When parties initiate the divorce process, there are certain major issues that need to be addressed in coming to a final agreement. These issues include the distribution of property and debt, support (spousal and child, if applicable), health insurance, and custody and parenting arrangements. With the Coronavirus affecting many areas of daily life, some of these common divorce issues may become more complicated as parties work through divorce negotiations. Continue Reading
A prenuptial agreement is a written contract between two people that is entered into before marriage and takes effect upon marriage. This document has become more popular as couples realize the importance of clarifying expectations and setting a good foundation for communication about finances (and other issues) before the marriage.
Each couple has a unique set of goals and issues to be addressed and the prenup can be specifically tailored with that in mind. Without a prenup, state laws dictate who owns the property acquired during the marriage as well as what happens upon the dissolution of the marriage.
Why get a Prenup? Continue Reading
With Valentine’s Day upon us, it is a great opportunity to discuss the positive effects that prenups can have on a relationship. In my book, Prenups and the Elephant in the Room, I cover the common misconceptions about prenups, and how couples can work together to face these misconceptions. Below is an excerpt from my book which discusses the misconceptions themselves, as well as how couples can use these misconceptions to start the discussion about a prenup. Continue Reading
As divorced parents plan the family’s first holiday season under new parenting arrangements, there may still be lingering stress and tension from the divorce. Each parent undoubtedly wants to spend as much time as possible with the children, and even when formal arrangements have been agreed upon, it may be hard to stick to the schedule. Focusing on a solid co-parenting plan and keeping the children as the main focus can not only provide for a smoother holiday, it may also lay the groundwork for the New Year to come.
Co-parenting arrangements come in all forms and are tailored for the unique needs of each family. A common arrangement is for the parents to alternate each holiday on an annual basis. Sometimes parents may opt to split holiday time equally – perhaps Christmas morning is spent with the mother and Christmas evening with the father. Alternatively, parents may arrange a holiday schedule so that the children celebrate certain holidays the weekend prior to the actual holiday, and then spend the actual holiday with the other parent.
Regardless of the arrangement, there are certain considerations for the parents, which could help, ease some of the unwanted stress and tension of the season:
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
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
Entering into a negotiation with uncertainty is not necessarily a bad thing. Thinking that we know all of the answers before a negotiation starts can lead to less flexible, positional thinking. A reasonable agreement in divorce is different for each family. For that reason, we can enter into the negotiation with uncertainty about what is best for one particular family so long as we are flexible in considering available options and work in good faith to find the most reasonable solution. Some individuals chose to stay in limbo due to uncertainty about outcome. The uncertainty can lead to fear – that may prohibit productive thinking. Continue Reading
One of the most common questions I receive from clients is how to bring up a prenuptial agreement with a future spouse. There is no uniform answer to this because every couple has its own dynamics, and a prenup conversation should reflect this. With that being said, there are some basic ideas to help your path to a prenup go more smoothly. Continue Reading
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.