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Helene Antel, Lawyer and Peacemaker – P.4

If you have been following along for the last three weeks, you are familiar with Helene Antel’s story. If you haven’t been following along, you should start now. Her story is incredible. A former criminal prosecutor district attorney, a ferocious advocate for her clients, and a victim of domestic violence. Listen to Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

This week Helene talks about what she learned from her life experiences and how they changed her attitude about the practice of law. She discovered that being kind, patient, thoughtful, and charming, made her a better, more effective lawyer. In her words:

“The long drawn out expensive divorce litigation is the perpetration of the anger, the fight. It’s that neither party is willing to move on; the fighting is just a way to maintain a connection. If you declare peace, then the relationship is really over. Without knowing it, many people are not ready to truly separate themselves from their partner so they connect through a long drawn out battle. But you can choose not to fight anymore. You can choose to learn how to mediate your conflicts or manage your conflicts and keep the family together.”

Listen now to the fourth and final interview with Helene Antel, lawyer and peacemaker.

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The New Divorce “Fad”

Collaborative Divorce helps people worldwide

For those who think Collaborative Divorce is just a fad, you should read this article from Open.Salon.com.

Collaborative Divorce is not a fad. It’s a new way to help couples separate while keeping their family intact – and all over the world, it’s working for the common good.

Budget Cuts Imperil Access to State Courts

photo by s_falkow via PhotoRee

Across the nation, state court systems are facing severe budget cuts that may result in a delay of justice for many.  Because so much of the budget of the court is personnel, staff reductions are one of the only options. California has been no exception. In their frantic effort to stem the tide of red ink in Sacramento, legislators have cut $350 million from the state court budget, with more cuts to follow. A local newspaper is calling it “Courtmageddon.”

For someone contemplating braving the courts to get a divorce, the news is grim. Twenty-five of San Francisco’s 63 Superior court chambers have been shuttered. Two hundred of 480 employees will be getting pink slips. “It will take a year and a half to get a divorce in San Francisco and to get a child custody order. If you file suit, we won’t do anything with your case for five years,” San Francisco Superior Court spokesperson Ann Donlan said. Unfortunately, Los Angeles County may not fare much better. Right now, it is common for a lawyer in Los Angeles to face an eighteen-month delay when filing an order to show cause. That can be catastrophic if the matter concerns custody of children, visitation, or any number of other sensitive issues.

Getting on with one’s life is paramount, and a lingering, costly battle in court is the last thing anyone wants. It simply stretches out the pain, multiplies the cost, and hurts your children.

However, there is a glimmer of hope. Collaborative Divorce offers a different, and less destructive, path to reconstituting the family. Ron Supancic, a seasoned litigator and expert in alternative divorce strategies, is recommending collaboration as a sensible alternative to the embattled and clogged state courts. The professionals and resources of The Law Collaborative can make the journey shorter, less traumatic, more equitable and leave more goodwill and cooperation than traditional divorce.

For more about the benefits of Collaborative Divorce, click here.

Non-Communication Can Cost You

This is a risk of “traditional” divorce that doesn’t come up often. Traditional divorce doesn’t teach you to communicate with your ex spouse, but rather to have an adversarial relationship, where non-communication becomes the norm. If you think that’s fine, think about the following situation, involving two parents, two sets of lawyers, and one wise old judge.

The custodial parent moves and enrolls their child in a new school, but fails to communicate the details with the other parent, who comes to believe that the child would be walking home along dangerous, busy streets and coming home to an empty house. That parent files a temporary restraining order to prohibit the enrollment. The truth is that the custodial parent had in fact taken all concerns into account, and the child was at no risk. The non-custodial parent based their fears on hearsay, and the restraining order had no merit – so, after reviewing the evidence and the custodial agreement, the judge threw it out.

But, and this is a big one, he didn’t grant attorney’s fees to the custodial parent. Why not? The restraining order had no merit, after all. The judge decided that court was a poor substitute for a simple conversation. In effect, he punished the custodial parent, who was acting within their rights, for not pro-actively communicating with the other parent. Mediation or collaborative divorce can help avoid expensive and wasteful litigation not just at the time of the divorce, but years down the road.

On October 18th, The Law Collaborative is offering Tips, Tricks & Strategies for Divorce, a seminar that will provide tools for moving a stuck case forward, how to communicate effectively with a former spouse, tricks for negotiating even when negotiation seems impossible, and more. The workshop is $25 in advance or $35 at the door. Licensed attorneys who attend will earn 1 MCLE credit. Anyone contemplating or going through a divorce is invited to attend.

Register online at www.thelawcollaborative.com or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

$25 Divorce Workshop at The Law Collaborative

After much consideration, we have decided to try a new approach to the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop. We’re still offering tools, strategies, and information from three top divorce professionals, but the program is more compact and more affordable.

Join us Saturday, October 8, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at our office in Woodland Hills for a comprehensive workshop about the divorce process. Robert Borsky, Esquire, of The Law Collaborative will speak about the legal divorce, Pete Collins, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, will discuss important financial and tax issues that most people don’t know about, and James E. Walton, PhD will cover emotional agendas, how to help the kids, and how to deal with your ex. Breakfast is included.

The new rate for our two-hour Second Saturday Divorce Workshop is $25 in advance, $35 at the door. For more information or to register online now please visit www.thelawcollaborative.com/secondsaturday.htm or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

Hold Onto Your Hat

photo by RaidersLight via PhotoRee

This article by J. Richard Kulerski, a Chicago based divorce lawyer, is brilliant. What he says in this article we’ve been saying for years. Hallelujah, Mr. Kulerski.

From Hold Onto Your Hat: Introducing the New Way to Divorce:

The public is displeased with the divorce legal system, and sees it as too complicated, lengthy, and costly. The argument is that the system should satisfy society’s needs, not frustrate them. Heck, many soon-to-be exes are now spending more on their divorce than they did on their wedding. We need to change how we divorce, but the problem lies in figuring out what to change it to.

This is not as impossible as it sounds, but it does require our doing the last thing on earth that we want to do: treat our soon-to-be ex and their settlement position with respect and understanding. This does not mean being weak; it means being smart. Listening to their side of the story is the cheapest concession we can make.

This is the civilized approach to divorce. It calls for us to behave at our best, at a time in our lives when we are inclined to act at our worst. Up to now, we have felt entitled to act at our worst, and the result has been disastrous.

Read the full article…

Randy Morrow, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist, P. 2

Ron and Robert engage in a lively discussion with Randy Morrow, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist (CREDS), about why you’re better off hiring a specialist to help you sell your home during a divorce. They address common questions like: What is the distinction between a CREDS and your average realtor? How is a CREDS qualified to help couples going through a divorce? How does a CREDS protect your assets? Why might a CREDS choose not to help you sell your property?

One of the things that distinguishes Randy from other realtors is that he does not represent one spouse or the other. He represents the divorcing couple, he offers complete transparency, and he has years of experience selling real estate and helping people in the middle of divorce. He knows how to help couples cope with their emotional agendas and he knows when to set boundaries. Listen to this week’s podcast and learn how you can protect your assets and your interests during divorce.

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Someone You Know Needs This Workshop

Someone you know, someone you love, is in the crisis of divorce. They need to know the information that we offer in this workshop. Please forward this information to your friends, your family, or your professional colleagues who are in crisis.

The next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop is coming up August 13th. Speakers will include Attorney Robert Borsky,  James Walton, Ph.D., and Pete Collins, CFP. Attendees will get their questions answered regarding child custody, the divorce process and fees, spousal and child custody guidelines, and how to protect themselves in court. Register online and get 50% off the registration fee by clicking here, or call us toll free at (888) 852-9961.

Baby Boomer Break Ups

Photo credit: FoxBusiness.com

Why are so many Baby Boomers divorcing? An article  by Casey Dowd for the column ‘The Boomer” interviews Karen Stewart, a divorce and relationship expert, on this topic. Stewart answers questions that cover, for example, the most common reasons for splits among the age group, how Baby Boomer’s can protect their wealth and children, and if she believes the trend will continue.

When there is a lot of money in marriage, divorce is a reasonably easy financial solution because when it comes to dividing the assets, there are enough for both parties. Marriages with not a lot of money tend to be more financially strained which can lead to stress and increase the risk of divorce. The baby boomer generation is hit most by those extremes.

To read the interview in its entirety, click here.

Saving Money During A Divorce

Last night’s seminar, A Woman’s Journey To Financial Independence, was a success. Thank you to those who attended and expressed their appreciation for the outstanding information. For those who were unable to attend, not to worry, we’re hosting another financial seminar on August 16th: Wine Tasting and Real Estate.

In this new podcast featuring Irene Smith, who presented last night and is co-hosting Wine Tasting and Real Estate next month, she and the partners have a lively discussion about what spouses should know about finances before and during a divorce case. In addition, Irene explains to Ron and Robert the advantages to working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, including how a CDFA will save you time and money.

Click the play button to listen now.

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Listen to last week’s interview with Irene here.
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