Damage from litigation

The courts have some test programs running where they refer cases to mediation.   Parties are screened for some known red flags – but pretty much – if your case is sent to mediation, you have to attend – at least that first session.*

Some of these cases are rough!  We have to undo 2-3 years of damage to their relationship and ability to trust each other, eroded from the litigation process, before we can even begin to have productive discussions about moving forward.  And that damage crops up and again and again at every turn and has to be scraped away each time.

These couples are not necessarily “high conflict” couples by personality or psychology or history.  It’s the damage that has been done by being in litigation and all of that time operating out of defensiveness and fear, with their normal communication blocked – sometimes at their lawyers’ instruction.

*The mediators donate 90 minutes of time, free, and then, if the parties so choose, they can continue at the mediator’s hourly rate. 

Blogging after all these years . . .

The pandemic hit me hard – as it did so many of us – and I found that I could not write. That is why I have not posted about mediation in a very long time. I still care, I still mediate and find it engrossing. I love working with families to help them find the stepping stones through their separation and restructuring caused by breakups. I am sympathetic and want to help; honored that they let me into their lives, and share with me their concerns and priorities.

I just have not been able to write about it. But I have broken through, and will be blogging again.

I also am starting a new podcast – “Keep the Kids In Mind.” So many of my clients were children of divorce, trying to structure their divorce in a better way than their parents did, without destroying their exes or wincing when they think about what they did during this transition. Others have children themselves who they want to protect from their divorces. We will focus on how to do it better

How to Live Alone After Divorce

            The divorce process can be long and tiring.  Many clients who have reached the end wonder, “What’s next?”  Living alone (part of the week) can be a challenge, post-divorce, and as you adjust.

Woman alone.

            It’s normal to have mixed feelings.  It can be a relief to no longer live with your ex, but  it can also be a difficult transition.  It’s normal to have mixed feelings – even if (especially if) you initiated the end of the marriage.  The divorce process sweeps you up, and you are keeping your eye on the goal, as you negotiate, and push through.  When it is over, it can leave a void.

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Separation or Divorce?

The answer to this is personal, and it depends where you are both at. Are you 100% sure that you are headed for divorce? Or is there a chance of separating for a few months, a year, even 3 – and then reconciling? Do you feel that you would not be able to date if you are still married? Is one of you on the other’s health insurance?

There are three differences between signing a full separation agreement and living apart, according to its terms, and filing for a divorce.

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Co-Parenting During Covid-19

Seven Guidelines for Sharing Custody of Children During the COVID19 Pandemic

Leaders from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and AFCC have released guidelines for coparenting during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

1. BE HEALTHY.

Comply with all CDC and local and state guidelines and model good behavior for your children with intensive hand washing, wiping down surfaces and other objects that are frequently touched, and maintaining social distancing. This also means BE INFORMED. Stay in touch with the most reliable media sources and avoid the rumor mill on social media.

2. BE MINDFUL.

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Do I Need A Prenup?

Sometimes people think they need a prenuptial agreement to keep property they own now, separate, in case of a divorce.  But everything that you own before the marriage will stay separate, as long as you keep it in your separate name.  So you don’t need a prenup, if all you want to do is protect your premarital property.

Still – in a good prenup mediation, we can discuss what you each feel is fair, and you can start your marriage without unexpressed assumptions and expectations.  Also, the prenup will memorialize what you have now – exactly what is your premarital assets and debt, so that there is no confusion, down the road.

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