The term “nesting” is used to describe an arrangement where the children remain in the family home while the divorcing parents take turns living in the family home and in another location. (The parents move in and out of the home rather than the children moving between homes.) Nesting is an option that some parents consider as a transitional parenting arrangement because they  want to keep the children’s living arrangements in place for a period of time during and/or post divorce.  In practice, nesting is something that requires cooperation and communication from both parents, and careful consideration should be given before nesting is used. Continue Reading

Prenuptial agreements are on the rise for  Generation Y individuals, or “Millennials”, according to recent reports in the news. What is it about this group that is lending itself to an uptick in prenups? Continue Reading

Couples that select mediation are often looking for 3 things: 1) fairness, 2) to make their own decisions, and 3) a more economical way to reach resolution of their marital and family situation.  Continue Reading

Divorce and custody disputes are often material for tabloid front pages. Celebrity splits never seem to fall out of favor in the media, even though there are alternative and appropriate dispute resolution methods designed to minimize the hostility. Headlines for years have centered on Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie – the once happy Hollywood couple nicknamed Brangelina by the media. The couple filed for divorce almost two years ago, yet updates on their relationship continue.. Just recently, reports came out about a “bitter” custody battle allegedly being waged by Jolie. When two parties go from a seemingly happy relationship to a contentious court battle, it might seem like the hopes for respectful and productive negotiations are gone. This does not have to be the case in a high conflict situation because the collaborative law process has created an environment where the focus is on the children and the structure encourages dignity and respect rather than inflame underlying hostilities.  Continue Reading

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