Afraid to Leave Your Spouse?

Melissa DossDivorce, Lawyer

Threats and abuse are a serious matter. If you are afraid, get out of the situation. Walk away and don’t look back. Period. Once you’ve let your spouse know you want a divorce and he or she reacted with threats, don’t stay. It’s hard to swallow but if you are afraid of your spouse then the marriage is over and you need to get … Read More

What is “Power of Attorney”

Melissa DossWills

Maintaining our ability to make sound decisions is something we would all like to think we’ll be able to do forever. The truth however is that their are numerous situations where it would be helpful to have somebody there to make decisions for us that are in our best interest. For instance, if you are out of the country, incapacitated, hospitalized, etc., Power … Read More

What happens when…

Melissa DossDivorce, Lawyer, news

same sex marriage

Same sex marriages are being legalized in almost every state as the opposition dwindles. An interesting question has since come up: What happens if a former spouse that is receiving spousal support is now cohabitating with a same sex partner? In the past, the law was usually pretty cut and dry that if you were cohabitating with a person of the opposite … Read More

6 Summer Vacation tips for Divorced or Separated Parents

Melissa DossDivorce

vacation

From the Huffington Post Co-authored by Alan Plevy, Co-founding Principal at SmolenPlevy It’s an annual rite of Spring — children are eagerly anticipating the end of the school year and the start of their summer break. The same can’t be said for a number of divorced or separated parents. Summer vacation can deteriorate into a very stressful, chaotic and combative … Read More

Crowdfunding your divorce

Melissa DossDivorce

Since its inception in 1997, crowdfunding has evolved from being a platform for just entrepreneurs to a platform for anybody that needs help to ask for it. There have been some really wacky campaigns that have actually gotten funded too! For instance, in 2012, a guy started a Kickstarter campaign to make “Combat Kitchenware” and actually received over $40,000 to … Read More

Prince demonstrates why a will is important

Melissa DossWills

Prince official 1999 video

This article demonstrates why having a will is so important! His rumored lack of estate planning is going to be leaving a nightmare for his family. Prince’s apparent lack of planning may cost his estate Kelley Holland | @KKelleyHolland As an artist, Prince was fiercely protective of his music. “If you don’t own your masters, your master owns you,” he said … Read More

Getting a Will: Six Common Questions

Melissa DossWills

get a will

By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD Let’s assume that you’ll live to a ripe old age and die peacefully in your sleep. Or not. And if not, isn’t it time to think about getting your will done? It’s one of those tasks that many people tend to put off, for obvious reasons. But at least one responsible parent is on the case: A … Read More

DIY Divorce: 7 Tips For Going to Court Without a Lawyer

Melissa DossDivorce, Lawyer

Going to court without a lawyer is rarely a good idea. Going to court without a lawyer in a divorce case, where your children, your assets, and your future income are at stake, is the ultimate bad idea. Yet, sometimes, you don’t have a choice. You may not have the money to pay a divorce lawyer. Or, your divorce lawyer … Read More

The Shared Parenting Myth

Melissa Dossadoption info

family

Does open adoption mean shared parenthood? No. Legally, there is only one formal set of parents—the adoptive parents—with the right to make decisions for their child. But the matter goes far beyond legalities. If the birthparents wanted to be parents, they would have chosen to raise the child especially since adoption is so much more difficult than the other alternatives. … Read More

What is Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody?

Melissa DossCustody, Divorce

child custody

Your attorney should explain the difference is between joint custody and sole custody—but here are the basics.  When the court does not believe the parents can cooperate well enough to work together for the child, the court will award sole custody to one parent over the other. In most cases however, joint custody is based on the courts belief that encouraging parents … Read More