I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. She describes divorce to “having a really bad car accident every single day for about two years.” Wow – what a concept! I don’t think they were mediating …
What Can You Agree On?
I’m excited because I just finished mediating a case that really worked. To be honest, the first time I met the couple, I really had my doubts. If he said the sky is blue, she’d say, “you’re lying – you know it’s green!!” I mean they couldn’t agree about the most basic of facts. But they both clearly loved their daughter, and they were both responsible parents. The problem was that the mother wanted to move to another city, … read more »
“A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there’s less of you.” – Margaret AtwoodWhat started as a partnership in marriage (or coming together) has become a (perhaps unwitting) partnership in divorce (or splitting apart.) It is a long and painful process, particularly when there are kids or real estate involved. Which is the best process for you?The Starbucks Approach. You and your partner can sit down over a cup of coffee and work out the details together. … read more »
The Motivation to Mediate (or Collaborate)
Are you sure that you want to mediate or engage in the collaborative process? Is this a process that makes sense for you and your partner? If so, why? People come to mediation for many different reasons. Some want to keep things private, and avoid as much of a public record of their divorce as possible. Others want a chance to tell their whole story, which they know they would not get to do in court or in a process … read more »
The Four Divorces
It has been said that people go through several different divorces – emotional, social, physical and legal. The couple that was once connected in a million different ways now has to learn how to untangle. The first three apply whether the couple was legally married or not. Even though divorce only applies to people who are legally married, there may be legal issues that arise when unmarried couples split up, as well. Emotional divorce occurs when the couple is no … read more »
The Willingness to Disagree
One of my mentors, Gary Friedman, lists four criteria that you need to mediate: – the motivation to mediate– self-responsibility– the willingness to agree– the willingness to disagree (A Guide to Divorce Mediation: How to Reach a Fair Legal Settlement at a Fraction of the Cost. NY: Workman Publishing, 1993) These criteria apply to the collaborative practice, too. In my next few posts, I will explore the four criteria, starting with the last one. “The willingness to disagree in a … read more »
Whose kids do you want to send to college?
Whose kids do you want to send to college – yours or your lawyers? I am amazed when I hear how much money people spend on legal fees in a divorce. Perfectly rational people who will go across the street to save a few cents on gas, who will shop at big box stores to get that volume discount, who are smart consumers, will waste thousands of dollars paying their lawyers to prove that they are right. Is it really … read more »
Obama and Mediation
“In the end, then, what is called for is nothing more, and nothing less, than what all the world’s great religions demand – that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Let us be our brother’s keeper… Let us be our sister’s keeper. Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well.” — Barack Obama, Philadelphia, PA, March 18, 2008. Mediation is built … read more »
- « Previous Page