At the beginning of each new year, many couples who have been contemplating divorce make a final decision to move forward and end their marriage. That decision was probably hard enough to come to. But there is one more important decision the two of you have to make — HOW will you divorce? What process will you use? You may have heard about the collaborative divorce process from friends, or colleagues, or just your own research online. It sounds exactly like what you need, but you’re not sure how to talk to your spouse about the idea. The one thing you don’t want to do is try and force your spouse to use the process. You don’t want him or her to enter the process under duress. Instead, you want to make sure that your spouse has the information he or she needs to properly consider this process. Continue reading
I recently presented a workshop entitled “Collaborating in the Face of Financial Betrayal” at the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals 18th Annual Networking and Educational Forum, alongside my colleagues, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, Ivy Menchel and Divorce Coach, Abby Rosmarin.
While this workshop was geared to the divorce professionals in the room, there are many lessons that anyone who has dealt with financial betrayal in his or her own marriage — and is contemplating divorce — should understand.
To start, we defined financial betrayal as the keeping of financial secrets in an intimate relationship. Financial secrets are different from other secrets because of the enormous ramifications that often result from them for many years to come.
The is the second article in a series focused on Why Court Should Be the Last Resort For Your Divorce. If you’d like a copy of the infographic that tells you more, click here.
Join me as we continue to examine the myriad reasons why you may want to reconsider the idea of having “your day in court.” Maintaining control and flexibility over your life and the divorce process are just 2 of those reasons. Continue reading
The is the first article in a series focused on Why Court Should Be the Last Resort For Your Divorce. If you’d like a copy of the infographic that tells you more, click here.
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson
If you get into an argument with someone, does it do you any good to dwell on it for the rest of the day or the week or the year? Most people would agree that revisiting the argument over and over again serves no purpose other than to compromise their productivity and the quality of their life. It’s common sense. Focusing instead on the present and the future, on the rest of the day, enables you to go back to being your best self. Eventually, you will forget about the argument—and perhaps even try to mend fences with the other party.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser—in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
– Abraham Lincoln
The primary function of a consulting attorney is to provide advice and counsel during the mediation process and provide the support you need to advocate for yourself. This is different from a “review attorney” whose primary job is to review the agreement that has been drafted after the mediation process is over. These are 2 very different roles. If you took my previous advice and are interviewing consulting attorneys, these are 3 important questions to ask.
I heard someone suggest that when thinking about New Year’s Resolutions you should think about what you can do that will have an impact in 200-400 years. And that got me thinking about the work I do and how much of an impact it can have on families.
Personally, I want my work to live on through successive generations of families who communicate well and have healthy relationships with others.
When it comes to choosing an alternative to divorcing in court, both divorce mediation and collaborative divorce have their own unique advantages.
Divorce mediation is a private and confidential method of non-adversarial divorce in which the participants advocate for their own needs and concerns without a lawyer present in the room. The mediator will help the parties reach a consensus through a series of 3-way meetings. Although the negotiations are taking place between the spouses, it is highly recommended that each party has a consulting attorney during the process. The mediator is able to provide the couple with legal information, but a consulting attorney can provide a party with individual legal advice. Additionally, the parties may wish to consult other professionals such as appraisers, financial professionals, accountants, and divorce coaches.
Mediation is a great process for maintaining limited involvement with attorneys, but they shouldn’t be shut out completely.
Recently I’ve spoken to a number of potential clients who are about to enter into the divorce process and want to use mediation. These clients come from different backgrounds and have different preconceived notions about mediation, but they all share the desire for an attorney-free divorce. And that is when I have the unenviable task of breaking the news to them: even in mediation, you need an attorney.
One of the weaknesses of litigated divorce is that it encourages rigid thinking that stands in the way of compromise.
Choosing your battles wisely is an important strategy in all areas of life, including if you are in the process of divorce. Unfortunately, traditional divorce attorneys often neglect to give their clients this advice, encouraging them to fight for everything they say they want, regardless of how impractical, impossible or destructive it may be. And when the other spouse inevitably takes opposite positions on those same issues, there’s nowhere to go but to the courthouse where both parties will be subjected to the slow-moving and very public litigation process.