Below is one of my favorite handouts that I share with my clients, so they don’t think they are the only ones who need to improve their communication skills. It illustrates how complicated effective communication can be. Nine Possibilities Between what I think, What I want to say, What I believe I am saying, What I say, What you want to hear, What you hear, What you believe … [Read more...] about What Is Effective Communication During a Divorce?
Collaborative Divorce is a process that puts you in charge of your divorce. In the traditional adversarial divorce process, the judge makes the final decisions. In a Collaborative case, you and your spouse make the decisions that are best suited for you and your family. Through Collaborative, we form a team of professionals who are trained in their specific area to help … [Read more...] about Benefits of Using the Collaborative Divorce Process
Divorce Coaching is not Therapy Divorce Coaches are licensed therapists; however, coaching is not therapy. Coaches do not go into the childhood history of each client nor do they make diagnoses or prescribe treatment plans. In fact, divorce coaches do not actually treat any kind of mental illness. However, tools are provided to help clients cope with difficult feelings, … [Read more...] about What is Divorce Coaching and How it Helps in a Collaborative Divorce Case
During a divorce, many parents fight about what courts call “child custody.” If you ask the average person, who isn’t going through or hasn’t gone through a divorce, to define the word “custody,” the first definition is usually something like “where people go when they are suspects of a crime or convicted of a crime, like in jail or prison.” Why is a word with this most common meaning … [Read more...] about A Child Custody Order or a Mutually Created Co-parenting Plan: Which Is Best
Anxiety and divorce, it’s even worse in the time of COVID-19. Anxiety is one of the most common feelings in divorce. There are so many unknowns. Where will I live? Will I have enough money? Will the kids be ok? Will I be alone forever? How will I parent alone? Am I still lovable? Am I losing my mind? I can’t function at work? How will this all work? These seemingly countless unknowns lead to … [Read more...] about The Divorce Coach: Collaborative Divorce’s Secret Weapon in the Time of COVID-19 and Beyond.
Most people getting a divorce have never been through the divorce process. Naturally, there is a fear of the unknown because it is difficult to know what to expect. As the client, you are in uncharted waters and unfamiliar territory. It is difficult to know what your life post-divorce is going to look like. Fear should be managed because it impacts decision making. Fear and … [Read more...] about How Does Fear Impact a Divorce?
There is no way to keep your divorce from having an impact on your children. All research shows that divorce is hard for them. However, the level of conflict they experience during and after the divorce period is the greatest indicator of the immediate impact on them and to their later successes in life. This includes their future socialization, their future … [Read more...] about Understanding How Divorce Impacts Children
The phrase “in these difficult times” has become a cliché in the months since the Coronavirus or Covid-19 virus changed the world. So much has been put on hold – even the courts have been closed -- you may have assumed you won’t be able to start divorce proceedings. Even after the courts re-open, you may prefer to continue social distancing as much as you can until there is a vaccine or treatment. … [Read more...] about Can You Get A Collaborative Divorce During the Coronavirus Crisis?
Divorce is not easy for anyone. If a divorce is necessary, Collaborative Divorce is probably best for all involved, particularly when there are children. You want to make this as easy of a transition for your child as possible. The Collaborative Divorce process is always designed to keep the best interests of the child in mind. A key benefit is that the process supports parents creating together a … [Read more...] about Co-Parenting After Divorce
Can A Divorce Case Be Collaborative with A High Conflict Personality? The answer to that question is, “Yes,” but first, before we talk more about that “Yes,” we should talk about what a High Conflict Personality is. The High Conflict Personality (HCP) is a term that was first defined by Bill Eddy, founder if the High Conflict institute. A high conflict personality is … [Read more...] about Using Collaborative Divorce in a High Conflict Divorce Case
How you first discuss the issue can set the stage for how the divorce will proceed. Be clear about your goals and what discussion you want to have. Is it: I am feeling that things are so bad; we need to talk about a divorce if we can’t fix it. (possible outcomes include therapy, change, continued conflict, divorce).I want to talk about a divorce (put the possibility on the table, how do … [Read more...] about How Do I Tell My Partner I Want a Divorce?
The pandemic of COVID-19 has swept us up and dramatically changed the way we live in just a matter of weeks. Our existence has become restricted, regulated, and different than we’ve ever known. We have all become isolated in our own homes. The freedom to come and go as we wish has been greatly altered. We cannot go to restaurants, to our offices and work sites, and to many public places. We … [Read more...] about Does COVID-19 Pandemic Cause Divorce?
Separation and divorce are crises for families. The COVID-19 pandemic adds another layer of crisis on co-parents and their children, who are already stressed. The virus is endangering lives world-wide. In record numbers, people are losing their jobs, their income, and their familial and social connections. Those who still have their jobs are balancing working virtually from home, taking … [Read more...] about Co-parenting during the Pandemic Brings Danger and Opportunity
During this time of social isolation and anxiety, children experiencing their parent’s divorce have an added level of stress. Collaborative Coach JoAnn Rodrigues, LMFT, along with colleagues John Osborne, LCSW and Chandler Hoffman, PhD., want to share some insight and suggestions to parents that can help their children manage emotionally. Please note that the following information does not … [Read more...] about Helping Children Weather This Pandemic
These are such uncertain and challenging times for so many of us, especially those of you who are trying to work and parent your children from home without childcare. For those of you who were considering a separation or divorce before the pandemic, the stress associated with sheltering at home may have pushed you over the edge. Thankfully, you do have options. Below are some … [Read more...] about Tips for Separating or Divorcing During the COVID-19 Pandemic
California co-parents and their children are living in unfamiliar territory, that can cause unprecedented stress for all family members. Parents working from home are feeling unprepared for their virtual work life, while trying to manage their non-school age children and assist their older children with online school instruction and homework. For some shelter-at-home orders … [Read more...] about Co-Parenting in California during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities
Facing a divorce isn't easy, and you probably have a lot of different concerns. One of those concerns is certainly the cost of getting a divorce. And with good reason — Business Insider reports that the average divorce in the United States today costs a whopping $15,000. That said, there are a lot of different factors at play, and your own divorce could end up costing well under the average … [Read more...] about What is the Real Cost of Divorce?
Many people wrongly assume that their divorce is confidential. Did you know that all documents filed with the court are part of the public record? Clients are often surprised to learn that everything housed in the court's records is accessible to anyone. This means anyone can go to the courthouse, pull your file, and photocopy or photograph any of the court documents. What Kind of … [Read more...] about Can A Divorce Be Confidential?
How to manage COVID-19 stress on top of divorce stress Perhaps you have decided to divorce or are in the initial stages of separation. Or perhaps you have already separated, and you and your ex are sharing time with your children. Suddenly, you are blindsided by the pandemic. On top of all the stress of the divorce, now we have the stress of the quarantine. What should … [Read more...] about Caught by the Coronavirus Crisis During Your Divorce?
You may want to think twice before you use a smart phone as a recording device during a divorce. In today’s world we are surrounded by smart phones and tablets with advanced recording capabilities. This makes it easier than ever to record conversations without anyone noticing. But you might want to think twice before you hit record, because in California recording another party without their … [Read more...] about Recording Devices and Divorce: Why you might want to put down the phone
When people divorce, how to deal with money and taxes can be two of the most contentious topics of discussion. One of the advantages of the Collaborative Divorce process is the opportunity to work with a neutral financial professional who helps spouses look at the financial big picture as they work to reach agreement. Couples want to know how to allocate the … [Read more...] about What Do You Need to Know About Divorce, Money and Taxes?
How has Israel, a place of ancient cultures and religions, reduced its divorce litigation by approximately 50% in just a couple of years? When Israel was founded in 1948, divorce was the exclusive domain of religious courts for couples of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. As religious divorce generally depends upon the husband “liberating the wife”, if a wife refuses to accept her … [Read more...] about How Israel Substantially Reduced Litigation In Family Court
A child is without question the most valuable and precious thing that can result from marriage. A child is far more important than any tangible possession. Yet, divorce can be messy, heart wrenching, and emotional, and a child is sometimes treated as an afterthought of the situation. All too often, parents choose to get a divorce, battle through legal ties and financial dissection, and then … [Read more...] about What Is A Child Centered Divorce?
In a traditional divorce, parents are often battling between themselves about how to take care of the children, both financially and emotionally, when the family is no longer living together in one household. One of our goals with our clients is to assist them with a post-divorce budget that is related to the children in ways that decreases the contention in a divorce and puts the … [Read more...] about Children, Divorce and Money
According to an article in the New York Times from January 4, 2020, many lawyers see in increase in divorce filings in January after the holidays. Filing for divorce in a new year may be one of those New Year’s resolutions. “That will be the last time I suffer through another New Year’s Eve with [fill in the blank]!” According to the article, people “tend to face the … [Read more...] about Is January the Most Common Month for Couples to Split Up?
Often married adults include as one of their New Year’s resolutions that they are going to “start a new life” by filing for divorce. For this reason, there is an increase in divorce filings in January. This is why January is National Child-Centered Divorce Awareness Month. When parents file for divorce, how does it affect their children? It depends. For decades, the research about children and … [Read more...] about Children the Wealth of Family
Divorce is never easy on anyone but can be especially difficult for children involved. To allow the process and transition to be as smooth as possible for children, using the framework of a Child-Centered Divorce can provide the best results. In a Child-Center Divorce, the divorce process is focused on the best situation and circumstances for … [Read more...] about Child-Centered Divorce: How to Focus On the Children’s Needs
The research is crystal clear -- children of divorce fare much better when parents are able to protect them from the adults’ conflict. They do this by making a conscious choice to prioritize their children’s interests, control their urge to fight, and work as a team. This does not mean that you give in to the other parent on everything to avoid a fight or give up your rights. But it … [Read more...] about Children and Divorce
Dividing property incident to divorce is not just putting your assets into one pile for each spouse. You also must divide the debt that the community has accumulated during the course of your marriage. In California, community property includes all assets and liabilities incurred from the date you married until the date you separated other than separate property that was given by gift … [Read more...] about Dealing with Debt during Divorce
Marriage Story is an Academy Award nominated movie produced by Netflix about the marriage and divorce of a young couple. Scarlett Johansson plays Nicole and Adam Driver plays Charlie, the parents of Henry, who are navigating the difficult waters of the end of their marriage. The movie is a remarkable and compassionate representation of a couple who still has love for each other but … [Read more...] about Avoid the divorce in “Marriage Story” with a Collaborative Divorce
For you, the decision to divorce differently may be a wise one. You may have heard horror stories about your friend or family member’s divorce. That there was a battle lasting for years; that they came out of it with relationships damaged and worse than when they started; that it was rough on the kids. That untold sums of money were spent fighting. You may have decided that you want to … [Read more...] about Collaborative Divorce or Mediation: Which is Best for My Divorce?
Divorce is costly, in more ways than just money. Generally speaking, the higher the conflict and the more broken the communication and trust, the more expensive your divorce will be. But, with a little planning there are ways you can reduce the overall “cost” of your divorce. There are 5 main cost factors in a divorce: Family and relationships: the impact on your children, extended … [Read more...] about Top 5 ways Collaborative Divorce can save on Divorce Costs
You’re not alone. After hearing all the legendary horror stories, you know you don’t want one of your own. You wonder: Will the divorce hurt my children?Will I be wiped out financially?Will I be able to have a decent home? Will I ever be able to retire?Will I be able to handle the anger, grief, and uncertainty? Will it be an ugly, expensive battle? Well, there is no magic wand, … [Read more...] about Are You Afraid To Get a Divorce?
Making the life changing decision to divorce is often overwhelming. There are many things to consider, such as how the children will be affected and how you will restructure your family moving forward. Making the decision on how to accomplish your divorce can be as important as the decision to divorce itself. Collaborative divorce can help couples move more quickly through the divorce … [Read more...] about What are 3 Collaborative Divorce Myths?
Can I keep my current spouses’ insurance, what is this going to cost me and can I be denied? Weekly I receive emails from clients across CA regarding options for Health Insurance. Fortunately, with the ACA – The Affordable Care Act under the Obama Administration, everyone Qualifies for coverage regardless of their previous or current health condition. Prior to this Act, 85% … [Read more...] about Will I Lose My Health Insurance When I’m Divorced in California?
It depends. Annoying answer but true! In California, family law attorneys and mediators bill clients hourly rates ranging from $300 - $800 per hour, depending on the professional’s years of experience, location and reputation in the community. In my opinion, the cost of a divorce will vary depending on the following variables: The process option chosen;The … [Read more...] about How Much Does a Divorce Cost in California?
Here is a summary overview of the divorce process in California. There are certain things that have to be done in every single divorce case, no matter how amicable or how contentious you and your spouse are: File the divorce Petition. The divorce Petition is filed in the county where one of you has lived for at least the last 3 months.“Serve” a copy of the Petition on the other spouse … [Read more...] about How Do I Get a Divorce in California?
The effect of divorce on minor children has been a hot topic for decades. But divorce can also significantly impact adult children whose parents are divorcing. These adult children report many of the same feelings and experiences. “My friends at college say I should be glad they didn’t divorce when I was younger because that would have been a lot worse. It’s like they expect me to just … [Read more...] about You Have Chosen to Divorce: Are Your Adult Children Too Old to Hurt?
You have decided to divorce. How to do it? Go to a Divorce Options class and find out how it all works. You can get a good sense of which process to use by attending this class where all of the options are reviewed. In SF and other counties, it’s inexpensive, and in some counties it’s free. Get support from family and friends for yourself and your children, and maybe even for … [Read more...] about Addiction and Divorce- Part 2
Considering divorce with an addicted partner? According to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Approx. 16 million Americans have Alcohol Use Disorder. Adding drugs and behavioral addictions to this number, it is not surprising that a lot of divorces include concerns about one or both parties’ substance use. Is this really addiction? Do I have the … [Read more...] about Addiction and Divorce- Part 1
Recently, I read an article on the internet titled “How Much Is Child Support In Your State?" taken from the website CustodyXChange.com”. Did you know that every state in the USA has its own law and mathematical formula as to how to calculate child support in its family law courts and that the use of the statewide child support calculator is mandatory if the parents go to … [Read more...] about The Advantage of Child Support Calculation Through the Collaborative Divorce Process
As a family law attorney, what sets me apart from other lawyers? Well, I like to think that it is my compassion, kindness, and the fact that I really care about my clients. I want to help each person transform their life and finish their divorce stronger than when they began. So many couples don’t know that they have a choice, and that they don’t have to slug it out in … [Read more...] about Why I Prefer to Assist Couples Peacefully Through Divorce
You have made the life-changing decision to divorce your spouse. Your next decision may impact your life going forward almost as much: “How will I get divorced?” You have three process choices: litigation, mediation and collaborative divorce. Here are my seven best reasons to choose a collaborative divorce. 1. Collaborative divorce keeps you out of court. The … [Read more...] about Seven Reasons to do a Collaborative Divorce
Divorcing spouses who own a business have an option for a goal-oriented, amicable process: Collaborative Divorce. This process promotes cooperation and partnership instead of a public and potentially destructive litigation procedure. It provides solutions for the couple and the business that aren't available if the courts become involved. Collaborative Divorce Is a Shared … [Read more...] about The Benefits of Collaborative Divorce for Small Business Owners
If you’re reading this blog, you have a lot on your mind. You’re considering divorce. You want a lawyer to help you through, but you also hope to save time and money. You may think you don’t have that option but consider collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce is a no-court divorce option where collaboratively trained lawyers and other professionals help you and … [Read more...] about Three Ways Collaborative Divorce Can Save You Time and Money
Stephen Covey’s seminal book on productivity and personal transformation, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, has a lot to teach us in how to be effective at moving through divorce. Here is an introduction: Habit 1 – Be Proactive. Take responsibility for your own experience. Do not place responsibility for your experience in the hands of your spouse or the attorneys (or, God … [Read more...] about The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Clients in Divorce
Yes, no matter what process you choose for your divorce, the California Courts require full financial disclosure of all income, assets, and expenses. Honestly, I think this is an important requirement even though it can be difficult and cumbersome. In mediation or collaboration where both parties are working together the financial disclosure process can be less complicated because there is … [Read more...] about Financial Disclosures during my Divorce, really? Do I have to?
Divorce lawyers have a saying that they help good people on their worst day. To get you through your worst day you need legal support from someone you trust. You also need to be sure you choose the right process. If an attorney is not trained in collaborative divorce, then you have already ruled out one positive path for completing your divorce just by selecting that untrained … [Read more...] about How To Choose a Divorce Lawyer.
According to Research from the University of Washington, the number of divorce filings in a number of states consistently peaks in the months of August and March. What’s behind the monthly up-tick? Several factors could be at play. Spouses may decide to file for divorce in August, following the family vacation and before the kids start school. But what explains the spike in March, several … [Read more...] about It’s the Season for a (Collaborative) Divorce
One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What will the divorce cost?” I believe that it is one of the most important discussions everyone should have with their attorney and spouse. Getting educated on what type of budget needs to be established for the family that is going through a divorce must be completed. The budget will be driven by what process you and your spouse … [Read more...] about What will my Divorce cost?
Couples divorcing are representing themselves or relying on information from the internet or a self-help center to guide them. Having practiced family law in Northern and Southern California counties for 38 years, I’ve watched the practice of family law evolve. It used to be that most couples seeking divorce or legal separation had lawyers to represent each spouse, or at least one lawyer … [Read more...] about Self-Help is Not the Best Remedy When it Comes to Divorce
There is a discouraging lack of civility and professionalism among litigation attorneys which has tarnished the legal community for the past 30 years as set forth in a recent California Court of Appeal decision. The case of Lasalle v. Vogel, G055381 (2019) is a legal malpractice action, wherein the Court of Appeal noted thirty years ago, in 1989, that attorneys are ‘officers of the court’ and … [Read more...] about Embracing the Professionalism of Collaborative Divorce Lawyers
Getting good financial advice as part of your divorce process can be one of the most important decisions you make. During this highly emotional time you are making some of the most important financial decisions of your life. High emotions and important financial decisions, a good match??? Not usually. So who do I trust? It depends, but a simple answer is a professional trained in both … [Read more...] about Alphabet Soup of Getting Professional Help with Your Divorce Finances
If you’re over 50 and getting a divorce, you are not alone. The “Gray Divorce” phenomena refers to the increasing number of people who divorce later in life. Twenty years ago, 10% of divorces involved people over 50. Today, that number is up to 25% per Dr. Susan Brown, Bowling Green State University sociology professor and co-author of The Gray Divorce Revolution. There’s less social … [Read more...] about Gray Divorce: Over 50 and Getting a Divorce, Now What?
There is no bright line test when choosing between Divorce Mediation or Collaborative Divorce. However, examining the following six factors will be helpful in making a good decision: 1. How important to you is having a “good divorce?” The primary difference between Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Divorce is the level of support you will get while negotiating. Collaborative Divorce … [Read more...] about 6 Factors to Consider When Deciding Which Process is Right for You
Collaborative Practice utilizes a team approach to the divorce process. As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA), I want to share with you how I see tremendous value in a team approach to asset division. The typical litigation model using a divorce attorney includes a listing of your assets and a “reasonably fair” division worked out by the … [Read more...] about The Benefits of a Collaborative Approach in Division of Assets and Debts
Is an amicable divorce possible? If so, how is it done? Many want to have an amicable divorce but worry about how to talk about financial concerns, how to file for divorce and how to parent children without starting World War III. Couples are used to arguing about finances and often feel they get stuck in unproductive arguments and that they can’t communicate. Here are … [Read more...] about Five Things you Need for an Amicable Divorce
What is the story of your marriage and divorce? When speaking with your friends or family, what is the story you tell of your relationship? Are you talking mainly about the arguments or misdeeds, betrayals, disappointments, and losses? Do you focus on the negative experiences and overlook or even deny the positive experiences? Is it possible that you are defending yourself from your … [Read more...] about Must We Say We Did Not Love? Honor the relationship that ended through a new story and rituals.
The financial professional in a collaborative divorce plays a critical role. There are two financial professional roles and they are distinct, the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, CDFA® and the Divorce Forensic CPA. This blog will address the role of the CDFA®. A future blog will talk about the role of the Divorce Forensic CPA. The Certified Divorce Financial Analyst – CDFA® … [Read more...] about The Role of the Financial Professional in A Collaborative Divorce
Collaborative Divorce: Here’s how a Divorce Coach can help: Dealing with a divorce is often more distressing than people realize, and, there is a process to meet your needs, and the needs of your family; Collaborative Divorce offers clients wrap around services for all phases and stages of the divorce process. With Collaborative Divorce, not only does each spouse have an attorney, each spouse … [Read more...] about How Can A Divorce Coach Help In Your Collaborative Divorce?
How can I be getting divorced after working so hard for marriage equity? You worked for and celebrated joyfully when marriage became legal. It was so emotional. You finally married your love. Now you’ve tried hard, but you are unable to happily stay together. Are you betraying the community? As a therapist, a mediator and a coach in collaborative divorce I have worked with … [Read more...] about The Emotions of an LGBTQ Divorce
What is Disclosure? If you get divorced in California you have to Disclose…period, end of story. What does that mean and is anything different in a Collaborative Divorce? “Disclosure” refers to financial disclosures. What do we have, own, owe and make. It’s an inventory of everything you own (assets), everything you owe (debts), and all of the income for both spouses. … [Read more...] about Financial Disclosures in Collaborative Divorce
Divorce is hard enough for every couple. Knowing what's the same for gay and lesbian couples, and what is different is a key to a good resolution. The good news-- the answers are knowable, and as in most areas, knowledge is power and promotes positive outcomes for all involved. Collaborative Practice (CP) and other consensual resolution processes like mediation allow both spouses … [Read more...] about 5 Ways Divorce in California is Different for Gay and Lesbian Couples
There are no easy do-overs in divorce. The courts do allow revisiting child support and spousal support in some situations, but wouldn't it be better to do it right the first time? In most couples, one member is more familiar with the finances than the other. This is perfectly normal, but in divorce, both people need to understand the finances to properly divide and manage their money in the … [Read more...] about Avoiding Common Money Mistakes in Your Divorce
You may be asking yourself whether you and your spouse are good candidates for a Collaborative Divorce. The following list of 7 attributes will help you determine whether you and your spouse are good candidates. The more you either one or both of you match these qualities, the better suitable you may be for a Collaborative Divorce. Ability to see the viewpoint of your spouse. Can you put … [Read more...] about Will a Collaborative Divorce Work For Us?
One of our Collaborative Divorce Marin County Professionals recently published an article in Psychology Today. A new approach can improve post-divorce life for the whole family. I want to tell you something important: I know what a bad divorce can be like for a child. My parents continued their warfare for 45 years, until Mom was no longer alive. My 95-year-old dad referred to my mom as … [Read more...] about Is it Possible to Have a “Better Divorce?”
What are the Benefits? What are the Challenges? Thinking about divorce? Know your divorce options. Using the divorce mediation process option provides couples with tools to settle their differences rather than fighting in a court of law. Divorce mediation is facilitated by one or more neutral mediators who help define the issues, encourage out-of-the-box thinking, guide the … [Read more...] about Divorce Mediation
The anger and other emotions that are usually a part of divorce make it pretty hard to be respectful—Can the Collaborative Divorce Process enable the parties to find some level of respect for each other? There are many metaphors people use to describe going through a divorce–one is the “leaver” and the other is the “leavee;” one is the windshield and the other is the bug; one is the bat … [Read more...] about Does Respect Have a Place in a Divorce?
If you ask any adult how their parents’ divorce affected them as children, you’ll get a sad story, even if it has been many years. It is difficult for children of all ages when their family changes. Occasionally, when the level of conflict has been high, the divorce can come as a relief. More often, though, divorce is experienced by children as extremely stressful, with lots of powerful … [Read more...] about How Does Divorce Impact Children?
The Role of Myths in Assessing Readiness for Collaboration Myth #1: Because there is no Judge in the room to hold the client's accountable, there is a myth that one client can take advantage of the other. Truth: Despite not having a Judge, there are multiple professionals in the room and the primary focus of all of them is accountability. Each party has their own team, including their own … [Read more...] about Unbundling Collaborative Divorce Myths
Divorce is hard, and it is one of the most painful times in anyone’s life. Fear about the future will tend to put your dreams and plans on hold. -That fear though can be reduced if you take control of your divorce by learning more about your divorce options.- A Divorce Options Workshop is one of the best ways to begin learning what you don’t know about divorce and to help you decide … [Read more...] about Divorce: Raises So Many Questions