January 8, 2010
By Jennifer Moore, Family Law Attorney
When you are served with divorce papers, you receive a document called a “summons”. The summons has a lot of “fine print” “form” language on it that the average person might just skim over. That’s a mistake! The summons contains certain restrictions on selling property, liquidating accounts, and changing insurance, among other things. One local businessman ignored this language and liquidated a 401K account in order to finance what the court considered to be a lavish lifestyle. He now faces jail if he does not repay the funds.
August 13, 2009
Stress, Strain, and Divorce
A Few Words from A Family Law Office Manager
We live in stressful times. Half the people I know are depressed, it seems, agitated or both! Stressed out.
I can identify with you. Take blogging. Blogging is good for the spirit, provides a basis for helping folks out and of course is a great way to let other folks know who you – and your organization — are. But what if you’ve spent all week doing data entry and balancing the books? Dull, dull, dull!
What if you, like me, are not really qualified to blog about the most interesting things in the office? Here I am, office manager in a family law / probate / trusts and estates law firm with one paralegal, several attorneys – and me. Everyone here is more qualified than I in the legal field. My expertise is in marketing and cash management and, well, managing the office.
Stress and Strain and the MTA (Marital Termination Agreement)
Recently a client came into the office to sign their MTA (Marital Termination Agreement – that’s legalese for divorce papers, at least here in Minnesota. He was upset, he did / didn’t want to sign them. We talked. I was glad for a chance for some human contact and he and I actually have a lot in common – we’ve both been through a divorce and we’re both emotional about it – and committed to making it happen so we can move on.
Speaking of emotions, have you noticed the number of people going off the deep end lately and launching on various violent and destructive sprees? It’s a lot, it seems to me anyway. I think everyone is suffering from stress. Divorce, like running or mountain climbing where you hit *the wall* and keep on going on raw will power – divorce, child custody, probate, estate planning – though divorce is the worst – all of these are emotional and often force you to go beyond what you think you can do and in fact sometimes do force you into situations where you really don’t know how to cope, or cope as well as you want.
Divorce and Self Help
Here’s my point. Divorce almost inevitably involves real estate, child care arrangements, financial planning, health issues, and mental health issues. Seek help. If you had a broken leg you’d see a doctor. If you have to sell the house, find a realtor and a mortgage banker. If you have a spirit at risk of being broken, or a life in danger of being damaged, seek out not only friends you can talk with; but a support group, individual therapy, group therapy. Many of us have been there. It’s worth it.
So, that’s it! Be your own best advocate for you and for your loved ones.
And the man who did / didn’t want to sign his divorce papers? He signed — *after* I promised that his attorney would talk with him next week about it before proceeding.
Thomas Moore, office manager