Category Archives: Wolf & Shore Blog

New Year, New Estate Plan

With a new year comes new priorities, and your estate plan should be at the top of your list. Estate plans are for everyone, not just people who have a lot of assets, or people who have multiple children, etc. Whether you are single, married, have children, or anything in between, you should make sure you have an estate plan ready. We generally recommend a basic estate plan for anyone over the age of eighteen (18) who owns at least one asset.

Wolf & Shore, LLC understands that thinking about your estate can be difficult, but we know just how necessary it is. Even if you have already drafted your estate plan, you should always make sure it’s updated at least once every three (3) years, or after any life event.

Our firm can help you draft your Will, Living Will/Medical Directive, and/or Power of Attorney. Sometimes, it is also effective to quitclaim your house and develop a life estate, depending on how you eventually want to dispose of your assets.

There is no better way to protect your estate than having an up-to-date estate plan. Contact our office today for a confidential consultation! We can be reached here, at 203.745.3151, or at info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

Representation Is A Two Way Street

Some clients hire an attorney to work for them. When you hire Wolf & Shore, LLC you hire attorneys to work with you. Our office looks at representation as a “two-way street.”

We send every client a questionnaire as part of our engagement process.  These questionnaires are documents that we have personally created over the years, based on our experience with so many types of cases. These documents help us by providing with us the majority of the information we need to work on your file. We ask for basic information to file pleadings, but we also ask more personal questions so that we can thoroughly advocate on your behalf and make sure that we truly know the history of your matter, and your concerns. We have found that this process eliminates hassle, extra phone calls, duplicative e-mails, etc. Many clients have told us that this makes the process go smoothly and we think that is one of the most important aspects of representation.

Once we draft your pleadings, we always send them to you for approval. You will  never be blindsided by anything we file. We take the time to answer any questions, and address any concerns that you may have. Some offices file paperwork and discuss it with you later, but we will always consult with you first. Wolf & Shore believes that it is important that you have a say in how your matter is handled.

Our firm makes recommendations to you, and offers you legal advice throughout your matter, but decisions are ultimately yours. We rely on your opinion and work on your timeline.

While Wolf & Shore, LLC works with you, we also need you to work with us. Providing us with documentation in a timely manner is key. There are often deadlines or due dates that come along with family law matters, and our office cannot gather your personal information for you.

When we refer you to professionals such as counselors, accountants, financial advisors, and appraisers, we will need you to give us signed releases to speak with them about the details of your case. Without the proper releases from you, we won’t be able to discuss important topics with them, and that can hinder progress. It is often prudent to consult with experts such as accountants, financial experts to value a business, etc., so that we can help you to make informed decisions in your matter.

If you need representation, and would like a confidential consultation, you can reach us here, at 203.745.3151, or at info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

Co-Parenting & Expenses

Having a blended family, or having a co-parent, is the new norm. That being said, sharing your child’s expenses is also the new norm, and that can sometimes be frustrating.

Very often, one of the reasons that people divorce or separate is due to different views on finances.  Therefore, when you are subsequently trying to co-parent, you may still be disagreeing on how, where, why and when to allocate funds for your child(ren).  That is part of what makes sharing expenses such as child care, unreimbursed medical expenses and extracurricular activities difficult.

However, if you do have an agreement, or even an out-of-court arrangement with your co-parent to share expenses for your child(ren), you should make, and use, a system that works for both of you. Many people use Excel spreadsheets and scan in receipts to accompany it. There are also expense-tracking apps that can help you with this. Another tip is to inform your co-parent of expenses in a timely fashion.  It is generally easier for someone to pay his or her share of small balances frequently rather than large lump sums of money all at once.

Most importantly-make sure you keep your receipts! You should provide copies of your receipts to your co-parent for reimbursement, and you should keep the originals for yourself. Try to always send the copies electronically, so you have a record of what you provided to your co-parent and when.

Communication with your co-parent is very important. Talking to your co-parent about expenses, or enrollment in new activities before they occur may be helpful. They will appreciate having the chance to give their input, and they also won’t feel blindsided when they receive the receipts.

Wolf & Shore, LLC encourages co-parenting, and we know that it’s not always easy. If you need a co-parenting counselor, we can refer one to you. If you need to put a parenting plan in place, or modify the one you already have, we are here to help!

Contact our office for a confidential consultation today. We can be reached here, at 203.745.3151, or at info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

Taking Financial Control

In can be common any marriage for one spouse to handle the finances and the other to manage other matters, like scheduling, coordinating, etc., in the home.  However, if you are contemplating divorce, and you have not personally dealt with your household finances, it can seem overwhelming.

Learning to budget and be financially independent can seem difficult, but Wolf & Shore, LLC understands this and knows how to make it as easy as possible for our clients! We can refer you to a financial advisor, accountant, or other professionals that we work with closely, to get you on track, and we encourage you to sit down with us, and the professional of your choice, so that we can have an expert opinion to help us, and you, as we navigate through your divorce.

While a financial professional can give you exact advice, some tips that we generally tell our clients is to live within their means, create a budget, and still continue to plan for the future. It is very important to educate yourself and understand what expenses are associated with the residence in which you will be residing and what other financial expenses you will have.

It is also important to maintain your credit. You should look into your credit score, and continue to pay bills steadily. This will help you in the future if you need to apply for any loans, or lease a new apartment.

If your divorce has already been completed, you may need to think about updating your estate plan, or meeting with a financial advisor to invest for retirement.  It is also important to make sure that any accounts with beneficiaries have been updated and that you have the proper instruments in place as necessary (for example, a trust if you have young children).

Whatever your financial situation, make sure you have a plan-that is what will give you financial control. Our firm can help you create that plan, and set it in motion. Contact us for a confidential consultation today! We can be reached here, at 203.745.3151, or at info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

Helicopter Parenting

When you go through a divorce or custody battle, you can often feel like you need to pay extra attention to your children. It’s completely normal to feel the need to make them feel as secure as possible, so your matter doesn’t negatively impact them.

While there is nothing wrong with showing your children some extra affection, you may want to be careful to not become a “helicopter parent.” Tending to your children’s every need, and supervising every one of their actions can actually stunt their developmental growth.

Children need room to grow, and to learn how to process situations, critically think, and problem solve. Watching them from afar to ensure they make good decisions, but still have time to work things out by themselves before they as for help, is a great way to help them learn how to deal with situations on their own.

When you transition into a single-parent household, this can be even harder. You can’t control how your co-parent will choose to handle things in their own home. Wolf & Shore, LLC encourages co-parenting, and knows that being reasonable and friendly with your co-parent is best for children. If you think you need help with your parenting plan, or maybe even need a co-parenting counselor, contact our office for a confidential consultation.

Our office can be reached here, at 203.745.3151, or at info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

New Year New You

It may sound cliché, but the new year is often the time to reinvent yourself. With 2017 behind you, you’re able to set new goals for this year. You can start fresh, and make 2018 your best year yet.

It may be tough to think of divorce as taking a step forward, but it is often just that. Leaving a toxic relationship may be just what you need to kick start your new future. You may be thinking, “ But, I don’t want to start my new year off with a fight” but you don’t have to!

Wolf & Shore, LLC can help you navigate through more than just a divorce. Our firm also offers mediation services, and can help you and your spouse work together to come to a reasonable agreement that’s fair to both of you. Or, maybe you just want to file for a separation, and take some more time to think about your relationship going forward.

Wolf & Shore, LLC encourages all parties to be amicable during dissolution, and works with many professionals to see that through. We can refer you to the necessary counselors, business valuators, and even accountants. Your new year should be about finding your happiest, best self. There is no reason why creating your new future should have to be stressful.

Our office offers confidential consultations to all potential clients. Contact us today! We can be reached here, at 203.745.3151, or info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

National Underdog Day

December 15, 2017 is National Underdog Day. It’s always celebrated on the third Friday of December. Everyone loves to root for the underdog, the team that just can’t seem to get back on top. People hope that the underdog will win again because they love a good “come-back” story.

Sometimes, during a divorce, a person can feel just like an underdog. If you find yourself in that situation, you may be left feeling like you just can’t win.  That is almost never the case. It is, however, why you would hire an attorney-to advocate for you, help you to remove yourself as much as possible from the emotional components and eventually, to help you get back on top!

Wolf & Shore, LLC understands that a divorce can feel like a lose-lose situation, and wants you to know that we are here to help. Our office works with you, supports you, and takes away some of the various burdens that often come with the divorce process.

When you hire Wolf & Shore, you get an entire team dedicated to making the dissolution process smoother for you. We negotiate with opposing counsel, so you don’t have to. We can draft a comprehensive, equitable, and thorough agreement with you, because a winning team has to work together.

Attorney Wolf and Attorney Shore give every “underdog” the chance they need to win. Contact our office for a confidential consultation. You can reach us here, at 203.745.3151, or at info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

Attorney at Law or Counselor at Law?

Have you heard the term “counselor at law?” Did you ever wonder if that’s any different than an attorney? Well, surprisingly, the two are interchangeable.

That’s right, an attorney at law can also be referred to as a counselor at law, and sometimes just “counsel.” It’s actually quite fitting, because in some instances an attorney is more like a counselor for their clients, helping each client navigate through different issues that arise during family law matters.

During any family matter, emotions can run extremely high. Attorneys often have to simultaneously give legal advice, but offer emotional support as well.

Wolf & Shore, LLC focuses on family and matrimonial law, and is a compassionate law firm. We understand that you need more than just the routine legal guidance. Every client needs to know that there is an end to the frustration, almost like a light at the end of the tunnel, and no two cases are the same.

Attorney Kristen Wolf and Attorney Shari-Lynn Cuomo Shore work with their clients to not only come to a reasonable and fair solution to their cases, but to ensure that they feel confident and secure while doing so.

Our office is always there for you and we enjoy counseling each client through whatever course their family law matter takes.  It’s never easy to go through a legal battle, and you certainly should never have to do it alone. Contact Wolf & Shore, LLC for your confidential consultation. You can reach us here, at 203.745.3151, or info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

Frozen Benefit Rule

Have you ever heard of the Frozen Benefit Rule? When Congress passed The National Defense Authorization Act it dramatically altered how military pension division orders are written.  Instead of allowing each state to decide how to divide military retirement pay, Congress imposed a single uniform method of pension division on all the states, a fictional scenario in which the military member retires on the day that the judgment of divorce is entered. This new rule up-ends the law regarding military pension division in almost every state.

The new law only applies to those still serving (active-duty, National Guard or Reserves). Going forward, hypothetical retired pay attributable to the rank and years of service of the military member at the time of the divorce is what will be divided. The new law was effective and binding on the states immediately upon enactment, which was January 1, 2017.  Although the method of dividing pensions, as well as the date of valuation and classification of marital or community property, have always been a matter of state law, that will change in all divorce cases where one or both spouses are active military.

Wolf & Shore, LLC routinely handles military divorce cases, and has dealt with the division of military pensions frequently. We even offer a military divorce guide, which you can read here. Our office can refer you to pension division attorneys that we work with often, to make certain that your pension is divided properly.

We understand that divorce is never easy, and it may only seem harder when one or both spouses in the military. Assets need to be divided differently, parenting plans may need to be less conventional, and now with the new Frozen Benefit Rule, even pension division will be more challenging. If you or your spouse is in the military, and you are seeking divorce, please contact our office for a confidential consultation. You can reach us here, at (203) 745.3151, or at info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

Thanksgiving Eve is the Largest DUI Night of the Year

Thanksgiving Eve, otherwise known as “Black Wednesday,” is the most popular night of the year to go out drinking at bars. Thanksgiving weekend is also the most traveled weekend in the nation. This combination results in the most DUI arrests all year.

From Thanksgiving Eve through Christmas, there are 45 fatalities per day involving an alcohol impaired driver in America. This number will only increase, climbing to 54 fatalities per day, as New Year’s Eve approaches.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been campaigning “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” for years now, and the message is clear. With the increased vigilance on Thanksgiving Eve, and throughout the holiday season, it is more likely than ever for an intoxicated driver to be pulled over.

Wolf & Shore, LLC wants to remind you that drinking and driving do not mix. There is never an excuse to get behind the wheel if you’re intoxicated. If you don’t have someone to call to get you home safely, try using Uber or Lyft, or another similar service. This Thanksgiving Eve, make sure to secure a designated driver. You can also call AAA for help. They offer a Holiday Safe Ride Program for members and non-members.

Wolf & Shore, LLC wishes you a safe holiday, and hopes that you drive safely and always drink responsibly.