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Old 12-30-2008, 01:50 PM   #1
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Default A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

In today’s NYT front-pager — “In Housing Fall, Breaking Up Is Harder to Do” — several divorce lawyers attest to the conundrum confronting disaffected spouses looking for a divorce: As home values plummet at their fastest pace on record many couples are choosing to remain married because they can’t afford to divide their assets in this market.



For more on how the economy is affecting divorce lawyers, we called up North Carolina-based Lee Rosen, whose firm’s Web site, he tells us, is the leading site for family law in North Carolina. (It is pretty impressive. Check out the blog, cleverly titled “Kramer Vs.”)

Hi, Lee. Thanks for chatting with us. So what are you seeing on the divorce front?

When you look at it from a national standpoint, you see a lot of people getting divorced but still living together.

Like “War of the Roses.”

Exactly. Someone will live upstairs and the other downstairs. You have people trying to drive the other spouse berserk so they’ll pack up and leave.

What would normally happen, in a typical case, is that somebody would take the house and buy the other spouse out. But with this level of uncertainty, people are hesitant to invest more in a house that’s plummeting in value.

Also, a fair number of our divorce cases are stuck because they’re waiting on the house to sell. That’s usually the number one or number two asset in a marriage. (Sometimes a retirement plan is worth more.) We also have people who already moved out, assuming the house would sell and it hasn’t. So now they’re paying for the house in addition to rent.

What’s going on in North Carolina?

In North Carolina you can’t get a divorce without having lived apart for one year. I think our situation is pretty consistent with the national scene. Things are slower for us than they have been this time of year.

The traffic on our site is way up – about 30%. Normally, our revenues track pretty closely with our Web site traffic. There’s almost always a perfect correlation. But in the last two or three months, we’ve seen a big gap develop in those numbers.

What do you make of that?

I think people are frustrated. They’re stuck and feel they don’t have options economically, so they’re sitting tight. But it doesn’t mean they don’t want out of the marriage. They just can’t take action right now.

Here’s another piece of data. We have another site called Stay Happily Married. It has podcasts with marriage counselors, that sort of thing. In the last quarter, the traffic has doubled each month. Normally, December is slow for everything. But this December we doubled our traffic over November for that site. So that says to me that people are desperate to find ways to make their marriage work.

That all sounds pretty stressful.

Sure, add to that the risk of losing your job. Peoples? heads are exploding. Some want to adjust things that are already in place — such as alimony or child support — because of a change in their income status. In Charlotte, for instance, there have been many layoffs in the banking industry. And in Raleigh, IT people are starting to get laid off.

So what do you advise?

What we?re largely doing is giving people time to see how things shake out. They might be employed again in 30 days, so we don?t want them to spend legal fees prematurely.

Divorce rates typically rise in January. Do you expect to see that trend continue as we move into 2009?

It’ll be very interesting. Over two decades we’ve studied the increase in January. Data shows that January is about 20% busier than an average month, and that December is about 20% slower than an average month.



But for us, December was pretty normal this year in terms of the number of people coming in to meet with us. On the other hand, December was much slower than usual in terms of the number of people actually moving forward with a divorce. So in January I’ll be surprised if we don’t get the normal bump in people coming into talk to us, but I question whether they’ll actually go forward. Because once they get all the numbers and then apply those numbers to their lives, they’ll reconsider and decide this just isn’t the right time.

For most people, divorce is the biggest financial decision they’ll ever make because they’re talking about dividing all their assets and moving half of them away. It’s hard to avoid that general mood out there right now about being cautious.

One more thing. Your firm bio says you’re a distant cousin of William Shatner. Seriously?

Yeah. The only time I’ve met was when I was one year old. We lived in Miami, and my parents drove across the country to California.

Do you watch Shatner as Denny Crane on Boston Legal?

I like that show. And I do think that those little conversations that go on at the end between Alan and Denny are useful. At work I meet men all the time who have trouble communicating. That’s why they’re seeing us, because they have difficulty with relationships. But Denny allows himself to connect at a deeper level with other men, and to have a relationship that, while it may be somewhat peculiar, has a lot of emotional value.

Thanks, Lee. Enjoy the holidays.

You too. Thanks.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

I like comic relief/entertainment refs on this trying topic
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Old 05-25-2009, 12:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

Are you there
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Old 11-21-2011, 10:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

Good day! Are you asking yourself, “Can I stop my divorce?” Every divorce is different, so this is a difficult question for which to find an answer. But, oftentimes, the answer to “Can I stop my divorce?” is yes. It may only be a temporary cessation, but it may give you the time you need to fix things.

Regards,
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:16 PM   #5
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I only read a portion of the q&a. I am frustrated, i live in CA and have been serrated since 1999. We are friends i just want a divorce, I have filled step 1 and now they want me to fill out and serve him with all my financial history. Do i have to do this? I have our only minor son and don't want child support just a divorce. Please help
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

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I only read a portion of the q&a. I am frustrated, i live in CA and have been serrated since 1999. We are friends i just want a divorce, I have filled step 1 and now they want me to fill out and serve him with all my financial history. Do i have to do this? I have our only minor son and don't want child support just a divorce. Please help
Yes. You need to fill out all relevant forms and documents.

The court will probably be considering whether or not to grant any kind of spousal support - either for you or your STBX - and child support. Whether or not YOU want child support, your child is entitled to financial support from BOTH parents. The court will be deciding whether or not support needs to be ordered based on custody and visitation orders to be granted.

You can always ask the court to waive any kind of support orders in the final decree if you choose.
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Old 11-16-2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

Hello I got married in the Philippines 6 years in last October this year.and I'm a US citizen and my husband he is still in the Philippines.can I file a divorce here in the US?
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Old 04-07-2014, 12:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

If I am married in Philippines, can I still marry again outside my country?
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Old 04-07-2014, 01:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

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Hello I got married in the Philippines 6 years in last October this year.and I'm a US citizen and my husband he is still in the Philippines.can I file a divorce here in the US?

Yes. You may file for divorce in the U.S. and have him served in the Philippines. As you probably know, there is no remedy of divorce in the Philippines, only annulment. And then on very, very narrow terms.
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Old 04-09-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: A Q&A With Divorce Lawyer Lee Rosen: ‘People Are Frustrated’

My husband and I live in a leased house in Darwin Australia. We are separated. His name Is on the lease. He wants to evict me. Can he legally do this
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