Category: Family & Divorce

5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid In Your Child Custody Case
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5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid In Your Child Custody Case | Joshua Hecht

Child custody proceedings are difficult and stressful for both parents. With emotions running high, parents often unwittingly make poor choices that adversely affect both their children and their case. While not exhaustive, here are some common pitfalls to avoid in your child custody proceeding: Denigrating or Disparaging the Other Parent The courts recognize the obvious: that children thrive best when they have a healthy relationship with both parents. Nothing undermines that relationship more than when one parent one parent repeatedly denigrates or disparages the other to the child or otherwise pressures the child to choose sides.

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What’s the Difference between You Guys and an Online Service?
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What’s the Difference between You Guys and an Online Service? | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Recently, we had a former divorce client call us with happy news! She is getting married! Both parties have children from their former relationships, professional practices and assets that they would like to go to their respective children when they pass away. Understandably, our former client was a bit concerned about what might happen should the second marriage not work out. Having experienced a divorce before, she wanted to go into this one with her eyes wide open and wanted a prenuptial agreement that would cover all the bases.

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

David’s Divorce Dictionary: K is for Kellems Definition: a mechanical gripping device used to splice the ends of steel cables in elevators so that the harder they pull away from each other, the tighter the bond gets. A Kellems grip is like that “Chinese finger torture toy” most people played with as kids—a sleeve you put between your two index fingers which gets tighter and tighter the harder you try to pull your fingers apart.

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Even Happily Married Parents Disagree
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Even Happily Married Parents Disagree | Jennifer Safian

{3:18 minutes to read} Divorcing parents who choose to have joint legal custody of their children, i.e. joint decision making, are often concerned as to what happens if they disagree on issues regarding their children. I usually begin by reminding them that happily married parents may also disagree on whether the child should:

  • Go to private or to public school;
  • Fly as an unaccompanied minor;
  • Have a cell phone at an early age;
  • Get a tattoo.
These, of course, are just a few of the many questions that may come up and cause conflict between parents.

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Moving Forward – Part I
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Moving Forward - Part I | Clare Piro

{3:24 minutes to read} So, you just learned that your spouse had an affair, or you receive an unexpected request for a divorce. How do you react when someone you thought you knew, and your life with that person, is turned on its head? If you’re a really remarkable person, your first reaction would be to exhibit strength and grace in the face of this event that upends your world. If you’re like most of us, though, the first reaction would be a combination of sorrow, fear, anger, self-pity, self-doubt and “why me,” all of which can occur in rapid succession. In turn, you can feel completely overwhelmed and overcome with emotion.

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5 Key Elements of the Mediation Process
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5 Key Elements of the Mediation Process | Susan Ingram

{2:48 minutes to read} There are two principal aspects to the role a mediator plays when helping couples going through divorce mediation. One has to do with the process and the other has to do with the substance.

Process relates to the framework and ground rules that are established by the mediator so that the necessary conversations can take place and move along, ultimately to resolution.

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What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 3
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What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 3 | Ada Hasloecher

{4:30 minutes to read} Part 2 of this series was concerned with couples who have only been married for 1-3 years. In this part, we look at lengthier marriages, lasting 3-10 years. Married for 3-10 years: You may think that these couples are similar to couples who have been married for a short time but that is not generally the case.

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Dear Anthony and Huma: Please Make Court the Last Resort for Your Divorce
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On September 25th, Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sending sexually explicit text messages to a minor. In this article I do not wish to comment on his crime or sentencing, but rather the interesting dynamic in court between him and his wife, Huma Abedin, during their divorce proceedings in the weeks leading up to his sentencing.

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

Did You Do Your Homework?
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Did You Do Your Homework? | Fabienne Swartz

{2:46 minutes read} Coaching is about moving forward and improving your life. If there’s something that could be working better in your life, the idea is to figure out how. In order for coaching to help you discover the how, you have to work at it — and the more work you put into the search, the more benefits you will reap.

One method of reinforcing the ideas that we brainstorm together is to assign “homework” between sessions. What does this self-directed learning consist of?

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Cohabitating Instead of Getting Married? Get an Agreement First! Part 1
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Cohabitating Instead of Getting Married? Get an Agreement First! Part 1 | Daniel Burns

Why You Should Have a “Cohabitation Agreement”  {2:42 minutes to read} If a married couple in New York ends their relationship, the Equitable Distribution Law determines how they will divide any of the assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage. There are also laws that help determine how they will each support themselves and how they will support and parent any children they might have together.

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Splitting the Difference May Not Be the Best Outcome
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Splitting the Difference May Not Be the Best Outcome | Clare Piro

{3:18 minutes to read} In my past life advocating for clients in an adversarial process, getting to the point of splitting the difference was the last settlement proposal, and timing was everything. If your first offer is close to what you really want, there will be little room left to split the difference if your adversary low-balls their demand. For example, if you are looking for $5000 and ask for $5000 in support and your spouse offers $2000, you are going to lose in the “split the difference” scenario. So this practice encourages unrealistic offers and counteroffers, resulting in annoyance and insults (“How dare you!”) and prolonged negotiation.
 
More importantly and disappointingly, splitting the difference probably doesn’t meet the interests of either client, since it is merely a mathematical formula based upon meaningless offers to begin with. But it is a way that parties can settle, and to paraphrase something that’s repeated time and again in litigation: “a good settlement is when both parties leave unhappy.” Or, in other words, both parties lose.

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divorce and co-parenting between continents
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divorce and co-parenting between continents | Jennifer Safian

{3:12 minutes to read} In our previous article, I wrote about the challenges that some divorced parents may encounter during the summer when children are on school vacation and out of their regular routine. In this article, I wanted to outline some of the challenges divorced parents are faced with when they live on different continents. I recently mediated a divorce for a French couple. They had three young children and had moved to New York several years ago, where the husband had received a job offer to work for a French bank. This job afforded the family many financial benefits for living abroad, but unfortunately the relationship between the parents was fraught with troubles, and the couple came to mediation to work out the terms of their divorce.

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New Models of Mediation
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New Models of Mediation | Bob Bordett

When I got trained in mediation, we were told that you either did solo mediation (one mediator) or co-mediation (two mediators). Since then, divorce professionals have learned that there are endless permutations of effective methods to mediate. In this post, I describe a few of the arrangements I have encountered in the 30 years I have been doing this.

  • Integrated Mediation is the model that we developed here at Collaborative Practice & Mediation Services. It evolved from our experience with the interdisciplinary team approach used in collaborative divorce. In the Integrated Mediation model, we use two separate mediators: a credentialed financial specialist mediates the financial issues and a licensed mental health professional mediates parenting plan issues.

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What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 2
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What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 2 | Ada Hasloecher

{4:24 minutes to read} In the next few articles, we will be exploring the different issues in a mediation between couples who do not have children and those who do. In the first article of this series, I parsed out the 4 general categories that these couples may fall into. In the next few articles. I’ll reiterate those categories and expand on each.

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Co-Parent Counseling for High-Conflict Parents
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Co-Parent Counseling for High-Conflict Parents | Lauren Behrman

Parents experience tremendous upset during divorce, yet despite this must still parent together.

When parents truly acknowledge the potential damage that their conflict can inflict on their children, many begin to find a way to work together so they can put their kids first. Still, some parents engage in negative intimacy—while they manage to legally divorce, they have not emotionally divorced.

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Hanging Out the Mediator Shingle Does Not Make You a Qualified Mediator
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Hanging Out the Mediator Shingle Does Not Make You a Qualified Mediator | Clare Piro

{4:18 minutes to read} I’ve heard many complaints regarding divorce mediation:

  • “It might be okay for simple matters but not for anything complicated.”
  • “It’s too touch-feely.”
  • “You give up all of your rights when you mediate.”
These types of complaints are easily dismissed as biased and uninformed; however, there are some complaints I’ve heard which I agree should be taken seriously.

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What Couples Need to Know About the Divorce Mediation Process
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What Couples Need to Know About the Divorce Mediation Process | Bob Bordett

In January of this year, I was honored to be featured in Stress-Free Divorce: Leading Divorce Professionals Speak. Unfortunately, something happened to me that has been happening all of my life: the book was published giving me credit as Robert B-O-R-D-E-T-T-E. I suppose it’s better than Bordebt, but it still makes finding me on Amazon impossible. That’s why for today’s post I am republishing the chapter I wrote for the book in its entirety.

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Divorce On Your Mind? Fruit for Thought: Ripe vs. Unripe
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Divorce On Your Mind? Fruit for Thought: Ripe vs. Unripe | David Kellem

{Time to Read: 4 minutes} David’s Divorce Dictionary: R is for Ripeness Definition: As Shakespeare wrote in King Lear: Ripeness is all. In legal parlance, if a case is not “Ripe for Review” a court will decline to decide it—more facts need development or more preliminary procedures need to play out before the dispute is ready for judicial resolution.

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divorce and co-parenting during the summer
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divorce and co-parenting during the summer | Jennifer Safian

{2:48 minutes to read} Separation and divorce often walk hand in hand with disruption and chaos, not to mention fear, anger and a lot of sadness. In the midst of dealing with all of these emotions, when there are children, parents have to give much thought to where the children will live, how much time they will get to spend with them, and how to help them manage their own emotions. We have written other articles about parenting plans, but in this article, I wanted to specifically address summer vacation and how parents may need to be more flexible with each other and the children.

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What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 1
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 What About Us? Divorcing Couples Who Don’t Have Children – Part 1 | Ada Hasloecher

{3:12 minutes to read}  I recently received an email from a former client of mine who reached out to me asking the following question: “I was wondering if you could publish some articles about couples without children who would use mediation. I haven’t seen a lot of articles on mediation sites regarding couples without children who are looking to divorce. I have had several friends who don’t have children or have children that are grownups and no child support would be necessary should they divorce.”

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CPR for Parents: Communication Skills – Part 1
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CPR for Parents: Communication Skills - Part 1 | Jeff Zimmerman

Divorced parents benefit from modeling their communication pattern after business etiquette—it should be Civil, Polite, and Respectful (CPR). The idea is for each parent to take responsibility for their individual communication styles and focus on implementing CPR communication, regardless of what the other parent is doing (or not doing). When both parents commit to setting the standard for the best communication possible, then generally one parent will be communicating well even if the other slips occasionally.

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Top Divorce Questions: Who Pays The Legal Fees?
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Top Divorce Questions: Who Pays The Legal Fees? | Jason Isaacson

{2:40 minutes to read} Almost every new client that consults with our firm for a divorce proceeding asks one of two questions:

  1. Does my spouse have to pay for my lawyer? OR

  2. Do I have to pay for my spouse’s lawyer?

The answer comes as a surprise to most. The Domestic Relations Law has a rebuttable presumption that the “monied” spouse will pay the “non-monied” spouse's attorney's fees. The idea behind the law is to try and level the playing field when there is a big discrepancy between the incomes of the divorcing parties. After all, the law doesn't want the person with less money to be at a disadvantage.

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Blame – Divorce’s Unfriendly Bedfellow Uncovered
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Blame – Divorce’s Unfriendly Bedfellow Uncovered | Rachel Alexander

{5:06 minutes to read} Let’s lift the blind on blame. If blame had a whistle blower, what would he say?

BLAME – What is it really about? I get aggravated when a news story breaks and the first minutes concern themselves with who is to blame rather than what happened and what’s being done in response.

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No Whining on the Yacht
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No Whining on the Yacht | Clare Piro

{4:00 minutes to read} I recently heard an interview of Connie Shultz, the spouse of Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. She shared that since 2007, the motto of her life has been "no whining on the yacht." It began after her husband had just been elected Senator. She was publishing her second book, and life was good. At one point, she complained to her editor about the deletion of a litany of stories detailing the wrongs she felt occurred in the senate race. Her editor insisted the sections remain out and said “no whining on the yacht.” She reminded Connie how much in her life was going well, and that she really didn’t need to focus on every slight when she was in such a good place.

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Unrealistic Demands
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Unrealistic Demands | Jennifer Safian

{3:42 minutes to read} Working in mediation with couples going through divorce, I am at times concerned about some of the demands they have as they separate their lives and their assets. Rather than working out an agreement that is equitable and fair, some people are driven by revenge, anger, and a need to punish their soon-to-be ex for the “pain that is being inflicted on me.” They think that if they receive more assets than their spouse, they will be vindicated and walk away feeling better than when they walked in. Although they may derive some immediate satisfaction from having more tangible assets, in the long run, these “things” will most likely not provide the inner peace they seek.

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I Hear You
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I Hear You | Joy Rosenthal

“I hear you.” Listening is a very simple act. It’s a subtle act. It is something that we do naturally with the people we love, and when things are going smoothly. Yet one of the most powerful statements that we can ever make is to say honestly, “I hear you. I recognize what you’re going through.” What is listening? Being open to hearing not only the words the speaker is saying, but also to her tone of voice, to read her body language, and to be open to the emotions she is displaying. Sometimes it means being aware of what she is NOT saying. It can mean listening to the particular choice of words – how general are they? How specific? How much is this person answering a question or how much is she avoiding answering?

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