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How To Have A Better Divorce

Here are some tips and suggestions to help make the process of divorce a little bit easier. If you follow these suggestions, you will save yourself a lot of potential frustration down the road.

1. Always take your file with you everywhere.

2. Keep a journal. Write down every significant event, conversation, discussion and action of your spouse at the time it occurs.

3. Keep a ledger. Write down every financial aspect of your case to assure a complete, accurate, and legible record of all the financial aspects of your case.

4. Memorialize every agreement with every person who is interested/involved in your case. Keep/send copies.

5. Meet with your attorney in person to design strategies for your case. Explore consensual dispute resolution; confirm everything in writing.

6. Know your strategy; do not deviate without advice and counsel.

7. Participate in the preparation of your case; draft, document, investigate, gather information and pre-interview all witnesses.

8. Let your attorney know when s/he is on track or off.

9. Schedule regular spit and grouse sessions with your attorney. DO NOT let resentments accumulate.

10. Keep your account current at all times and offer security if you fall behind.

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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Children In Divorce

One day I decided to indulge myself in a personalized license plate frame for my car. A salesman explained to me how much room I could use for whatever sentiment I wanted to express to fellow drivers. I chose, ‘No Court Divorce. Where the child comes first.’ That phrase has, over the years of my practice, become my professional motto.

When couples start having trouble in their marriages, the emotional impact is so great that the children and their needs seem to go into eclipse. Sometimes things are so disrupted for a season that children no older than nine or ten find themselves taking care of a distraught parent. No dependent child should ever, under any circumstances, have to take care of a parent.

I learned about the problems of children in divorce gradually and haphazardly as my law practice grew. My perspective was limited until I attended a seminar conducted by Judith Wallerstein in the early eighties. Through her influence, I began to see the bigger picture of what actually happens in the homes of the people who are my clients. Her book Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope With Divorce, coauthored with Joan Berlin Kelly, is a landmark.

There is nothing a divorcing parent – or any parent, for that matter – can do to shield a child completely from pain or injury. But there is a lot parents can learn that will keep them from contributing to the child’s pain and injury. And every parent can learn to help a child deal with pain appropriately and to grow through it to great maturity.

One of the ways parents can help their children is by having a peaceful divorce.  Collaborative divorce uses licensed therapists as divorce coaches to help couples deal with the emotional divorce, so that their children don’t have to.  Each spouse has their own coach who will help them examine and understand their feelings and assist with face-to-face meetings with the other spouse.  The coach helps the client state their needs and desires in ways that make them easier for their partner to hear.  The coach helps divorcing couples to understand and suitably respond to each other’s needs and desires, process and express difficult feelings,  identify and appropriately respond to triggers that may derail communication and they assist the entire family in processing the changes inherent in a divorce. The divorce coach helps the children by helping the parents work together effectively to plan the family’s future.  They help the attorneys work together productively, and help the parties achieve a divorce settlement that is fair, fast and economical.

When divorcing couples negotiate amicably, communicate effectively and co-parent peacefully, their children will thrive. Divorce is painful, but it doesn’t have to leave scars.