Stevens Firm - March 2020

What Matters Most

THE StevensFirm, P.A. Family Law Center

349 E. Main Street, Suite 200, Spartanburg, SC 29302 • www.SCFamilyLaw.com • (864) 598-9172 March 2020

The Stevens Firm Opens Our Second Location

When you think of April 1, you may think of April Fools’ Day, but this announcement is no joke. The Stevens Firm is proud to announce the opening of their second location in Greenville on April 1, 2020! Our firm has long represented families from all over the Greenville and Spartanburg areas, and we knew two years ago that an office in Greenville was needed. At the time, our family was dealing with a lot, as Ben’s mother, Jean, was struggling in her battle against leukemia. Thus, the firm’s expansion goals took a necessary backseat while we cherished our final months with her. So, it seems only fitting that our firm’s new venture begins officially on what would’ve been her 70th birthday. The Greenville office is located in downtown at 1088 N. Church Street, 1st floor, Greenville, SC 29601. The phone number (864) 598-9172 will reach both offices. The firm website is still SCFamilyLaw.com. The mission of the new Greenville office will be to carry on the traditions of the parent Spartanburg office by providing excellent advocacy and trial- tested guidance in all areas of family law. This new space will also allow our current Greenville clients a more convenient place to meet with us and allow us to serve the families who may not have been able to travel to our Spartanburg offices in the past. The attorneys at The Stevens Firm have extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of divorce, alimony, child custody and support, as well as prenuptial agreements and international child custody cases. Our firm is well known for handling complex dissolutions with a network of

nationally renowned experts to build our arguments and zealously protect our clients’ rights. Our firm prides itself, more importantly, on our personal life experiences with divorce and child custody, which brings to every client meeting a level of compassion and understanding you won’t find with most firms. We look forward to bringing our personalized attention to clients who visit us at the Greenville location, and appointments are now available. If you or someone you know is experiencing a problem in the family law arena, we are here to help. Call (864) 598-9172 for your appointment in either our Spartanburg or Greenville location.

–Ben & Jenny Stevens

Reminder About Our Firm’s Communication Policy Our promise to you is that while we are working on your case, we don’t take inbound phone calls, faxes, or emails. Our Senior Partner, Ben Stevens, takes no unscheduled inbound phone calls, as we have found this makes him much more productive and enables him to focus on getting your case resolved faster. You can always call our office at (864) 598-9172 and schedule an in-person or phone appointment with any of our attorneys, usually within 24–48 hours. We believe this approach is much better than the endless game of phone tag played by most businesses today. Email is also an efficient way to communicate with us, but please

be advised that emails are not typically checked more than twice per day. If you need something quickly, don’t email — call our office and speak with one of our assistants, who will be happy to help you. Disclaimer: This publication is intended to educate the general public about family law issues. It is not intended to be legal advice. Every case is different. The information in this newsletter may be freely copied and distributed so long as the newsletter is copied in its entirety and proper credit is attributed to “The Stevens Firm, P.A. — Family Law Center (SCFamilyLaw.com).”

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Another Slice of Pi(e)

The Sweetest Ways to Celebrate Pi Day

Break out your calculators and grab your aprons because it’s almost Pi Day! This holiday has gained popularity among mathematicians and bakers alike — two groups that rarely overlap. Pi Day is March 14, which, when written numerically, is 3/14, the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi. Pi is special because it’s used to calculate the circumference of a circle. This might not sound like a big deal, but pi is used in engineering, construction, GPS, motors, power generation, and even television! If we hadn’t calculated pi, none of these achievements would be possible. Pi is pretty important, and it’s definitely worth celebrating! Here are two ways you can get in on the fun. Learn to Recite Pi Pi has fascinated mathematicians for centuries because it’s an irrational number, meaning the digits go on forever. If you want to try your hand at memorizing some of the numbers, here

are the first 50 decimal digits of pi (with spaces, so they’re easier to remember!). 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510 To make things simple, we often round pi up to 3.14, but many people have challenged themselves to memorize and recite as many digits as possible. In the Guinness Book of World Records, the record is currently held by Rajveer Meena, who recited pi to the 70,000th digit on March 21, 2015. And he did it all while blindfolded! Eat Some Pie Another popular way to enjoy Pi Day is to bake and eat pie. This dessert is perfect because it’s both a homophone (same pronunciation as “pi” but with a different spelling and meaning) and a circle. Challenge your friends to a pie-baking contest, or buy your favorite pie from the store and have a pie- eating contest. And, while this

may be a controversial stance, we believe pizza pie deserves a place in Pi Day celebrations, too.

Here’s to Pi Day: the tastiest, nerdiest holiday of the year!

Taking a Breath of Fresh Air The Pros and Cons of Dating During Divorce Divorce is often the most stressful part of a person’s life. The other components of life don’t pause for the separation. Daily life keeps going, even without a partner to share the burden. So what should you do when you’re ready to move on, but the divorce process continues to drag on for months, or even years? Well, dating during a divorce can help you get through this difficult time, as long as you’re cautious before getting too involved. Pro: Dating is relieving and distracting. It lets you take control during a divorce.

Con: Dating could affect your spousal support. Most people don’t rush a new relationship after divorce, but if you do jump back into a serious relationship, it’s best to be cautious and not move in together right away. Based on your cohabitation after divorce, your ex-spouse can apply to terminate alimony. This is, however, a one-sided scenario. If you’re the one paying alimony, there’s no need to rein back your love life. Dating won’t affect the alimony you may be required to pay your ex-spouse. The most important part of dating is to take care of yourself. Don’t worry about it if you aren’t ready, but remember that other people can provide support, even romantically. You never have to go through this alone. If you’re curious about how dating could affect your divorce process legally, give The Stevens Firm a call.

There are so many stressors involved with a hectic lifestyle, such as fiscal and social strains, and divorce can only add to that. But some stressors are mostly consistent. The truth is that it might have been awhile since you’ve had a positive romantic experience, so there’s no reason to feel guilty about pursuing one. The best part of dating is that you have control: You can “escape” reality for a little while and have a positive romantic experience with someone new and uncomplicated. It can deliver a strong boost to your mental health and self-worth. It’s great to be around people who are genuinely kind to us! And it’s just harder to divorce when the emotional strain is overpowering. Positivity will help you focus on what’s really important: moving on.

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Ratatouille

Rich with fresh, colorful ingredients, ratatouille is a French dish that has experienced a revolution of its own in recent years. Enjoy this vegan-friendly spin on an old-world classic.

Ingredients

• 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped • 1 large zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds • 2 tsp salt • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided • 5 sprigs thyme

• 1 large onion,

Should I Change My Last Name Back?

halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick • 1 red bell pepper, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, sliced • 2 pints cherry tomatoes

Tips for Divorced Women on the Fence

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400 F. 2. In a colander, toss eggplant, zucchini, and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and pat dry. 3. In an ovenproof pot, heat 1/2 cup olive oil. Add half of eggplant mixture, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pot. 4. Tie thyme sprigs together with kitchen twine. 5. In the same pot, heat remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and cook onion, pepper, garlic, and thyme for 8–10 minutes. 6. Add half the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. 7. Stir in original eggplant and zucchini mixture and top with remaining tomatoes. Do not stir. 8. Transfer pot to oven and bake mixture for 15–20 minutes. 9. Remove pot from oven and remove thyme bundle before serving.

There’s plenty of discussion out there about whether a woman should or shouldn’t feel pressured to take her husband’s name after marriage, but far fewer people discuss the reverse: what to do when you’re stuck with your ex’s name post-divorce. If you’re facing that quandary and are unsure of what to do, you’re not alone. Many women, particularly women with children, feel conflicted about this issue. On the one hand, keeping the last name you took after marriage is convenient. You won’t need to go through the process of converting all of your identification back to your maiden name or worry about the hassle of having a different last name than your children. On the other hand, you’ll have a reminder of your ex staring you in the face every time you sign a document or open an email. If you’re on the fence, consider these three things: Is your name tied to your career? If you’ve become a published author, well-known public speaker, or other type of highly regarded professional under your married name, you might want to keep it for your career’s sake. Continuity matters when you’re in the spotlight! Will having different names confuse your children? Writing into Forbes for an article on name changing, one newly divorced mother justified her choice to keep her name like this: “Divorce was confusing enough for children that age; I didn’t want their friends and school to have the additional confusion of a different last name for their mom.” If your kids are young, you could be in the same boat. Having different names can also sometimes cause trouble for families while traveling. Which name are you more positively attached to? Ultimately, whether you change your name back or not comes down to personal preference. If the thought of having the same name as your ex makes your stomach churn, change it. But if your new last name reversed a lifetime of teasing for an usual birth name, maybe you’ll want to keep it. It’s up to you! If you do decide to undergo a name change, our experienced team of family law attorneys can guide you through the process. Call us today at (864) 598-9172 to set the wheels in motion.

take a break

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THE Stevens Firm, P.A. Family Law Center

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349 E. Main Street, Suite 200 Spartanburg, SC 29302

PAGE 1 Stevens Firm Second Location PAGE 2 Would You Like Some Pi? The Pros and Cons of Dating During Divorce PAGE 3 Ratatouille 3 Things to Consider Before Changing Your Married Name Back PAGE 4 3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make During Spring-Cleaning

Your Guide to Spring- Greening

3 Eco-Friendly Home Swaps to Make When You Declutter It takes a special kind of person to enjoy spring-cleaning. For most of us, the satisfaction of a clean house doesn’t quite outweigh the hours of scrubbing, sorting, and slogging through heaps of unnecessary stuff. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to start your spring-cleaning, try flipping the paradigm: Instead of spring-cleaning, think of what you’re doing as spring-greening, and make some eco-friendly swaps along the way. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

3. Say goodbye to paper towels.

Paper towels are a mainstay in American homes, but do we really need them when a good old-fashioned rag can do the job? According to the Ocean Conservancy, 13 billion pounds of paper towels are tossed in the U.S. each year! This spring, quit paper towels and keep a stash of dish rags under the sink to do your dirty work. When you’re cleaning out your closet, you can even cut up old T-shirts and add them to your rag stash! If you’re brave, try giving up tissues, too — an old-school hanky does the trick. If you’ve made all three of these swaps, don’t stop there! To continue your green journey, visit any of the blogs mentioned above and start browsing.

4 www.SCFamilyLaw.com making your own. Both options will save plastic because you can reuse your bottles, and they can help you avoid the harmful chemicals found in most cleaners. Visit UnderATinRoof.com and read the blog post “Zero Waste Cleaning Supplies + Recipes” to get started. the household cleaners market was worth more than $31 billion, and it’s continuously growing. You can save money on cleaning supplies by taking the green route. When your current stock runs out, try buying bulk cleaners or 1. Swap your plastic spray bottles for bulk or DIY cleaning products. According to a Statista report, in 2019,

2. Explore alternative laundry detergents. If you’re used to using a plastic jug of liquid laundry detergent, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone. This spring, try exploring greener alternatives like plant- based bulk laundry powder (Molly’s Suds is an excellent source). Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try adding all-natural cleaners like soap nuts or English ivy to your laundry loads. For more on the former, search “soap nuts” on 1MillionWomen.com, and read up on ivy detergent at Permacrafters.com/English- Ivy-Laundry-Detergent.

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