Articles Posted in Collaborative Law

In 2014, actress Gwyneth Paltrow and musician Chris Martin divorced. Like many celebrity breakups, news of the couple’s separation and divorce made headlines across the country and beyond.  One particular detail elicited a reaction from many people: the phrase “conscious uncoupling.”  People were interested in hearing about this couple’s take on what the family looks like when going through a divorce.  In the years following the couple’s divorce, Paltrow and Martin have still been in the news for how they co-parent and interact with one another and their efforts to contribute positively to the culture of divorce.  Conscious uncoupling and collaborative divorce seek to redefine the construct of the traditional adversarial divorce.  Continue Reading

With so much end of year busyness, it sometimes takes effort to stop for a moment to remember what is important.  I was in the post office last week to send out some holiday presents when one of those moments occurred.[1]  An elderly man slowly walked up to the counter and placed a dime on the counter and stated [to the postal clerk]: “That’s what I owe you.”  The clerk replied: “That wasn’t necessary. You didn’t have to come all the way back.” The man said, “I owed it and I found it in my pocket after I left”.  Continue Reading

In a recent blog, I discussed several reasons why Collaborative Law is a wise choice in the divorce process. In order to give more depth to discussion on the value of collaborative law, I’ve used information publicly available in the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie divorce case along with the points from my previous collaborative blogs to illustrate the benefits of collaborative law.  Continue Reading

My practice is founded on the premise that most people want to resolve their family law matter without going to court. The consequences of a litigated divorce can be unintended and destructive to the parties’ lives and the children.  The collaborative law separation and divorce focuses on settlement with the whole family in mind.  Lawyers advocate for their client by helping their clients to have a voice in the process with a focus towards reasonable, practical solutions. While most litigated cases settle, it is the path to settlement that can take a toll on the family.  In the first installment of Collaborative Law 101, I discussed five key features of the collaborative law process. After reading, you may still be trying to decide whether the collaborative process is the right choice. While the introductory post on Collaborative Law gives you a sense of what collaborative law really means, in this post, I’ve focused in one some key reasons that collaborative law is a wise choice. Continue Reading

Collaborative law is a process used to resolve family and other disputes respectfully and equitably without going to court. Each party retains his or her own attorney who has been specially trained in the collaborative law process to advise and assist in negotiating an agreement. The negotiations take place out of court in a series of meetings. The goal is to help individuals to focus on what is most important to them. The collaborative law process is ideal for individuals who want reasonable and practical solutions. Here are five key points that help to summarize the collaborative law process and its importance in family law:

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I recently viewed the animated movie, Inside Out. I had read many reviews that the themes presented in the film deal with how we are affected by our emotions.  The Inside Out characters are based upon our different emotions.  Sadness and Anger were particularly interesting to me! While the movie is a cartoon adventure that takes place entirely within the head of an 11 year old girl, the original look into the minds of the characters can help both children and adults understand and appreciate (each at their own level) the role that emotions play in our behavior and how our behavior affects those around us in different ways. Without going too deeply into the plot (I encourage you to go see it!), we see the main character and her family going through different life events such as a change of job, a move and attending a new school. We see the range of emotions that emerge with life changes and how these emotions play off of one another.

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I have been fortunate to work on a variety of matters in my career, but I focus my practice on Collaborative Law and Mediation. I find myself mentioning collaborative law in other blogs I post, and while I give quick definitions here and there, I felt it was important to provide a better foundation of what collaborative law actually is.

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Understanding assets, liabilities and cash flow helps to create a solid foundation for a good negotiation. When it comes to financial disclosures and information gathering in divorce, a neutral financial professional is often used in mediation and collaborative law because it can be beneficial for both parties.
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new-years-eve-1-689636-m.jpgAs this year comes to a close, I took a look at some of the topics I wrote about throughout the year. I’ve covered a mix of different topics, ranging from co-parenting issues to unique prenuptial agreement cases. Out of all the entries I looked through, the more popular pieces tended to fall under the category of prenuptial agreements and topics dealing with finances or assets. I figured that a good way to close out the year would be to highlight some of my more popular posts, based on feedback I’ve received from others:
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Blog -winter-snow-storm-2.14.2014.jpgA simple Internet search of “National Divorce Month” will result in a stack of articles discussing how lawyers encounter a heavy volume of calls right after the holidays, giving January the unfortunate moniker of ‘National Divorce Month.’ 2014 has been no different. Last month we once again saw divorce attorneys writing about how the phones began to ring off the hook once the holiday season officially ended. On the surface, it makes sense. Many couples choose to prolong beginning the divorce or separation process until after the already busy and stressful holidays are over. It can be especially difficult for couples with children, because parents are hesitant to interrupt the child’s holiday with news of a divorce. Many people tend to look at the New Year as a “fresh start” and a chance to begin again, so choosing to begin the divorce process in the New Year seems like the best alternative.

Is there ever really a “right” time to initiate a divorce or separation? Many articles written about January divorces point to the many reasons why people choose to begin the process at that time, and why it makes sense to wait until after the holidays. The most important thing, though, is for the spouses to evaluate their own marital life and family. Several of my blogs have made mention of the fact that every family is different and thus, every divorce is also different. This rings true no matter what the highest divorce month may be.

The decision to divorce or separate is an important one, to say the least. Every couple has considerations to keep in mind before deciding if divorce is the right path to take. In making an assessment of the marital life as well as family life, couples should make sure to have open and honest communication, and not rush the process. Some couples find it helpful to sit down with a couples’ counselor or mediator in order to really get everything on the table. A very important aspect of assessing the situation is to become educated on all of the options available. Taking an active role in decision-making is helpful in reaching decisions about what to do.
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