When I was growing up, the expectation for middle-class marriages (which were always between women and men) was that it was the man’s job to earn enough money to support the family, and it was the woman’s job was to have children and to contribute to the economy by spending money. [Of course, I recognize that working-class women (particularly those of color) have always worked.] Couples were expected to stay married for life, and it was very difficult to get … read more »
Breaking the news to the kids
Are you the child of a divorce? If so, do you remember when you realized that your parents were separating? My guess is that you do.What do you remember about it–Do you remember what room you were in? Or what you heard? What did you feel? Who comforted you? What was said? Did your parents tell you or did you overhear something? Was it in the context of an argument or was it presented to you calmly? Did your parents … read more »
Love Me or Leave Me!
I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by my colleagues, Isaiah Vallejo-Juste, Esq. and Meredith Shirey, LCSW for their podcast, Love Me or Leave Me.Isaiah is a divorce litigator, and Meredith is a couples therapist. I have a lot of respect for them both–we all work with NewYork City families, but approach our work in different ways. I thought they did a great job distilling my comments and getting to the heart of what mediation is and how I … read more »
Lawyers Make Things Worse!
“Lawyers make things worse!” I sometimes say to my clients. “They can take people who are this far apart,” I say with my hands about 4 inches away from each other, “and make them this far apart by the time they’re through!” continuing with my hands still facing each other but my arms stretched about 3 feet away. This may seem like blasphemy coming from a lawyer! And I mean no disrespect to my colleagues – but it’s part of … read more »
You Might Have more in Common with Bill and Melinda Than You Think…
Bill and Melinda Gates recently announced that they are divorcing after 27 years. Besides having to address their billions of dollars and their enormously influential foundation, this has brought attention to issues of a mature (or “gray”) divorce. Like many other couples, they waited until their youngest child is about to go off on her own. And they, like so many others, have to plan for a very different future. Divorcing later in life comes up more often than you … read more »
Like a deer in headlights?
Lisa sat in my office and cried silently for half an hour straight. I had invited Lisa and Steve to an introductory meeting to explain the divorce mediation process. He had just asked for the divorce, and she looked like a deer caught in the headlights. At the end of the meeting, she looked over at him and asked, “How did we get here?” Months later, when they actually started the process, her demeanor was very different. By then, Lisa … read more »
Layers of Sound
I have been meditating for a few years, and was part of a workshop recently where the facilitator had us listen to “layers of sound.” I didn’t understand what she was talking about at first. It sounded a little mysterious, and a little woo woo…. But I decided to try what she was asking. And it’s not hard – I’ll show you. (This is an interactive blog post!) Listen – right now – first, to the sounds that are farthest … read more »
The Oscar-nominated film, Marriage Story, by Noah Baumbach, is really a divorce story. It centers on the relationships between Nicole, an actor, her husband, Charlie, a Broadway director, and their eight-year-old son, Henry. The family lives together in Brooklyn until Nicole gets a job on a TV series in Los Angeles – and moves to LA with Henry. From Nicole’s perspective, she and Charlie had a deal that, someday, they would move to Los Angeles, which is where she grew … read more »
What’s in Your Wallet? (Do You Know?)
One of the things that I’ve noticed when I mediate is that one person in a couple is often much more financially literate than the other. What do I mean by this? That one person has a better sense of what things cost, what the family needs, and what their financial futures might be. Often one person pays the bills and the other person has only a vague idea of what the household budget is — just that the credit … read more »
What to Do After You Get Your Divorce Judgment
When we submit your divorce papers to the court in order to obtain a Judgment of Divorce (JOD), the terms of the Settlement Agreement become the law. That means that each party is now bound by the terms of the Agreement. Take a close look at the Agreement and highlight any sections that require action. We will send you one certified copy of the JOD, which has the Court’s official seal and stamp on it. If you need additional copies, … read more »
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