(5/21/16)Dr. Lynne C. Halem
Challenging divorce mediation myths, such as whether or not mediation will work if only one spouse can communicate well.
For years, family law litigators were the go to persons to facilitate the distribution of property, support obligations and the plan of care for children of the relationship between separating couples.
(4/04/16)Karen Aurit, Michael Aurit
Three years have passed since the words “child custody” have been spoken in an Arizona courtroom. They have not been missed.
A common misconception is that alimony will automatically end when the person paying the alimony retires. Unless the settlement agreement specifically provides for alimony termination upon retirement, recent cases in hold that alimony will continue, although perhaps at a reduced amount.
Although mediation has the potential and in many cases succeeds at being an entirely different and healthier experience than legalistic divorce, mediation has more often been watered down to the point where it’s simply another part of litigation.
Many parents become caught up in the details of a separation and do not spend much time with their children. This can be misconstrued as a lack of interest.
I already knew what happened next. I was as wrong as wrong can be.
Many people go into a divorce with swords pulled. They want to get even. They want to punish their spouse for making them feel bad. Humiliated. Depressed. When divorce is not your idea, you may even go into a classic defensive “stall mode” to try and drive the other person a little crazy with angst.
The Parenting Plan is the parental agreement setting out how the children will be cared for between separated parents. Essentially, the Parenting Plan is the road map that separated parents will follow for the raising of their kids.
If you get hung up on the quantum of time with your partner and your children, you may lose sight of the quality of your relationship now and for the future.
To share the pain (uh, I mean joy), of negotiating with a toddler, here is the list of 8 characteristics of such negotiation encounters.
(10/15/15)Dr. Lynne C. Halem
Families who have children with special needs constitute a significant percentage of the divorced population. Children, all children, present a mixed blessing. Some times they may help to save a marriage; other times they add to the stresses of daily living in ways that parents are not able to handle.
Using the Collaborative Law process, we feel impelled to be creative with solutions, even where there are standard guidelines in the Texas Family Code for such things as how to set child support. In most litigation cases, the child support amount is quickly set by following the standard formula. The Code deals with the amounts of income and the number of children before the Court, as well as considering if there are other children that need to be supported.
The most elusive thing in this world is present-time relationship. It is hard enough to be mindful all by ourselves. There is a reason that meditation practices are traditionally done sitting on our own individual cushion and in silence.
So you would like to mediate your divorce, but you think you’ll have a hard time convincing your spouse to go along. I’m assuming he or she is ready to end the marriage as well and having a conversation about how to do it won’t be a surprise.
Parents turn to the court thinking a Judge will settle matters and life will be peaceful thereafter. This is far from the truth.
If you are thinking about working with a divorce mediator, then this is probably one of the more difficult times in your life. To make matters even more challenging, in the midst of this emotional turmoil you are called upon to make some important family decisions. One of these decisions is how to find a divorce mediator who will be right for you and your spouse. Here are suggestions for finding a divorce mediator in Maryland.
It was leaked recently that Marge and Homer Simpson are soon planning to separate. I guess the divorce rate in Springfield is comparable to the rest of the United States, and with Homer’s continued antics, how can you blame Marge?
Not all parental separations are alike and not all parental separations spell disaster for their children. The social science research advises that the most salient factor in determining risk for poor developmental outcomes for children subject to parental divorce is the level of conflict between the parents.
A few months ago Yahoo Style published an item by Sloane Bradshaw that talked about how letting the little things go in her relationship ended her marriage. The headline caught my eye and, as I began to read, I expected to recognize small warning signs in my own relationship.
I was helping this couple, Jane and John of course, sort out the details of their divorce. The item that was the most difficult to “separate” was the china cabinet. They had invested time, and money, and both had an attachment to it. We were on our 3rd session and they had been able to remain in the same room every time. When we discussed the cabinet they got real snippy so it was time to visit with them separately.
Marriage is a high risk undertaking. Consider the statistics. In recent years the number of marriages each year is just over twice the number of divorces in the same year. So when two adults in their late 20’s – let’s call them Justin and Lisa - decide to get married and have an expensive wedding with all the trimmings, there is a good chance that they will also get divorced. And when they do, it wouldn’t be unusual for their divorce to cost as much as (or more than) their wedding and honeymoon.
After setting forth the nexus that alcohol abuse and dependence has with both domestic abuse and violence, but also with high conflict parties, then briefly discussing the evolution and technological advances of alcohol detection devices, the Author recommends that every family mediator should be carrying one, both to ensure the safety and security of the mediator and parties, but also as a tool in negotiating child visitation and possession when alcohol abuse or dependence is alleged.
(5/22/15)Dr. Lynne C. Halem
“What is a good divorce?” you ask. “After all, divorce is not a good or a happy event.” Correct you are. Divorce cannot be logically characterized as “good,” if we are referring to the event itself. Divorce is a time of sadness, even regret; it symbolizes the end to dreams once held. “ So,” you ask again,” how can a divorce be good?”
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There are only so many options available for separated parents to settle their parenting disputes in a way that minimizes lawyer involvement. Chief among them are: Mediation; Mediation/Arbitration (Med/Arb); and Parenting Coordination.