Monday, October 26, 2009

Meet the Board - Barbie Jetter, Co-President

This is the second in our series of Meet the Board entries, in which, about once a week, we will be introducing you to another member of The Divorce Center's Board of Directors.

Barbie has been Co-President since 2007, formerly was chairperson of the Public Education and Marketing committees focusing on promoting, growing and expanding The Divorce Center's programs and membership. Barbie is a Certified Mortgage & Divorce Planning Professional and Licensed Senior Mortgage Advisor and Certified Professional Coach at Loansnap in Canton, MA, specializing in loans for couples who are in the divorce process.

Barbie is a Certified Divorce Mortgage Planning Professional (CDPP), Certified Professional Coach (CPC), holds an MS degree in Counseling from Boston University. An experienced counselor, she is able to listen to her clients and advise them on how to seek the best alternatives and solutions, while saving time and money. She has successfully completed the Management Development Program in Residential Lending from Northeastern University, and has completed the Introduction to Mediation Skills Training Program through the Boston Law Collaborative. She is also an Allied Member of the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council. Recently, Jetter coordinated and ran the yearly fundraising events benefiting the South Shore Hospital and affiliated organizations. These events included the Walk for Hospice, and the annual golf tournament, benefiting patients within the South Shore Hospital system.

A divorced single mom with one daughter, one dog and three cats, she loves golf, board, card and tile games, movies and working out. Barbie is a great listener and cares about helping people who are going through the divorce process.

We hope you enjoyed meeting Barbie and tune in next week when we will introduce the other current co-president.

If you are interested in skipping ahead you can meet the whole board on our website at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month

President Obama on September 30, 2009 proclaimed October, National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

As with any issue that endangers the health, safety or welfare of individuals, the first step towards ending that danger is to raise Awareness.

It seems that we are bombarded everyday with walkathons, and fund raisers, and pharmaceutical commercials that want to raise our Cancer Awareness, our Heart Disease Awareness, even our Awareness of Erectile Dysfunction. It becomes easy to forget that there are dangers in this world, and even in our own backyard, that don't stem from viruses or diseases. There are dangers, such as Domestic Violence that aren't caused by hunger or a germ, but instead by poor choices and a failure of support.

It's hard to know if there will ever be a cure for cancer, but we know the cure for Domestic Violence. A safe home and access to justice can provide victims of Domestic Violence with a voice to end their suffering.

If you or someone you know suffers from Sexual or Domestic Violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE, or if you live in Massachusetts check out these resources available on the Massachusetts State website, and seek help.

Thank you to Danielle G. Van Ess, Esq. for reminding us that sometimes there are greater issues to blog about than just questions of court and law.

Reprinted with permission from the Kelsey & Trask, P.C. Blog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Financial Planners Divorce Survey

In 2008 the IDFA (Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts) performed a survey among its members, which was responded to by 289 CDFAs (Certified Divorce Financial Analysts).

Some interesting results related to Divorcing clients included the following:

Effects of the Recession:

"When asked to assess the difference that current economic conditions have made to the number of new divorcing clients coming through their doors, 68% say that the recession has not affected the number of cases, and 17% say that the recession has increased the number of new cases they’re seeing."

"Thirty-seven percent of respondents told us that the current housing market has forced them to come up with creative solutions to property-division problems when the matrimonial home fails to sell – or would sell for less than what clients still owe on the mortgage. The most common solutions include:
  • Ex-spouses retain joint ownership until the market improves, agreeing to postpone final division of assets until after the house is sold
  • Renting the house to a third party until the house can sell for more than the debt
  • One ex-spouse stays in the house until the market improves
  • One ex-spouse stays in the house and pays rent to the other until the market improves
  • Structure two levels of spousal support: before and after the house sells
  • Former spouses live in separate areas of home until house sells/market improves
  • Create an analysis for a HELOC so the spouse who retains the marital home can buy out the other spouse now – and wait until the market improves to sell."

Mediation, Collaboration or Litigation:

"When asked about their work in the three most common dispute-resolution methods, 66% of respondents say they work in Mediation, 66% work in Collaborative Divorce, and 62% work in Litigation."

Costs and Fees:

"Of those who work in Mediation, 88% of respondents says that their average fees for processing a divorce using this method are less than $5,000; in Collaborative Divorce, 83% of cases cost less than $5,000; and in Litigation, 69% cost less than $5,000."

"When asked about legal fees, respondents said that 50% of their clients spend between $10,000 and $25,000 on divorce-related legal fees."

These survey results are copyrighted and are used with permission from the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts™. Thank you to the IDFA for allowing us to reproduce these survey results.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Meet the Board - Jeanne M. Seaquist, IT Administrator/Analyst

This is the first in our series of Meet the Board entries, in which, about once a week, we will be introducing you to another member of The Divorce Center's Board of Directors.

As a nod to all of the hard work Jeanne has done in keeping The Divorce Center active on the web, she deserves to be mentioned first on The Divorce Center's brand new blog.

Jeanne has been on the Board since 1998 as webmistress for The Divorce Center. She has also served two years as Co-President of the Divorce Center, been a co-editor of the newsletter, Vice-President for two years, and chaired the Membership committee.

Jeanne holds a degree in education and certificates in both Internet Design and Business from Bentley College. She manages several websites while maintaining her regular job as Business Intelligence Administrator in the Information Technology department of an engineering company. She also authors a news segment of the company Intranet.

Jeanne is an avid fan of the Red Sox and Patriots as well as the Boston College football team, enjoys travel, golf, and most sporting events.

We hope you enjoyed meeting Jeanne and tune in next week when we will introduce the current co-presidents.

If you are interested in skipping ahead you can meet the whole board on our website at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October Professional Development and Networking Event

Keeping Client Information Safe in the Electronic Age:
What Professionals Need to Know

Speaker: Jared D. Correia, Esquire

Massachusetts is joining other jurisdictions in requiring all business owners to take steps to ensure the protection of personal client information. The new data privacy law, which takes effect March 1, 2010, mandates that businesses adopt certain practices in order to prevent the breach of their stored protected client information by hackers and others. Learn what professionals need to know about the Massachusetts data privacy regime, including a general overview of the law and specific options for compliance. Become informed to ensue you are in compliance and that your clients' informaton is secure.

Attorney Correia is a Law Practice Management Advisor at the Massachusetts Law Office Management Assistance Program. He often speaks to professionals regarding law practice management issues and use of technology. Prior to his current position, Attorney Correia was the first person appointed Publications attorney for the Massachusetts Bar Association. He also managed Casemaker, the MBA on-line legal research product. Prior to his work with the MBA, Attorney Correia was in private practice in Eastern Massachusetts representing clients on diverse civil matters.

Where: Newton Marriott

When: Date - Thursday, October 8, 2009
Time: 7:30 - 8:00 AM - Meet and talk with other professionals - Share ideas,
make new contacts - Enjoy full breakfast
8:00 - 9:30 AM - Lecture and discussion

Cost: Register members - $45 ($40 before Oct. 5)
non-members - $50 ($45 before Oct. 5)


Monday, October 5, 2009

The Divorce Center Blog

The Divorce Center is a non-profit organization comprised of volunteer attorneys, mediators, psychotherapists, career counselors, and financial experts. We believe that families experiencing divorce need to be well informed and supported throughout that process.

Our goal with this Blog is to provide education, information, resources and networking related to the divorce experience in Massachusetts.

We will publish informative articles, interesting statistics, shared stories, upcoming events and other useful information for both divorce professionals and divorcing individuals.

Publishing on this Blog is open to our members only, but we invite both our members and our readers to contribute comments to enrich the interactive experience of our Blog.