Start thinking about those summer plans

The COVID-19 pandemic and the impact on our daily lives has continued for longer than any of us imagined or expected. And while the situation seems to be improving, I don’t think we are out of the woods yet. Our children have been significantly impacted by the remote learning, the cancellation of Spring sports, and milestones such as proms and graduations. But what about their summer?

Each family has different approaches for summer. Some kids stay home. Others participate in day camps or sleep away camps. Many travel to visit family and friends during their summer break. How all of these practices may be affected remains to be seen and questions will certainly arise for parents to work through together. For example, even if a camp reopens, are you comfortable sending your child there? If you will still be working from home, how can the needs of the child still be met? if your child visits grandparents, or anyone for that matter, what safety precautions should be implemented? There are no clear cut answers to any of these questions. The best advice is to begin addressing them now.

If you have questions about summer parenting time, The Durst Firm is here to help/

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Tech tips for your divorce

Technology is making many facets of our lives easier to manage and organize. This can certainly be true when it comes to your divorce. Whether or not you choose to work with The Durst Firm, these tips may still prove helpful.

First, the majority of your communication with your attorney can be accomplished by email. Email is time and cost efficient. It can be sent on your schedule (but understand that if you’re up sending emails at 3 I the morning, we might not be!), allows you to organize your thoughts and creates a record of your communications. So, YOU MUST ESTABLISH A PRIVATE AND SECURE email address. Don’t use a “family” email, change your current password it’s your spouse knows it. It is suggested that you not use your work related email.

Second, change the PIN code for your cell phone and voicemail. Confidential communications could be reviewed by your spouse if they have access to your device. Program your attorney’s work number and email into your phone so that you have easy access to that information.

Visit the ‘App Store”. Find an app that lets you scan and save necessary documents as a PDF. Being able to send your attorney documents they need in a PDF format allows for easy transfers and retention. When you are being billed hourly, “easy” saves your money. Along these lines, don’t store information on your computer. Explore options for cloud based storage services. Many are free or low costs and using them provides an extra level of security.

Maintain a record of your passwords in a secure location. Don’t write them all down in a notebook labeled “passwords”! True story.Make sure you have access to all joint accounts and begin downloading and saving the statements.

With these tips in mind, you can streamline the process and hopefully lend some order to the chaos.

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Extra time on your hands? Re-read your divorce settlement agreement!

When a client walks out of the courthouse after finalizing their divorce, there are generally overwhelmed with a flood of emotions and that is completely understandable. Time to recover and relax a bit. Time to move forward. Many people believe that once your divorce is done, its done and all the paperwork can be hidden away in a file cabinet.

However, as time moves on, it would be prudent to revisit your settlement agreement to insure that its terms have been implemented. Have all the financial accounts been divided and closed? Have you each obtained your own auto insurance? What about health insurance? If life insurance is required are the policies in place with the correct benefit amounts and beneficiary designations?

A great deal of time, energy, and money was spent on getting to the point where that Settlement Agreement became a reality. The terms were important then and remain important now. Make sure you are in compliance with your agreement and that your ex-spouse is as well.

Regardless of whether you used the Durst Firm for your divorce we would be happy to review your agreement with you to determine in any further action is necessary. We can even conduct our review remotely during this pandemic.

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Help is available for Domestic Violence victims

www.nj.com/coronavirus/2020/04/with-victims-stuck-at-home-domestic-abuse-experts-fear-for-the-worst.html

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Respond or React? What’s the difference

Being involved in a divorce or family law matter can often feeling like you are playing the old arcade game Whack a Mole. Issues, problems, developments keep popping up unexpectedly. No matter how vigilant you are, you may feel like you’re never going to win. Working with an experienced attorney allows you to have another mallet to whack those moles! At The Durst Firm, we try to absorb as much of the responsibility for your case as possible. We can advise and predict what may happen, but sadly, we do not have a crystal ball. In addition to relying on your attorney, there are steps you can take when the unexpected happens. You can respond, rather than react.

Under good circumstances, family law matters are unpredictable. As we continue to deal with COVID-19, we are faced with an entirely new set of circumstances that we need to figure out on the fly. While we might not be able to stop something from happening, we can remain full control of what we do once it happens. We can respond. Or we can react. What’s the difference, you may ask.

When you “respond” you are making a deliberate, thoughtful, and constructive approach to whatever it is that may have occurred. A response is intended to acknowledge the situation and move you beyond it in a positive manner. A response should not add fuel to the fire. A response is about protecting your interests.

A “reaction” is different. When we react to a situation, it is often done spontaneously. That reaction is often driven by emotion: fear, anger, or resentment for example. These visceral reactions are entirely understandable but almost always counterproductive. Instead of advancing your own cause, you are giving the person that wanted to anger you or hurt you exactly what they want by being angry or being hurt. It is impossible to not have these feelings or experience these emotions, but you should not let them work against you. Take a deep breath, resist the urge to react. Take some time to review the situation with your attorney and develop a response. It can make all the difference.

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