Edward R. Weinstein, Esq.

Why Divorce is a Common New Year’s Resolution: An Interview

TRANSCRIPT:

EDDIEONE

Interviewer:
Let me welcome back to New Jersey today our official Legal Analyst. To talk about something that January has become synonymous with and that’s divorce. Edward Weinstein joins us now in New Jersey today. Ed, how are you? Good to talk to you again.

Ed Weinstein:
Good afternoon. How are you? Happy New Year.

Interviewer:
Same to you and first of all let’s talk about January, recognized internationally as National Child Centered Divorce Month. This is right in your sweet spot, I know Ed, of what you do. January, more divorces in the calendar year in January than any other month?

Ed Weinstein:
That’s correct and basically the genesis of the situation is many families will try to get through the holidays for the sake of the children and once New Years comes and goes, there is a dramatic spike in divorce filings. My research dictates that approximately 60 to 70% of those filings are by women, or the wives of the marriage. And not only do family law practitioners, the courts understand this, but further research has demonstrated to me that dating services embrace this. There’s a web site out there that basically has a divorce calculator on it. In which the average person can go on it and try to do the math. Can they afford to get divorced? That web site alone sees a spike in hits during the month of January. So, the statistics are very clear in that regard, but the good news is that organizations such as Child Centered Divorce, which is a support network for parents, have embraced this and therefore, not only as you alluded to before the commercial break, on an international level thanks to the advent of the internet. So, both nationally and internationally these types of groups, that seek to protect children in divorce, have designated January as National Child Center Divorce Month. And therefore amplified and increased their cause and their message with respect to educating parents about the negative consequences that can occur if children are involved in the divorce, either directly or indirectly, and obviously with the goal to protect and shield children during this very difficult time for any family.

Interviewer:
There’s one statement that you said just a few moments ago Ed that you really got my eyes open here. That you said a lot of these situations where parents make the decision to go ahead and divorce, a lot of times if it’s September October they make the decision to wait through the holidays for the sake of the kids and then begin the proceedings in January. I mean is this something that parents will put off for several months just for the sake of their kids?

Ed Weinstein:
It is actually quite typical in my 16-year career. It is very common, summer a lot of people try to get through the summer. September, October, people who are say kind of on a fact-finding mission. They want to understand the substantive issues of the divorce. What to expect both procedurally how it going to affect their children, custody issues, support issues and obviously division of assets, and liabilities. And at the conclusion say a consultation will say to me, “well Mr. Weinstein I’m not ready yet. I really want to get through the holidays, but hang on to my information” which I already do anyway. And I assure the people that as soon as the consultation’s over I dictate a memo so everything is fresh, because some people will meet me again August, September, October, and then early January the phone or email will start bowing up. And people are like, “ok I made it.” And it’s really only the really horrendous cases, such as what happened with the family in Old Bridge, where it was domestic violence…beyond domestic violence, a murder suicide situation, but only those domestic violence type situations don’t make it through the holidays. Otherwise, everybody tries to either put on a good show for the kids, or one of the two spouses knows ok they have a hidden agenda and the then other spouse, and as I alluded to many times the husband in the case let’s say or in the situation, kind of blindsided by it for their New Year.

Interviewer:
Not a good way to kind of start things off, huh?

Ed Weinstein:
Unfortunately no, but again trying to focus on the positive here, many groups that focus on protecting children said hey, because actually 6 plus years ago just randomly they selected July as the month to protect children in divorce. And then more recently, I believe it was just 2010 that, the main organization that I alluded to earlier and that you alluded to, they said well let’s be smart about this, let’s make it January when the statistics demonstrate divorce filings are at their highest and let’s get people’s attention right off the bat.

Interviewer:
Our guest is Legal Analyst Edward Weinstein here on New Jersey today and we’re talking about National Child Center Divorce Month, which January is recognized as. Ed, do you sort of see the flip side? Maybe someone will come to you after the first of the year, after the meeting with you earlier and saying, “Hey you know what we had a sit down, we had a talk. We talked things through. I think we’re going to give it another go.” Do you see a lot of that sometimes after the holidays?

Ed Weinstein:
Well, I won’t see that particular scenario. Something that never escapes myself, or anybody here at my office, is it’s a very big step just to walk in the door to a divorce attorney’s office and many times I find that their families don’t know, their best friends, siblings, parents. It’s either the attorney on the first consultation or a therapist, one or the other, is the first time that the word divorce comes out of somebody’s mouth if you will. Typically, if they’re going to give it a run, they’re not going to come back to me. I might get an email that says, “I really appreciate the time and information you gave me back when. I’m happy to say we’re working on it and we’re in marriage counseling” and I wish them nothing but the best of luck. And it’s always a strange conversation, but “Hope I don’t here from you again. You’re a wonderful person. I hope I don’t here from you, at least not on a professional level.”

Interviewer:
Yea, it’s one of those cases, right.

Ed Weinstein:
What I have seen more so, especially recently last couple of years with the economy being as problematic as it is, where many people now are coming in January and saying, “OK, would you recommend mediation?” or, “My spouse and I are considering mediation, but I’d like you to be my attorney, like in a consulting type role.” Where the two people will go to mediation and then hire say my office on a retainer type basis. And then in between mediation sessions I’ll consult them on that’s a fair deal, careful that’s not a fair deal, and advise them with respect to as much as they can work out with the hope that mediation will result in not only an amicable resolution, and obviously quite cost-efficient, but again the first and foremost you shield the children from the process, because it’s only in the ugly litigious cases that we really have to worry about protecting the children.

Interviewer:
So for better or for worse Ed there’s a lot of stuff to learn. Now how does someone get a hold of you to learn some more?

Ed Weinstein:
My phone number is 732-246-0909 and my web site is www.WeinsteinLawOffice.com. Or if you simply type in Edward Weinstein into Google I’m not hard to find at all. Or you could go on to YouTube as well and I have a number of videos that include interviews conducted with your program as well as other videos and interviews that I’ve conducted. So it’s always my pleasure especially if you just want to chat with me about what’s going on with the children during the process. Some people try to hold out until kids say get off to college, but typical scenarios are: an honor roll student…grades plummet, or a child who never got in trouble all of a sudden detentions and the parents are being called into school. Things like that, that family practitioners and specialists such as myself, and my office, that we keep a keen eye out for. As soon as we see a child starting to show those symptoms, then we start recommending things like therapy. And if the situation’s getting really out of control, there might have to be court intervention and what’s called a “Guardian ad Litem” appointed for the children, which is in more simple words basically an attorney for the children.

Interviewer:
Got ‘cha, actually good to talk to you Legal Analyst Edward Weinstein. Thanks for the time and we’ll talk again soon my friend, all right?

Ed Weinstein:
A pleasure always, Happy New Year and thank you very much.