Category: Family & Divorce

How to Talk to Your Spouse about a Collaborative Divorce
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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.

Click here to read Andrea Vacca's entire article...

Evolution in Our Revolution: The Changing Role of the Mental Health Professional in Collaborative Divorce
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Evolution in Our Revolution: The Changing Role of the Mental Health Professional in Collaborative Divorce | Lauren Behrman

When our organization, the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals (NYACP) first grew out of the New York Collaborative Law Group, and incorporated mental health and financial professionals in addition to attorneys, we were committed to changing society’s adversarial divorce culture. Yet, we also had a bigger goal in mind: to change the way people resolved conflict—not only in family settings or divorce situations, but in all situations across the world.

Click here to read Lauren Behrman's full article...

Getting Through vs. Getting Over: Why Mediation Is Your Best Bet
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Getting Through vs. Getting Over: Why Mediation Is Your Best Bet | Ada Hasloecher

{3:48 minutes to read} First – let me wish you a happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous New Year! For those of you beginning the New Year with a personal event that has you stymied and upset (a pending separation, perhaps?), I’d like to offer a perspective to consider. It’s the concept of getting through something rather than getting over it. When we find ourselves in a situation that we would rather not be in, a typical reaction is to hope for the best (and good luck with that!) and just get over it. If only it were that easy.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

“AND” – One Little Word that Can Make a Big Difference
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“AND” – One Little Word that Can Make a Big Difference | Susan Ingram

I’m going to share with you a simple tip that can significantly change the focus of your conversations and make them more productive. It has to do with the word “and.” By consciously choosing when and how you include “and” in your conversations, you can go from frustrating exchanges that don’t get anywhere to discussions that explore options and come up with viable solutions.

Click here to read Susan Ingram's full article...

‘til decorating do us part
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‘til decorating do us part | Jennifer Safian

{2:54 minutes to read} Many of us may have heard of couples who buy and renovate beautiful new homes, only to find out months later that this same couple is separating. We ask ourselves why they would buy a new house when things were probably not going well between them. Why spend all that money just to end up getting separated soon thereafter?

Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article...

Update on Divorce and Tax Law
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Update on Divorce and Tax Law | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Now that the new tax law is official, this is what it means for divorcing couples:

First of all, alimony or maintenance as we call it in New York, will not be deductible by the payor for any agreement executed after December 31, 2018. Note that the divorce judgment does not need to be signed—only the agreement needs to be executed. This means that 2018 may be a very busy divorce year. People who have been thinking about it may be more likely to take action knowing that it may be more expensive later on.

Click here to read Deborah E. Kaminetzky's full article...

Tips for Keeping the Kids out of the Conflict
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Tips for Keeping the Kids out of the Conflict | Joy Rosenthal

"Why can’t my real mom and my foster mom get along?” Lakeisha asked, looking up at me. “Why can’t we all live together in a house so I can play with them both? When I’m with my foster mom I miss my real mom and want to go home. But then when I’m with my real mom I worry about my foster mom and wonder if she’s ok.” I was the lawyer for children in foster care for about 10 years, and this was typical of the questions I got from my young clients. It was a hard question to answer in any way that made sense to a child like Lakeisha. Many of the concerns held by children of divorce are much the same.

Click here to read Joy Rosenthal's full article...

New Year’s Resolutions for a Good Divorce and a Good Life
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New Year's Resolutions for a Good Divorce and a Good Life | Eileen Coen

If you’re going through a divorce, the holiday season can be dreadful. It’s hard to celebrate when it feels like the world you once knew has tilted or spun out of control. There’s no question that your life is about to change in a big way. But there is a new year on the horizon! It’s a natural time to turn the page…and take steps to set your world right. So here are some ideas to inform your New Year’s resolutions for 2018.

Click here to read Eileen Coen's full article...

Chinese Insights on the Art of Listening
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Chinese Insights on the Art of Listening | Susan Ingram

{3:24 minutes to read}  During the holidays especially, we all seem to be doing more while at the same time finding less time and patience to accomplish what needs to be done. Our interactions and conversations with family, friends and others can end up being strained and less productive than usual. So I thought this was a good opportunity to re-introduce some concepts I’ve written about before on the subject of Active Listening.

Click here to read Susan Ingram's full article..

David’s Divorce Dictionary: Money
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David’s Divorce Dictionary: Money | David Kellem

David’s Divorce Dictionary: M is for Money

Definition: In divorce, the word money means “something of which there is not enough.” Based on my observations, the typical middle class family of four in eastern Massachusetts spends around $135,000 per year, after taxes, on a basic family budget:
  • Mortgage or Rent is about $30,000 per year;
  • Utilities and Heat are about $5,100 per year;

Click here to read David Kellem's full article...

Pathology Pointing: Why it Doesn’t Work in Divorce
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, Miscellaneous, on .

What is the difference between Pollyannaism and a Balanced Realism Approach? {4:36 minutes to read} Pathology Pointing Our western medical model is pathology-based; our biology is organized around identifying problems. Evolutionarily, problems = danger. But could there be usefulness to hanging out in what is working? This takes a kind of courage — perhaps to overcome some fear that issues will get bigger or take over if you don’t keep watch over them. Who will do the worrying if I take a nap?

Click here to read Rachel Alexander's full article...

Giving Your Children the Gift of Peace for the Holidays
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Giving Your Children the Gift of Peace for the Holidays | Jeff Zimmerman

The holidays are stressful for families—and stress does not discriminate. It applies to families of all shapes and sizes including those that are intact, separated, or divorced. For families that have the additional challenge of recent divorce or separation, the first holiday season can be very difficult to navigate—there can, and probably will be, significant differences from what the children, and their parents, are used to (especially if the holidays are not celebrated together).

Click here to read Jeff Zimmerman's full article...

How Long Does Mediation Take?
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How Long Does Mediation Take? | Susan Ingram

{3:18 minutes to read} When I first meet with my clients, they often ask me how long the divorce mediation process will take. My answer is: it depends. In reality, it depends on any number of different factors, such as:

  • How complex their issues are;
  • Whether they have children or not;
  • Whether they’re both “on the same page” as to the end of their relationship; and/or
  • Whether they’re waiting for certain events to occur (such as the sale of a home) before finalizing their arrangements.

Click here to read Susan Ingram's full article...

Preserving Your Parental Relationship through Mediation
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Preserving Your Parental Relationship through Mediation | Jennifer Safian

{3:54 minutes to read} Brad and his wife Claire had decided to divorce, and Brad paid his attorney a large retainer to file the divorce action. But when he told his wife, she proposed they resolve their divorce through mediation. Brad called me and was wondering whether they could come to mediation even though he had already filed. I told him he could. (See my two previous articles: Do We File for Divorce Before Starting Mediation? and Filing the Divorce Action)

Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article...

Why Thanksgiving Matters (and It’s Not About the Turkey)
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Why Thanksgiving Matters (and It’s Not About the Turkey) | Eileen Coen

Today I want to share a special gift.

Actually, some might call it “re-gifting” but I call it “paying it forward.”

Here is The Thanksgiving Reader, written by Seth Godin and freely distributed to thousands, maybe millions of people. Seth is one of my favorite bloggers, a best-selling author and prolific writer about leadership and doing work that matters.

Click here to read Eileen Coen's full article...

Ungrateful and Pissed Off? A Curmudgeon’s Survival Guide for Thanksgiving
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, Wellness, on .
Ungrateful and Pissed Off? A Curmudgeon’s Survival Guide for Thanksgiving | Rachel Alexander

{6:00 minutes to read} Don’t look now, but here comes Thanksgiving! When you are already in survival mode, a holiday can add insult to injury. If you are bracing for the holidays as a newly divorced family, maybe spending your first Thanksgiving without your kids or extended family, “celebrating” anything can seem absurd. Forced festivities can increase the sense of what’s missing and highlight not only what you are not grateful for, but what you’re actually pretty pissed off about.

Click here to read Rachel Alexander's full article...

What is the Difference Between Co-Parenting and Parallel Parenting?
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What is the Difference Between Co-Parenting and Parallel Parenting? | Susan Ingram

{3:12 minutes to read} There are two basic concepts that describe the way in which parents raise their children following a divorce. These approaches are significantly different, and in fact, are at opposite ends of the parenting spectrum. One approach is referred to as Cooperative Parenting and the other as Parallel Parenting.

Click here to read Susan Ingram's full article...

Why Schedule a Mediation Consultation?
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Why Schedule a Mediation Consultation? | Ada Hasloecher

{3:30 minutes to read}  There is no doubt that mediation is a lot less costly than litigation in every way – financially, emotionally and time-wise. The three main reasons people choose mediation are:

  1. They want to do things as amicably as possible;
  2. They want to do what is in the best interest of their children; and
  3. They want to save money.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

Negotiating a Prenuptial Agreement Doesn’t Have to Feel Like Hell
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Marriage, on .

The prenup was hell, but in the end it was almost as if that document became a repository for our anxieties, holding on to them so we didn’t have to.

~Abby Mims

The above quote comes from an article in The New York Times titled “Prenup Is a Four-Letter Word.” In the article, the author Abby Mims writes about her experience being asked to sign a prenuptial agreement. She and her fiancé had been together for a number of years and already had a child when they decided to marry — but the fiancé wanted a prenup.

Click here to read Andrea Vacca's full article...

Should You Mediate, Collaborate or Litigate Your Marital Issues?
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Should You Mediate, Collaborate or Litigate Your Marital Issues? | Gayle Rosenblum

The vast majority of divorces and other family law-related issues end up settling. In this article, I will discuss how a settlement can occur in mediation, collaborative law, and yes, even litigation.

Mediation is a process in which two individuals must be ready, willing, and able participants to subject themselves to mediation. It involves a neutral party as a mediator, and that person may be an attorney — or not — who helps these two individuals resolve their differences. The key requirement is that there must be two willing participants. If only one is willing, mediation is not the right process.

Click here to read Gayle Rosenblum's full article...

Tax Tips for the Recently Divorced
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Tax Tips for the Recently Divorced | Bob Bordett

We are only 10 weeks away from the end of the year. What does that mean for people who have gotten divorced in 2017? It means you have to get ready to file your tax returns for the year ending 2017 by April 16, 2018 (April 15 falls on a Sunday so you can file your return on April 16) or extend it. Remember, just because you extend it, you still have to pay any tax that you owe by April 16, 2018.

Click here to read Robert Bordett's full article... 

New Tax Treatment of Maintenance and Implications for Divorcing Couples
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New Tax Treatment of Maintenance and Implications for Divorcing Couples | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

There is a lot of buzz lately about possible changes to the tax treatment of Spousal Maintenance. The silver lining in the spousal maintenance cloud is that the payor can take the amount off their taxes as a deduction. The person who receives the maintenance has had to pay the taxes on it as income.

Click here to read Deborah E. Kaminetzky's full article...