I recently read a New York Times article addressing the growing trend of multigenerational households and the benefits of a so-called ‘prenup’ for this type of homeownership. The reasons for a contractual arrangement about home ownership for families can range from financial considerations to the added support in raising young children.  Here are some of the factors to be considered when thinking about purchasing a home with parents or adult children: Continue Reading

Many parents come to mediation wanting a 50/50 parenting schedule.  That usually means that both parents are concerned about maintaining a strong relationship with the children once Mom and Dad separate. Shared parenting is usually a positive experience when the parents cooperate to create a workable plan that respects the bond between both parents and each child.  Continue Reading

Is civility in our society spiraling downward? It often feels like that nowadays.  This does not have to be the case in our families and in our own circles of colleagues and friends if we pay attention to how we are engaging in the resolution of different points of view.   Civility is more than just politeness.  It is possible to disagree with dignity and respect.  Yes, it is possible to go high rather than low when a challenge presents itself. Continue Reading

Custom-Stock-Photo-for-Blogs-300x200The answer is a resounding Yes!   There are many reasons why consulting attorneys help to create durable, practical agreements through the mediation process.

What follows is a summary of the positive effects of using consulting attorneys: Continue Reading

The Russian film Loveless, directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev, is an intense, provocative drama that can be viewed on many levels.    It is a comment on what happens when a marriage breaks down as well as a critique of modern Russian society.  Continue Reading

How can words or minor interpersonal tensions lead to major trauma and in some cases national trauma?  As a conflict professional, I am constantly intrigued by the power of words, actions and inaction. An act or expression may or may not be intended to cause harm.  Even in a close-knit family, we sometimes do not realize the harm.  Once an initial event happens, how do we avoid escalating the harm?  Continue Reading

Last week a ‘talking stick’ reportedly broke the stalemate over the government shutdown.  Just what is a talking stick and how can it be used as a means of working through impasse in a negotiation? Continue Reading

Does Blame help reach a result in the negotiation process?  In my opinion, it is counter-productive.  This week we saw a lot of blame coming out of Washington D.C., in a negotiation without resolution and an eventual shut down.  This led me to think about my own work and what happens when blame is assigned and then continues as the focus.  During a negotiation, the parties do need to take responsibility for their own actions.  This can be done in a productive way without shaming or humiliating the other party. There is a distinction between assigning and taking responsibility and what happens when the parties stay at the level of blame.  Continue Reading

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.  Continue Reading

A benefit of using collaborative law for separation and divorce is that the parties can work together with a team of professionals to create a situation that works for everyone, including the children. Collaborative law allows attorneys and other neutral professionals help develop creative and practical solutions with a focus on the unique needs of each family. When there are children involved, decision-making and parenting access schedules can easily become positional discussions out of fear of loss or anger.  That being said, most couples are eager to make their own decisions rather than have a third party decide the family’s fate. Most parents want to find a way to work together on a parenting plan that prioritizes what works best for the whole family. Continue Reading