Will This Be The Year You Finally Get That Divorce You’ve Been Wanting … Forever? Part Two


Yes, it really is that simple, as in straightforward. This really is not oversimplification or insensitive trivialization of the challenge.

Nor merely paying lip service to this simple (but not easy) strategy for accomplishing a New Year’s – or anytime – resolution.

I have seen clients in dire circumstances successfully implement this strategy to finally get their divorces.

They were terrified. Couldn’t imagine being single and free again.

On their own. Maybe for the first time in their lives

Often they had no idea how or even whether they would manage to support themselves. Or whether they could ever find a new love.

But they went after their goal anyway. For them it was finally getting their divorce, formally extricating themselves from a relationship that really still existed only on paper.

And I myself have successfully implemented this very same strategy to achieve a resolution of my own. Weight loss.

We all know people who go on and on and on about needing to lose that so-called stubborn five or ten pounds they put on during the holidays / since they had their baby / since they got married / since college, etc.

Year after year goes by, but they don’t lose that weight. In fact, most of them just keep putting on more weight each year.

That was me. But there eventually came a time when I had a rude awakening that finally persuaded me that it was time to actually lose the considerable extra weight I had been carrying around for … ever.

And I came to a decision to lose the weight. And I did.

Ninety-one pounds!

Why am I sharing this embarassing personal struggle? In the hope it can help someone else get “unstuck” from their own frustrating and unhealthy stagnant quicksand.

Believe me, if I could semi-permanently (so far) lose ninety-one pounds at my age, working long, hard hours in a busy, demanding divorce and child custody law practice, well, there’s hope that just about anyone can achieve just about any resolution they may have … even extracting themselves from a marriage that holds a death grip on them.

It’s really not all that different. At the outset, I had absolutely no idea how I would go about losing all the weight I suddenly understood I needed to lose.

But simply committing to “just doing it” – and then just losing that very first pound of excess weight – really was the key.

The next ninety pounds I slowly muddled my way through, little by little, step by step.

Pretty well, I guess. I have now maintained that weight loss for 3.5 years of improved health.

So how about you?

It’s January of 2015. The dawn of a brand new year. Filled with promise and possibility.

Or it can be just another 12 months; 52 weeks; 365 days; 8,766 hours; 525,949 minutes; or 31,536,000 seconds to tick-tock slowly by … until 2016 rolls around … and then 2017 … and on and on …

What will you decide to make of 2015 before yet another year of your life slips away?




Will This Be The Year You Finally Get That Divorce You’ve Been Wanting … Forever? Part One

Every year I get calls from soooo many people, who also called me the year before, and the year before that and, yes, the year before that – and sometimes for years before that.

They want a divorce. Still. Months and years later.

But they don’t move forward with their divorce.

They have reasons, of course. Lots of them. Ranging from the sublime to the almost ridiculous.

Sadly, most of those people will call me again next year. And the year after that. And the year after that.

Maybe until I retire. And then they’ll call another divorce attorney who hasn’t retired yet.

It’s really tragic that soooo many people imprison themselves in painfully unhappy, sometimes even abusive, marriages – indefinitely, if not permanently.

Because (nearly) anyone who truly wants a divorce can get one.

When you get right down to it, all it really takes is coming to a decision. To file, to get the process started.

It’s January of 2015. The dawn of a brand new year. Filled with promise and possibillity.

Almost everybody has just made, or is hip deep in the process of making, all kinds of decisions.

To lose weight. Eat healthy. Get fit. Earn more money. Find a new love interest. Heck, even to learn how to crochet.

We call those decisions New Year’s resolutions. They’re a time-honored tradition.

Of course, by themselves, those resolutions don’t “get the job done”. They are just a foundation or building block, but the most critical one.

Consider this oft-quoted wisdom (source unknown): “[t]he hardest part of any journey is taking that first step.”

And this keen insight from none other than Charles Atlas: “[s]tep by step and the thing is done.”

Reaching the decision to actually pursue that long longed-for divorce is indeed a meaningful, self-empowering first step.

And from there, it really is just continuing to put one foot in front of the other, taking one more small step after another – and then another.

Until the divorce is done. (Or, for that matter, any other “resolution”.)

To be continued …


Whether $1 Billion Property Division Payment is Enough Depends on the Eyes of the Beholder

$975 million might seem like a lot of money, but … Well, yeah, any way you cut it, it really is a lot of money.

But when you drill down deep, it actually isn’t incredibly difficult to comprehend why Wife just sat for several days on a property division adjustment payment for $974,790,317.77.

Husband, an oil mogul, is worth a whole heck of a lot more and he accumulated most of it during their long-term marriage.

Both Husband and Wife have appeals pending in their Oklahoma divorce. Against the backdrop of sharply diminishing oil prices.

Interestingly, under Oklahoma law, wealth accumulation during a marriage that is not directly attributable to the active efforts of a spouse may be characterized as nonmarital property that need not be divided in a divorce. The forces of supply and demand, or inflation are passive rather than active..

Both of the preceding factors likely weighed heavily in Wife’s reluctant re-consideration and change of heart.

As it is, the couple has shelled out millions for their legal battle and Husband had previously paid Wife roughly $20 million toward their marital property division.

One can only hope that Wife, who actually worked in the couple’s oil business, can manage to get by on the award …

Read more in:


Gay Marriage Arrives in Florida with a Flourish

Woman and Lady enter a valid civil union in Vermont. Along the way, Woman lands in Florida and Lady takes off for unknown parts, never to be heard from again – at least not by Woman.

In time, Woman takes up with someone new and wants to formalize the end of her civil union with Lady. In other words, Woman wants a divorce.

Problem is, you can’t have a divorce without first having a valid marriage. That probably sounds obvious, yet how it plays out may not always be.

Florida law has not allowed for gay marriages to take place in Florida. Nor, similarly, has Florida law recognized as valid same sex marriages that were entered in other US states that do allow them.

(This goes against the grain of a constitutional principle called full faith and credit. That principle generally requires one US state to recognize a court order entered in another US state, so long as it is valid under the law of the state where it was entered. But that’s another post.)

Since Florida law doesn’t recognize Woman’s Vermont gay marriage-equivalent, a Florida divorce court cannot just smooth sail ahead and enter a Florida divorce.

And so it is that many a Florida family court has flatly refused to grant a divorce to end a same sex marriage.

But with more and more (35 prior to this week) US states permitting gay marriages, this scenario has been facing more and more Florida divorce court judges more and more frequently with each passing moment. And putting an ever-growing strain on Florida’s legal stance with respect to gay divorce and gay marriage.

Rulings, appeals and stays have been flying like crazy lately, and they are not over yet. But the chaos is finally leveling off, at least for the moment.

The upshot is that Florida marriage and divorce law has undergone two huge shifts in the last few weeks. And not in the order that you might expect.

First, yet another Florida divorce court trial judge, this one in nearby Fort Lauderdale, struck down Florida’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional. Paving the way for that Broward County family court judge to recognize Woman and Lady’s out-of-state same sex marriage-equivalent as valid.

And, therefore, legally capable of being ended by a Florida divorce. And so that judge in fact went ahead and granted Woman and Lady Florida’s very first same sex divorce.

Which in turn raised the specter of a homegrown gay marriage in Florida. And now, as a consequence of the very same unconstitutionality of Florida’s ban on gay marriage, same sex marriage has now come to pass in Florida as of the wee hours of the morning of this past Tuesday.

And lots of same sex couples seized the chance to get hitched in large communal group ceremonies of historic proportions. Still, because the appeals are not yet exhausted, all the fireworks may not be permanently extinguished just yet.

If gay marriage in Florida withstands further legal challenge, the upcoming chapters of this saga will undoubtedly include application of spousal rights to same sex married couples (for example, extension of various employment benefits to gay spouses of employees); evolution of Florida divorce law (including property division and spousal support) as it pertains to same sex couples; and evolution of Florida adoption and Florida child custody law with respect to gay couples. Stay tuned.

Read more in this small sampling of articles from the media blitz:


Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law Blog: Deja Vu?

My Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law blog broke. Quite some time ago really.

I’m sort of ashamed to admit that I didn’t even notice it for a good long while. Because my divorce, child custody and domestic violence law practice and my life were both so incredibly busy then that I just plain couldn’t find any time to write on my blog.

I have to confess that ignorance was bliss at that point. But well-intentioned clients and prospective clients eventually quelled my bliss and gave me a heads-up.

That sparked something of an internal debate, on and off for months, about whether to let my bloodied old dinosaur of a blog go extinct permanently … or whether to try to resurrect it.

In the end, I decided I had to try to revive it, if only to restore public access to the already existing roughly eight year, 1,100 plus article repository of totally free Florida divorce, child custody and domestic violence law resources. Mission accomplished, more or less.

Since my Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law blog broke, I have sort of slipped out of the habit of posting to it regularly … and adopted newer habits in conjunction with equally exciting newer projects.

I’m not certain what lies ahead for my Florida Divorce * Child Custody * Domestic Violence Law blog going forward … but there certainly are many momentous shifts occurring right now in the law governing Florida marriage and divorce, child custody and domestic violence …