Category Archives: Wolf & Shore Blog

National Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month 2018

April is National Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month. According to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children, Over the past 10 years, more than 20,000 American children are believed to have been killed in their own homes by family members.

14% of all men in prison and 36% of women in prison in the USA were abused as children, about twice the frequency seen in the general population. Children who experience child abuse and neglect are about nine times more likely to become involved in criminal activity. A community that cares about early childhood development, parental support, and maternal mental health is more likely to foster nurturing families and healthy children.

Wolf & Shore, LLC works with our clients to help them find programs for positive parenting and child development when they need it. We understand that we work with clients during some of the toughest times of their lives and we are here to offer compassion, guidance, and knowledge to help each client work through their matter. A few examples of the types of cases we handle include divorce, custody, guardianship, grandparents’ rights, child protection, juvenile delinquency and post-judgment modifications. We know how important it is for children to grow up with strong support systems, and in a safe environment. If you are concerned about a friend, family member, or loved one, and think legal action may be necessary, contact us for a confidential consultation.

Everyone can take a role in helping children get the love and support they need. If you suspect a child in Connecticut is being abused or neglected, please call 1-800-842-2288.

 

National Ex-Spouse Day 2018

April 14, 2018 is National Ex-Spouse Day. It may not be easy, or even seem logical, but, if you are divorced, consider taking some time to appreciate your ex-spouse and what they offer when it comes to parenting your children together.

Divorce is not easy, and emotions can easily take over and make it hard to see the value in your ex-partner. However, there are so many reasons to be grateful for your ex-partner-they (hopefully) help raise your children and provide support for them.  As you know, it is crucial for co-parents to work together as a team.

Co-parenting is so important and having a united front when it comes to raising your family makes things much easier for blended families. Make sure that you communicate with each other and try to have the same ground rules in both homes to make transitioning smoother for your children.

Wolf & Shore, LLC knows that working together but being apart can be very stressful, and our office can refer you to co-parenting counselors or other professionals to help you if you need it.

If you have an ex-spouse, you should take some time to honor them today. Thanking them for their hard work and parenting efforts may just improve your co-parenting relationship altogether.

Wolf & Shore, LLC encourages co-parenting, and has partnered with Divorce Magazine to bring you this Divorce Magazine Co-parenting Guide.

If you think you need help co-parenting, or even a new parenting plan, please do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential consultation today! We can be reached here, at 203.745.3151, or info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

National Proposal Day

Happy National Proposal Day! Spring is here, and with that comes lots of engagements! Planning the big day is so much fun but can also seem overwhelming. Between saying yes to the dress, finding a venue, choosing favors, you’re left with one question: where do you start?

Sometimes, you may want to start with a law firm! If you already have assets (including retirement assets, a house, etc.), when you get engaged, you may want to consider protecting that with a prenuptial agreement. Or, if you have concerns about future earnings or inheritances of you or your partner, that could also be a reason to draft a prenuptial agreement.  It may seem like prenups are only for the rich and famous, but that is no longer true. Prenups are quickly becoming the norm, as people are more well-informed and want to protect their assets.

A prenuptial agreement is the only way to protect your assets, and your soon-to-be spouse’s assets, if you should ever get divorced and don’t want those assets to be considered “marital property.” Despite some pre-conceived notions, prenups do not actually have to be adversarial.  Rather, they help you start your marriage off on the right foot by giving you and your loved one a sense of security. They can confirm that you’re getting married for all the right reasons.

We all know that a long list of “to-dos” comes before your “I-dos.” Why not check one thing off that list and get your prenuptial agreement drafted? Wolf & Shore, LLC has handled the drafting and the review of numerous prenups for those lucky couples about to tie the knot.

If you think a prenuptial agreement may be right for you and yours, give us a call and set up a confidential consultation today! We can be reached here, at 203.745.3151, or at info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

National Freedom of Information Day

March 16th, 2018 is National Freedom of Information Day! This day celebrates the Freedom of Information Act of 1966, and is also a celebration of President James Madison’s birthday, as he was known as the “Father of the Constitution” and strongly advocated for the government to be open with its people.

So what does the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) really do? It allows for the full, or in some cases, partial, disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the United States government. This Act provides that any person has the right to request access to federal agency records or information, so long as one of the few exemptions do not apply.

FOIA is one of the most important Acts put in place by the United States government. After the Cold War, there was increased government secrecy that continued to grow.  After the Watergate Scandal, the Senate and the House introduced many new requirements, timeframes, sanctions for wrongly withheld information, and necessary language waiving fees for journalists and public interest groups.

The press is able to freely report what goes on in the United States government, and has been for quite some time, but after FOIA was enacted, any citizen can now acquire documents from U.S. federal agencies. American citizens have a constitutional right to know what goes on in their country, and what the government puts in place on their behalf. This can be invaluable for discovery purposes in cases and sometimes, just for doing your due diligence to know what is going on in your town or state.

 

Happy National Freedom of Information Day! If you want to know more about FOIA, and its exemptions, you can click here.

 

 

National Write Your Own Story Day

March 14, 2018 is National Write Your Own Story Day. While it may strike you as odd to sit down and write a story about yourself, this can actually help you set new goals, and also realize what is truly important to you.

Where do you see yourself? What will you be doing tomorrow, next month, next year? Writing your own story is like taking the first step in reinventing your life. Often, people get into a tough spot-it could be a toxic relationship, issues with a co-parent, or maybe you are searching for a new job and aren’t sure where to turn.

Wolf & Shore, LLC can help make your new story a reality. Our firm focuses on family law issues-divorce, restraining orders, annulments, custody issues, child support, and even out of court advisement to assess your needs. We can help you turn the page and start the next chapter in your story. We can refer you to co-parenting counselors if you need help learning to work with your co-parent, or to a financial advisor if you need help creating a new budget for the next stage of your life. A substantial change in circumstances could warrant a modification to your existing agreement, and we can draft the paperwork to change it.

If you’re ready to start writing your new story, do not hesitate to contact our office for a confidential consultation. We can be reached here, at 203.745.3151, or info@wolfandshorelaw.com.

International Women’s Day

March 8, 2018 is International Women’s Day! This is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women’s Day is also a call to accelerate gender equality.

Right now, in the United States, only 32.9% of lawyers are women. Wolf & Shore, LLC is an all-female law office. Attorneys Kristen Wolf and Shari-Lynn Cuomo Shore are the Partners and Owners, and they have an all-female staff.

In our firm there is no wage gap, and there is no glass ceiling to be broken. Attorney Wolf and Attorney Shore work hard to empower their staff, their colleagues, their clients, and their community.

Attorneys Wolf and Shore are both actively involved the in the New Haven County Bar Association, and the Connecticut Bar Association, especially in the Young Lawyers Section. Attorney Wolf serves as Treasurer for the Dan Orlovsky Foundation, and Attorney Shore coaches the West Haven High School mock trial team.

Wolf & Shore, LLC continues to be recognized on a national scale for the work done in the legal field, having received the Law Firm 500 award twice annually, the Premier 100 Designation from National Academy of Jurisprudence, and the 10 Best Law Firms award from the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys twice annually as well.

Our firm celebrates women and all that they do every day, but International Women’s Day is a great way to give women the recognition they deserve on a larger scale. There are events held, galleries opened, and awards given all over the world to women who help to achieve true gender parity.

If you want to know more about International Women’s Day you can click here.

Staying Connected With Your Children While You’re Away

Nowadays, it is not uncommon for one or both parents to work full time. Providing for a family is no easy feat, and often work requires parents to travel, sometimes for lengthy periods of time. Those days, weeks, and even months can put a lot of stress on a marriage and make it incredibly hard to stay connected with our children.

Maybe it’s not just work that requires you to be far away from your kids. When one parent relocates with their children, it can often leave the other parent feeling absent from their kids’ lives. Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to keep that connection with your kids, even when you’re far away.

Everyone knows teenagers are always on their smartphone. You can actually use that to your advantage if you must be away from your kids for long periods of time. There are plenty of interactive games you can play with your children, and many apps that make communication easy, and even attractive, to kids. Some to check out: Trivia Crack, Words with Friends, Quiz Up, Powerboat Racing, or Asphalt 8: Airborne for games and SnapChat, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Facebook messenger for fun methods of communication.

These games can not only be fun and relaxing, but also educational. What’s better than playing with your kids while they get to learn? If you have an elementary school-aged child, they may not have a cell phone, so you’ll have to get a bit more creative. You can leave them riddles to solve or give them a topic to draw about so they can show you their work when you see them again. Your co-parent may even be willing to help them to e-mail back and forth with you.

If you have young children that aren’t quite ready to play games or draw pictures, you can simply make the best of the time you have with them. When you see them make sure to be loving and attentive. Reading stories together is a great way to bond with youngsters! You can even record your voice reading some of their favorite books, so they can feel like you’re reading to them even when you’re far away.

Remember that no matter how much time you spend with your children, they really just want to know that they are loved. The effort you put forth is always worthwhile, and your kids will thank you later. The quality of the time you spend with them will outweigh the quantity.

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.