The traumatic effect of protection orders in family law“My son can’t see me. He doesn’t know why,” the man said as his sad eyes looked down and his tears dropped on my desk. He tried to control his trembling voice but couldn’t. The worst thing about this was that three weeks earlier and without him even knowing, the judge had granted an ex-parte protection order disallowing him from contacting his ex-wife and son.
Published in Web exclusive content
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Many family law disputes are better resolved with a team in a non-adversarial setting, and more lawyers are offering this kind of help.
Published in Features
Legal coaching: A win-win for clients and the barIn January, I began researching and exploring the concept of legal coaching in family law. If you haven’t heard of legal coaching, you’re not alone. Few lawyers — and even fewer members of the public — are familiar with this practice model.
Published in Web exclusive content
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Proponents of unbundling family law services say it can help access to justice and tap into a new market.
Published in Features
The international child abduction case I worked on exhausted me, but it was worth itShe’d been taken away from her father and brother five years ago. Her mother had abducted her from Taiwan at the age of 3 in breach of multiple court orders. I was his last hope to get her back. I was his family lawyer.
Published in Web exclusive content
Monday, 04 July 2016 09:00

Grappling with social media

Illustration: Matthew Billington
Illustration: Matthew Billington
For the children of divorce, keeping in touch with an absent parent used to mean a few fairly simple things: talking on the phone, letters, cards, and photographs sent by mail. Now, social media has opened up a treasure trove of new ways for these kids to communicate with absent parents. But at the same time, tools like texting, Skype, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram have created something that divorcing parents don’t need — new things to fight about.
Published in Features
Illustration: Pete Ryan
Illustration: Pete Ryan
The scenario of affluent older parents providing financial help to their adult children is increasingly common — and now, so are disputes over who gets what when those children divorce.
Published in Features
Monday, 03 August 2015 08:00

Controversy dogs family med-arb

Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Illustration: Jeannie Phan
Gary Joseph says some years ago, he dodged a legal bullet. He was sitting in a breakout room with a family law client. A mediator-arbitrator would come in to talk to them before going to another room to speak to the other party in a process similar to shuttle diplomacy. “The mediator came into our room and he began talking about the evidence that we have and our expert report and [started] making some negative comments about the expertise of our expert and some other things that our expert did,” Joseph recalls. “When he left the room, my client turned to me with just daggers in his or her eyes and said, ‘What have you done to me? How could this person possibly be fair to me after telling me that my expert report has 16 different holes in it?’”
Published in Features
Monday, 18 May 2015 08:00

Commentary on the Compact

Commentary on the CompactLast week, I outlined the Compact, a simple set of standard procedures I propose be used in all cases involving marriage contracts and cohabitation agreements. They are nothing more than seven steps to be followed by lawyers retained on these sorts of files.
Published in Web exclusive content
The Compact: A new way forward for marriage contracts & cohabitation agreementsIf insufficient financial disclosure is the “cancer” of family law, the “heart disease” of our field at present is the frequency with which attacks on marriage contracts and cohabitation agreements are launched — and succeed.
Published in Web exclusive content
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