Most of the time, once a couple decides to get a divorce, the children are not surprised to find out. It is very likely that their home life has been tense for a while and that fights have been ongoing between their parents. But even though they may suspect that their parents are having trouble, kids usually still hope it will not end in divorce.
To help ease children into the acceptance of the coming changes to their family life, it is a good idea for divorcing parents to sit down (together, if possible) with their kids to discuss in general terms what is going on. If they have not already been living separately, the parents should explain that they will soon be living apart and that other changes will begin happening as the family structure gradually shifts. Read More >>
March 2015 marks three years since Massachusetts’ Alimony Reform Act went into effect, but new case law applications continue to unfold. This fluid state of interpretation by the Court has led to attorneys and other family law professionals trying to sort out how to best advise and inform their clients as to their best courses of action.
Even as professionals and the Court endeavor to get on the same page, they remain unsure as to what that “page” looks like – making their job difficult, to say the least. Read More >>
Our Divorce is Over, but Life Circumstances Have Changed. Now What?
If you used Mediation or Collaboration to work out the details of your divorce contract, you will be less likely to face ongoing or serious conflict with your former spouse. That is because these processes are client-centered and allow the parties to determine their own outcome, so they are able to create an arrangement both can live with.
That being said, life still happens, through no fault of any one person necessarily. Often years – or even months – after a divorce, life circumstances shift, or somebody decides the plan isn’t working like s/he thought it would. One party may feel s/he struck a bad bargain and wants to make a change. Read More >>
Parent coordinator is a tool that has been used over the last 10 years to help the children of high-conflict parents. A qualified third party professional works with the parents to help put the needs of the children first. Read More >>
If you are struggling in your marriage and have read through any of my previous posts looking for answers, you have likely realized by now that there are several options available to you. Perhaps you have asked yourself (I hope!) how, in your particular case, you can best reduce animosity and eliminate an unnecessary loss of time and money.
If you are wondering how to learn more about these processes so that you can better determine your future, here are some places to start. Read More >>
In my line of work, Mediation and Collaborative Practice fall under the umbrella of what has been coined alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Other methods of ADR include arbitration and conciliation.
I was reflecting recently that it is rather ironic that what should be the first step for a couple considering divorce (in my opinion, at least) is defined by a word like “alternative”. Cordial attempts to arrive at an equitable divorce settlement with the help of trained professionals definitely makes more sense as a first effort than does jumping headfirst into costly and lengthy litigation. History backs me up on this as well; traditionally, the mediating efforts of third parties have been used in divorce cases long before courts and attorneys arrived on the scene. Read More >>
Often when married couples encounter rough spots in their relationship, well-meaning friends or family members encourage them to see a therapist or to go for couple’s counseling. Many people are not aware that another option is also available: Marital Mediation.
Marital Mediation is an option I often bring up with couples who come to me to begin divorce proceedings – especially if I sense any ambivalence in one or both parties when I ask if they are in agreement as to next steps. Read More >>