The Law Office of
Joanne P. Monagan, Esq.
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Two Mothers, One Mother’s Day

I hadn’t seen a case like this before. Two women were divorcing, and fighting over which parent would get custody of the children on Mother’s Day. One parent was the biological mother; the other was the non-biological, but legal and psychological mother. Each one argued that the annual May holiday honoring mothers should be her day with the kids.

I suggested that one mother could celebrate with the kids on Mother’s Day, and the other could do the same on Father’s Day. I believe it was the first time I ever heard jaws drop on the floor.

Father’s Day was out of the question. They ignored my suggestion, and instead negotiated an equal split of time on Mother’s Day.

Same-sex marriage has been legal throughout the United States since 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled that state bans against it were unconstitutional. It has been legally recognized in New York state since 2011. As gays, lesbians, and other civil-rights advocates celebrated each milestone, the focus was on the upside: loving couples could now live together and raise families with the full recognition and support of the law.

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Divorce Porn

Is it really in your best interest to post intimate photos of your ex—or of yourself?

I’ve heard this question asked recently: “How can I get my ex to stop posting nude photos of themselves with their new love interest on social media? They are hurtful to me, and the children may eventually see them.”

This is a kind of flipside to so-called “revenge porn,” in which one former partner reacts to a bitter break-up by posting nude photos of their ex on social media—photos that presumably are intended to anger and/or humiliate them. For example, an estranged wife appears to be basking in the glow of a new relationship—and letting the world, and her ex, see how happy she is. “I will survive—and I will rub it in your face.”

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Back on the (Job) Market

If you’ve taken a break from your career to raise children, you should assess your prospects before the divorce is final.

After settling her divorce with another law firm, a new client came to me with custody and support issues that arose afterward. Trained as a registered nurse, she had not worked since the early ’90s, when she got married and started raising children as a stay-at-home mom, comfortable in the security of her husband’s income.

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Roll With the Changes

Child Custody

Children grow up, their needs and schedules evolve – and custody arrangements should evolve accordingly

In one family whose custody case I worked on, an elementary-school child grew up to be a middle-school child, and the parenting schedules in the original agreement didn’t work any more. For one thing, the young teen’s newly complex sports schedule no longer fit the joint-custody arrangement the parents had hashed out two years earlier. And a burgeoning social life turned the old pick-up-and-drop-off routines upside down.

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