DIVORCE AS A PARTNERSHIP DISSOLUTION

In many concrete ways the dissolution of a marriage is like the dissolution of a business partnership. We examine the entity, identify its assets and liabilities; value its assets and liabilities; then divide them between the partners. While this simplistic approach assists in understanding the process, it is often bogged down in disagreement over definitions, values and timing.

Marriage dissolutions follow the identify, value and divide process explained above when it comes to the business side of the divorce, but the divorce process is further complicated by the unique psychological, emotional and financial needs of the couple and their children. The multi-faceted divorce process requires a delicate balance of interests.

Surprisingly, there is often one part of the dissolution process which is easy, and one which is hard. For example, I have handled cases where the parents stay focused on raising their children, sharing the driving, sports spectating, and educational needs quite well, under the circumstances. However, the same parents can be at war with each other in dividing the assets and liabilities. Similarly, I have handled cases where the spouses are quite resigned to the formula of dividing their assets and liabilities, but at war over the parenting plan. I see this optimistically, in that at least part of the dissolution is without conflict.

Approach the financial part of a divorce as the dissolution of a business. When possible, remove the emotion and focus on agreeing how to identify, value and divide. Disagreement is inevitable, but compromise is often reached by first understanding the imperfection of the process; second, analyzing the process from both sides; third, appreciating the time factor; and fourth, staying focused on the goals.

Hindell S. Grossman, Esq.
Grossman & Associates, Ltd.
(617) 969-0069

CHOOSING A DIVORCE ATTORNEY

Choosing a divorce attorney is an important decision regardless of whether you are initiating a divorce or responding to one filed by your spouse.  The primary difference is in the timeframe available for choosing.  The spouse initiating a divorce has the luxury of time in selection.  The spouse responding after being served a Divorce Complaint has 20 days to respond, which puts unnecessary pressure on the selection process.

Most clients choose a divorce attorney recommended to them.  This is a very viable method for an initial selection, but I recommend that more is needed.  A successful attorney/client relationship is based on a meeting, discussion of strategy and business terms, as well as a genuine comfort and confidence in the attorney.  When selecting, clients assume an attorney’s competency and sometimes let the recommendation alone sway their decision.  I suggest that the choice is based as much on the recommendation as on your intuition about whether you can work with the attorney you are interviewing.

In my experience of handling cases in various areas of the law, clients change divorce attorneys more than other practice areas.  On many occasions, I am the second or third attorney handling a divorce case.  As you can imagine, the change of counsel is both costly and disruptive, but motivated by a client’s deep dissatisfaction with the attorney’s lack of attention, poor results, billing issues, lack of trust or a possible host of other factors.  It is always my goal to be the attorney to finish the case, regardless of where I am in the sequence.

When selecting the attorney that guides you to the next phase of your life, try hard to eliminate the risk of dissatisfaction and choose carefully.

Hindell S. Grossman, Esq.
Grossman & Associates, Ltd.
(617) 969-0069