Inheritance and Divorce

Occasionally an inheritance is an unexpected windfall, but an anticipated inheritance can also be an important component of a couple’s household budget or retirement planning.  An inheritance, whether already vested (in the possession of the intended recipient) or anticipated, will become a factor in any divorce settlement.

Anticipated vs. Vested Inheritance

There is a huge difference between an inheritance that is expected and one that has already been received. Assets (i.e., property, a family business, stock, savings) that have been promised to one or both spouses “someday” have not yet materialized. Much could theoretically change between now and “then”. A business could go under or be sold. Savings could unexpectedly be given to charity. Stocks could tank. Real estate property could be devalued. As a result, an expected inheritance might still factor in during divorce settlement discussions, but would have a far lesser weight. Read More >>

To Sell or Not to Sell: Real Estate and Divorce

One challenging aspect of divorce is the fact that numerous important practical decisions must be made while the parties are simultaneously working through difficult emotional changes.

Deciding what to do with jointly-held real estate is one such example. Many couples own a primary marital home, while others may also have vacation homes, investment/rental property, and/or work-related property. It is important to realize that there are different tax consequences for each property type. You should consult with a tax specialist before taking any specific action.

A Mediator or Collaborative Practitioner (CP) may be helpful in suggesting various real estate options to consider. Read More >>

The Role of Financial Advisors in Collaborative Practice and Divorce Mediation

In our previous two posts, we discussed the value that both attorneys and mental health professionals bring to Mediation and Collaborative Practice (CP). We would be remiss if we did not also consider the important function that financial professionals play.

Financial advisors are almost always invited to be a formal part of the CP process, but are also increasingly being used in Mediation as well, though usually in an informal capacity.

Generally the financial professionals are not Mediators themselves, but rather function as part of the team, either formally or informally. Additionally, they may or may not be neutral parties, depending upon the circumstances. Read More >>

When to Use Mental Health Professionals in Collaborative Practice and Divorce Mediation

In our last post, we looked at the importance of including an attorney in Mediation and Collaborative Practice (CP). This article will focus on the value of inviting a mental health professional to be a part of the process.

As with the legal component, mental health professionals are expected to be a formal part of the CP process, but they are also frequently called upon in Mediation, either as facilitators or as resources (coaches, child specialists, etc.) for the parties. Read More >>

The Influence of Attorneys in Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Practice

During both the Mediation and Collaborative Practice (CP) process, couples seeking a divorce often rely on other valuable resources in addition to their primary contact. Generally these professionals fall into three categories: legal, mental health, and financial.

They are used formally as an integral part of the CP process, but are often used informally in Mediation to enhance the efforts of the divorce Mediator.

In this particular article, we will be focusing on the legal component. The mental health and financial aspects will be looked at in more depth in future posts. Read More >>

Finding the “New Normal” Post-Divorce

As human beings, we tend to find comfort in traditions and repetition, for they represent familiarity and safety.

When divorce happens, those feelings of safety and comfort are threatened for all involved. Our natural tendency is to cling to what has always been done in the past, in an effort to maintain some sense of normalcy and familiarity. We want to do the same things in the same places with the same people.
Unfortunately, the hard reality is that this is not always doable in divorce situations. This is not to say that a divorcing couple cannot try to get along in order to be able to continue some traditions – but not everyone can make it work. Read More >>

The Gift of Listening

The importance of the gift of listening simply cannot be overstated. This art form is missing from far too many relationships. In my line of work, I often wonder how many divorces could have been avoided if one or both spouses had taken the time to truly slow down and listen to what the other one was trying to say – sometimes without using words.

There are Two Parts to a Conversation.

Both participants in a conversation should be as actively engaged in listening as they are in talking. All too often during a conversation, the person not talking is already thinking about his or her response, or remembering everything on a “to do” list, rather than focusing on the words (and the meaning behind them) coming out of the other person’s mouth. We have all been guilty of this at one time or another. Read More >>