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‘Unchain Your Wife’: The Orthodox Women Shining A Light On ‘Get’ Refusal

Posted On: August 12, 2021

This article highlights an ongoing controversy within the Jewish community, regarding the religious requirements in obtaining a divorce.  In Monsey, a hamlet in upstate New York, which has an established Orthodox Jewish community, there appears to be a large billboard that states in big block letters, “Dovid Wasserman.  Give your wife a get!”  For those unfamiliar, a “get” is a document Orthodox Jewish men give their wives as they complete a divorce.  It in essence seals the divorce according to their religious laws.

However, it is the husband who decides, if and when the divorce is final, and can actually withhold the “get”, thereby preventing his ex-wife from moving on with her life or continuing to be part of the Jewish community.  If a woman does not receive a “get”, she is literally considered a “chained woman” because she remains chained to her former marriage and unable to move forward with her life within the community.  If she chooses to exercise her rights under a legal divorce, it will not be accepted by the religious community, since she did not obtain a “get”.  She in essence would be shunned.

A woman is truly limited on what she can do if a husband absolutely refuses to give a “get” and many times Rabbis of the community are impotent to help.  For the woman in this article and her children, this ordeal has been going on for more than 7 years and their interpretation is that the refusal to “give a get” is equivalent to abuse

This woman’s experience is not unique and in fact, for those in the LGBTQ community, it can be even more devastating.  For an LGBTQ person they may have to make a choice between their life, their children’s lives and being a part of their religious community and their family connections or total abandonment of their life and start a new life elsewhere.

This is a horrifying dilemma for Orthodox Jewish women wishing to divorce; but obviously it’s an issue that cannot be resolved from the outside but rather from within.  For those who cannot wait for resolution or evolution to happen, there are woman and children who are faced with dire choices to make.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Caren Chesler,
Royalty-free photo courtesy of Unsplash

Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 34 Years.

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Biden Announces 2 Historic LGBTQ Judicial Nominees; One Could Become First Out Lesbian To Serve On Any Federal Circuit Court

Posted On: August 12, 2021

President Biden announced on Thursday two historic nominations for the federal bench, in his sixth round of names for federal judicial positions.

If confirmed by the Senate, Beth Robinson would be the first out lesbian to serve on any federal circuit court; while Charlotte Sweeney would be the first openly LGBTQ federal judge in Colorado, and also the first out lesbian to serve as a federal district court judge in any state west of the Mississippi.

These choices “continue to fulfill the President’s promise to ensure that the nation’s courts reflect the diversity that is one of our greatest assets as a country — both in terms of personal and professional backgrounds,” the White House said Thursday in a press release.

Robinson, who was nominated for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, has served as an Associate Justice on the Vermont Supreme Court since 2011. She’s also the state’s first openly LGBTQ Supreme Court justice.

Prior to her appointment, she served as counsel to Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin from 2010 to 2011. As head of Vermont Freedom to Marry, she was a key backer of a 2009 law that made Vermont the first state to offer full marriage to same-sex couples without a court order telling lawmakers to do so.

Robinson is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago Law School.

Charlotte Sweeney, Biden’s other historical judicial pick, is a Denver-based lawyer and a founding partner of Sweeney & Bechtold, LLC, a law firm that specializes in handling employment law matters.

She was nominated to the District Court for the District of Colorado.

The Colorado-native focuses on employment law and has devoted her legal practice to assisting and representing individuals who have faced unfair practices in the workplace.

Sweeney is a graduate of California Lutheran University and University of Denver College of Law. She has been an active supporter of the Matthew Shepard Foundation since 2010 and joined the organization’s board of directors in 2016.

LGBTQ rights advocates applauded the historic nominations.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Muri Assuncao, NY Daily News

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Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 34 Years.

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This Virginia School Board Just Passed An Inclusive Policy For Transgender And Gender-Expansive Students

Posted On: August 12, 2021

A Virginia school board whose heated meeting in June gained national attention has voted to expand the rights of its transgender and gender-expansive students.

The Loudoun County School Board voted Wednesday on a policy that allows transgender student athletes to play on teams based on their gender identity; allows transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity; and requires teachers, faculty and staff to refer to students by their preferred names and pronouns.

Additionally, all school mental health professionals in Loudoun County Public Schools are required to undergo "training on topics relating to LGBTQ+ students, including procedures for preventing and responding to bullying, harassment and discrimination based on gender identity/expression," according to the new policy.
      Failure to follow the new policy will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

      Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN
      Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash

      Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 34 Years.

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


      5 Reasons People Get Divorced When They're Older & Nobody Is Expecting It

      Posted On: August 02, 2021

      This article talks about a “gray divorce”.  A “gray divorce” refers to divorces that occur later in life and involve spouses who are 50 years or older. 

      Divorce is difficult at any age, but a gray divorce can have its own specific challenges.  Many times the plans for retirement and finances to sustain retirement are part of a complex long term plan, involving both people and their individual assets.  Looking to separate and divide retirement assets may not afford each person of the couple to live as they intended in retirement.  This obviously creates its own unique set of challenges as well as emotions. 

      Other than losing a spouse or a child, a divorce sometimes is the most traumatic and painful experience one can have in life.  The emotions that are typically involved can be exacerbated when dealing with an older individual, whom many times have been married for more than half of their life.

      There is also a great misconception on how a “gray divorce” affects adult children.  Many times our perception is that adult children are in a better position to handle divorce.  Although that may be the case, many times and more often than not, adult children have as much trauma in navigating their parents divorce as do young children. 

      This article examines five common reasons why gray divorce happens to older couples.  As in any divorce, you need the proper professionals to help you navigate such a difficult process.  This is why collaborative divorce and the professionals of the Long Island Collaborative Divorce Professionals are best suited and trained to help couples through this difficult time and help find creative solutions.  No matter what age, put yourselves in the best hands to navigate your divorce with integrity and dignity.  We are here to answer any questions you may have.

      Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Babita Spinelli of
      Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash

      Concetta Spirio.  A Compassionate Collaborative Divorce Attorney, Mediator & Peacemaker Providing The Highest Level of Legal Representation For Over 34 Years.

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


      How Much Does It Cost To Get Divorced In New York?

      Posted On: July 26, 2021

      One of the earlier questions a client usually asks during a consultation for divorce is what are the monetary costs (legal fees) of obtaining a divorce.  The reality is, in New York, the costs for a divorce are slightly higher than the national average.  However, that takes into account that the divorce rate is higher in New York than in other places in the country, as well as the fact that the cost of living and earnings of people in New York are also higher. 

      Unfortunately, the process between court fees and the documentation required by the courts in order to grant a divorce cannot be avoided.  Therefore, the actual costs of your divorce will vary, depending on the complexity of your matter as well as which method or process you utilize.  Obviously a highly contested divorce, i.e. with two attorneys fighting every issue out through the court system can become astronomically expensive.  Collaborative divorce and mediation are less expensive and are a much more holistic approach. 

      However, when all is said and done, in my opinion and experience, Mediation and the Collaborative process can run about the same.  Again, each case is different and it depends largely upon the complexity of your circumstances i.e. whether there are children, retirement assets, marital assets and debt, etc.

      It's important to have the right professional to help you navigate any process.  That is why a collaborative divorce, using collaboratively trained professionals, in my opinion, is the best and most holistic approach and when compared with the alternatives is the most cost effective.

      If you have any questions please contact me @ or one of the amazing Collaborative Divorce Professionals @

      Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash


      People Share The Worst Pieces Of Marriage Advice They’ve Ever Gotten

      Posted On: July 20, 2021

      This article is actually a compilation of responses tweeted from an inquiry on what was “the worst divorce advice they ever received”. 

      One of the items that I have always thought was sage advice was “never go to bed angry”.  However, one person responded that sometimes it is exactly what you should not do, because you’re tired, you’re angry and you are better off getting some sleep and waking up fresh and seeing if the argument is still something that needs attention or is serious. 

      This one seems to be truly one of the worst pieces of advice.  A woman recalled that a co-worker interpreted her and her husband’s decision not to have children as something that the husband was imposing, and she advised her to stop her birth control and once he was settled with the fact that she was pregnant, he would have no choice and therefore would have to be happy about having a baby.

      Although that is truly mind blowing, we know from experience that marriages have been conceived this way as well as creating other difficulties in marriages when someone chooses unilaterally to make choices regarding having children. 

      I hope you enjoy the balance of exciting and different so called advice, and if someone offers you advice about your relationship and/or divorce, hopefully you will approach it with common sense and knowing that only you truly know what is going on in your relationship and where the communication levels are at.

      Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Jonas Grinevičius and Mindaugas Balčiauskas of
      Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash


      Six Things You Should Do After A Divorce, But Before A New Relationship

      Posted On: July 13, 2021

      For many, divorce is an earth shattering, life-changing experience.  This article discusses this individual person’s perspective on six things she felt, in retrospect, that people should do after being divorced and before starting a new relationship.  

      I like her suggestion of going away alone and spending some quality time with yourself.  This will help someone get perspective and restart/reboot themselves.  As important is having some quality one on one downtime with your children.

      Spring cleaning, not only removing your ex’s items from your home, but also possibly refreshing some of your rooms with a new look or style will give you a fresh take moving forward.

      Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Katie Bingham-Smith,
      Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash


      How Happy Marriages Stay Happy: 7 Signs of a Rock Solid Relationship

      Posted On: July 07, 2021

      The preamble of this article interestingly points out that society is set up to support and satisfy business interests but not family interests; so when two people come together in a marriage, although they have each other, they many times face the problems of the world without much support from society. 

      Researchers have studied marriages for decades to figure out what works to keep a couple together for the long hall.  They have found these 7 factors outlined in this article to be essential for a happy long term marriage:

      The first thing that a relationship really needs is a strong foundation. It is suggested that starts with a good friendship.  Although your primary relationship should be one of your primary friendships, it should not be your only friendship.  Like plants and trees in nature, people need space to grow in the sun and flourish.

      Successful relationships often demonstrate that the individuals are truly in a successful partnership where they always have each other’s back and are always supportive of one another.  They share successes, they share disappointments, but more importantly, they support one another when there is a problem.  As termed in the article, it’s not “codependency”, but “interdependency”.  Being consistent and empathetic with each other are required for a truly successful partnership. 

      What  most people don’t realize is that optimism and positivity are essential to succeed in any avenue in life.  This is especially true in a committed, primary relationship.  Being optimistic and positive enables a person and/or a couple or partnership to face conflict and problems and to come up with problem solving  strategies that are creative.  Practicing gratitude and being grateful for all aspects of the person in your life and having empathy for their circumstances and the things they are going through in life, in addition to your own, really fortifies the relationship.  It’s like the infrastructure that creates a strong foundation.  Think of it as steel used to reinforce concrete. 

      How do you manage stress?  How do you as a couple manage stress?  Stress is a very big factor in life and it comes in all forms.  Plus, no one is immune.  Everyone has stress in their life, in one form or another.  How we individually and as a couple face stress and adversity can affect the health of a relationship. 

      I found this article to be a very introspective read with some great points on what we should all pay attention to in our relationships.   Let me know your thoughts about the items outlined in this article.  I’ve only touched on a few.

      Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Virginia Pelley,
      Royalty-free photo courtesy of UnSplash