By Paula J. Swensen, Esq.
As family law collaborators and mediators, we know all too well how the emotional aspects of a divorce can threaten to derail what often begins as a stable and effective process toward a peaceful resolution of our clients’ family law disputes.
Clients come to us for help in resolving their family law matters with the hope and intention of staying out of court. This is a laudable goal, and most everyone comes with the highest intention of achieving that goal. But then, something quite predictable happens… and if we collaborative professionals are not ready for it, the entire process can be unexpectedly hijacked, thereby posing a threat to the successful outcome for our clients and their families. The ‘something’ that invariably shows up is our clients’ deeply held emotions about the unraveling of their marriages, including all of the uncertainty and fear that accompany such momentous changes in a person’s life circumstances. As we know, once strong emotions enter the picture, it is quite challenging to remain in option-creation and problem-solving mode during the collaborative or mediation process. However, that is what we must do, relying effectively upon our best kept secret, the “neutrals”.
… Read More “The Best Kept Secret to a Successful Collaborative Divorce: Utilizing Coaches, Child Specialists and Financial Neutrals to Focus on Interests and Manage Emotions”
By Kristine Rushing, CFP®, CDFA®
Intro: There are many considerations in divorce, but those experiencing military divorce have some additional things to think about. Here are five issues military spouses should be aware of.
Along with cooler weather and thoughts of Thanksgiving, November also brings Veterans Day, providing an opportunity to honor and thank those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. For many, that service has required personal sacrifices, from family challenges to the ultimate sacrifice. Whether during war or peacetime, events such as frequent moves, multiple deployments, isolation, stress of war, injuries, and returns to civilian life can all cause stress and anxiety for service members, spouses and their children. While the military branches offer programs to support relationships, divorce becomes a reality for many. Like their civilian counterparts, military spouses will need to determine a co-parenting plan, asset and debt division, and child/spousal support. However, those experiencing a military divorce need to be aware of some special rules.
1. Jurisdiction and State Law
Generally speaking, a spouse may file for divorce in the state where either spouse legally resides, with minimum residency requirements. However, the laws and treatment of property varies from state … Read More “Five Important Financial Issues in Military Divorce”
A recommended article written by CDSOC member Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, Collaborative Divorce Coach, Child Specialist, Mediator, and Trainer
“Couples who are considering separation and divorce often say that they had difficulty communicating during their marriage. Their communication is unlikely to improve during separation and divorce unless they learn more effective skills. ”
Click the link below to read more:
Intro: The sixth phase of grief for couples and families after divorce bring meaning and renewal.
By Hiram Rivera-Toro & Karen Shipley
Entering autumn is a time of goodbyes. Of saying farewell to summer and all the special memories the season brings: family get togethers, backyard Bar B Q’s, beach outings, and long road trips. September 22, 2020, however, marks the passage of a summer that never was: cancelled proms and graduation ceremonies, June weddings rescheduled, and sheltering at home instead of hanging out. COVID has rendered our lives unrecognizable as we come to realize there’s no going back to the way it was. The past is lost, and the future is uncertain.
Parents facing divorce is much like facing Autumn in the time of COVID. It produces “anticipatory anxiety”, that feeling of dread that accompanies unwelcome change. It is part of a painful divorce experience that, in many ways resembles the type of grief associated with tremendous trauma and loss. Professionals trained in the behavioral sciences identify this as the Grief Cycle (Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD), which include five distinct emotions and thoughts: denial, anger, depression, bargaining (often experienced as wishful thinking, what if’s, and “only If I had . … Read More “Out of every ending, there is a new beginning”
By Bart Carey | Originally posted on https://familypeacemaker.com/fear-and-dealing-with-the-divorce/
All of the emotions that we see during the course of the breakdown of a marriage and the divorce process boil down to fear. I do not say that from my own expertise but from what I have heard over and over again from my colleagues in the mental health profession.
The first victim of any marriage that is going south is communication. As communication breaks down, people cannot solve problems together anymore. So, what they do is out of frustration and they start taking unilateral action. However, because we are in a relationship, what you do affects me. This is when the fear sets in. You lose control and you do not know what’s going to happen next and you don’t understand why your spouse is doing this to you.
This is when the fears arise and what it leads to is a tit for tat situation. It leads doing something that will make me feel like I am back in control of the situation. This back and forth starts to happen and it evolves. All of this happens before the client comes to us in the family law arena. This … Read More “Dealing with the Fear in a Divorce”
By Carol Hughes | Originally posted on www.collaborativedivorcecalifornia.com
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 care of their non-school age children, helping their other children with online schooling, and worrying about the health and safety of their family, extended families, and friends.
If you and your co-parent have had a productive co-parenting relationship before the pandemic, you may be able to see an opportunity to work together and support each other and your children more than you have before. Bruce Fredenburg, one of my colleagues, says that the children are the real wealth of the family. With this in mind, you can become a more united team to preserve that wealth and ensure your children’s emotional and physical well-being.
A healthy co-parenting relationship is vital to your children’s physical and emotional health.
If you and your co-parent have a strained relationship, this time of crisis can exacerbate the … Read More “Co-parenting during the Pandemic Brings Danger and Opportunity”
By Leslee Newman, Family Law Attorney, CDSOC Member
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 cannot enter places of religious worship, attend lectures, professional meetings, go to the theater, to concerts, to movies, or even personally meet with friends. And our children cannot go to school. How traumatically sad for those students in the Class of 2020, graduating from high school and college.
With children now at home full-time, who cares for them, who teaches them, who keeps them busy, and prepares their meals? We are all prisoners of the Covid pandemic, isolating ourselves to avoid this terrible, and often deadly disease, especially for mature and older adults.
And as we sacrifice and struggle to remain healthy, most of us are restricted from our work places, or worse, furloughed, laid off from work, or … Read More “Does Covid 19 Cause Divorce?”
A recommended article written by Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT, Child Specialist and Divorce Coach
The spread of the COVID-19 virus and the subsequent government shelter-at-home orders have upended “life as normal” for California co-parents and their families. Now more than ever is the time for co-parents to work together, support each other, and model effective problem-solving for their children.
Click the link below for tips and resources:
By Patrice Courteau, MA, LMFT and Paula J. Swensen, Esq.
The ending of a marriage can be a minefield of emotions and reactions. A “no drama” divorce helps to shift a mindset from pain and unrealistic expectations to one of managing emotions, learning better communication skills, and gathering information in order to reduce anxiety of divorcing spouses.
In our experience of working together in a co-mediation process, the goal is to reduce the drama by reducing fear, managing both spouse’s expectations, and setting a course for the couple to be able to successfully navigate. We cannot overstate the value to clients of using well-trained collaborative professionals to help them manage the fear and emotion in order to achieve their best family-centered outcome.
While the legal professional is educating on the legal process and the issues presented, the mental health professional (divorce coach or child specialist) is gathering information from the spouses regarding their urgent issues and concerns, including any communication challenges.
Throughout this process, it is essential for the clients to be heard, and to feel that they have an equal voice in reaching a resolution. Often during this process, clients learn a new way to communicate with one another. … Read More “No Drama Divorce…How to Manage Fear and Expectations in a Co-Mediated Divorce Process Using Collaboratively-Trained Professionals”
By Paula J. Swensen, Esq.
Those of us of a certain age remember the immortal words of a successful football coach after whom the Super Bowl trophy was long ago named.
Vince Lombardi famously opined, “Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.” That’s a pithy and fitting philosophy for a coach to use to inspire his or her team to attain greater and greater success on the football field, but we collaborative divorce professionals know that it is not so useful when it is applied in the context of a divorcing couple.
It goes without saying that everybody wants to win. No one wants to lose, regardless of the undertaking or the endeavor in which one is engaged. We know intuitively from a very young age that winning is “good,” and that losing is “bad”. We all want our team to win, and we become frustrated and sometimes angry, when our team loses. We all know from following sports that when there is a winner, there is also a corresponding loser.
This concept of “winning” is ingrained in our being from an early age, and it has now saturated our culture. We want winners, not losers when we choose employees, … Read More ““I Just Need to Win”…How Collaborative Professionals Can Help Shift the Paradigm”