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Some stranger just handed you papers labeled “Action For Divorce”, and your mind starts racing. Anger, fear, regret, and anxiety are just some of the emotions you’re feeling. But what should you do next?

First and foremost, don’t overreact and do anything extreme that you will regret later. Do your best to stay in control of your emotions. This is a time to be thinking as clearly as possible.

If you just don’t think you can face your spouse or control yourself in front of your kids right now, it’s ok to take a moment. Take a timeout. Seek comfort from family, friends, or be by yourself for a while if necessary. Devote the day, the night, or a weekend to yourself. Then as soon as possible, get back to your life and routine. Especially, if there are children involved you have to maintain routines for their sake.

Just to be clear, I am not telling you to vacate your marital residence permanently, in fact just the opposite. You have to be prepared mentally to dig in, and do what is necessary to care for your children. Do not give your spouse the opportunity to seize control over the home and your children’s routines.

With regard to your kids and your behavior, the most important thing you can do is to leave your children out of your adult relationship problems. Let your kids be kids. No matter how mature you think they are, be careful not to tell them too much. Instead of burdening them with your relationship problems, reassure them that both of their parents still and will always love them. Explain to your children that regardless of what’s happening with your marriage, they will always be taken care of and loved by both of you.

Once you are able, you will want to start gathering necessary information. Including Copies of previously filed tax returns inclusive of W2’s, statements from all bank accounts, investment account information, retirement account statements for you and your spouse if available. And mortgage statements that include the amount still owed on the loan. Equally important is having all information about debts, such as credit card statements

At this point you need help, and should be seeking a consultation with a respected local divorce attorney. The papers you were served with need to be  answered in a timely manner.

In addition, those papers contain automatic orders that prohibit certain activities. The local divorce attorney you consult with should be able to advise you of what your next move should be. Finally, the papers you were served contain automatic orders that prohibit certain activities. Our next post will discuss the initial automatic order‘s and what to expect at your initial consultation with attorney Christopher Palermo, The Suffolk Divorce Lawyer.

In the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and all things social media, some of us are reserved, and some of us are glued to our smart phones. Some don’t have much reserve at all when it comes to what they share on Facebook. And that’s all fine. But it’s imperative that you know what you can share and what you can’t share on social media if you are in the middle of a divorce. Your social media accounts, if necessary, will be investigated by your spouse’s divorce attorney. It’s very common. They’re looking for evidence to use against you, and even seemingly benign posts can end up hurting your reputation in the context of a divorce. A damaging post can affect the outcome of division of marital property, allocation of parental responsibilities, and child and spousal support payments. There are several ways your spouses divorce attorney may use information you post on social media against you in your case.

Don’t Attack Your Spouse

For some of us, it feels like somewhat of a pull, especially during a contentious divorce, to vent out your feelings to a friend regarding your divorce. You may make derogatory remarks regarding your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Even electronic communications, such as emails, can be used as evidence against you during court. Bitter comments regarding any matters revolving your divorce or your spouse can make you appear socially unstable or hateful. A divorce attorney may highlight this behavior and use it against you in the matter of child custody.

Don’t Disclose Anything Suggesting Disposable Income

Many of us love showing the world of social media what we do on vacation and during social outings. During a divorce, this is not a good idea. Is suggests you have disposable income and lucrative assets, even when that’s not actually true. These photos may show a contradictory depiction of your financial standing. Your spouse’s divorce attorney can use these photos, which may be contradictory in nature, to sway the court’s decision on matters such as spousal support, child support, or property allotment.

If You’re Dating, Keep It As Private As Can Be

Some people may look down on those dating while going through a divorce. There are opposing sentiments about it. If you do decide to date during a divorce, it’s best not to advertise it. It could call into question your personal morals. If you have children, it’s best not to bring this your new partner around them. For one, it could truly confuse a child to see their mother or father dating someone else when they’re still not fully understanding of divorce and what it could mean for their future. Secondly, you could end up dating someone you don’t fully know everything about. What if they’ve been in trouble with the law? If your spouse’s divorce attorney finds evidence that you are with someone else – especially anyone who has been in trouble with the law – this could hurt the matter of child custody in your divorce case.

Keep It Simple

You may be driven to use social media during a divorce. It can help you get back out with friends, see what the world has to offer for you – there are plenty of benefits. It’s extremely important, however, to keep some of your affairs off social media during a divorce case. Do not delete your social media accounts without consulting with your attorney first.

Misconceptions about divorce are prevalent, and one of them is that parents frequently engage in custody battles that are litigated in court and resolved by a judge’s ruling.

The truth is that most couples prefer to settle their differences privately and avoid courtroom litigation. Even when a custody issue becomes high profile in the media, like the case of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, this is true.

Here are some interesting statistics reported in the Huffington Post that put child custody litigation into a proper perspective:

What Factors Influence the Decision to Make Mothers Primary Custodians?

During divorce, most parents want the process to go as smoothly as possible for the children. Introducing the least amount of life style change generally makes the transition for children easier. These statistics show why mothers typically get most of the primary care duties, even when both parents work.

The Pew Research Center released a report in 2011 regarding families with children and it found:

There are many factors to weigh when arranging for child custody, and it is wise to discuss your concerns with an experienced lawyer. Attorney Chris Palermo can help you make important decisions that affect your and your children’s future.

There is almost an app for everything these days, and apps for co-parenting can help you juggle the lifestyle changes during separation or after divorce. They can make co-parenting easier for both you and your ex.

Various apps are available for co-parenting. Here are a few to consider:

2Houses has a calendar you can share to help you keep track of daily activities. The expense section of the app helps you see how money is being spent on your child, and it also keeps a record of the balance. The journal section is a family social network where you can share pictures, write entries, relate things your children said, or share conversations you’ve had with your child’s teachers, doctor, etc. When your child is away, you can still participate in your child’s life through shared communication.

Kidganizer functions is similar to 2houses in that it has a calendar section (with alert reminders), an expenses area and a section where you can share information.

Custody connection allows you to create a custody calendar and share it with your child’s other parent. You can connect and synchronize with the other parent, and there’s no need to send texts or make phone calls because you can easily communicate and request any necessary changes by using the app.

Parenting Apart offers counseling ideas for separated and divorced couples to deal with various situations that often arise during co-parenting. Examples include: what to expect emotionally with your child, what to look for at during different ages and stages, etc.

Do You Have Questions about Divorce? Consult with a Divorce Lawyer.

If you’re contemplating divorce or need legal advice, it’s wise to consult with a divorce lawyer. Divorce Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal assistance and can help you navigate a variety of issues couples often face during divorce.

Once you’re divorced, you and your ex-spouse need different car insurance policies. If the two of you have a teenager who needs car insurance, it may be a little confusing to decide whose insurance policy (yours or your ex-spouse’s) your teenager should be covered under. We’d like to help clear this type of situation up.

If you have primary custody of your teen:

If you have primary custody of your teen, it’s likely best that you place your child on your own insurance. If, however, they have access to a car at your ex-spouse’s home, your ex-spouse should check with their insurance carrier to see if they need to have your teenager on their policy as well.

If you share joint custody:

If you and your ex-spouse share joint custody, and your teenager has access to cars at both homes, it’s best to add them to both of your policies.

If your ex has primary custody:

If your teenage driver spends most of their time at your ex’s home, they should be listed under their policy. If, however, they do drive a car at your home, you should ask your insurance carrier if they need to be covered under your policy as well.

The Importance Of Keeping Consistent Driving Rules At Both Homes

According to studies by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm, setting clear rules can cut the potential of a teenager having a car accident in half. Parents should also pay attention to where their kids are driving and with whom. It’s also important to have rules about when your teenager can borrow your car. They should be required to request permission to use your car, and research says controlling access to your car keys, “at least for the first six to 12 months after a teen gets a license, is one of the best things parents can do to keep their kids safe.”

According to research, the way in which you set the rules is just as important as the rules you set. Your teenager needs to know that your rules are set in place for their own safety, and not just to control them.

With that said, it’s important that you and your ex-spouse, even if there is resentment, come to an solid agreement regarding the rules you set for your teenager’s driving privileges and that you both stick to those rules.

While no divorce is ever easy, some divorces are the epitome of divorce gone wrong. Rational thinking is absent and emotions become explosive. As the crazy side of yourself and your partner emerges, you find yourselves arguing over the “kitchen sink.” Maintaining a rational perspective can be difficult, and for this reason it is vital to hire a seasoned divorce lawyer. A divorce attorney will protect your interests and advise so you can listen to a voice of reason.

Examples of Some Outrageous Divorce Entanglements


Consult with an Attorney about Your Divorce

It is important to consult with a lawyer early on in a divorce case to avoid unnecessary entanglements. Don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you. Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal help and can help you protect their rights.

In 1989 People magazine reported about a network called “Children of the Underground.” Faye Yager emerged as the movement’s leader. This movement helped men and women hide their kids as a way of escaping partners they alleged were abusive, but to whom the courts granted custody.

Newsweek reported that the United States Department of Justice estimates family members abducted 203,900 children in 1999, which is the most recent year for records estimating child abduction. By comparison, this is more than triple the number of stranger abductions. In family abduction cases, 21 percent of the time, children are gone for a month or longer. However, only 28 percent of children abducted by family members are reported as missing to law officials.

Yager, the Leader of the Underground Network

In a New York Times interview in 1992, Yager said she assisted some 2,000 families in hiding children. Reports describe the network as consisting of ministers, homemakers, people involved in domestic violence shelters, women’s groups and everyday people. They have used birth certificates of deceased people for new names to hide the runaways. The underground network’s purpose was to disclose the fact that courts had failed to protect abused children and running became the last resort. The movement forged ahead as child abuse became increasingly an issue during the late 20th century. As lawsuits mounted against Yager, she disappeared.

Continued Existence of the Network

Even so, the network still exists, only Yager flies under the radar more evasively today and the movement isn’t publicized.

In the Minnesota case where the Rucki girls disappeared, the couple that harbored the girls at their ranch face felony charges of parental alienation for helping hide the girls for two and a half years. The couple’s lawyers deny their involvement in any formal network.

In September 2016, Dede Evavold was prosecuted for deprivation of child custody in the Sandra Rucki Teenager Family Abduction Case and found guilty. She was associated with the underground network.

Do You Need Legal Help with Child Custody?

Whether you feel the courts ruled unfairly about abuse or your child has been abducted, going the legal route and hiring a competent attorney is your best recourse for the issues involved.

Attorney Chris Palermo is diligent about providing you with sound legal help and protecting your rights.

The divorce between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie has become high profile in today’s news. It’s not often that a celebrity divorce earns its own nickname. In this case, the press is calling it the “Brangelina Split.”

Even though each parent is worth many millions, the main contested divorce issue is child custody of their six children.

As in many divorces, if the couple can reach a settlement outside of court, they have better chances of making their divorce more amicable. It remains to be seen how they will resolve the custody issue, but here are some benchmarks along the road of their divorce.

Divorce Filing

Angelina Jolie filed for divorce at the end of September 2016 and sought sole child custody.  Allegations of abuse emerged against Brad Pitt shortly after she filed.

Temporary Custody Agreement

In October, USA Today published an article that disclosed the temporary custody arrangement was for Angelina to have sole custody and Brad to have visitation. They worked out the agreement through the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The agreement included terms of Brad submitting to random drug/alcohol testing and both parents undergoing separate and family counseling. Brad’s first visit with the children was to be monitored by a therapist, but that stipulation was not necessary an ongoing requirement for later visits.

Pitt Cleared of Abuse Allegations

On November 9, USA Today reported that the LA County DCFS cleared Brad Pitt after exhaustively investigating charges of Pitt’s alleged abuse against his 15 year old son. Brad Pitt subsequently has filed for joint custody of the children.

Their divorce case is being heard in California, and under state law, courts favor awarding joint custody whenever possible. Generally, parents enjoy a 50/50 parenting time arrangement so both parents can spend time with their children. Children over 14 years of age typically can state their preference during custody proceedings and the court takes their view into consideration.

Do You Need Legal Help with Divorce or Child Custody?

Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal help for individuals seeking divorce to help protect their rights.

The parent’s decision to move after divorce is not just his or her own decision. In fact, the court will decide whether you get to relocate or not based on what is in the best interests of your child.

Why Is Relocation a Court Matter?

When relocation is a considerable distance, it affects a number of things — parenting time with the children, the children’s school, extended family, friends and community involvement.

What Courts Consider When Deciding Relocation Cases

Various cases have come before the New York Appellate Court and rulings show there are no one-size-fits-all factors in deciding cases. Two cases the New York Court of Appeals decided in 1996 established the precedent that each case must be considered individually without “formulae and presumptions.”

In the case Tropea v. Tropea, the original custody court order prevented either parent from moving outside of Onondaga County without judicial approval. The mother became engaged to an architect with an established firm in Schenectady. She was expecting a child and wanted to relocate. She offered a liberal visitation schedule, providing frequent and extended contact and driving the children to and from the father’s Syracuse home. The father contested based on his involvement —coaching the children’s football and baseball teams, participation in religion classes and academic education involvement. The lower court denied relocation. The Appellate Court reversed the decision, finding the move to be in the children’s best interests and that the father would retain regular and meaningful access. The scheduled awarded the father substantial weekend, summer and vacation visitation with the children.

In the Matter of Browner v. Kenward, the Appellate Court also reversed a lower court’s decision, finding in favor of a mother moving to Pittsfield, MA where her parents were moving, which was 130 miles from the father’s Westchester County home. The court based its decision on the children’s best interests. The grandparents provided the children with significant support and would enhance the emotional well being of the child. The move would also reduce bickering between the parents.

Get Experienced Legal Help

Relocation can often be complicated. Suffolk County Divorce Lawyer Chris Palermo provides you with compassionate legal guidance and can help you make the right decisions.

Whether you call it joint child custody, co-parenting, or shared parental responsibility, when parents can raise their children together without a high degree of conflict, statistics show this type of parenting is best for the children.

Or course, parents divorce because they are unable to resolve issues in their marital relationship. Naturally, barriers exist in getting along with each other that they must overcome for joint child custody to work.

What Children Prefer

An article in Psychology Today lists reasons why co-parenting is the preferred arrangement. The article promotes considering what is in the child’s best interests from a child’s perspective. It offers arguments for shared responsibility, stating that shared responsibility does the following:

When violence and high conflict aren’t an issue, children typically want both parents in their lives and want to have meaningful relationships with both parents.

New York courts weigh a child’s preference on custody more heavily when the child is 13 years or older, and this is true even when they do not rule as a child would want. Courts also try not to separate siblings from each other whenever possible.

Do You Have Questions about Child Custody?

Attorney Chris Palermo is glad to answer your questions, help you consider all the aspects of child custody and to protect your rights as a parent.