Evidence of Grace: When the Marriage is Over But the Relationship Lives On . . .

I was tempted to title this article, “Miss Congeniality Wins Again,” but I suspect that Sandra Bullock doesn’t really see it that way, and I certainly don’t want to be insensitive or appear disrespectful. What I am is completely impressed and a bit in awe of how she handled herself through her recent personal and family crisis.

When most people hear the words “graceful” and “divorce” in the same sentence, they think to themselves, “Yah, right!” But Sandra Bullock’s handling of her situation is exactly that. She has modeled a “graceful divorce” for the rest of us.

Think about it.  She had …

Continue Reading »

Is Divorce Contagious?

Has divorce gone viral?

A recent study shows that divorce is contagious and can spread—through family, friends and co-workers.  In fact, the researchers found that couples whose close friends had split were 75 percent more likely to get divorced themselves. They call this trend “divorce clustering.”   Surely this is disturbing news for many married folks who have friends who are divorcing.

The team of researchers, led by Rose McDermott at Brown University, reviewed material from a study of 12,000 Massachusetts residents since 1948, and reached the conclusion that divorce is contagious. Their conclusions are startling and provocative, to say the least:

If you …

Continue Reading »

Out of the Mouths of Babes ….. Top 10 List of Do’s and Don’ts for Parents Going Through Divorce

I work with parents and children experiencing divorce every day. Sometimes I’m the lawyer for Mom or Dad, and sometimes I’m the lawyer for the children.  As the lawyer for the children (called a Guardian ad litem), I’m appointed by the court to represent the “best interests” of the children.

Many states provide for these appointments in contested custody cases. After all, Mom has a lawyer and Dad has a lawyer, but it’s really about the children. Shouldn’t they have a voice? I enjoy this role of advocating for the children because it gives me the opportunity to work with them …

Continue Reading »

Getting Divorced….Without Breaking the Bank

Unfortunately, divorce is a fact of life.   The statistics are that nearly half of all first marriages end in divorce, and the rates of divorce for second and third marriages are even higher!  And while we may hope these numbers are wrong, the undeniable truth is there’s plenty of divorce going on.  We all know someone  who is thinking about separating or going through a divorce or who is already divorced.

What I’m finding in my practice, mostly because of the current economy, is that people are looking for the least expensive way to settle their issues and to reach a …

Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Getting Divorced….Without Breaking the Bank

Collaborate or Mediate? Part II – Which way do I go?

Recently I wrote about how collaboration and mediation are alike and how they are different.  I’ve had a number of clients ask me recently about these two ways of going through divorce, and which way is best.  The only response I have for them is, “Well, that depends.”

Let’s explore this a bit further, and I think you’ll see what I mean.  Collaborative divorce is worth considering if some or all of the following are true for you:

You want a civilized, respectful resolution of your issues.
You would like to keep open the …

Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Collaborate or Mediate? Part II – Which way do I go?

Collaborate or Mediate? Part I

This is a question I’ve been getting from clients lately with increasing frequency.  When they make that decision to pursue divorce, and they want to go through that process as “gracefully” as possible, they have a number of choices.  There is no “one size fits all” way of divorcing, so their decision will be based on their personal situation, needs, and relationship with their spouse.

What they want to know, and often have a hard time grasping, is the difference between Collaboration and Mediation.

Here are a few ways the processes are similar:

Both are based on the interests, needs and goals of …

Continue Reading »

Comments Off on Collaborate or Mediate? Part I

Stalking – Be Wise, Don’t Minimize!

Recently there have been a number of sad and disturbing stories in the news about stalking crimes, including murder of stalking victims.  And recently I’ve had a number of clients who have definitely been victims of stalking behaviors by their “former” significant other.

As a bystander, I was able to see the red flags all over the place, and once I pointed out the classic stalking behavior to my client, you could almost see a shiver go through them. It is very scary to be on the other end of a stalker’s attention.

What exactly is stalking then?  The definition goes something …

Continue Reading »