CAN I SWITCH ATTORNEYS IN THE MIDDLE OF MY DIVORCE?

Hi Hindell,

My spouse and I have already filed for divorce. I currently have an attorney, but I am not happy with him. Can I switch attorneys in the middle of my divorce? How would I go about doing this?

Sincerely,

Worried in Wellesley

Yes, you can change attorneys before, during or after the divorce.  In fact, divorcing people tend to change attorneys more than other areas of the law.  Your relationship with your attorney must be one of trust, competence and responsiveness.  If you are not satisfied with the services you are receiving, you should first give your attorney the opportunity to improve, and then, if necessary, interview and find new counsel.  Once new counsel is identified and the terms of the new retention set, you should notify your former attorney in writing that you no longer require his/her services, that you have retained a new attorney, that you would like a final accounting of fees and the retainer, and that you would like your file transferred to your new counsel along with a Notice of Withdrawal, which gets filed in the Court.  Your new attorney will file a Notice of Appearance, notifying the Court and the opposing attorney that there is new counsel. 

Best wishes,

Hindell Grossman
Grossman & Associates, Ltd.
Newton & Nantucket
617.969.0069

 

SHOULD WE FILE SEPARATE OR JOINT TAX RETURNS WHILE DIVORCING?

Hi Hindell,

My wife and I are going through a divorce. I’m worried that if we continue filing joint tax returns, she may not fully disclose her income. Should we continue filing joint tax returns, or should I file separately? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?

Sincerely,

Confused in Cambridge

There is usually a financial advantage to filing joint tax returns while divorcing as they tend to save the parties taxes, but if there is a tax liability or refund which results, it is often difficult to determine who pays or receives what amount.   This is often resolved by either negotiation or the determination of the parties’ accountant.   Sometimes there is suspicion by one party that the other has not fully disclosed their income, thereby suggesting some tax fraud liability if they file joint tax returns.  In this case, the suspicious spouse should not file jointly with the other and should file as a married person filing separately even if the total tax liability due from each spouse is more than would be due if filed jointly.  

Best wishes,

Hindell Grossman
Grossman & Associates, Ltd.
Newton & Nantucket
617.969.0069

 

WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT GETTING OR CHANGING JOBS WHILE DIVORCING?

Hi Hindell,

My friend who recently divorced mentioned that she began searching for a job during the divorce process. I am already facing so much change and I don’t know if I am ready for this. Do you recommend starting the job search now, or waiting until the divorce proceedings have finished?

Sincerely,

Too Much Change in Chestnut Hill

Attorneys will disagree on this point.  My view is that divorce is a time for change, and that working provides a positive outlet toward financial independence, an improved sense of self and an important distraction from the sadness of the divorce process.   Even if the new income means that you will receive less in child support or alimony, I think that the benefits of employment, or a more satisfying job, far outweigh the alternatives.  Life cannot be on hold while the divorce process meanders along.  Keep moving forward.  

Best wishes,

Hindell Grossman
Grossman & Associates, Ltd.
Newton & Nantucket
617.969.0069