Blog Questions from Adolescents about Parental Divorce <p style="text-align: justify;">Explaining divorce to teens can bring up many questions. It is a difficult subject to talk about. The following questions can help you better understand their emotions and carefully explain this big life change.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Questions from Adolescents about Parental Divorce</em> via Psychology Today</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="Talking to teens about divorce" width="317" height="476">What follows are a high school student’s questions about the effects of parental divorce and some of [<span>Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D.] </span>replies, starting with two provisos that he gave.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><br>"Please only take my comments for what they are – just impressions based on observations, not researched conclusions or established facts, and certainly not prescriptions for how to cope with parental divorce. Complicating all of what I say is that ‘divorce’ comes in an infinite variety of forms, each with its own dynamics and effects. For example, an amicable divorce is not the same as an embittered divorce. Ex-partners now committed to work together as parents in the best interests of children are not the same as ex-partners who engage in active blaming to discredit each other in the children's eyes."</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong style="font-size: 13px;"><br>“What is the most difficult aspect of divorce for children to comprehend?”</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Most difficult to comprehend are issues of love and commitment. If parents can lose love for each other, then is love not forever? If parents can lose love for each other, can they lose love for children? How can parents divorce commitment to children and family? If such commitments can be broken, how can they be trusted? If they can’t be trusted, then for safety’s sake should a person avoid making loving commitments as they grow?</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><br><strong style="font-size: 13px;">“Is it more difficult for a young child or an adolescent to experience the divorce of his/her parents?”</strong></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It’s just different. For example, for the child who is still in the age of attachment to parents, holdin on for a trusting dependence, parental divorce can create fears of abandonment and loss of loving care. When parents are no longer both present to unify the family, divorce can increase the need to cling to whichever parent is still around. For the adolescent who is in the age of detachment from parents and letting go for more independence, divorce can result in a sense of being more on one’s own. When parents are less to be relied on, divorce can create a scary amount of personal freedom and more reliance on one's "family" of peers. So divorce can increase the need for attachment in childhood and the push for detachment in adolescence.<br><br></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">© Psychology Today</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Read more <a href=""></a></p> Fri, 01 Aug 2014 10:05:14 -0400 Life After Divorce <p>Life is not over after divorce. Dr. Phil shows divorced couples how to finally let go, how to deal with the changes and make the most out of your new life.</p> <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="Starting over" width="341" height="255"></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Life after Divorce via Dr. Phil</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Divorce is a major life change that can leave a person reeling. Suddenly being on your own to deal with issues such as money, children, career changes and downsizing the family home can seem overwhelming. Dr. Phil and Libby Gill, author of the book Traveling Hopefully: How to Lose Your Family Baggage and Jumpstart Your Life offer advice on how to begin to live life after divorce.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>If you're having trouble letting go:</strong></p> <p><em><strong style="line-height: 20px; font-size: 13px;">There is life after this marriage</strong></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">As hard as it is to believe right now, one day this marriage will just be something you did once. You'll go on and you'll have what you create.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><strong>Get out of denial</strong></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Ask yourself: Do you really want this marriage, or are you hanging onto it out of fear? If being alone is a scarier thought than staying in a broken marriage, you're letting fear make your decisions. Are you mourning the loss of what your marriage was, or what you thought marriage would be?</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em><strong>Don't burn daylight</strong></em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Grieving doesn't have a time frame on it, but life does. Whether you realize it or not, life is marching on. There comes a time when you have to accept the fact and say, "I've got to get on with my life, I've got to get on with raising my children, I've got to get on with putting things together where I can be a happy, meaningful, productive member of society." Find a way to put one foot in front of the other and move forward.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Read more&gt;&gt;<a href="" target="_blank"></a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <h6 style="text-align: left;"><span>Life After Divorce. Retrieved on July 1, 2014,</span></h6> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 19:03:28 -0400 Emery's Divorce Mediation Study <p class="p1">A study conducted by Dr. Robert Emery concluded that divorce through method of mediation kept most families out of court and was less disruptive to the lives of those involved. The study also showed that family members were more likely to keep in contact even 12 years after the mediated divorce. </p> <p class="p1">The following is a summary of Dr. Emery's 12-year study on the effects of divorce mediation. This divorce mediation study is also available in Microsoft PowerPoint presentation format <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p><strong>The Study</strong></p> <ul><li>Used a high conflict group - families who had filed for contested custody hearing</li> <li>Used random assignment (the magic of science) — a flip of a coin determined whether families went to mediation or adversary settlement</li> <li>Sample was young and low income</li> <li>Mediation was short-term (5-hr average) and problem-focused but sensitive to emotions, especially grief</li> <li>Was a longitudinal study — families were followed for 12 years</li> </ul><p><strong>Mediation Kept Most Families Out of Court</strong></p> <ul><li>If the coin came up tails and they stayed in the adversary system, 75% of families appeared before a judge</li> <li>But if the coin came up heads, less than 20% appeared before a judge</li> <li>Even when mediation failed, parents tended to settle out of court with the help of their lawyers</li> </ul><p>Read more &gt;&gt; <a href=""></a></p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Emery, Robert. Emery's Divorce Mediation Study. Retrieved on July 1, 2014,</span></h6> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:48:22 -0400 The Co-Parenting Cheat Sheet <p>So you've made it through your divorce. Or you've split as a couple, but the result of a relationship, however brief or long it was, that once existed has resulted in new love: your children. Whether you're excited about it or not, you'll be in a new and different relationship with your child's other parent for the next fifty or so years.</p> <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="Coparenting2" width="452" height="301"></p> <p>And, if your kids aren't already in college, you'll need to be communicating effectively with the other parent on a regular basis. Are there ways that are better than others to discuss what your kids need without losing your mind? Yes! Yes! Yes!</p> <p>Co-Parenting can be tough, tough business, especially if residual negative feelings exist on either side. You can handle every aspect like a pro, with a little practice and some proper procedures: <a style="font-size: 13px;" href=""></a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Cordor, Honoree. The Co-Parenting Cheat Sheet. Retrieved on July 1, 2014,;ir=Divorce.</span></h6> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:30:51 -0400 Benefits of Collaborative Divorce <p>There can be many benefits to choosing divorce through mediation. The cost and amount of stress can be greatly reduced through a collaborative divorce. Continue reading to learn why an amicable divorce might be right for you.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="collaborative divorce benefits" width="408" height="304">Cost</strong>: "The comparison in cost is dramatic if collaborative divorce is compared to people who are in and out of court in contested litigation," Hansen says. However, she adds that divorcées should choose the process based on quality, not because it is a less expensive measure.</span><span style="font-size: 13px;"> </span></p> <p><strong>Speed</strong>: The pace of collaborative divorce is determined by the couple—if they choose to reach a resolution quickly, they can. If they'd rather not rush through the process, they have that option as well.</p> <p><strong style="font-size: 13px;">Low-stress environment</strong><span style="font-size: 13px;">: The couple sits down with their lawyers to talk through each aspect of the divorce. Mental health experts are brought in, and if there are children involved, co-parenting techniques are developed. "A divorce may end the marriage, but it doesn't end the family," says Hansen.</span></p> <p>Read more&gt;&gt;<a href=""></a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Chatzky, Jean. Amicable Divorce. Retrieved on July 1, 2014,</span></h6> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:10:05 -0400 Kids of Divorce Turn Out Just Fine <p>Do you feel like your kids may be emotionally set back because of you and your spouse’s divorce? Studies show the idea that divorce ruins children’s lives may not be correct. In fact, kids with single or co-parents may be better equipped for life and success as adults.</p> <table style="width: 246px; height: 256px;" border="0" align="right"><tbody><tr><td> </td> <td class="right"><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="Children of divorced parents" width="241" height="241"></td> </tr><tr><td> </td> <td> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p>During and after your divorce, if you've ever asked yourself the question, "How screwed up are my kids going to be?" you are not alone!</p> <p>Many divorcing parents wonder what psychological damage is occurring to their babies because they're being raised by divorced parents.</p> <p>As I discovered doing research for this post, it seems that kids of single and co-parents are not only doing just fine, they grow up to be pretty awesome. HuffPost LIVE even did a segment on how kids of single parents seem to be better equipped for life and success as adults. You can view it <a href="" target="_hplink">here</a>.</p> <p><span><a href=";ir=Divorce" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading.</span></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Cordor, Honoree. Kids of Divorce Turn Out Just Fine. Retrieved on June 30, 2014,;ir=Divorce.</span></h6> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 11:31:42 -0400 How to Have a Healthy Divorce <p>Are you going through a divorce? Do you feel lost, hurt, numb, angry, and panicked over your current relationship status?</p> <p>Divorce has a very specific process that everyone goes through before they reach acceptance. Many people have thoughts like “I failed” or “I should have done that differently.”  All types of thoughts flood the person during this process. If you are currently going through this process this article is for you.</p> <p class="left"><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="Men and Divorce" width="470" height="314"></p> <p>Through counseling others, Nathanial Smith discovered that many people’s core beliefs about relationships change because of divorce. They might start to believe that they are a failure, unlovable, unwanted, or that they will always be alone. It is important to become aware of the kinds of core beliefs that can grow out of a divorce experience because these types of unhealthy core beliefs can heavily influence future relationships.</p> <p>Continue reading&gt;&gt; <a href=""></a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Smith, Nathaniel. How to Have a Healthy Divorce. Retrieved on June 30, 2014,</span></h6> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 17:03:49 -0400 Comedian Louis C.K. Offers Some Much Needed Perspective On Parenting After Divorce <p>You can always depend on Louis C.K. to tell it like it is when it comes to parenting. (He is, after all, the guy who described children as "buckets of disease that live in your house." The man just has a way with words.)</p> <p>C.K. -- who writes, directs and stars in the FX hit "Louie" -- was at it again Monday, when he opened up to NPR's Terry Gross about why raising his two daughters outside of a conventional nuclear family has been a positive thing for all involved.</p> <p>"There is a version of divorced life where you're partners and you're both taking care of the kids, the kids are spending equal time with each parent, and there's balance and there's harmony between the parents because they're not married in a bad marriage anymore," said C.K., who split from painter Alix Bailey in 2008 after four years of marriage.</p> <p>The 46-year-old comedian said that if anything, the divorce made him a better dad than he had ever been before.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here to continue reading.</a></p> <h6><span>Wong, Brittany. Louis C.K. Offers Some Much Needed Perspective On Parenting After Divorce. Retrieved on June 24, 2014,</span></h6> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:38:14 -0400 Planning together, vacationing apart. Nine tips for divorced parents. <p style="text-align: left;">It’s here – summer. Kids dream of it all year. Often the highlight of the summer for kids and parents is a family vacation. When you’re divorced or separated, family vacations can be more complicated. You’ve got a parenting plan to work around and an ex to deal with. Follow these tips to make sure summer vacations live up to their potential.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="Summer Vacation Divorced Parents" width="297" height="198"></p> <p>Plan Ahead:</p> <p>In many situations, each parent is entitled to a chunk of uninterrupted vacation time with the child. It’s essential that you coordinate with each other and not make any firm reservations until you’ve cleared the dates with the other parent. The last thing you want to have happen is for both of you to pre-pay for a trip for the same dates. If your ex is being evasive and won’t agree, put your request in writing (keep a copy and send it certified mail) so there can be no confusion. Give him or her several days to respond and if you get no answer, plan your trip.</p> <p>Read more &gt;&gt; <a style="font-size: 13px;" href=""></a></p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:20:27 -0400 Divorce, Separation, and Parenting: a Primer <p>Getting divorced or ending a long-term relationship is considered one of life’s biggest stressors. For parents who separate, these feelings are often intensified by concern over the impact on their child(ren).</p> <p><img class="center" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="dreamstime xl 7515635" width="600" height="457"></p> <p>How your child experiences the separation and in what ways it impacts him or her largely depends on how you, the parents, handle the process.</p> <p>If the separation process is handled in a way that provides your child with some degree of reassurance, respect and routine, your child can thrive regardless of the separation. For some children, having one’s parents separate can actually (believe it or not) be a step towards a healthier, happier life—particularly when there has been a climate of disrespect,tension, and fighting between the parents.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Continue reading &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Wyatt, Ruth. Divorce, Separation, and Parenting: a Primer. Retrieved on June 10, 2014,</span></h6> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 14:03:44 -0400 New to franchising? Here are some interesting facts you may not have known. <p>When people think of franchises they often think of large fast food or restaurant chains, hotel chains, and convenience stores such as McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Applebee’s, Wyndham Hotels, and Carrefour. What most people do not realize is that Franchising has been around since the 1850’s and there are thousands of franchise companies in 120 different business categories worldwide ranging from accounting services to health care to shipping companies and more.</p> <p><img class="right" title="Franchise business" src="" alt="Franchise" width="299" height="163"></p> <p>Franchising is a way for someone who may not have an idea of his own or a large amount of business experience to get into an already established business for himself by selling someone else’s products using their proven business format. It also provides a business with a method of expansion without a huge outlay of capital.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Read more &gt;&gt;</a> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <h6><span>O'Brien, Paul. Things You Should Know About Franchising. Retrieved on June 3, 2014, </span></h6> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 13:39:01 -0400 When Kids Benefit from their Parents' Divorce <p class="right"><span style="font-size: 13px;">Would kids be better off if their parents stayed together, fighting and yelling?  Here’s how to recognize when kids benefit from their parents’ divorce:</span></p> <p class="right"><img class="left" style="float: left;" title="" src="" alt="Kids First2" width="376" height="250"></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;">A growing body of literature now suggests that the earlier we turn back the clock in kids’ development, the more profound the impact of their environment. Early childhood is critical—race and class differences in achievement are pretty much evident by the time kids reach kindergarten, for instance. Even what happens before you’re born turns out to have consequences for decades afterward.</span></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Read the full post &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p class="right"> </p> <p class="right"><span style="font-family: inherit; color: #999999; font-size: 11.9px; line-height: 20px;">Conley, Dalton. Recognizing When Kids Benefit from their Parents' Divorce. Retrieved on May 2, 2014, </span><span style="font-family: inherit; color: #999999; font-size: 11.9px; line-height: 20px;"></span></p> <p class="right"> </p> <p class="right"> </p> <p class="right"> </p> <p class="right"> </p> Fri, 02 May 2014 12:30:00 -0400 10 Smart Financial Tips for Divorce <p>If you’re heading for a divorce, you’re not alone. Approximately 41 percent of American marriages end by divorce. Yet they don’t always end equitably, especially in terms of finances.</p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;">There are steps you can take to minimize the financial damage of divorce and to prepare for a financially stable future. If you are separated from your spouse, considering divorce, or already divorced, here are some financial tips for surviving—and thriving.</span></p> <p> </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Read the full post &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> </p> <p><span>Buonforte, Jeffrey. 10 Smart Financial Tips for Divorce. Retrieved on May 2, 2014, </span></p> Fri, 02 May 2014 12:16:20 -0400 Stern Advice: Adult children of divorce face extra burdens, including financial. <p>Children often have it rough when their parents divorce, but grown up "kids" may have it even rougher.</p> <p> </p> <p class="center"><img class="left" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="" src="" alt="Adult Debt" width="600" height="400"></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>Adult offspring whose parents split up later in life face the usual and expected psychological issues: "They may feel like 'everything I thought was real, isn't,'" says Diana Mercer, an attorney-mediator and author of several books on divorce.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Read the full post &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Stern, Linda. Stern Advice: Adult children of divorce face extra burdens. Retrieved on May 2, 2014, </span></h6> Fri, 02 May 2014 12:11:12 -0400 A Happy Divorce: Making it work as business partners <p>Married couples in America co-own 3.7 million small businesses, according to the Census Bureau, and the arrangement can be fruitful when both marriage and business are going well. </p> <p><img class="left" style="float: right;" title="" src="" alt="Divorceleadstobusiness" width="275" height="184"></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;">But what happens when it doesn't? Most of the time, when the love dies, the business relationship ends, too.</span></p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Read the full post &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Noguchi, Yuki. When Divorce Leads to a Happily Ever After for a Small Business. Retrieved on May 2, 2014, </span></h6> Fri, 02 May 2014 11:00:28 -0400 Three Things Divorced Parents Need to Know About College <p>Figuring out how to split childcare costs when you're divorcing is not easy, but it can be like remedial math compared to deciding who pays what for your children's college education.</p> <p>There are countless issues that can come up, but if you're divorced and have visions of your children someday showing you their college diploma, <a href="" target="_blank">there are three things you need to know</a>. </p> <h6><span>Williams, Jeff. Three Things Divorced Parents Need to Know About College. Retrieved on April 25, 2014, </span></h6> Fri, 25 Apr 2014 15:58:15 -0400 How to Talk With a Three Year Old About Moving After a Divorce <p>A challenging aspect of ending your marriage is discussing divorce with your 3-year-old child, according to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Talking to your young child about divorce requires preparation and the use of appropriate language understood by your youngster. Explaining divorce requires cooperation between you and your spouse and a reasonable attempt to set aside your differences for the sake of your child, at least during the conversation itself. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more.</p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Broemmel, Mike. How to Talk with a Three-Year-Old About Moving After a Divorce. Retrieved on April 16, 2014, </span></h6> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:21:57 -0400 Dividing credit card debt in divorce <p>You can divorce your spouse, but unless you take extra steps to protect yourself, ditching debt from jointly held cards is more difficult. Credit card companies aren't bound by divorce decrees, so they can go after you for jointly incurred debt if your former spouse doesn't pay.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 17090723" width="287" height="191"></p> <p>This is why divorce attorneys, financial planners and credit counselors recommend that you leave your marriage with no joint debt. By either paying off the joint cards together or dividing up the debt on joint cards and transferring it to cards in each partner's name, the goal is to remove your liability for your partner's debts. It's also important to inventory your wallet and make sure all joint credit cards are canceled during the divorce process.</p> <p>The consequences of going into your newly single life with jointly held debt are potentially painful: Should your ex file for bankruptcy or just not pay what he or she is supposed to pay, your creditors can go after you for the full amount of the debt, plus interest and penalties. You can include provisions in the divorce agreement to force your ex to pay up, but going back to court is expensive and time-consuming.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Continue reading &gt;&gt;</a></p> <p> </p> <h6><span>Buttell, Amy. Dividing Credit Card Debt in Divorce. Retrieved on April 9, 2014,</span></h6> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:07:44 -0400 Move-Away Cases: What it Means <p>Ask a family law court judge to name the most difficult type of case to decide and most likely she or he will say move-away child custody cases, which in family law parlance means when one party seeks to relocate with her or his child to another geographic area. The requested destination could be a 60-mile move or a 6,000-plus-mile move.</p> <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 34734661" width="345" height="230"></p> <p>After separation, when a custodial parent decides to move, often heart-wrenching decisions have to be made about where the children will live and how and to what extent the other parent will maintain a relationship with them. If a Court grants the move, the non-custodial parent will no longer be able to participate in the day-to-day life of her or his child -- missing out on carpooling, school events, helping with homework and extra-curricular activities. On the other hand, if the Court denies the custodial parent's move-away request and the custodial parent has no choice but to move away from his or her current geographic location, then the child will be separated from the parent with whom the child may have the closest bond. In either situation, the child loses.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank"><span>Read the full article by Lisa Helfend Meyer &gt;&gt;</span></a></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;"> </span></p> <h6><span>Meyer, Lisa (2014). In the Child's Best Interest: What it Means in Move-Away Cases. Retrieved on February 12, 2014,</span></h6> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:02:20 -0400 Getting A Divorce? Understand the Rules Of Dividing Plan Assets <p class="unstyled"><span>If you are going through a divorce or legal separation and you or your spouse own retirement plan assets, you will most likely be required to share these assets. In some cases, the assets may be awarded to one party. Whether you are giving up the assets or receiving them, you need to understand the rules that govern the asset division. Proper handling is critical in ensuring that the right party is responsible for paying applicable taxes. The type of retirement plan - that is, whether it is an </span>IRA<span> or </span>qualified plan<span> - determines the rules that apply. </span></p> <p class="unstyled"><span><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> for an overview of these rules from </span></p> <p> </p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 03:42:58 -0400 Divorce Without War® Opens New North Tampa Location <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><span style="font-size: 13px;">Divorce Without War® </span><span style="font-size: 13px;">is pleased to announce the opening of a new North Tampa location in Florida. Founded in 1992, Divorce Without War® offers peaceful, affordable alternatives for individuals and couples facing transition and divorce. The North Tampa location is owned by Derek S. Lucas, an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of family law.</span></p> <p>Divorce Without War® attorneys are highly trained mediators. With this expertise, they guide individuals and couples through the divorce process, facilitating fair, legally sound agreements, and preparing all necessary legal documents. All of this occurs in a confidential, supportive and neutral setting.</p> <p>“For most people, the prospect of dissolving a marriage is perhaps the most traumatic experience of their lives. Fear, hostility, guilt, depression, anger and insecurity are among the range of emotions commonly experienced by people facing divorce. They are vulnerable to anyone who can offer them assurances of victory, and are often receptive to suggestions that reinforce hostility toward their spouse,” said Derek S. Lucas, Owner of Divorce Without War® North Tampa office. “That’s where we come in. Our vision at Divorce Without War® is to help couples achieve a peaceful, low-cost, and legally smart divorce, while maintaining positive relationships, dignity and emotional wellness for themselves, their family and loved ones.”</p> <p>Divorce Without War® recognizes the importance of each participant’s concerns, best interests, needs and priorities. Couples are provided with an appropriate, private, out-of-court setting to discuss options and potential next steps.  This is the best opportunity for a couple to dictate the terms of their own divorce with sound legal guidance from one experienced attorney acting as a mediator. Divorce Without War® fees are a fraction of the cost to hire two attorneys to commence and defend a lawsuit. The emotional and financial well-being of the couple and the couple’s family are top priorities to Divorce Without War®.</p> <p>Owner Derek S. Lucas is an experienced attorney with extensive knowledge of family law. He earned his degree from Florida Agricultural &amp; Mechanical University College of Law in Orlando, FL in 2007, and became a law clerk for Florida’s Attorney General’s Office. Upon being admitted to the Florida Bar, he accepted a position as an Assistant Attorney General in the Child Support Enforcement Section, where he was responsible for overseeing hundreds of child support cases. Mr. Lucas then served as an Associate Attorney in a private family practice law firm for several years, where he was involved in numerous complex, high-asset divorce matters, with vast legal issues in many respects, including modification issues, child support, alimony, relocation challenges and more.</p> <p>The new Divorce Without War® office is located at 13920 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Suite #2, in Tampa, Florida. To learn more about Divorce Without War® North Tampa, call 813-527-0343.</p> <p align="center"> </p> <p> </p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 13:50:20 -0400 Positive Parenting After Divorce <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="positive pareting" width="293" height="194">Divorce creates new challenges for parents, but there are many strategies that will help you both adjust to the challenge of single parenting.</p> <div class="KonaBody"> <div class="articleContentPart"> <div>For whatever reason you and your spouse divorced, there are bound to be concerns about the effect on your children. Whether they were clued in or were completely shocked by their parents' divorce, every child is affected in his or her own way. There are many helpful strategies to minimize the damage of divorce on children and to maintain peace in the family and yes, it is still a family, even if the parents live apart.</div> <div> </div> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="1" align="right"><tbody><tr><td valign="middle"> </td> </tr></tbody></table><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading.</div> <h6 class="articleContentPart"><span>Positive Parenting After Divorce. Retrieved on February 24, 2014, from</span></h6> </div> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:46:58 -0500 Money Management for the Newly Divorced <p><span>Divorce can be one of the most financially devastating events in life. The costs that accompany divorce include legal bills and the cost of an additional residence, and with around </span>45% of marriages ending in divorce<span>, millions of Americans face the financial strains of divorce every year.</span></p> <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="money management 00" width="309" height="206"></p> <p><span>When a second marriage ends in divorce, money management strains can be even greater, because couples may have children together as well as children from previous unions, prenuptial agreements are more likely to be involved, and people in second marriages are often older, with more deeply ingrained financial tendencies. </span></p> <p><span>Good money management after divorce should begin before papers are filed to minimize potential financial problems. If you are divorced or in the process of divorcing, smart money management requires considering your income, regular bills, short term goals, health and life insurance, retirement planning, and emergency funds. </span><br><strong><br></strong><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from </p> <p> </p> <h6><span style="font-size: 13px;">Hiers, Mary. Money Management for the Newly Divorced. Retrieved on February 21, 2014, from</span></h6> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:44:35 -0500 10 Reasons to use Child Custody Mediation: <div id="intro"> <p>Child custody mediation provides parents with a valuable alternative to an adversarial divorce. Through the process of mediation, parents have the opportunity to work together and create a parenting plan that honors each parent's unique contribution to their children's upbringing. Consider the following benefits of child custody mediation:</p> </div> <div class="lsItm"> <h4><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="child custody 00" width="225" height="351">1. Mediation is Non-Adversarial</h4> <p>Child custody mediation is a collaborative process with a common goal in mind: to do what is best for your children. Unlike the adversarial divorce process, mediation focuses on what is truly best for the children. Through this process, you will be able to establish a parenting plan that enables both parents to be actively involved in the children's lives. The alternative is taking your ex-spouse to court and suing for custody of your children, which in many cases creates even more dissension and conflict.</p> </div> <div class="lsItm"> <h4>2. Mediation is Easier on Your Children</h4> A contested divorce is wrought with conflict, and we know this has a negative impact on children who are dealing with their parents' divorce. Even when your intentions are good, realize that it's your lawyer's job to do everything in his or her power to fight for you and your interests. This creates a situation where the children are unavoidably - even if unintentionally - caught in the middle. Instead, mediation focuses on what's best for the children and teaches you as parents how to separate your own interests from theirs.</div> <div class="lsItm"><a href="" target="_blank">Read the full article by Jennifer Wolf &gt;&gt;</a></div> <div class="lsItm"> <h4><span style="color: #000000; font-size: 13px;"> </span></h4> </div> <div class="lsItm"> <h6><span>Wolf, Jennifer (2013). 10 Reasons to Use Child Custody Mediation. Retrieved on February 11, 2014, from</span></h6> </div> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:41:39 -0500 Co-parenting with Your Ex & Making Joint Custody Work <p><span>Co-parenting amicably with your ex can give your children stability and close relationships with both parents–but it's rarely easy. Putting aside relationship issues to co-parent agreeably can be fraught with stress. Despite the many challenges, though, it is possible to develop a cordial working relationship with your ex for the sake of your children. With these tips, you can remain calm, stay consistent, and avoid or resolve conflict with your ex and make joint custody work.</span></p> <h4>Co-parenting after a separation or divorce</h4> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="co parenting 00" width="288" height="192">Joint custody arrangements, especially after an acrimonious split, can be exhausting and infuriating. It can be extremely difficult to get past the painful history you may have with your ex and overcome any built-up resentment. Making shared decisions, interacting with each another at drop-offs, or just speaking to a person you’d rather forget all about can seem like impossible tasks. But while it’s true that co-parenting isn’t an easy solution, it is the best way to ensure your children’s needs are met and they are able to retain close relationships with both parents.</p> <p>It may be helpful to start thinking of your relationship with your ex as a completely new one—one that is entirely about the well-being of your children, and not about either of you. Your marriage may be over, but your family is not; doing what is best for your kids is your most important priority. The first step to being a mature, responsible co-parent is to always put your children's needs ahead of your own. </p> <p><strong><a href="" target="_blank">Read the full article from &gt;&gt;</a></strong></p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 13:30:55 -0500 Holidays Apart After a Divorce <p style="text-align: justify;"><br>Divorce. I have been there and done that, along with 19 million other adults in this country. Although it has lost some of its stigma over the years, divorce hasn't lost any of its heartache. As a divorced parent, nothing is more heart breaking than watching the impact of divorce on your children. They are usually the last to know and the most affected.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">But even more painful is the first time you have to spend a holiday apart from your children. As busy professionals, a holiday is one of the few times we can break the routine and spend significant quality time with our loved ones. Having to forfeit this time with my children was, for me, strange and empty (sad is an understatement).</p> <h4 style="text-align: justify;">What's a working parent to do?</h4> <p style="text-align: justify;">So how can we minimize the pain and make the holidays most enjoyable for our children and ourselves? As a corporate strategist, my success comes from knowing how to see issues from my client's perspective. As a parent, I needed to do the same thing for my children. Having observed both healthy and unhealthy post-divorce families, my suggestions are derived from seeing divorce from a child's point of view. The key thing to remember is that we divorced our spouses but not our children. Efforts should be made to ensure their happiness, which in turn will help ensure our own. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading.</p> <p> </p> <h6 style="text-align: left;">Reid, E.R. (2013). Holidays Apart Aftar a Divorce. Retrieved on December 23, 2013, from</h6> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 12:21:12 -0500 Tips for Divorcing Parents <p>What's the best way to help your family get through a divorce? Every situation — and every family — is different. But some stress reducing guidelines might make the adjustment a bit easier.</p> <p>These suggestions can make the process less painful for kids, teens, and families. Parents will need to interpret them in their own ways; honesty, sensitivity, self-control, and time itself will help the healing process. Be patient — not everyone's timetable is the same.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to read this article from Kids Health by D'Arcy Lyness, PhD.</p> <h6 style="text-align: left;">Lyness, Ph.D., D'Arcy. (2013). Tips for divorcing parents. Retrieved on December 17, 2013, from</h6> Mon, 23 Dec 2013 12:03:58 -0500 Does Divorce Mediation Work? <p>Mediation provides divorcing couples with a kinder method for resolution, without ever having to file a lawsuit. As the <strong>pro-family approach to divorce</strong>, mediation is affordable, less time consuming, less emotionally draining, and can spare your family unnecessary heartache and scars.</p> <p>Divorce Without War® mediators guide couples through the divorce process, working with both parties to bring about collaboration and accord in a confidential and comfortable setting. <a href="[sitetree_link,id=3]">Click here</a> to find out if this approach is right for you.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">For more information regarding the benefits of mediation:</p> <p> </p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Divorce Mediation" width="500"></a><br>Source: <a href=""></a></p> Thu, 12 Dec 2013 13:27:50 -0500 Social Security Decisons After Divorce <p class="articleGraf" style="text-align: justify;"><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 14709334" width="272" height="180">The average length of a marriage in the United States is about eight years, but longer-term marriages are not immune from breakups. For this latter group, divorce can have an even more profound impact on long-term financial plans as the split comes just at the point when income is highest and retirement planning comes squarely into focus.</p> <p class="articleGraf" style="text-align: justify;">While there has been a trend toward greater income equality among married couples, in many cases the income disparity between husbands and wives can be a key source of financial stress that leads to a breakup. This leaves the couple, and the courts, in the difficult position of determining a division of financial resources that is equitable for the long term. Often, couples focus exclusively on dividing their current property without giving enough consideration to the impact this division will have on their retirement prospects.</p> <p class="articleGraf" style="text-align: justify;">Decisions regarding Social Security retirement benefits should play a key role in determining the fairness of any divorce settlement. For couples contemplating divorce, or already divorced and approaching retirement age, it is important to understand the rules regarding how divorce can impact the size of this important guaranteed retirement income stream.</p> <p class="articleGraf" style="text-align: justify;"><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from seacoastonline by David T. Mayes.</p> <h6 style="text-align: justify;">Mayes, David T. (2013). Social Security decisions after divorce. Retrieved on December 5, 2013, from</h6> Thu, 05 Dec 2013 16:34:20 -0500 Parenting Plans with Kids in Mind <p><span><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 6763105" width="178" height="267">Many courts still order a one-size-fits-all custody arrangement in which fathers see their children every other weekend, and mothers assume parenting duty the rest of the time.</span></p> <p>However, psychological research suggests families fare better with individualized custody plans tailored to fit children's developmental stage and individual circumstances, as well as the particular relationship between children and their parents. To learn how Divorce Without War® can help you create a co-parenting plan tailored to your family's needs, <strong><a href="[sitetree_link,id=39]" target="_blank">click here</a></strong>.</p> <p>That research shows that children experience cookie-cutter plans as confusing and arbitrary, notes clinical psychologist and divorce expert Joan B. Kelly, PhD. Especially affected are children who have good relationships with their fathers and those so young they "have no cognitive capacity to understand why this abrupt decrease in their contact with the object of their affection occurred," she notes.</p> <p>Other research she cites in a paper in press at the <em>Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers</em> finds that:</p> <ul><li> <p>About half of children want more contact with their noncustodial fathers than they have.</p> </li> <li> <p>Children are rarely asked about living arrangements, but when they are and their input is used, they report high levels of satisfaction with post-divorce living arrangements.</p> </li> <li> <p>Children whose fathers are more involved with them postdivorce generally do better socially, behaviorally and academically than those whose fathers are less involved.</p> </li> <li> <p>Children in joint-custody arrangements have better emotional, behavioral and general adjustment than those living only with their mother, according to a 2002 meta-analysis of 33 studies.</p> </li> </ul><p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article by T. DeAngelis from</p> <p> </p> <h6>DeAngelis, T. (2005). Parenting plans with kids in mind. Retrieved on November 26, 2013, from</h6> Tue, 26 Nov 2013 21:23:37 -0500 Obamacare could ease divorce's financial sting <p>It’s been well noted that divorce among the over-50-crowd is on the rise, spreading like crow’s feet even as the overall divorce rate has dipped. Financial headaches related to health care can loom large in later-life divorces, experts say. Yet if the Affordable Care Act works as intended, the law could prove to be a game-changer, by easing the financial burden of health insurance for divorced people who get dropped from their spouses’ plans.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">About 115,000 women lose their private health insurance every year in the wake of divorce, according to a study last year out of the <span class="mandelbrot_refrag">University of Michigan</span>, and many don’t regain coverage quickly. Many of these women either don’t have jobs outside the home or work at jobs that don’t provide insurance, and some women with employer-sponsored coverage can no longer afford the premiums. Many former spouses qualify for post-divorce COBRA health benefits under their ex-spouse’s plan, but this coverage is both prohibitively expensive and limited in duration, typically to 36 months, advisers say.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from <a href="" target="_blank"></a> by Elizabeth O'Brien.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <h6><span>O'Brien, Elizabeth. (2013). Obamacare could ease divorce's financial sting. Retrieved on November 21, 2013, from<br></span></h6> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:55:49 -0500 Breaking Up The Mortgage After Divorce <p style="text-align: left;"><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimelarge 31752534" width="266" height="178">The slow housing market and tight lending requirements represent a major obstacle for couples who want to untie the knot these days. Before the market crashed, divorcing couples could easily sell their homes, split the equity and purchase other homes for themselves. But times have changed.</p> <div style="overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;"> <p style="text-align: left;">Usually, the mortgage is the biggest liability the couple has to split. And divorcing your mortgage isn't easy.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">In the eyes of the mortgage lender, you remain married and liable for the mortgage unless you sell the house or refinance. For those who can't do either, there are options that should be explored carefully.</p> <div style="overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; text-decoration: none; text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article by Polyana da Costa from<br><br></div> <h6><span>da Costa, Polyana. (2012). Breaking up the mortgage after divorce. Retrieved on November 14, 2013, from<br></span></h6> </div> Wed, 20 Nov 2013 16:04:08 -0500 How does divorce affect college financial aid? <p>I received an email this week from a divorced mom in San Diego who was confused about which parent should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which is required to get a college loans. Her confusion was understandable because the financial aid rules are different for divorced families seeking help to send their children to college.</p> <p>In this case, the dad claimed the teenager on his taxes, but the boy lived with the mother 95 percent of the time. Sometimes children of divorced families will benefit from special rules, and other times their chances for financial aid will be hurt.</p> <h5><strong>Here are six things that you need to know about divorce and financial aid:</strong></h5> <h5><strong style="color: #000000; font-size: 13px;"><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 18292820" width="308" height="230">1.Who the child lives with matters.</strong><span style="color: #000000; font-size: 13px;"> The parent who completes the FAFSA should be the one who has taken care of the child for most of the year. So if the child lives with the dad for seven months and the mom for five months, the mom's income will be irrelevant for financial aid purposes. The dad would complete the FAFSA and only include his income.</span><strong><br></strong></h5> <p>To illustrate how this can be a boon for some families, let's assume that the mother is a physician making $200,000 a year and the father is a school teacher making $50,000. If the child lived with the dad most of the year, he would declare his father's lower income, and his mom's large salary wouldn't figure in the aid application.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from CBS news by Lynn O'Shaughnessy.</p> <h6><span>O'Shaughnessy, Lynn. (2013). How does divorce affect college financial aid. Retrieved on November 7, 2013, from<br></span></h6> Fri, 08 Nov 2013 14:24:30 -0500 Divorce After 50 Calls for Special Money Strategies <p>Jean True had been married for 38 years in 2008 when her husband announced he was leaving her. “He said he wanted to be on his own,” she recalls. She was 61, with three grown sons and four granddaughters.</p> <p>True knew she’d have to be “a lot more savvy about spending and saving” after the divorce. Her ex-husband, a retired schoolteacher, had always taken care of their finances. So True had to learn quickly how to manage accounts and handle bills and taxes along with selling the Wisconsin house where the couple had planned to retire. “It was wearing and stressful,” says True, who now lives near her sons in a condo in Winfield, Ill.</p> <p>True and her ex are part of a striking trend in America: the stunning rise in divorces among people 50 and older. Between 1990 and 2009, the divorce rate nearly doubled for this group, even as the overall divorce rate dropped, according to the National Center for Family and Marriage at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University. In 1990, just 1 in 10 people who got divorced was over 50; today, it's 1 in 4. With people living longer, healthier lives and the stigma of divorce easing, a growing number of men and women are bailing out of marriages their parents’ generation might have reluctantly clung to.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from </p> <h6><span>Renold, Evelyn. (2013). Divorce After 50 Calls for Special Money Strategies. . Retrieved on October 28, 2013, from</span></h6> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 16:20:26 -0400 Emotional Stages of Divorce <p style="text-align: left;"><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 29662143" width="267" height="283">The decision to end a relationship can be traumatic, chaotic, and filled with contradictory emotions. There are also specific feelings, attitudes, and dynamics associated with whether one is in the role of the initiator or the receiver of the decision to breakup. For example, it is not unusual for the initiator to experience fear, relief, distance, impatience, resentment, doubt, and guilt. Likewise, when a party has not initiated the divorce, they may feel shock, betrayal, loss of control, victimization, decreased self esteem, insecurity, anger, a desire to "get even," and wishes to reconcile.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">To normalize experiences during this time, it may be helpful to know that typical emotional stages have been identified with ending a relationship. It may also be helpful to understand that marriages do not breakdown overnight; the breakup is not the result of one incident; nor is the breakup the entire fault of one party. The emotional breaking up process typically extends over several years and is confounded by each party being at different stages in the emotional process while in the same stage of the physical (or legal) process.</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from </p> <p style="text-align: left;"> </p> <h6><span>Emotional Stages of Divorce. Retrieved on October 16, 2013, from<br></span></h6> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 17:13:46 -0400 10 Things to Know Before Filing for Divorce <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 24834959" width="304" height="202">1. Over <strong>95% of all divorce cases settle</strong> before they go to trial, so try mediation rather than taking an adversarial position. To find out if the Divorce Without War® process is right for you, <a href="[sitetree_link,id=32]" target="_blank">click here</a>. </p> <p>2. Before you file for divorce, think about your <strong>goals for the ultimate outcome</strong> of your case. You can only make good decisions in choosing how to file, whether or not to try mediation or collaborative law, how to select an attorney, and how to proceed if you know where you want to end up when it's all over.</p> <p>3. Set your intentions with a Divorce Mission Statement. Know who you want to be when your divorce is over. If your top priority is your children, make sure that your decisions and actions are really in their best interests, not just yours.</p> <p>4. If you choose to represent yourself, get enough information about how to behave in court and what forms you need in order to do it well. </p> <p>5. <strong>Only you can make the best decisions that will determine your future.</strong> Do your homework, get information, speak to level-headed friends and qualified professionals (we find accountants and financial planners, and even therapists, are often as much or more helpful than a lawyer), and use self-reflection to decide what's best for you. Don't jump to conclusions or rush to a decision. You took years getting to this place, so don't expect to solve everything in 2 minutes. </p> <p>6. If the amount of money you're fighting about won't matter in 5 years, it probably doesn't matter now, so let go of it. Sure, it's more money than you'd leave for a tip, but will it really change your life?</p> <p>7. <strong>Be organized</strong>. Use your professional fees wisely. Address your legal questions to your lawyer, and your psychological questions to a counselor or therapist. You may want to keep a notebook so your papers stay organized and in one place. </p> <p>8. If your goal is "justice" or to "tell the judge my story", keep in mind that no-fault laws, court over-crowding and pressure on judges to move cases through the system quickly means you'll get very little time or opportunity to testify. In fact, you may not get the opportunity to testify at all. If you do get a chance to testify, the judge will make a decision that affects the rest of your life after hearing 5 minutes to a few hours of your story. Do you really want a stranger to make your decisions for you? Especially that quickly?</p> <p>9. <strong>Take time to reassess your actions and goals and whether your path is taking you where you want to go.</strong> It's easy to get caught up in the stress of court procedures, or to become entrenched in a specific position.</p> <p>10. Your divorce will not go on forever (and you don't want it to). There is an end. Things will get better. And no matter how hard it is to believe, when one door closes, another door opens. You really will move on, even if that's tough to picture at the moment.<br><br></p> <p>Adapted from "10 Things to Know Before Filing for Divorce" by Diana Mercer. </p> <h6><span>Mercer, Diana. (2013). 10 Things to Know Before Filing for Divorce. Retrieved on October 10, 2013, from</span></h6> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 14:25:03 -0400 Study Shows that Unreasonable Behavior Ends More Marriages than Infidelity <p>Warring couples are only half as likely to cite adultery as the cause of a marriage breakdown than they were 40 years ago, but claims of unreasonable behaviour have rocketed, analysis of more than 5m divorce cases has shown.</p> <p>Co-operative Legal Services compared the grounds for divorce in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s as well as the present day.</p> <p>It found that while in the 70s, 29% of marriages ended because of adultery, the latest figures show only 15% of divorces were down to infidelity. In the 70s unreasonable behaviour was cited in 28% of cases but it now accounts for almost half of all divorces (47%).</p> <p>Examples of unreasonable behaviour given to lawyers for divorce include an unsociable husband making his wife feel guilty when she wanted to go out with her friends; a cross-dressing husband who decided to have a sex change; and a spouse withdrawing all the family savings – £40,000 – and burning it in the bedroom.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from The Guardian.</p> <p> </p> <h6>Smithers, Rebecca. (2013). Adultery falls behind bad behaviour as leading grounds for divorce. Retrieved on October 2, 2013, from</h6> Wed, 02 Oct 2013 16:31:14 -0400 Divorced, but Still in Business Together <p>Judy Rosenberg and Eliot Winograd have been business partners for 35 years as co-owners of Rosie’s Bakery, a 30-employee, $2.5 million Boston institution with four locations. Their marriage was less successful: It lasted two years, from 1979 to 1981, and “was not a good personal dynamic,” Rosenberg says. Despite their failure to make their marriage last, they attribute their ability to remain in business to mutual trust and admiration for each other’s business skills, among other reasons.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 419725" width="365" height="243">Roughly 65 percent of U.S. businesses are family owned, with about 30 percent co-owned by spouses, estimates Glenn Muske, an entrepreneurship professor at North Dakota State University who has spent 14 years researching couples in business. Between 40 percent and 50 percent of all first marriages will end in divorce, a rate that has declined slightly over the past decade as marriage became less common, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Figuring out how to sustain a family business after a divorce is important - <a href="[sitetree_link,id=11]" target="_blank">click here</a> to learn how mediation can help.</p> <p>After a divorce, couple-owned businesses tend to fold, get sold, or have one partner buy the other out, though “we do see [ex-spouses] remain in business,” says Muske. “They may find they don’t get along together at home, but they are great business partners and they’ve got a solid, going business that they don’t want to tear apart. If the business is performing in terms of dollars coming in, sometimes neither one can buy the other out, and they don’t want to split up the property.”</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from Bloomburg Businessweek.</p> <p> </p> <h6>Klein, Karen. (2013). Divorced, but Still in Business Together. Retrieved on September 24, 2013, from</h6> Tue, 24 Sep 2013 16:18:25 -0400 Dos and Don’ts of Proposing Mediation or Collaborative Divorce to Your Spouse <p>However you decide to go about proposing mediation or collaborative divorce, it is important to convey to your spouse your willingness to consider his or her point of view on whether, when, how, and with whom to start the process. This sets the stage for successful negotiations once you get started. Here are seven simple rules to remember:</p> <p><strong>Do your homework.</strong> Find out about mediation or collaboration, how it works, what it costs, and who offers it in your area. Read a book. Talk to people knowledgeable about mediation and collaboration.</p> <p><strong>Do give neutral reasons to mediate or collaborate. </strong>Point out that mediation or collaboration is inexpensive for both of you and that it will help you come up with a fair and amicable settlement.</p> <p><strong>Do offer to share information.</strong> Tell your spouse what you’ve learned about mediators or collaborative lawyers in your area. If you have brochures or other printed materials from potential mediators or collaborative professional groups, offer copies to your spouse.</p> <p><strong>Do give your spouse choices.</strong> Demonstrate your willingness to be flexible from the beginning by asking your spouse’s opinion about your proposal. If you are proposing mediation, provide a list of several mediators to choose from, and ask your spouse to suggest a mediator.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> for more tips on how to propose mediation or collaborative divorce to your spouse.</p> <h6>Doscow, Emily. (2013). How to Propose Mediation or Collaborative Divorce to Your Spouse. Retrieved on September 18, 2013, from</h6> Wed, 18 Sep 2013 15:59:21 -0400 Litigate, Mediate or Collaborate? <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 31187138" width="385" height="256">When a new client comes into the office, a part of our initial discussion is which one of three forks in the road should the client take in this case. Is this a case that must be litigated because there are issues that only a Judge can decide? Are the parties able to retain the services of a 3rd party mediator to work through their divorce? What about the new kid on the block, this collaborative divorce idea?</p> <p>Generally speaking, litigation is the default by the court and most of the lawyers. A client walks into the office and says that his or her spouse has been having an affair or has been treating his or her spouse in a cruel and disrespectful manner. Perhaps the spouse is abusive of the child or children or is trying to leave the area with the child or children. Those cases where there is or was domestic violence in the relationship, strongly held religious or ethnic differences or any other issue that polarizes the parties or where the trust factor is so low due to an affair; are the ones that usually have to be litigated.</p> <p>Mediation works well where the parties do have a good level of trust and believe that the other party will negotiate in good faith. Both parties are willing to entrust the process to a 3rd party neutral mediator. <a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from <em>The National Law Review</em> by Richard A. Gray.</p> <p><a href="[sitetree_link,id=3]" target="_blank">Click here</a> to speak to with one of our experienced mediators and find out if mediation is right for you.</p> <h6>Gray, Richard A. (2013). Do I Litgate, Mediate or Collaborate in My Divorce?. <em>The National Law Review</em>. Retrieved on September 10, 2013, from</h6> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 16:40:38 -0400 Healthy Divorce <p>No one enters into a marriage expecting it to fail. Still, more than 20 percent of first marriages end in divorce within five years, and 48 percent of marriages dissolve by the 20-year mark, according to 2006-2010 data from the government’s National Survey of Family Growth. Separation and divorce are emotionally difficult events, but it is possible to have a healthy breakup.</p> <h3>Cooperation, communication and mediation</h3> <p>The end of a marriage typically unleashes a flood of emotions including anger, grief, anxiety and fear. Sometimes these feelings can rise up when you least expect them, catching you off guard. Such a response is normal, and over time the intensity of these feelings will subside. In the meantime, be kind to yourself. Researchers have found that people who are kind and compassionate to themselves have an easier time managing the day-to-day difficulties of divorce.<a href="" target="_blank"><sup><br></sup></a></p> <p>Try not to think of the breakup as a battle. Divorce mediation is often a good alternative to courtroom proceedings. Trying to work things out yourself can be frustrating and self-defeating as the problems that contributed to your divorce are likely to re-emerge during divorce negotiations. Research shows that mediation can be beneficial for emotional satisfaction, spousal relationships and children’s needs. </p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading.</p> <h6>Healthy Divorce: How to make your split as smooth as possible. <em>American Psychological Association</em>. Retrieved on September 6, 2013, from</h6> Fri, 06 Sep 2013 15:38:27 -0400 Helping Kids Cope with Your Amicable Divorce <p>When divorce is an obvious solution to a disastrous marriage, it’s easier for kids to understand. If either parent is abusive to partner and kids, an addict whose habit has thrown the family into poverty, or a criminal in the world and a tyrant at home, it makes sense to children that the more balanced parent would want to take them away from all that.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 27992941" width="257" height="257"></p> <p>When home is a place filled with tension, where everyone has to walk on eggshells to avoid a blowup, where the primary contact between the grownups is fighting and violence or seething hostility, kids often want out as much as one of their parents.</p> <p>But what can the kids make of it when the reasons for the divorce aren’t so obvious? Adult reasons aren’t always appropriate to share with kids. The reasons you can share may seem lame to them. You’re not happy. You and your partner don’t share the same interests, activities, or goals. You or your partner is attracted to someone else. Sex isn’t what you think it should be. Daily life is boring at best; clouded by low-grade hostility at worst. Little decisions get left to one or the other. Big decisions seem impossible. Maybe there is a hidden addiction (gambling, shopping, Internet porn) that is eroding the marriage but isn’t visible to the children. You and your partner aren’t a team. You aren’t in love. You think life has to be better than this. But you’ve been wise enough to shield the children from your growing unhappiness.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from</p> <p> </p> <h6>Hartwell-Walker, M. (2009). Helping Kids Cope with Your Amicable Divorce. <em>Psych Central</em>. Retrieved on August 16, 2013, from</h6> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 11:46:07 -0400 After Divorce or Job Loss Comes the Good Identity Crisis <p>Whether you've lost a job or a girlfriend, it won't take long before someone tells you, Dust yourself off. Time heals all wounds.</p> <p>Yes, but how much time?</p> <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 24836603" width="220" height="264">Experts say most people should give themselves a good <strong>two years</strong> to recover from an emotional trauma such as a breakup or the loss of a job. And if you were blindsided by the event—your spouse left abruptly, you were fired unexpectedly—it could take longer.</p> <p>That is more time than most people expect, says Prudence Gourguechon, a psychiatrist in Chicago and former president of the American Psychoanalytic Association. It's important to know roughly how long the emotional disruption will last. Once you get over the shock that it is going to be a long process, you can relax, Dr. Gourguechon says. "You don't have to feel pressure to be OK, because you're not OK."</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from <em>The Wall Street Journal.</em></p> <p> </p> <h6>"After Divorce or Job Loss Comes the Good Identity Crisis." Weblog entry. <em>The Wall Street Journal</em>. July 30, 2013. Accessed Aug 20, 2013, from</h6> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 10:34:44 -0400 Back-to-School Tips for Divorced Parents <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 26245112" width="237" height="191">This time of year is busy for all parents, but it is particularly challenging when you’re divorced or separated. Not only are you juggling supply lists, back-to-school shopping, open houses, and more volunteer events than your schedule has room for, but you’re also managing a parenting schedule, cost-splitting, and trying to maintain a positive relationship with your ex. </p> <div class="detailSpacer articleDetailContent"><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> for sanity-saving tips from <em>Broward Family Life.</em></div> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 13:03:36 -0400 Pro Se Mediation: Trends and Benefits <p><em>Adding Pro Se mediation to the menu of services you offer is a smart business decision that can also be fulfilling and rewarding for all involved<br></em></p> <p>An increasing number of couples today are choosing an uncontested approach to divorce. Even more increasing, are the numbers of pro se contested divorce cases filed each year. The reasons for this are many, including the acrimony sometimes inherent in the divorce court battle, the potentially adverse effect the divorce process has on children, and probably the greatest reason is the financial cost of hiring two attorneys or the costs of a prolonged divorce litigation. It is particularly noticed in light of the economic challenges we have seen these past years, that couples facing divorce are seeking less-expensive options to help them dissolve the marriage.</p> <p>Clearly, as the number of pro se filings increase each year, there is a demonstrated need for affordable and perhaps less stressful divorce services, and therefore a growing market of unrepresented spouses for the family attorney to serve. Family law attorneys may find that offering to these potential clients the option for a pre-suit, pro se mediated divorce, where the two spouses can hire one attorney serving as their mediator, is beneficial not only for the clients, but also will enhance his or her practice.</p> <p>The opportunity to increase the client base an attorney serves has noticeable financial benefits. In addition, many attorneys find career satisfaction in conducting cooperative process divorces, either as a mediator or collaborative attorney. Unlike the attorney as representative, an attorney as mediator is in a position to help the couple together as they make the difficult transition from married to not married. These attorneys are not constrained by the usual ethical obligation to represent either one or the other of the parties involved. </p> <p>The benefits of mediation are generally known, and such benefits are more pronounced in divorce where the issues are often personal and private in nature, they involve one family often sharing common goals or interests, and the items (or children) at issue “belong” to both parties and will, at the conclusion be divided and shared.  Thus, when you offer your clients the option to hire you as their mediator, pro se, serving both of them as parties to the divorce, you provide the following advantages.</p> <p>The pro se mediation is collaborative; it occurs in a “safe” and private environment where the participants are empowered to discuss their concerns. The attorney mediator provides expertise and guidance on the legal and non-legal issues with which the couple is faced, resulting in a legally sound marital settlement agreement, containing the AGREED terms of the final court order of divorce.  The resulting court order is based upon communication between the parties themselves. Research shows that those who have been heard are more likely to feel satisfied having accepted the results, and more likely to adhere later to the terms of agreement.</p> <p>Many attorney/mediators report a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when they have been able to help the couple achieve a divorce by agreement.</p> <p>For many divorcing couples, the option to use Pro Se Attorney/Mediation to dissolve their legal relationship is a welcome resource for an affordable and legally wise approach that also promotes a positive transition, rather than the ingredients for a more expensive and potentially prolonged process. For families with children, research shows that how parents go about the process of divorce is the most important factor in predicting success for their children.  By offering the option, attorneys have the unique opportunity to assist families as their new foundation is formed for the post-divorce relationship. For Family Attorneys, adding pro se mediation to the menu of services they already provide is a smart business decision that can also be fulfilling and rewarding for all involved. Ralph Waldo Emerson states it best, “The real and lasting victories are those of peace, and not of war.”</p> <p>To learn more about partnering with Divorce Without War® to help grow your business, <a href="[sitetree_link,id=20]" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p> <p> </p> Fri, 02 Aug 2013 10:31:52 -0400 Getting a Mortgage After Divorce: Difficult, Not Impossible <p>Getting a mortgage is challenging enough -- with strict underwriting requiring detailed explanations, sourcing of monies and debt ratios -- but adding a divorce to the picture makes it even more difficult for a borrower. The good news is that despite most divorce situations, many can still successfully get a mortgage.</p> <p class="center"><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 26908108" width="267" height="178"></p> <p><strong>What to plan for</strong>: By providing your mortgage company with the most accurate and true picture of your circumstances -- starting with the loan application -- you're helping them to find the best way to structure your loan for a favorable credit decision. The lender will also look at your divorce decree for any other undisclosed/non-credit report financial obligations such as child support, alimony/spousal support paid or received.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading this article from <em>AOL Real Estate</em>.</p> <h6>"Getting a Mortgage After Divorce: Difficult, Not Impossible." Weblog entry. <em>AOL Real Estate</em>. June 18, 2013. Accessed July 31, 2013, from</h6> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 16:38:55 -0400 Top 10 Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce <p>Mediation is a process for resolving conflict and coming to an agreement where decision-making remains with the parties. A neutral mediator assists parties in arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement. In contrast to an adversarial proceeding, mediation emphasizes cooperative problem solving and addressing the needs of all involved. Mediation can be used for all types of conflict, however it is particularly useful in the context of divorce and family disputes.</p> <ol><li>It's less costly.</li> <li>You control the discussion and the outcome.</li> <li>You get more personal attention.</li> <li>There is faster resolution.</li> <li>There is greater confidentiality.</li> <li>There is greater flexibility with scheduling.</li> <li>It protects children from conflict.</li> <li>Its a less adversarial process.</li> <li>There are more opportunities for a creative, tailored family plan.</li> <li>It allows for greater post-divorce stability.</li> </ol><p><a href="[sitetree_link,id=11]" target="_blank">Click here</a> to learn more about the Divorce Without War® approach and how it can work for you.</p> <h6>Donovan, Esq., Sherri. "Celebrate Mediation Day: Top 10 Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce." Weblog entry. <em></em>. October, 2012. Accessed July 23, 2013, from</h6> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 16:32:28 -0400 Moving Forward After Divorce <p class="intro">It’s never easy when a marriage or significant relationship ends. Whatever the reason for the split—and whether you wanted it or not—the breakup of a relationship can turn your whole world upside down and trigger all sorts of painful and unsettling feelings. But there are plenty of things you can do to get through this difficult time and move on. You can even learn from the experience and grow into a stronger, wiser person.</p> <h3>Healing after a divorce or breakup</h3> <p>Why do breakups hurt so much, even when the relationship is no longer good? A divorce or breakup is painful because it represents the loss, not just of the relationship, but also of shared dreams and commitments. Romantic relationships begin on a high note of excitement and hope for the future. When these relationships fail, we experience profound disappointment, stress, and grief.</p> <p>A breakup or divorce launches us into uncharted territory. Everything is disrupted: your routine and responsibilities, your home, your relationships with extended family and friends, and even your identity. A breakup brings uncertainty about the future. What will life be like without your partner? Will you find someone else? Will you end up alone? These unknowns often seem worse than an unhappy relationship.</p> <p>Recovering from a breakup or divorce is difficult. However, it’s important to know (and to keep reminding yourself) that you <em>can</em> and <em>will</em> move on. But healing takes time, so be patient with yourself.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> for tips on how to cope with separation or divorce.</p> <p> </p> <h6>Segal, J., Kemp, G., &amp; Smith, M. "Coping with a Breakup or Divorce." Weblog entry. <em></em>. June, 2013. Accessed July 16, 2013, from</h6> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 16:27:59 -0400 The Constructive Divorce <p>It is my opinion, after 33 years of practice, that law practice has taken a terrible turn away from serving clients’ needs and serving as true <em>counselors</em> for clients. The change that is called for lies in alternative dispute resolution such as mediation, collaborative law, and arbitration. The change also lies in a complete revision of the way we treat people and handle situations in the litigation environment.</p> <div style="text-align: justify;"> <p>Family law cases involve families. This means that the handling of the family law case impacts <em>lives. </em>And the lives are not just impacted for a certain situation; they are impacted for the rest of their lives. When children are involved, the impact is obvious. The divorcing couple faces a lifetime of having to work with each other as they care for their children. There are also an infinite number of lifetime events, such as birthdays, holidays, boyfriends and girlfriends, sports and other activities, graduations, marriages, and grandchildren, that are there to be shared and enjoyed. In light of this tremendous impact on lives, family lawyers have a unique and particular responsibility to look for ways to make the family law case resolve in a constructive manner.</p> </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the original article from <em>Family Lawyer Magazine</em>.</p> <h6>Chinn, Mark, "The Constructive Divorce." Weblog entry. <em>Family Lawyer Magazine</em>. November 14, 2011. Accessed July 10, 2013, from</h6> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 15:14:35 -0400 From Ex-Spouse to New Friend: Reinventing Relationships After Divorce <p>Everyone knows at least one divorce horror story, but we seldom hear about people who have established friendly post-divorce associations with each other. "Did you hear that Hugh and Liz are getting along well these days?" just isn't news. Armed with their version of divorce hell, the skeptics tell us it's impossible for a divorced couple to make peace and become friends. They outtalk the quiet and peaceful believers -- perhaps because people who are doing just fine don't feel the need to vent. "If every divorce were a 'War of the Roses', there would be blood on the streets!" points out Barbara Quick, author of <em>Still Friends: Living Happily Ever After...Even if your Marriage Falls Apart</em>.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 5" width="257" height="171">Luckily, it's never too late to make peace. With determination and good intentions, you can overcome the anger, grief, and sadness of losing a marriage and eventually -- believe it or not -- achieve friendship. Whether or not you want to be "friends" with your ex is a decision in itself, but if you have children together, finding a way to be amicable with your co-parent makes life a lot easier. Your former in-laws don't have to disappear with the marriage either, especially if you've always enjoyed a good relationship with them. Unfortunately there's no rule book for cultivating civility with your ex-spouse, your former in-laws, or even your ex's new spouse -- so we asked several experts -- including people who have managed to create friendly post-divorce relationships -- for some guidance. Here's what they had to say:</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the original article from <em>iVillage</em>.</p> <h6>Hook, Howard, "From Ex-Spouse to New Friend: Reinventing Relationships After Divorce." Weblog entry. <em>iVillage</em>. April 27, 2012. Accessed June 27, 2013, from</h6> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 16:36:41 -0400 Divorced Couples Relationship can Improve with Co-Parenting <p>Divorce is a sadly common practice in the U.S. According to reports, if rates continue as they are it could be as common as 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce. Perhaps the most tragic of broken unions are the ones that involve children. However, divorced couples with children have the potential to have civil and even peaceful relationships when both individuals focus directly on the children.</p> <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 10931794" width="330" height="223">New research conducted at the University of Missouri offers hope for divorced parents and suggests hostile relationships can improve when ex-spouses set aside their differences and focus on their children's needs.</p> <p>"Most people falsely believe that, when people get divorced, they'll continue to fight, to be hostile," said Marilyn Coleman, Curators' Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at MU. "We found in our study that's not always true. Some couples get along from the very beginning, and, for about half of the women we interviewed, the couples whose relationships started badly improved over time."</p> <p>Coleman and colleagues interviewed 20 women who shared custody with ex-partners. Half reported having contentious relationships with their ex-partners and the other half reported their relationshiop to be civil and even amicable.</p> <p>The reason being?</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to read the original article from <em>Counsel&amp;Heal</em>.</p> <p> </p> <h6>Stringfellow, S.C., "Divoced Couples Relationship can Improve with Co-Parenting." Weblog entry. <em>Counsel&amp;Heal</em>. August 16, 2012. Accessed June 25, 2013, from</h6> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 16:26:29 -0400 Boosting Parent/Child Communication After Your Divorce <p>It's no secret that one of the biggest challenges a parent faces after divorce is communicating with your children. All parents struggle with communication issues as their children grow, but children who have had their lives dramatically altered by separation or divorce need even more attention and diligent observation by their parents.</p> <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 32509539" width="296" height="197"></p> <p>Children tend not to tell you when they are angry, resentful, confused, hurt or depressed. Instead, they reflect their problems through their behavior -- acting out or perhaps turning inward in ways that you have not experienced prior to the divorce.</p> <p>Here are some tips on ways to encourage positive and productive communication between you and your children. Many of these are obvious or innate behaviors. Some can easily be forgotten amid the challenges you are juggling in your own life on a daily basis.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the original article from <em>The Huffington Post</em>.</p> <h6>Rosalind, Sedacca, "Boosting Parent/Child Communication After Your Divorce." Weblog entry. <em>The Huffington Post</em>. December 5, 2012. Accessed June 21, 2013, from</h6> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 16:07:24 -0400 Divorce Mediation: Cost Saving Process <p><span class="text">Daily we are bombarded with articles in the print media, blogs on the internet, and radio and television stories reporting the decline in divorce rates. The reason, all the media pronounce, is a byproduct of the bad economy. As the story goes, when the economy is in trouble, people simply do not have enough money to divorce. And so, they suffer, the reporters tell us, trying to put up with each other in any way they can until there are sufficient funds in their coffers to finance their divorce. Indeed, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers' survey of its members revealed that 37% of divorce lawyers were reporting a decline in clients seeking divorce.<br><br></span><span style="font-size: 13px;">To continue reading this article from, </span><a style="font-size: 13px;" href="" target="_blank">click here</a><span style="font-size: 13px;">.</span></p> <h6>Halem, Dr. Lynne C., "Divorce Mediation: Cost Saving Process." Weblog entry. <em>Divorce Headquarters</em>. Accessed June 19, 2013, from</h6> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 15:49:05 -0400 The Benefits of Mediation <p>As divorcing couples search for an easier and somewhat kinder method for resolution, more people have become curious about the benefits of Divorce Without War® mediation and how this kind of process might apply to their unique situation. To help them understand, we’ve compiled a list of advantages of our mediation versus the more traditional and/or litigated divorce process.</p> <p> </p> <h5>1. LOWER COST</h5> <p>In a Divorce Without War® mediation, willing parties engage in an official process PRIOR to filing a court action. The couple will only pay one professional – the attorney/mediator – versus the expense of hiring two lawyers to take opposing positions in court. Resolution is achieved outside of the courtroom, through discussion and legal settlement based upon terms developed by the participants themselves, eliminating the need for witness subpoenas, court reporter fees and transcript fees typically amassed during divorce proceedings. Prolonged, litigated divorce can deplete assets, entail expensive professional services and interrupt an individual’s personal business, resulting in expenses that may be three times as high – or more – than the cost of Divorce Without War® mediation.</p> <p> </p> <h5>2. LESS TIME CONSUMING</h5> <p>Participants control how quickly the Divorce Without War® mediation will resolve. The couple determines the schedule and raises issues relevant to their family.  By enabling couples to set the schedule, a mediated result is obtained much faster than in traditional litigation because the case doesn't rely on the court's schedule. Additionally, parties do not have to wait for separate meetings and sessions with their individual attorneys, who then take time to speak to each other. Many Divorce Without War® mediators also offer flexible scheduling and appointments in the evenings or on weekends, which can help speed up the process.</p> <p> </p> <h5>3. PARTIES CONTROL THE OUTCOME</h5> <p>In mediation, the parties reach an agreement developed by the spouses themselves, not one imposed by a third party or  the court system. This is different from litigated divorce, which puts decision-making in the hands of the judge, who may not be familiar with the family’s particular circumstances or needs. Participants are also given the opportunity to try out the terms of their agreement before they become binding,  to see how they work and then propose changes, if needed.</p> <p> </p> <h5>4. CONFIDENTIALITY</h5> <p>Litigated divorce can be a lengthy process involving depositions of friends, family and business associates, scrutinizing personal activities, finances, and evaluation and criticism of each spouse’s role as a parent. A mediation conference is a private meeting in which the participants are obligated to maintain confidentiality. Clients can discuss important issues in the privacy and comfort of the mediator's office, rather than in a public courthouse. Additionally, a mediator's files are confidential - court files are public records that anyone can view.</p> <p> </p> <h5>5. COLLABORATIVE PROCESS</h5> <p>The preservation of relationships is often highly important to divorcing couples, especially when there are children involved.  During the mediation process, the couple will be empowered and guided to communicate about, among other things, his and her concerns, desires, needs, opinions, thoughts and interests. Communication is an essential component of mediation, allowing for the mediator to facilitate a fair agreement. The necessity for communication has often become the “blessing in disguise,” as it may form a nice foundation for the couple, once divorced, to continue the communication that started in mediation. </p> <p>Divorce Without War allows the opportunity for a once-married couple to look back and to feel proud of his or her conduct, for modeling for their children that when faced with a relationship struggle, they each found a kind way to resolve problems rather than be that parent who declared war on the child’s mom or dad.  The mediation way is one very smart method  that lets the parent protect the health and development of his or her children, the health of precious relationships among family and friends, and the health of the spouse him or herself. Choosing to use Divorce Without War® type mediation results in a kind, dignified process for everyone involved.</p> <p> </p> Thu, 13 Jun 2013 14:13:30 -0400 Making Summer Plans for Your Kids when You are Divorced <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 25562292" width="349" height="232">Kids wait all year for summer vacation. Now summer is here and all kinds of visions dance in your head about keeping kids busy, entertained, structured, happy, and distracted from the throes of your divorce. Combining these challenges with a multitude of potential celebrations such as graduations and weddings, it is no wonder that most divorced families view summer as a particularly stressful time. </p> <p>Kids who are home from school have a lot of available time that needs to be scheduled. Some will benefit from going away to camp or to their grandparents, while others will benefit from more one-on-one time with parents because they may find the isolation from divorce as alienating. It is probably a good idea to ask the kids how they want to spend their summer before any final decisions are made. </p> <p>Summer visitation is important for you and your former spouse to discuss. Visitation scheduling can prove very complicated. </p> <p><a style="font-size: 13px;" href="" target="_blank">Click here</a><span style="font-size: 13px;"> to continue reading the original article from Financial Planning Association.</span></p> <h6>Vasileff, Lili A., "Are We There Yet? Making Summer Plans for Your Kids When You are Divorced." Weblog entry. <em>Financial Planning Association</em>. July 5, 2011. Accessed June 13, 2013, from</h6> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 15:33:00 -0400 Divorce Mediation Myths <h5><strong>Debunking divorce mediation myths: Facts about the mediation process.</strong></h5> <p><strong>Myth:</strong> Mediation allows one spouse to dominate another.</p> <p><strong>Fact:</strong> A good <a href="">mediator</a> pays close attention to the power balance between the spouses and uses specific techniques to address any imbalance. If one spouse persists in dominating behavior, the mediator will call a stop to the <a href="">mediation</a> rather than allowing it to continue. One caveat: Even the best mediator can be unaware of a power imbalance if it only goes on outside of the mediation sessions and the spouses don't let the mediator know about it.</p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Myth:</strong> Women are at a disadvantage in mediation.</p> <p><strong>Fact:</strong> Women are no more at a disadvantage in mediation than in <a href="">divorce</a> court. In fact, women can often obtain a better result in mediation than they can in court, because the mediation process allows separating spouses to negotiate an agreement that considers nonlegal factors. Also, except for court-ordered (mandatory) mediation, a woman is free to stop the mediation or refuse to sign an agreement that seems unfair to her.<br><br></p> <h6>Stoner, Katherine E., "Divorce Mediation Myths." Weblog entry. <em>NOLO</em>. Accessed June 7, 2013, from</h6> <p> </p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 15:29:14 -0400 Successful Co-Parenting After Divorce <table border="0" align="right"><tbody><tr><td> </td> <td> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p>All parents are co-parents. Every child has two parents, and from the beginning, we have to contend with our co-parent and all of his or her opinions, attitudes and behaviors.</p> <p>Whether or you are married or not, whether you are co-habitating or living separately from your child’s other parent, sharing parental responsibility is hard work. It can be fabulous, rewarding, messy and heartbreaking – and it frequently asks more of us than we are prepared to give.</p> <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimemedium 33514710" width="372" height="248">Parents who live together face many of the same tough questions as those who parent apart – How much junk food? How much screen-time? What bedtime is appropriate? How to pay for a sport, a summer camp or a cellphone? Why are you, dear co-parent, “always” late (or overly controlling or too lenient or too strict?)</p> <p>Parents who live together, married or not, may be more likely to work collaboratively, but not always. There are married parents living in high-conflict households, in which the children suffer from frequent exposure to parental fights.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the original article from Parent Express.</p> <h6>Elliot, Adriana, "Successful co-parenting after divorce." Weblog entry. <em>Parent Express</em>. November 15, 2012. Accessed June 4, 2013, from</h6> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 14:21:22 -0400 7 Biggest Divorce Mistakes <p>Whether you are happily married now, or hoping to be one day, there's one topic you'd probably rather not think about: divorce. Yet, most of us know at least one wedded couple who has split up. And then there's that ominous 50 percent statistic, which often scares us into believing that a marriage's survival is as subject to chance as whether a coin will flip heads or tails.</p> <p>In fact, this 50/50 buzz-phrase may not even be accurate, Time magazine reports, noting how difficult it is to even track divorce stats. Time cites a University of Pennsylvania study's conclusion that the age at which a person marries can be a better predictor of the relationship's success. The study found that 81 percent of college graduates who wed during the '80s, at age 26 or older, were still married 20 years later — the number decreased to 65 percent for college grads who married before age 26.</p> <p>But, no matter the risk, it never hurts to be prepared if you do happen to find yourself in the midst of a legal split. And navigating the situation unbiasedly can be difficult, as your emotions affect the ability to make critical decisions.</p> <div style="overflow: hidden; color: #000000; background-color: #ffffff; text-align: left; text-decoration: none;">Read more: <a style="color: #003399;" href="">Separation and Divorce - How to Have a Friendly Divorce at - Woman's Day</a></div> Fri, 31 May 2013 16:54:16 -0400 From Humiliation to Appreciation <p><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 540622" width="274" height="182">When I go home to Ohio for the holidays, I spend my time as many 20-somethings do: I sleep like a teenager, wander around my bedroom in my prom dress slightly tipsy, thumb through old yearbooks, and laugh, eat and occasionally bicker with my parents. The only not-typical aspect of my visit is that my parents are two women who are no longer together, one of whom used to be a man.</p> <p>When I was 4, my father decided he wanted to become a woman. Decades earlier he realized he wanted to be a woman, but now he actually made the decision to become one, to the great shock of my mother and to the utter bewilderment of my Appalachian farming grandparents.</p> <p><a href=";_r=0" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the entire article from <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em></a>.</p> <h6>Chagnot, Annie, "From Humiliation to Appreciation." Weblog entry. <em>The New York Times</em>. April 18, 2013. Accessed April 22, 2013, from;_r=0.</h6> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 13:15:02 -0400 Know the Financials Before Divorce <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 14806013" width="281" height="187">Thursday, the Florida Senate passed alimony reform legislation (SB 718) by a 29-11 margin. The Senate sent a strong message to Floridians that current alimony laws will change. If proponents succeed in the House next week, permanent alimony will be harder, if not impossible, for spouses in long-term marriages to get.</p> <p>The bill allows existing agreements to be modified to reflect the new law.</p> <p>The ramifications of such a drastic move would be far reaching for everyone — payers, alimony recipients, children of divorced parents. Although there have surely been abuses under current law, rather than reform, the bill is a complete overhaul of a system that works — albeit not perfectly. Many divorces are handled through mediation, which is now required by law.</p> <p>Divorcing couples are also opting for collaborative divorces in an effort to avoid a court battle, exert more control over the process and craft their own settlements. <a href="[sitetree_link,id=14]">Click here</a> to find out how the Divorce Without War® approach can work for you.</p> <p>Written as a remedy for a minority of men and women, the bill leaves the majority of alimony recipients at risk.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the original article from <em>The Miami Herald</em>.</p> <h6>Failla, Jennifer, "Know the financials before divorce." Weblog entry. <em>The Miami Herald</em>. April 5, 2013. Accessed April 10, 2013, from</h6> <div style="width: 1px; height: 1px; color: #000000; font: 10pt sans-serif; text-align: left; text-transform: none; overflow: hidden;"><br>Read more here:, Annie, "From Humiliation to Appreciation." Weblog entry. <em>The New York Times</em>. April 18, 2013. Accessed April 22, 2013, from;_r=0.</div> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 13:35:16 -0400 The Long Way Home For Adults Who Were Children Of Divorce <p>There are millions of adults who experienced the trauma of their parents' divorce 20, 30 or 40 plus years ago. Some have found closure, but many more have not. Regrettably, it is a time in a child's life that is never forgotten; it sticks with them. For anyone who's experienced it, you know it isn't only about divorce. It's about the years of tension in the home leading up to the divorce and those commonly miserable years after the divorce.</p> <p>Fifteen years ago, Miami-Dade became the first county in the United States that would not grant a divorce in a family until the children completed the Sandcastles Program for children of divorce. Since then, more than 300,000 children of divorce have completed the Sandcastles Program internationally and it continues to help children of divorce share their deepest emotions and gain a feeling of normalcy.</p> <p>We'd like to think it all stops there -- in the past. Sadly, our childhoods remain a part of our adult fabric for better or for worse, and with divorce in the past, there is a load of negativity that never goes away.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the original article from <em>The Huffington Post</em>. </p> <h6>Hook, Howard, "The Long Way Home For Adults Who Were Children Of Divorce." Weblog entry. <em>The Huffington Post</em>. March 25, 2013. Accessed April 2, 2013, from </h6> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:12:32 -0400 Tips for Going Through A Gray Divorce <p>According to a study conducted by the National Center for Family &amp; Marriage Research at Bowling Green University, one in four divorces in 2009 occurred to persons ages 50 and older. This amount is double what it was in 1990 and, due to an aging population in the United States, is only likely to increase over time.</p> <p><img class="left" style="float: right; margin-left: 3px; margin-right: 3px;" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 36007569" width="305" height="203">Divorce at an older age is typically more difficult than for younger people when it comes to recovering one's financial health. Spouses going through a divorce over the age of 50 are likely to have significant decisions to make on how to split their assets and restructure their retirement plan, as well as when it comes to issues involving the payment of alimony and child support. The stakes are often greater because the assets tend to be larger for gray divorcees, and the consequences of a wrong decision are far graver simply because the clock is ticking and there is not as much time to make up for any bad decisions.</p> <p>So what should someone who is over 50 and going through a divorce be aware of both during the divorce proceedings and after the divorce is final to help them transition smoothly into the next stage of their lives?</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the original article from <em>The Huffington Post</em>. </p> <h6>Hook, Howard, "Tips For Going Through A Gray Divorce." Weblog entry. <em>The Huffington Post</em>. March 7, 2013. Accessed March 15, 2013, from </h6> Tue, 16 Apr 2013 17:02:28 -0400 Though Now Apart, We Faced a Common Enemy <p><span><em>After our divorce, we didn’t want to lose the friendship. We still helped each other through the hard times.</em></span></p> <p>Last April I was eating my salad in front of the TV when the beautifully coifed anchor on “Entertainment Tonight” announced, “After the commercial break we go to a story you won’t believe: a man killed by a swan in Des Plaines, Illinois.”</p> <p>I put down my salad and ran to call my ex-husband.</p> <p>“Turn on Channel 3,” I told him. “They’re going to do a story about a swan that killed someone.”</p> <p>Fred is the only person I know who would understand the urgency or relevance of my phone alert; he and I were once attacked by a murderous swan. We hung up and went to our respective televisions. We were finding our way into a stage in our relationship that didn’t have an easy label. Were we “broken”? I have always hated that label. As a therapist, I didn’t refer to divorced families as broken.</p> <p>When we divorced after seven years of marriage (preceded by two decades of friendship), our friends prepared to take sides, hear complaints and grievances, and close ranks. After the official decree, we looked at each other outside the courtroom and asked, “Now what?”</p> <p><span><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> to continue reading the original article from the <em>New York Times</em>. </span></p> <h6>Sheehan, Jacqueline, "Though Now Apart, We Faced A Common Enemy." Weblog entry. <em>The New York Times</em>. March 7, 2013. Accessed March 13, 2013, from;_r=0. </h6> Tue, 12 Mar 2013 17:01:21 -0400 Post Divorce: Vehicle Title Transfers <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 12406744" width="203" height="135">During divorce proceedings, many couples will need to transfer vehicle titles as part of the final settlement of assets. It is important to know that when a court grants ownership of a vehicle from one person to another, sales tax is not due. </p> <p>In marriage dissolution, a transfer of title is not taxable if the transfer is part of the property settlement or divorce decree. A certificate setting forth the facts and signed under penalty of perjury must accompany the application for title transfer or application for transfer of license or registration. Not only does this waive any sales tax but this also saves the transferee the initial $225 registration fee. <br><br>To learn more about the transfer of ownership by operation of law as outlined in Florida Statute 319.28, <a href="" target="_blank">click here</a>. </p> Mon, 11 Mar 2013 16:08:26 -0400 Reducing Stress Through Divorce Mediation <table style="height: 300px; width: 300px;" border="0" align="right"><tbody><tr><td> </td> <td><img class="right" title="" src="" alt="dreamstime xl 2" width="300" height="276"> </td> </tr></tbody></table><p><span style="font-size: 13px;">According to the National Institute of Mental Health, divorce is a common cause of stress for millions of Americans. While nothing can fully remove stress from the divorce process, there are a number of ways to reduce it significantly. One of the most basic ways is to pursue a divorce process that is not adversarial in nature. When most couples think of divorce, they think of a long, drawn-out legal battle between two sides. However, divorce doesn’t have to be like this. Divorce mediation can help to reduce the combativeness associated with a divorce and allow the couple to focus on what matters most during this difficult time.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 13px;">To learn more about mediation and how it can help reduce stress during divorce, <a href="" target="_blank">click here</a>.</span></p> <h4 class="p1"> </h4> Thu, 14 Mar 2013 14:52:56 -0400 Mediation <p><img class="left" title="" src="" alt="dreamstimesmall 22664753" width="280" height="186">Mediation is a non-adversarial process in which you, with the assistance of an impartial mediator make decisions that affect your life. The agreement that you arrive at must be acceptable to both parties and the agreement then forms the basis for an uncontested divorce.</p> <p>Though Divorce mediation is not marriage counseling the question of saving the marriage is often explored. Supervised communication between the spouses sometimes results in a desire to seek counseling to save the marriage. However, the primary objective of divorce mediation is to assist parties who have decided upon divorce get through the process in a less confrontational setting.</p> <p>Mediation can take place during the divorce suit, before the trial of the case. When it occurs during the divorce process it is referred to as "court ordered" or "court connected" mediation. However, by that time, both parties will probably have paid attorney fees and started the case in the hostile environment of the adversarial process. Couples facing divorce are urged to consider getting the assistance of a family mediator before retaining opposing divorce attorneys.</p> <p>The mediator is a neutral party who cannot order either of you to do anything. The agreement that is reached must be acceptable to both of you. He or she will help to defuse emotions, and guide both of you through the web of difficult issues. Through extensive training and experience mediators can often suggest creative solutions to problems that the parties may have considered insoluble. They deal with every issue involved in the dissolution of a marriage: Distribution of property and debts, child custody and support issues, spousal support, and assistance in virtually every subject necessary to lead to a complete agreement and uncontested divorce. Instead of airing these personal and often painful subjects in a public arena (the courtroom), you deal with them in the privacy and confidential setting of the mediator’s office. The costs are significantly less than battling it out with opposing divorce attorneys. Most importantly, the process helps the parties avoid destructive battles, which impact upon children of the marriage. It enables you to get on with your life.</p> <p>Many divorce attorneys are now engaging in this field. They receive special training in skills necessary to help parties avoid contested divorces. Of course, courtroom battles remain the exclusive domain of the divorce lawyer, and if you cannot reach agreement with a mediator, the divorce lawyer is there to help you.</p> <p><a href="[sitetree_link,id=37]">Click here</a> to schedule a free consultation and to learn how we can help you mediate your divorce.</p> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 13:40:11 -0500