and never ever say anything you will be embarrassed to have read aloud in Court. We all remember “Miracle Max” from the “Princess Bride,” but there is a limit to even what he could do in your case if you have engaged in a negative social media campaign. Also take note that posting nude photos is often considered “revenge porn,” and is illegal, so do not do it.  I would not be writing about this if I was not seeing it.

The second rule to remember is that the children of a relationship are not property or tools with which to hurt the other party. Judges see this all the time, and there is no better way to influence a judge against you than to engage in this type of behavior. Accordingly, do not discuss parenting issues with children; if you do you are risking the anger of the judge.

Third, remember that absent some significant reason, as parents you are going to be co-parenting the children for a long time together. In Colorado this is until the child in question has reached age 19 and has graduated from high school. So, if you have young children, understand you could be interacting with the other party for over 10 years. What better time than now to begin to parent responsibly?

It does hurt when another person has been abusive, but the key in domestic cases involving children is to show the Court at least one party or parent is an adult. This cannot happen if you are engaging in the very behavior you are arguing is reprehensible.  The key in tense situations is to establish boundaries. Often a good parenting plan, with clear limits, goes a long way to establishing rules which limit the bad behavior of the other party. A good parenting plan, when properly followed, can put the court on your side if you follow the rules. If we can help you out of your situation give contact us.