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Divorce and Family Court Financial Statements: What we love and hate about them!

Each party must complete a financial statement form and file with the Court to get divorced in Massachusetts – it’s required.  Yet the financial statement form comes with little if any instructions.  While most clients and their attorneys hate these forms because they’re time consuming and painful to complete, learning why the form is necessary and how it’s used may make you love (or at least not hate) the form! Here goes:

  1. The Court financial statement form incorporates the concept of full disclosure of income, assets, expenses, and liabilities. Why?  Because in divorce you are dividing or reallocating income, assets, expenses and liabilities, and can’t do so without knowing what those are.  The Court financial statement form that each party completes, lays it all out there for both parties to see.  This allows the Court to be sure that the parties have a shared understanding of their finances, and to determine if an agreement with respect to those finances is fair and reasonable.

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Levitt Law Group Attorneys Attend Excellence in the Law Event

emily a weber excellence in the lawAttorneys Karen J. Levitt, Andrea M. Wells, and Emily A. Weber attended the 2018 Excellence in the Law event hosted by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel in Boston on May 10, 2018. The 2018 Excellence in the Law event celebrated excellence in in the legal community and honored individuals in the following categories: Up & Coming Lawyers, Excellence in Firm Administration/Operations, Marketing, Paralegal Work, Legal Journalism and Pro Bono. Attorney Emily A. Weber was chosen this year as a one of the Up & Coming Lawyers honorees.  The Up and Coming Lawyers so honored are attorneys who have been members of the Massachusetts Bar for 10 years or less, yet have already distinguished themselves as rising stars in the practice of law.  Attorney Emily A. Weber’s award is well deserved, and the Levitt Law Group is proud to have Attorney Weber as part of its team.  In 2016 Attorney Karen J. Levitt was honored for Excellence in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Attorney Andrea M. Wells Adds Conciliation Training to her Client Services

On Friday, March 23rd, 2018 Attorney Andrea M. Wells completed an 8-hour Court-connected Conciliation training at the Essex County Probate and Family Court in Lawrence, MA.  The Conciliation Training was presented by the Massachusetts Trial Court Standing Committee on Dispute Resolution.  Conciliation is a form of dispute resolution where the parties to a case voluntarily agree to sit down with a neutral party (the Conciliator) to try to reach an agreement or partial agreement  out of Court.  The Conciliator can help the parties by clarifying the issues in their case and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the parties’ respective positions.  Under the Uniform Rules on Dispute Resolution, completion of this training provides the mandated qualification standards for court-connected neutrals.  Not only will Attorney Andrea M. Wells’ Conciliation Training allow her to provide conciliation services to Lawrence SERV Program (Settlement and Early Resolution Volunteers), but she may now volunteer her services in any Probate and Family Court approved conciliation program. Providing services to the community is part of who we are at the Levitt Law Group, and Andrea now adds her new skills training to the dispute resolution services we provide.

Levitt Law Group Sponsor for Lowell Humane Society’s Muddy Paws Benefit 5k Walk/Run

Levitt Law Group, LLC is proud to be a Finish Line Sponsor for the Lowell Humane Society’s upcoming Muddy Paws Benefit 5k Walk/Run taking place on June, 2, 2018 in Lowell! The Lowell Humane Society, a private not for profit organization, is one of the oldest humane organizations in Massachusetts and works tirelessly to prevent cruelty, provide care for homeless and distressed animals, and educate the public about responsible pet ownership. Levitt Law Group employees (and their dogs!) will also be participating in the 5k as walkers and runners to raise money for the organization. Check out https://www.classy.org/event/muddy-paws-5k/e151371 to donate to Levitt Law Group’s fundraising team, or to sign up for the event. We hope to see you there!

Attorney Emily A. Weber Honored as a “2018 Up & Coming Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Attorney Emily A. Weber has been honored as a “2018 Up & Coming Lawyer” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Attorneys selected as “Up and Coming Lawyers” have been members of the Massachusetts Bar for 10 years or less, yet have already distinguished themselves as rising stars in the practice of law. The Levitt Law Group is proud to have Emily as one of the honorees, it is well deserved. Emily will be recognized for her legal accomplishments at the annual 2018 Excellence in the Law Event held on May 10, 2018 at the Marriott Long Wharf Hotel in Boston. Congratulations Emily!

Attorney Karen J. Levitt to Present Workshop at MCLC 2018

Attorney Karen J. Levitt and her colleagues psychologist Gina Arons, Psy.D and Attorney Patrice Brymner, have been selected by the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council (“MCLC”) to present one of the four workshops at the MCLC 2018 Collaborative Practice Forum: Collaborative Leadership: Modeling Collaborative Values In Business, Life And Community, which is scheduled for April 27, 2018 at the Four Points Sheraton, Norwood, MA. Entitled “Navigating Leadership: The Rough Seas of Family Business & Divorce”, the workshop addresses how the Collaborative Law process can be used to help couples who have a family business navigate not just their divorce, but the division of the business and the running of the business both during and after divorce. Addressing family businesses in divorce not only may require a complex financial analysis, but the issue of leadership of the business to ensure its continuation post-divorce can be a challenge. The conference is attended by attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health professionals. Attorney Karen J. Levitt is excited to be part of this exciting conference!

Attorney Emily A Weber joins Committee working on Establishing Full-time Probate and Family Court Session in Lowell

Attorney Emily A. Weber is serving as a member of a newly formed committee formed by First Justice of the Middlesex Probate Court, Edward F. Donnelly, Jr., in conjunction with Chief Justice of the Probate and Family Court Angela M. Ordonez, to work on the establishment of a full-time Probate and Family Court session in Lowell beginning in 2019.

The new Lowell Justice Center, which is currently under construction in downtown Lowell, will provide state of the art facilities for the Probate and Family Court, along with the Superior, District, Juvenile, and Housing Courts of Middlesex County. The newly formed committee will address and make recommendations on the catchment areas for the new Lowell session and for the existing session, now held in Cambridge, and staffing and training of the court employees who will work for the Probate and Family Court in Lowell.

2017-2018 Women’s Leadership Initiative class

The Levitt Law Group is pleased to announce that Attorney Emily A. Weber has been selected by the Women’s Bar Association to participate in its 2017-2018 Women’s Leadership Initiative class.  The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) was established in 2009 and recognizes up and coming stars of the legal profession who are six to twelve years into their legal careers. The year-long program provides participants with mentoring and leadership development opportunities, while connecting them with leaders in the community.  There will also be opportunities to work with role models and one another, build networks, and be exposed to leadership positions.  WLI alumni include Attorney General Maura Healey and other high-ranking law firm partners, government attorneys and in-house counsel. This year the program will be led by Mary Ryan, partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP and Jayne Tyrrell, Director of the Massachusetts IOLTA Committee.  

WBA President Michele Ballie said “The WBA is proud that Emily Weber is a member of this new class of the Women’s Leadership Initiative. The program is directly aligned with the organization’s goal of advancing women in the profession.  We are grateful to have the opportunity to include such a promising group in this program.”  The selection of Attorney Emily A. Weber demonstrates her proven talent and her promise as a future leader in the legal profession, and is also a reflection on the Levitt Law Group.  The Levitt Law Group is thrilled that Attorney Weber, one of our own group of talented attorneys, has been given this honor. Congratulations Emily!

Attorney Karen J. Levitt has been busy this fall!

Attorney Karen J. Levitt was a guest speaker along with Collaborative Coach Michelle Tetreault, LICSW, at a Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council practice group meeting of the Tri River practice group, held on November 16, 2017. Attorney Karen J. Levitt and Michelle Tetreault spoke about some of the dynamics and challenges for same sex couples in divorce.  The meeting was well attended with a lively discussion amongst attorneys, financial professionals, and mental health professionals about the issues presented.  Ms. Tetreault has been in private practice in Exeter, New Hampshire for over twenty (20) years, and works primarily with couples.  Michelle and Attorney Levitt were some of the co-authors of the MCLE publication, Collaborative Law: Practice and Procedures, MCLE’s first manual on collaborative practice.
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