One More Try—Counseling

BJ Mann

BJ Mann

When clients arrive at my office, they are rarely on the same page. There is always one person more psychologically ready to end the marriage than the other. During our conversation, I may learn that they have either been to counseling or one has begged the other “for years” to go. Now, when reality sets in, one or both, may want to reconsider counseling.

Couples are often surprised at how supportive I am of counseling. I encourage them to try counseling, but consider four important suggestions that can help reduce long-term conflict, build mutual respect, and set the stage for future interactions through the divorce process and afterwards, especially if there are children involved. Read the rest of BJ’s article to learn more about her four suggestions regarding counseling.

School’s Open: It’s a Great Time to Learn and Teach!

David Louis

David Louis

School is back in session again, and it’s a perfect reminder that teaching and learning are lifetime activities.

For the divorce mediator or collaborative divorce professional it’s a special opportunity to support couples in making important decisions by providing information that will assist their decision making. Couples often come with limited knowledge regarding specific topics under discussion.

Fortunately for them, the mediation process offers a classroom to facilitate the beginning of a transformation from an uncertain and under-informed spouse to an informed and more confident decision maker.

Read the rest of David’s article to learn how mediators also serve as educators who give couples the information and guidance they need to make life decisions.

Creating Daily “Listening Time” with Your Child

Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram

An article that recently appeared in HuffPost Parents entitled “The Most Important 10 Minutes of a Child’s Day” triggered my own thoughts about supporting our children’s emotional well-being. The suggestions of the author, Kenneth Barish, Ph.D., a clinical associate professor of psychology at Weill Medical College, Cornell University, were simple, yet very meaningful.

Dr. Barish suggests that a parent spend a few minutes every day (at bedtime or some other convenient time) in “patient listening” with his or her child. During this time, the parent makes a genuine effort to appreciate and understand the child’s concerns and point of view. This doesn’t mean the parent has to agree with the child, but it does mean that the parent needs to actively listen to what the child is saying before criticizing his or her conduct.

The idea is to create a routine in which a child and parent can discuss the child’s frustrations and concerns before issues fester and emotions get out of control.

Read the rest of Susan’s article to learn why she encourages parents to consider this strategy, which she used when raising her son.

il est urgent de ne rien faire! (It Is Urgent to Do Nothing!)

Jennifer Safian

Jennifer Safian

When I was in my late teens and early adulthood, I thought I had it “all figured out.” Who didn’t? But then when I did have doubts, I would become terribly upset because I HAD to make a decision quick! or else – of course – “the world would come to an end!”

When I asked my grandfather, an “older and wiser” man in his early seventies to help me decide, his answer usually was “Il est urgent de ne rien faire!” meaning “It is urgent to do nothing!” Well, doing nothing and being in limbo made me almost more annoyed than his answer and the calm tone in which he delivered it. Nothing could be worse for me than doing NOTHING!

But as I became “older and wiser,” I realized that quite often, that is exactly what we need to do. Nothing. The world does not come to an end if we do not make an immediate decision. In fact, time often helps ideas fall into place.

Read the rest of Jennifer’s article to learn how taking a step back and looking at your options can help you make a well-thought-out decision before taking action.

Got Buyer’s Remorse?

Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov

How often have I heard, “I have a business but I don’t want to spend the money to get it valued. It’s way too expensive. I’ve heard it costs $20-30,000.” During the settlement negotiations, when one spouse has a business or the spouses are partners in the business, it is very important to get the business valued. We need this to determine:

- What each other’s interests are in the business
- What is the marital interest to the non-titled spouse (the person that is married to the business owner)

Read the rest of Don’s article to learn why it’s important to value a business and get all the information about your assets together, so you can negotiate intelligently, backed by all the facts.

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.