The Latest News July 2022


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5 Behaviors In Your Marriage That Seem Normal — But Are Actually Toxic

Posted On: July 23, 2022

It is not always obvious that you may be in an unhappy and toxic relationship/marriage. However, if you take the time to step back and look closely, you will see that there are behaviors by your partner/spouse that are not the behaviors of someone who truly loves you. 

Unfortunately, in our education for life, either by our parents, family or the school system, no one really prepares us and tells us how a successful relationship, let alone a marriage, should work. Instead, we are left to go through relationships one by one and hopefully learn by experience. 

This article discusses five signs of a toxic relationship. Again, contempt is at the top of the list, fighting, secrets, distance and silence. 

This is why the alternative processes of Mediation and Collaborative are vital. Did you know that Mediation is now often used to help couples also stay together?

If you have any questions or want to explore these issues, please feel free to contact me.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Mitzi Bockmann, YourTango(dot)com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of Pixabay

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 35 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT


Congress Moves To Repeal Defense of Marriage Act With Respect For Marriage Act

Posted On: July 22, 2022

Same sex marriage became legal based upon two Supreme Court decisions that determined that DOMA (The Defensive of Marriage Act) was unconstitutional and thereby ultimately determined the rights of same sex couples to marry and recognized said right throughout the 50 states (you can read more about this on my blog posting last week).

The law known as DOMA still exists but was overwritten by the Supreme Court decisions. However, with the most recent Supreme Court decision overturning the landmark abortion ruling of Roe v Wade, it seems clear from Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion that the rules of marriage equality and LGBTQI Rights as well as contraception rights could be at risk. 

This has spurred democrats to act. Last week the House passed a bill to codify Roe and also considered legislation this week to codify access to contraception, both of which are now in jeopardy based on the overturning of Roe. A bipartisan group of law makers have introduced the Respect for Marriage Act, which will repeal DOMA and require federal recognition for same sex and interracial marriages. This would also require all states to recognize marriages that are valid in the states where they were preformed, regardless of a particular states stand on same sex marriage. This would in effect, preserve state and federal benefits for those marriages in the event the Supreme Court choses to open the door for state legislation prohibiting them. 

Of course it is a long way from introduction to actually getting a bill passed. This will need to go through a committee, then brought to the House floor for a vote and if passed there, then would go to the Senate.  Both the House Majority leader and the Senate Majority Whip, (both democrats). are looking to push this legislation forward and have gone as far to say that it is a top priority.  Although this is a bipartisan effort, whether enough GOP votes needed to bypass the filibuster will be gained is unknown.  At present, more than 20 GOP Senators have declined to stake a position.

Vote Update:  Bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act Passes 267-157, with 47 Republican Votes 

Although some may say DOMA was rendered impendent by the Supreme Court rulings, as we saw with Roe v Wade, that could easily be overturned by the current Supreme Court bench. 

For those looking to secure these rights, we cannot afford to wait and let these rights be overturned as they did with Roe v Wade.  It is vital to have actual federal legislation in place protecting these rights so that we are not at the whim of the current political climate. 

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Andrew Solender, Axios(dot)com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of Pixabay

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 35 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT #DOMA #RespectforMarriageAct


DOMA The Defense of Marriage Act And The Right For Same Sex Couples To Marry

Posted On: July 19, 2022

DOMA: the Defense of Marriage Act, was passed by the United States Congress and Senate and made law with the intention to “protect the institution of marriage”.  Protected it from what is the real question! This law was devised by those who intended to specifically define marriage as only between a cisgender heterosexual man and cisgender heterosexual woman. Its purpose is to reserve the protections of marriage to that single class of couples.

The effect of the law permitted individual states to discriminate and prohibit same sex marriages within their state.  It also gave states the power and right to refuse to recognize same sex marriages from other states in which same sex marriage was legalized, recognized and permitted. This severely undermines a longstanding legal principle that all Judgments and Orders from other states must be recognized by any other state in the union and most be given “Full Faith And Credit” in other word full force and effect.  

DOMA was determined to be unconstitutional initially by the Supreme Court case of United States v Winsor in 2013. The rights of same sex couples and the extinguishment of much of DOMA was determined in 2015 by the Supreme Court case of Obergefell v Hodges which ultimately determined the rights of same sex couples to legally marry throughout the 50 states. 

The fall of DOMA permitted same sex couples to nationally have the benefits that come with legalized marriage, however, it did not retroactively protect couples that may have been “domestic partners” or living together for years and even decades prior to being able to legally get married.  

So, what does this really mean and look like?  In most states, as in New York, in a divorce, valuation of marital and separate property of a couple is determined from the date that they were legally married to the date that they commence a divorce action. 

What is the impact and what does that mean?  Well, if a couple for example has been together 30 years, prior to being able to legally marry and planned their financial futures accordingly; either deciding to pool retirement or utilizing one partner’s benefits to establish a more secure financial future for both parties at the time of retirement; this planning would be disregarded by the court system.  The court is only permitted to look at assets that existed at the time of the legal marriage and valued as of the date of the commencement of a divorce action.  So, in our example if a couple had in their financial planning decided to put more money in one party’s retirement, with the intention that they would both benefit from it in the future.  At the time of the divorce, that asset would only be considered the property of one party until such time as the date of the legal marriage.  So, all the planning and all the monies that were put aside prior to the date of the legal marriage would NOT be considered marital property by the court and the party who had contributed to the other person’s pension or retirement asset, as a way to plan for the future, would be denied those monies and benefits.  

A spouse has no right to retirement assets acquired or complied prior to the date of the legal marriage. Therefore, no matter what careful planning a couple may have chosen for their future, the court will not recognize this planning or the parties’ intensions. The Court will only recognize assets titled (or in the name of the party) at the date of the marriage.  Therefore, investments of 30 years for a joint future will be totally disregarded. For instance, if a couple chose to invest in one person’s retirement, rather than each person’s retirement, knowing that they would both benefit, their plan will be totally disregarded and the person that has no retirement, but was choosing to utilized resources to build a partner/spouse’s retirement could be left with nothing.

Article/blog post courtesy of Concetta Spirio

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 35 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT #DOMA


The Divorce Battle So Ruinous Even The Judge Was Left Horrified

Posted On: July 11, 2022

This article depicts a very toxic divorce battle that ended up costing the couple and their family millions of dollars, to the point that the Judge was horrified that there was little left for the children of this marriage. 

This rarely happens in high equity cases. People of moderate means often times get so involved in a toxic litigated divorce that they basically turn all of their assets over to cover the costs of litigating the divorce. 

There is a better way for every family to divorce with dignity, confidentiality and with their financial, emotional and physical health in a healthier position, rather than what they will experience through a litigated divorce. 

The collaborative process is meant for ALL families.  It is truly a holistic approach that is the most cost effective to resolve a dissolution of a marriage or primary relationship in an amicable and economical way. 

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Barbara Davies,
Royalty-free photo courtesy of Pixabay

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 35 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT


Ending a Marriage? Don't Get Divorced From Financial Reality in the Process

Posted On: July 04, 2022

Divorce is one of the most emotionally difficult and stressful times of anyone’s life.

Sound financial planning may not be the first thing on a divorcing couple’s mind. However, it should be one of the first considerations addressed. Many times, during the hostility and in some cases out-right war of a divorce, people make mistakes or become so frustrated and worn down that they give up, give in and fail to secure their financial future. Too often they leave themselves vulnerable and with a financial picture that is unsustainable and often unrecoverable.

It is important during this time NOT to ignore your current and future financial circumstances. It also may be extremely important and worthwhile to bring a financial professional in to consult and help evaluate a couple’s options for the benefit of both parties’ financial future.

The truth is, in many divorces, a person’s current and future well-being may be impacted more than any other aspect of their lives going forward. Parties to a divorce may be forced to make major financial decisions in a short period of time without properly reflecting upon their options. Being in a highly stressed and emotionally charged environment, trying to handle the termination and dissolution of their marriage is NOT the environment to make such impactful decisions. 

Just by its very nature, this is not a good recipe for sound decision making. That is why it is most important to have the right professionals to guide and help you through this process.

The collaborative process offers a team of professionals (including a trained Financial Professional) who are there to help and guide you, as well as work towards a creative solution so that all members of a family survive in the best of circumstances, notwithstanding the devastating effects that a divorce may have.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Andrew Osterland, cnbc(dot)com
Royalty-free photo courtesy of Pixabay

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 35 Years.

#Concetta #ConcettaSpirio #ConcettaLaw #SpirioLaw #Marriage #Divorce #RealEstate #Litigation #Wills #Trusts #Estates #Mediation #CollaborativeDivorce #LongIsland #Suffolk #Nassau #Islip #Sayville #LGBT