Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson on NewsChannel 8: January is the Month for Divorce

January’s divorce filings are 30% more than any other month. SmolenPlevy Principal and family law attorney Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson appeared on News Channel 8’s Good Morning Washington to explain why there is such an increase in divorces at the start of the new year.

Unhappy couples often wait until after the holidays because they don’t want to ruin that time for their children and family members. For some, spending extended time with their spouse confirms their desire to end the marriage. “There’s that post-holiday fatigue, where you are able to endure the holidays only because you know it’s the last time you will have to go through them or have to see your in laws again,” Dickerson tells Good Morning Washington host Larry Smith.

Dickerson provides some important tips to consider if you are planning on filing for a divorce.

  • Gather copies of documents that verify assets, liabilities, income and expenses.
  • Avoid unnecessary litigation expenses by being reasonable. Don’t do anything out of spite like cancel your spouse’s credit cards (without notice) or freeze the only accounts to which they have access.
  • Have realistic expectations. You are now going to support two households on the same income that paid for one. You will have to make some cuts and budget for a divorce.

Debt incurred jointly during the course of a marriage can stay with the couple. Dickerson says, “The credit card company doesn’t care if you’re getting a divorce. So be careful when you sever credit card ties. The last thing you want is your spouse standing in the grocery line, trying to pay for groceries for himself and the children, and realizing he doesn’t have a functioning credit card.”

Watch the full segment of Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson on Good Morning Washington above.

On Air: Kyung Dickerson Addresses Holiday Dilemmas for Divorced Families on FOX 5 and NewsChannel 8

The holidays can be a festive and joyous time spent with families and friends. However, for newly separated and divorced parents and their children, it can be a stressful and challenging time. SmolenPlevy Principal and family law attorney Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson joins FOX 5 DC’s Good Day DC and NewsChannel 8’s Good Morning Washington to share practical tips to deal holiday dilemmas for divorced families.

When handling the holidays, communication is key for separated, divorced and blended families. “The more they communicate, the smoother, easier, and better it will be for the children,” Dickerson tells Good Day DC host Allison Seymour. She goes further to suggest written communication is ideal, so there are no questions about “who is going to show up where with what gifts and whom.”

In addition to working out detailed plans, avoid unnecessary tension by not trying out-buy the other parent or buying something you know that the other parent doesn’t want the child to have.  Also one of the biggest mistakes Dickerson sees during the holiday season is introducing the children to a new significant other.

Divorce is often viewed as an ending, but the holidays may be a great time to start new traditions – to begin writing a new family story.

At the end of the day, interactions with an estranged spouse should be civil, businesslike, and keep the children’s happiness and best interests in mind. “The greater the tension, the less the children like the holidays,” warns Dickerson. For many children of divorce, seeing their parents get along during the holidays may be the greatest gift of all.

Watch Dickerson on NewsChannel 8 and FOX 5 DC below:

FOX 5 DC’s Good Day DC:

NewChannel 8’s Good Morning Washington:

NewsChannel 8: Jason Smolen’s Tips for Protecting Digital Assets

Traditionally, estate planning addresses one’s property and finances. Today, more and more people are looking to include their intangible assets like social media accounts, and online photos and videos in their wills. SmolenPlevy Co-Founding Principal Jason Smolen visits NewsChannel 8 to discuss the growing trend of protecting digital assets through estate planning on Let’s Talk Live.

Although laws regarding digital assets are evolving, Smolen says there are ways to ensure your online accounts and media are taken of upon your death. Some websites like Facebook have a feature that allows you to elect someone you’re “friends” with as your “legacy contact”.

For websites and services that haven’t caught on this feature, Smolen suggests going “old school” by designating who takes over each digital asset, and including a comprehensive list of all online accounts and login information in your will.

Digital information like downloaded music, video and books may not be considered assets after all, according to Smolen. Sometimes, purchasing art only means you’re only licensed to use the it while you’re alive.

Watch Smolen on Let’s Talk Live above.

In the Media: Kyung Dickerson Shares Smart Tips for a Smooth Divorce

One does not generally think of divorce as something that can be inexpensive or relatively easy, but SmolenPlevy Principal and family law attorney Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson says certain strategies can minimize the conflict created by a divorce. On NewsChannel 8’s Let’s Talk LiveDickerson shares some considerations for a smooth divorce:

  • Educate Yourself. In most households, people divide up responsibilities so that there is one spouse who primarily manages the finances, while the other spouse takes on other responsibilities. Both partners need to educate themselves about their finances to avoid any surprises.
  • Disclose Debts. Spouses will sometimes have separate credit cards. If a spouse holds a card with significant debt, they might not be able or willing to settle for terms that their partner, who does not know about the debt, proposes. This gap in knowledge can lead to a more lengthy and costly divorce.
  • Prenups as Conversation-Starters. A prenuptial agreement forces spouses to talk about their finances and expectations before the marriage. Prenups are not necessarily a precursor to divorce, but rather a means to facilitate a practical and necessary conversation which one or both parties may be reluctant to have.
  • Call for a Consultation. Even if you are unsure if you want to divorce, seek advice from an experienced family attorney. It is important to know the process and repercussions of divorce before proceeding.

Dickerson explains that, “If you handle divorce intelligently, calmly, and unemotionally, it can be relatively inexpensive and easy, despite the emotional trauma.”

Watch Dickerson on Let’s Talk Live below: