Mommy and Daddy Don’t Live Together Anymore

BJ Mann

BJ Mann

I often ask clients what they think their children understand about why they are living separately. What the parents say to the children may be far different from what the children actually hear and understand.

The Child’s View of Divorce

Imagine that your child is talking to his/her best friend about the divorce. What would you hear? Often it is something like: “My Mom and Dad don’t live together anymore because they fought all the time. They say everything will be OK, but it sure feels awful now.”

The Disruption of Having Two Homes Instead of One

Helping your children through the transition of living separately takes planning. It may take what feels like an Academy Award-winning performance by the parents to discuss plans with the kids. This is when you have to put your pain, grief, and mourning behind your children and not in front of them. You want to make sure that your words are coming through a filter of resiliency, not a filter of pain.

Read the rest of BJ’s article to learn helpful transitional strategies for you and your children.


Tennis and Mediation – What On Earth Would They Have In Common?

David Louis

David Louis

I am a Family and Divorce Mediator. I also play tennis; in fact, I play a lot of tennis – 4 to 5 times a week.

So why would I write about tennis and mediation in the same article?  The answer is simple – playing tennis and being a spouse in divorce mediation require similar skills.

- Focus Under Stress
- Confidence and Control
- Accomplishment

Read the rest of David’s article to learn how tapping into these skills will help produce a better outcome during the process of divorce mediation.


What’s Perception Got to Do with It?

Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram

“It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau

What’s perception got to do with it? Everything! Thoreau couldn’t have said it any better. To illustrate this concept on a very personal level, I would like to share with you an experience I had nearly eight years ago. To this day, I continue to reap profound benefits from it.

In the summer of 2006, as I was in the process of switching my career from that of ‘regular lawyer’ to that of coach and mediator, I decided to do something very different that would hopefully assist me in my new endeavors. I enrolled in a 5-day course entitled “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.” This course was based upon a book of the same title written by Betty Edwards, a professor of art with a doctorate in art, education and the psychology of perception.

I had absolutely no experience with drawing, and in fact could not even draw a decent stick figure. Truly! I had read about the differences between the left brain (verbal, analytic, rational) and the right brain (nonverbal, intuitive, spatial) and wanted to understand how this course in drawing might, as Ms. Edwards claimed, enhance my overall creativity and intuition.

Read the rest of Susan’s article to learn how a big difference could be made with a small change in perception.

Resolving Family Rifts Through Mediation

Jennifer Safian

Jennifer Safian

As mediation becomes more frequently THE option of choice for couples going through separation or divorce, many families are also realizing that mediation is a great tool to help them work out other types of crises they may be experiencing.

In a previous blog, I told the story of divorced parents who came to mediation because their 17-year-old son wanted to go from living with his mother to living with his father.

Read the rest of Jennifer’s article to learn how other types of family rifts can be resolved through mediation including:

  • Visits with grandchildren
  • Financial disagreements
  • Care of the elderly
  • Second marriages
  • Marital mediation where there is no intention of separating.

The Five Stages of Divorce

BJ Mann

BJ Mann

Many people liken the end of a marriage to a death, and, in many respects, that is accurate. It is the end of a dream and a vision that had sustained you for a long time. There have been many comparisons to the five stages of death described by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying.

Divorce Stages: Your Own Path Is Unique

Keep in mind it’s very unlikely to go through these grief stages linearly, one after another. It’s very common to circle back to a previous stage. You may find yourself letting go of anger, moving towards sadness, and then be triggered by anger again. Over time, you will find you stay in each stage for shorter and shorter periods, healing more quickly, with less disruption of your life and fewer repetition of the stages.

Learn how to deal with the stages of divorce by reading the rest of BJ’s article.


Dancing to the Edge

Ada Hasloecher

Ada Hasloecher

We know that old adage: “Be careful what you ask for because you might get it.” How many of us have lived to see this come true! I see this maxim not so much as a warning, which tends to paralyze us, but more as a caution which makes us stop, think and take things into more careful consideration.

Rarely does anyone come to the mediation table dancing a jig. Separation and divorce is serious business – very serious business. No matter how much one may feel they have reached the point in their marriage that separating is the only option; no matter how clearly they may feel that it is absolutely the right thing to do; it is still a huge event laden with many weights that need to be measured very carefully.

Even when this difficult work has been done and the “reluctant” spouse agrees to the mediation and hence, the separation, it doesn’t always guarantee that the march to the finish will be a straight line. I’ve had more than a few mediations where the spouse who pressed for the divorce began what I can only call the “dance to the edge,” only to back away at the last minute.

Read the rest of Ada’s article to learn how to mediate the successful conclusion of a marriage.