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Free Divorce Workshop

This year, in accord with my resolution to live more mindfully, I am offering the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop for FREE as a contribution to the community. If you know someone who is going through a divorce, thinking about divorce or is faced with other family law issues, please pass this invitation on. If you are experiencing a family law crisis yourself, I invite you to join us on the Second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at my office in Woodland Hills for a roundtable discussion providing information and guidance. Learn about the 7 options for divorce, how to communicate with your ex effectively to achieve goals that are consistent with your interests, and how to restructure your family in a healthy and positive way.

As a California Bar Certified Family Law Specialist, one of my goals is to help clients achieve a successful divorce. It may seem like the words “successful” and “divorce” contradict themselves, but they do not. Experience and academic studies have helped us identify the basic elements of a successful divorce. “Successful,” as used here, means to complete the process of emotional separation, establish a new center of balance as a single person, maintain the welfare of your children, and develop healthy attitudes toward yourself, your ex-spouse, and your past marriage.

As in life itself, absence of conflict is not part of a successful divorce. A degree of anger and conflict is natural, useful, and constructive. It helps break the bonds of attachment and old patterns in the relationship, stimulates reflection, and enables change. (Excessive and destructive conflict, however, requires special treatment – usually the intervention of divorce coaches).

I ask clients to try to view their “ex” as a problem-solving partner. It is helpful to consider the ‘ex’ as someone who can actively and constructively participate in resolving the issues created by the separation. The closer the parties come to mutuality and balance, the healthier it will be for them and their family.

If you would like to attend the next free family law workshop, please RSVP by calling toll free (888) 852-9961, or reply to this email. To view other upcoming free events at The Law Collaborative, please visit www.thelawcollaborative.com/events.htm. I encourage you to forward this invitation to your friends, family, and colleagues.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year,

Ron Supancic, CFLS
The Law Collaborative, APC
21051 Warner Center Lane, Suite 100
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
T: (818) 348-6700
F: (818) 348-0961
www.thelawcollaborative.com/

Love Yourself

Happy Holidays to all of you, and the warmest Greetings for the coming year.

This holiday season we are making an effort to live mindfully. At the suggestion of one of the staff at The Law Collaborative, we have jointly decided that the funds normally spent on holiday cards, gifts to each other, and a Holiday meal at a restaurant, would be better spent in a more creative and mindful manner. We have collaboratively chosen to donate the funds to a family that we are sponsoring through a local organization.

Birth is involuntary. Death is inevitable. That is the cycle of life. It begins with a single inhalation. It ends with a single exhalation. In between, we take a finite number of breaths; the single most important activity in life. Each breath we breathe can be an invitation to live more fully, more consciously, and more attentively.

Mindfulness is conscious attention to each moment that we live. It’s not easy but when we succeed, we find it’s worth the effort. Mindfulness is at the heart of appreciation, gratitude, respect, and love. When we embrace appreciation, express gratitude, and show respect, we experience love in wonderful ways; love of nature, love of beauty, and love of humankind, including ourselves.

In loving awareness, love for self is able to well up, fill us, and spill over to refresh and irrigate others. How strange that Self-love becomes the heart of our love for others. Love for others is the prescription for the redemption of the ills of the world. Until we learn this essential lesson, we will continue to experience hostility, unhappiness, and war.

That is why this holiday we are making an effort to live mindfully. You are helping us to make this possible. Thank you for your support in 2011, and your continued support in 2012.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year,

Ron Supancic, CFLS
The Law Collaborative, APC
21051 Warner Center Lane, Suite 100
Woodland Hills, CA 91303
T: (818) 348-6700
F: (818) 348-0961
Toll free: (888) 852-9961
www.thelawcollaborative.com/


May Newsletter: Retiring?

Who Wants to Retire?

What we have learned over time about retirement is that people in their twenties don’t plan because they think they’ll never die. People in their thirties don’t plan because they are too busy building careers and keeping up with the Joneses. People don’t plan during their forties because they’re too busy paying off their kids’ college tuition. Most don’t start planning until their fifties, sixties, and seventies and sometimes that’s too late. It’s not too late for you. When are you going to plan? Is your plan current? Know that laws change every year and plans need to be reviewed and updated to reflect these changes.

We are pleased to announce that we’ve joined Wealth Counsel, the premier Estate Planning organization for Estate Planning Attorneys. We offer Estate Planning services to clients who are considering reviewing, renewing, or initiating their estate plan. We can draft your simple or complex will, a living trust, or a more complex and elaborate wealth transfer plan. Call us today. We are here to serve you.

On another note…

Let’s Bring Back That Loving Feeling

Dr. Mark Goulston wrote an article titled, Human Cooling, Global Warming, & Childhood Obesity, that reflects his observations of our society today. How we’ve replaced listening with lecturing, taking responsibility with excuse-making, contentment with immediate gratification, value with ROI, giving with taking. This is not true for all people, but, unfortunately, it is true for many. Why? Why have we replaced joyful laughter with laughing at others, and gratitude for our blessings with disappointment for what we lack? According to Dr. Goulston, we’ve done it because we’ve lost sight of life’s positives. We grasp at ‘stuff,’ to fill the gaping hole left behind.

The more we make excuses, blame others, react without listening, and indulge in resentments, the more likely we will consume, buy, take, and grab to fill the void. The more we listen, contemplate, give to others, and take responsibility for our actions and choices, the more complete and whole we begin to feel. Dr. Goulston recommends the following powerful exercise to anyone who wants to bring back more of those loving feelings.

1. Think of someone you are grateful to, why you are grateful to them, and the difference they have made in your life. Contact them (or a surviving family member if they have passed) and tell them. Thank them.

2. Think of someone to whom you need to apologize. Contact them and apologize. If it’s been a long time say, “This is a long overdue apology, but time slipped away and I felt too embarrassed to contact you. I’m contacting you now to tell you I ____________________. I was wrong and I am sorry.” If you use email, write in the subject line, “A long overdue apology,” which should get their attention.

This exercise will uplift you and give you a new attitude towards life. It will be easier to take care of your health and you will be able to model these positive, powerful behaviors for your children. To read Dr. Goulston’s article, click here.

Best wishes,
Ron Supancic, CFLS and Robert Borsky, Esq.
Partners at The Law Collaborative, LLP

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News from The Law Collaborative

News from The Law Collaborative

Ron and Robert are pleased to announce that they will be presenting a workshop at the 2011 Orange County Mediation Conference along with Kathryn Dager, President of Profitivity Inc. Be sure to check out our Events page for more information.

Also, this Saturday is Breakfast with Ron and Robert: The Second Saturday Divorce Workshop. This month Irene Smith, CDFA will discuss important financial issues, and Dr. James Walton will discuss the emotional issues that arise during divorce.  You may not need this workshop, but someone you know does. Register by Friday, March 11 and get a 50% discount on the registration fee. Register online at TheLawCollaborative.com/SecondSaturday.htm or call our offices at (888)852-9961.

The Marriage Eulogy

By Ty Supancic, Esquire

There is an old saying, “History is written by the winners.” In litigation, there are winners and losers. We believe that when parties in crisis choose mediation over litigation, everyone has the potential to come out a winner. If the winners write history, why can’t the winners in a dissolution write their own history?

Fifty years after a divorce, the children and grandchildren of the original divorcing couple will tell and believe a story about why their parents and grandparents divorced, what kind of people they were, and what aftermath or legacy they left behind. A couple going through a dissolution has the opportunity to write what they would like that story to be. By writing that story, and by keeping that story in mind, they can guide their actions and decisions in such a way that the story can become a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy. Without having the story as a guideline, the parties are building without a plan, traveling without a map. They’ll build something and end up somewhere, but not with anything or anywhere they would have hoped.

The exercise of having individuals who are going through a dissolution of marriage write a “Joint Divorce Story” is not a new idea. Ron has been recommending it to his clients for years. Unfortunately, few ever take the time to engage in this useful exercise. Oftentimes they confuse the Joint Divorce Story with a mission statement or their short-term goals. The exercise might be more easily understood if it is renamed “The Marriage Eulogy”.

One of our paralegals, Maria, told me that when she was in high school, the nuns had them write their own eulogy as part of a “Death and Dying” class exercise. The idea was that by writing about all the great things they wanted to be remembered for when they died, one might be guided in making decisions during their lives. The Marriage Eulogy has the same goal.

Click here to read the rest of the article…

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Very truly yours,
Ron Supancic, CFLS and Robert Borsky, Esq.
Partners at The Law Collaborative, LLP

Someone you know needs this

Somebody you know, somebody you love is in the crisis of their life. 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 this minute.

This Saturday, February 12, 2011, The Law Collaborative is hosting the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop at our office in Woodland Hills. Over breakfast and coffee, participants will hear from a veteran family law attorney, a financial expert, and a mental health professional. The setting is intimate, questions are answered, and concerns are addressed.

Register today and receive 50% off the registration fee. To register online visit TheLawCollaborative.com or email your name, contact information, and payment information to Info@TheLawCollaborative.com. To register over the phone, call us toll free at (888) 852-9961. For more information about the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop, visit RonandRobertonDivorce.com.

Best wishes,
Ron Supancic, CFLS and Robert Borsky, Esq.
Partners at The Law Collaborative, LLP

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50% off Second Saturday

On the second Saturday of every month The Law Collaborative hosts a Divorce Workshop at our office in Woodland Hills. Over breakfast and coffee, participants hear from a veteran family law attorney, a financial expert, and a mental health professional. The setting is intimate, questions are answered, and concerns are addressed. This Saturday, January 8, is our last workshop at the low rate of $50. Starting in February we are raising the registration fee. However, if you register in by 4:00 p.m. today, you will receive a 50% discount. That’s a $1200 value for $25. It’s our way of saying “thank you” for trusting us with your legal concerns.

Register today by calling our toll free number (888) 852-9961 or email info@thelawcollaborative.com.
For more information about the Second Saturday Divorce Workshop, visit RonandRobertonDivorce.com.

Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy New Year,
Ron Supancic and Robert Borsky,
Partners at The Law Collaborative, LLP

Visit our blog at RonandRobertonDivorce.com
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Be our friend at Facebook.com/TheLawCollaborative

Happy Holidays from Ron & Robert

Warmest regards and sincere best wishes for a wonderful Holiday Season
from Ron, Robert, and All of Us at The Law Collaborative, LLP

Greetings!  Our warmest thoughts go out to our friends and colleagues who have made our success this year possible.  This Holiday Season, rather than sending out ‘hard’ greeting cards (with envelopes & stamps),  we’ve decided to donate the cost of cards and postage to The Smile Train, an organization that provides cleft palate surgeries to afflicted children all over the world.  We hope that by doing so we’ve given a good many small needy children something to smile about.  If you are interested in making your own donation to this worthy cause, contact them at www.smiletrain.org.

As this year rolls to an end, here is a to-do list for the coming weeks:

1.  Remember that the tax filing deadline for individuals and partnerships is April 15, 2011.
2.  Opening and/or contributing to a Roth IRA seems to be more advantageous every year.
3.  If there have been changes to your estate, you must keep your heirs informed.
4.  Schedule a Legal Check-up early in the New Year to help plan for your future.
5.  Find something to be thankful for every day. Breathe deeply and often.

A Happy, Healthy, Prosperous, and Peaceful New Year to all of our readers.

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November Newsletter

Peacemaking in Italy:
The Law Collaborative and Mediators Beyond Borders Go Abroad
An article by Ron Supancic

Last month, I traveled to Italy as part of a group sponsored by Mediators Beyond Borders, to speak at several seminars held to affirm the ideas of Global Peacemaking.  The following is taken from one of my presentations:

“When I was a little boy growing up in Seattle, Washington, I studied the life of an extraordinary Italian man. Several days ago I had the privilege of kneeling and praying at the tomb of this man, Francis of Assisi. He lived during a time of dissonance, distress, and hostility, amid a crisis of violence and bloodshed. He had been a soldier. He was taken as a prisoner and spent a year in a dungeon. Through his suffering he came to the awareness that violence does not end violence. He came to the conviction that there had to be another way. He realized that he must give his life as the example of this new and different way. In so doing he founded the Franciscan Order based on poverty, charity, and good works.

We also live in a time of crisis, conflict, violence, and bloodshed. Innocent people are dying in unprecedented numbers in many places around the globe. Our leaders only fuel the flames with their failed efforts to force peace through war. It is again time for a new and different way.

Not long ago, Ken Cloke, a mediator from Santa Monica, watched paratroopers dropping into Bosnia with machine guns and grenade launchers.  He wondered what the outcome would be if they came bearing tools of peacemaking, rather than weapons of destruction.  If the paratroopers were facilitators of dialogue and mediators of conflict, carrying only the skills and technology of dispute resolution. What if their message elicited and encouraged disputants to stop, listen, and reflect in a mindful way that promoted understanding and invited participation? His musing was the birth of Mediators Beyond Borders. Still in its infancy, but engaged in eleven countries around the world, it is helping to build indigenous capacity with tools for dispute resolution wherever requested and invited.

My own journey is similar. A scorch-and-burn litigator for over thirty years, I knew my training in traditional methods of dispute resolution left wreckage and chaos in its wake. Mediation opened the door to consciousness and collaboration, and underscored the need for signed agreements to avoid litigation by both parties and counsel. First I used the services of a court mediator. Then I became a court mediator. Now I am a member of a Collaborative Firm that, first and foremost, promotes consciousness, awareness, discernment, and litigation avoidance whenever and wherever possible.

Having known Ken Cloke for several decades, and as impressed as I was with his intelligence and empathic peacemaking skills, I was immediately drawn to the vision and mission of MBB. Attending the Annual Congress, serving on Committees, and becoming familiar with the caliber and the talent of my professional colleagues among MBB members has confirmed my belief that this organization, by virtue of its values and the quality of its aspirational intentions, would only attract the best of the best.

If you only read one book about Mediation, it must be Conflict Revolution by Ken Cloke.  It paints a picture both breathtaking and inspirational of the possibility of peacemaking on a global basis. It deserves to be translated into all languages and shared with all people who seek to peacefully change the world. The information is essential to the present task we face together.

When I was a little boy growing up in Seattle, I read, ‘Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.’ I still believe that. I believe you do as well. Welcome to the Revolution.”

For more information, visit TheLawCollaborative.com.

Please call us if you have any questions. We are here to serve you.

Best,
Ron Supancic and Robert Borsky
“Bringing Peace to the Legal Process”

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Why Mediate?

Dear Friends of the Law Collaborative,

Why Mediate?

What’s in it for me? That is the question that a client usually asks when mediation is suggested. Ideally, mediation of a divorce case will save people; will save them angst, alienation, and money. Mediation requires that both lawyer and client clearly and specifically identify their ideal solution to the dispute, and both are advised to carefully consider the other party’s desired outcome as well. Mediation can be a Win-Win proposition if those involved really want it to work. From the outset, The Law Collaborative’s goal is to design a settlement agreement that will realistically fulfill the basic needs of all of the parties to the mediation. We happily and readily employ the word, “compromise.” To compromise, cooperate, concede – in other words, to find the middle ground and occupy it. This is the place from which people are able to negotiate their way through dispute to agreement.

Learn more about Collaborative Law:

Many lawyers consider that they are competent to practice collaborative family law because they believe in settling cases and resolving disputes outside of court. However, a willingness to settle is not the only requirement. The attorney who wishes to employ collaborative law in his practice must have a thorough knowledge of negotiation skills, and understand the underlying theories and strategies of negotiation. Minimum standards for collaborative family law practice are continually expanding, as the work continues to attract more followers throughout the country. The Law Collaborative is pleased to provide education for attorneys and other collaborative professionals, making available new tools, technology, and information generated by professionals successfully engaged in the practice. To those professionals interested in learning more about collaborative practice, consider attendance at our 3 day workshop coming in November!

We also invite you to our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop, which will take place on August 14th at our Woodland Hills Office. Attorney Robert Borsky of The Law Collaborative will address the legal issues in divorce. Irene Smith, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, will discuss the financial issues associated with divorce. A marriage and family therapist will also address emotional issues in divorce situations. This workshop is beneficial to anyone contemplating divorce, or curious about their options. Pre-registration cost is $45, or $50 at the door. Breakfast will be served. Please call our office at (888) 852-9961 for registration and additional information. We are here to serve you.

Best,

Ron Supancic and Robert Borsky

“Bringing peace to the legal process.”

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How much support can I get?

Part Two of the discussion launched in last month’s newsletter, the calculation of parental Child Custody time, begins with an important first step: determine the average weekly time that your child spends in your care. Use the information from last month to calculate the specific hours. There are 168 hours in each week, 7 days at 24 hours each. There are 52 weeks in each year. 168 x 52 = 8736. Next, add holidays, and those Mondays or Fridays that extend your weeks or weekends (such as Memorial Day). Then calculate vacation time, birthdays, and special days like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.  Don’t forget to account for school closure days and other such events. Total these figures and you should have an accurate estimation of your time/custody percentage. Be certain of your numbers, since miscalculation may cost you additional negotiation, litigation and/or child support payments. If in doubt, review the calculations with your attorney or the paralegal in charge of your case.

Summer is officially here, and with it our next Second Saturday Divorce Workshop, which will take place on July 10th at our Woodland Hills Office. California Certified Family Law Specialist, Ronald Supancic, of The Law Collaborative, will address the legal issues in divorce. Irene Smith, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, will discuss the financial issues associated with divorce. Christine Campisi, Court Mediator, will speak regarding childrens issues in divorce situations. This workshop is beneficial to anyone contemplating divorce, or curious about their options. Pre-registration is $45, or $50 at the door. Breakfast will be served. Please call our office at (888) 852-9961, for registration and additional information, or email IG@TheLawCollaborative.com.

Visit Ron and Robert on Divorce on iTunes for additional information.

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Be our friend on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/TheLawCollaborative

And please, if you have any questions, give us a call. We are here to serve you. (888) TLC (852) – 9961