If your spouse is a louse I’ll get you the house. That Dr. Seuss-like saying was the on the business card of a litigator I met at my first training on collaborative law. While his card was memorable (that was over 16 years ago), alas, his name was not. (I just googled the saying to see if I could find his name and came up with a lot of information about head lice. Hah.) That little diddy is funny, but … read more »
Who Gets the Benefit of the Doubt?
My sister-in-law posted a piece by DEI trainer Madison Butler on LinkedIn this week that started, “I always keep the receipts. As a Black woman, I feel compelled to keep every receipt, document everything I do, preserve every paper trail. I delete nothing. I throw nothing away … When Black women talk about racism, homophobia or other abuses we deal with, people demand to see the receipts. That is the writing of someone who does not expect to be given … read more »
Collaborative Law: A Different Way to Divorce
The media often portray divorce with ex-spouses lawyered up as courtroom adversaries — the same folks who once pledged to hold each other through better or worse now as mortal enemies fighting over the turf of their children’s hearts and minds. Going through a divorce can be a challenging, trying process. The reality is that divorce is usually much more complicated and nuanced. Most clients I see are sad and confused and grieving and tender and thoughtful and hurt … read more »
Separating – but Not Too Far
I was recently quoted in the New York Times in an article about couples – particularly those with children – who continue to live near each other after they get divorced. While living near your ex is not for everyone, it can have its advantages. For instance, When the children forget something at the other parent’s home, it is no big deal to go get it. Parents don’t have to worry about pick up and drop offs. The children can go … read more »
Is That Prenup Really Fair?
Lee and Carolyn were in love. Carolyn loved Lee so much that she moved her children from Delaware to Long Island so they could be a family. After 8 years of dating, Lee finally proposed. Lee suggested a prenuptial agreement. Carolyn was so relieved that they were finally getting married, that she said, “I’ll sign any piece of paper you put in front of me and I won’t even read it.” And so he did. Lee gave her the agreement … read more »
What Makes a Good Marriage? II
Last week I started to blog about an article I read recently in the New York Times, “The Happy Marriage is the ‘Me’ Marriage,” by Tara Parker-Pope. She cites researchers who have looked at the question of what makes a marriage. A Dutch researcher, Caryl Rusbult, found that it was the “Michaelangelo effect,” – partners ‘sculpt’ each other to help them each achieve their goals. US professors, Arthur Aron and Gary Lewandowski, Jr. refer to the concept of ‘self-expansion” – … read more »
What Makes a Good Marriage
I just finished reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book, Committed, which is a modern look at marriage. (You know her as the author of Eat, Pray, Love). She has an interesting take on it, in part because she has an international perspective. And she delightfully weaves her personal story with more global views, much of which come from Stephanie Coontz‘ more scholarly research. Marriage for love is a relatively new phenomenon – in the past it was much more about property … read more »
Either/Or or Both/And?
My friends and I used to talk about a concept of “both/and” as opposed to “either/or.” What we meant was that, when making group decisions, we could look for solutions that were good for the group as a whole – and therefore each person in the group (a win-win approach), rather than one person winning at the expense of another losing. This really describes the basis of mediation and collaborative process, as opposed to litigation. It’s not about individual … read more »