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CyberStalking New Laws and Their Effect on Family Law

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Ron Supancic was interviewed for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal regarding California State’s new laws on CyberStalking and how these new laws will change family Law. Read the article here: 16-02-22 SFVBJ Ron Supancic

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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Helene Antel, Lawyer and Peacemaker – P.3

In last week’s episode of Ron and Robert on Divorce, we heard the story of Helene Antel, a successful, powerful, ferocious district attorney who was the victim of domestic violence. It took her years, but she finally learned how to follow the very advice she routinely gave her clients. Once she learned how to do that, she was able to begin building a life of freedom for herself and her child. When asked what the turning point was that allowed her to start taking her own advice, she says it was when she achieved ambivalence.

Now, she finds herself moving away from litigated court cases because she doesn’t want to make war anymore. She wants to make peace. In her words:

“Violence only breeds violence. Respectful communication breeds solutions. You can get a resolution without all the hate, the fighting and the misery. It takes less time, and it takes a far less egregious toll on the participants.”

Listen now to part 3 of this fascinating series:

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Missed the first two? Listen to Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.

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What Does Assembly Bill 939 Mean for You?

Family Law touches the innermost aspects of a Californian’s life. It determines how often a parent will see his or her child, how much support they will receive, how they’ll be protected from domestic violence, and more.  Last month the governor signed Assembly Bill 939 and as a result, we’re looking at profound changes to the legislature after the first of the year. These changes will significantly impact members of the family law bar, the bench, and the public.  Listen now as Ron and Robert talk about what this important bill means for you.

To download a PDF of Assembly Bill 939, click the following link: Assembly_Bill_939

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And we all may bloom

Photo by Thupancic on Flickr

This is A Serious Girl here, blogging on behalf of Ron & Robert.  I’ve been listening to the podcasts with Dr. Lin Morel and I’ve got to say, she really is amazing. She holds a Masters in Applied Psychology, she’s a Certified Holistic Health Care Practitioner, a Doctor of Spiritual Science, author of Get clear, Get Connected, Get a Job: How to Make Your Job Search Easy, and a fifth degree black belt.  She was also a victim of domestic violence.  She married her childhood love, not knowing that he was mentally ill. As the years passed and his disease progressed, he became increasingly controlling, verbally abusive, and violent.  Then one day in a fit of rage, he strangled her in front of their daughter. In her first interview with Ron and Robert on Divorce, Lin talks about her experience as a victim of domestic violence.

In the second interview, Lin talks about why she stayed with an abusive husband for as long as she did, and how she found the courage to leave. She talks about what she’d do differently if she had it to do again.  She talks about grieving the loss of the man she fell in love with, and how she used art and journaling to express her pain and begin the healing process.

Lin experienced one of the most terrifying marital crises imaginable and yet she found the strength to take control of her life and save herself and her daughter.  She is a cornucopia of insight and wisdom.  In her third interview with Ron and Robert, Lin talks about the need for spiritual divorce, how to find help if you’re the victim of domestic violence, and how you can find your inner power and save yourself from a destructive relationship.

Click the play button below to listen to the third installment of the interview with Dr. Lin Morel on Ron and Robert on Divorce.

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Gale and Jack, The Resolution

[Click here for the first part of the story]

The next week I got a phone call from Jack.  “Hey, what gives?” he asked.  “How come I can’t talk to Gale and I have to talk to you?”
“I think you know that better than I do,” I replied.
“Well, look, what’s it going to take to get you and Gale to lay off?”
“I’m not ready to answer that question, Jack, because frankly, you don’t sound very serious.”

He didn’t say anything for a moment.  I waited.

“Mr. Supancic?”
“Yes?”
“I’m serious.  I love Gale and I want to save our marriage.”
“You have one option.  Obey those restraining orders as if your life depended on it.  Get yourself a place to live indefinitely and settle it in your mind that you’re not moving back in with Gale next week or even next month.  And start sending her the support payments we called for in that Order to Show Cause.  Are you willing to do that?”
He took a deep breath. “Yes.”
“Then there’s something else you can do.”
“What’s that?”
“You can get into a treatment program.”

Jack argued that he didn’t need a treatment program, he could go cold turkey, Gale loved him, he didn’t have anything to prove. I was straightforward with him.

“You said you wanted to save your marriage. Gale’s convinced nothing can change you or your behavior.  The only chance you have of regaining her trust is to face yourself sternly and unflinchingly.  Half measures will accomplish nothing. You’ve spent two years destroying whatever trust and admiration Gale once had for you.  The burden of proof is squarely on you and it’s a big burden.”

Six months later Gale called and asked me to have the restraining orders lifted.  I explained to her that that wasn’t necessary and it would be wiser to leave them in place.  I told her she could readmit Jack into her life without violating them, but if the experiment flopped, the orders would still be there to fall back on. But Jack had been clean and sober for six months, they were in counseling, and she was ready to have the orders lifted.

You can imagine my joy when I saw them together a year later.  They were happy, healthy, and on sound footing.  They followed through, got professional help, saved their marriage and saved themselves.

Gale and Jack

If you’re contemplating divorce and you answer most of these questions affirmatively, you need to take a good hard look at yourself.  It may be time to admit that you’re partner isn’t the problem, and divorce won’t solve anything.  It will only add to your problems and if you have kids, the divorce could do them irreparable harm.  Find a good therapist, start couples counseling, and refocus your energy on what you can do to save your marriage.

Suppose, on the other hand, that the answers to those questions are not so positive.  Gale was the mother of an infant child.  She and Jack had been married less than two years.  In those two years he had gotten heavily into drugs, and for the last year he had been dealing.  When Jack got high, he got physically abusive to Gale.  When I met her, she still carried the traces of her most recent black eye.

“I’m really involved in my faith and my church,” she explained to me.  “So, I’m not eager to be divorced.  But my pastor told me I should come and talk to you.  What can I do?”

The law can help a person like Gale get some leverage with her husband.  A judge could, on proper request, make an order that would give her immediate, temporary relief by imposing emergency restraints on Jack.  Jack would have to appear in court to explain his conduct.  He would have to comply with the temporary restraining orders and he could be ordered to begin paying Gale support money.  Those restraining orders would tell him he was not allowed to live in or even come to the front door of her apartment.  They would tell him he couldn’t harass Gale in any way, in person, by phone or by email.

I sat and explained all of that to Gale.  Then I continued, “If he disobeys any of those temporary restraining orders, he faces the possibility of arrest and imprisonment for contempt of court.  And he’ll also have to show cause why he shouldn’t have to pay for my services to you and for the court’s costs.”

“No kidding?”
“Not one bit.  Women across the country are faced with the same predicament you’re in. And, if they’ve got the courage to stand up to their husbands, the courts are ready to stand with them.”

I had known, almost from the moment she walked into my office, that Gale was not a woman who was used to being a victim.  She had not come to me looking for safety and she didn’t have any sentimental notions that Jack was going to change because of his love for her.  Instead, her agenda was entirely straightforward: She wanted to stop getting beat up and she wanted to help her husband make a change if that were possible.

Gale signed the requisite documents then and there.  I took them to the court the next morning and they were served on Jack that afternoon at his job.  Gale had his bags packed and waiting for him that evening.  A sheriff’s deputy stood by while Jack picked them up.  Then he was gone.

Read the rest of the story here…

When we follow our inner wisdom

Lin Morel was seventeen when she met the man who would become her husband. He was her childhood sweetheart, and they married when she was just twenty.   But their marriage did not have the happy ending we hope for.  What started as a fourteen year romance became a nightmare when Lin’s husband flew into a rage and strangled her in front of her daughter.  The marriage ended, but the emotional violence did not, and their child became a pawn in an abusive relationship.

Today Lin holds a Masters of Applied Psychology, she is a Holistic Healthcare Practitioner, a Doctor of Spiritual science and author of Get Clear, Get Connected, Get a Job.  She is also a fifth degree black belt and president of AWBW.org,  a non-profit that works to help end the cycle of domestic violence.  Dr. Morel is living proof that when we follow our inner wisdom, life unfolds in an incredible way.

Click the play button to hear Dr. Lin Morel give a great interview for Ron and Robert on Divorce.

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