Legal solutions exist for spouses who want a peaceful divorce, even where one of them suffers from serious emotional issues or mental illness. In a collaborative divorce and in some mediated divorce cases, the divorcing couple selects not only attorneys for legal help, but also mental health professionals as divorce coaches. These coaches assist with effective communication between the divorcing couple. As experienced marriage and family therapists or psychologists, they provide education and support to clients and professional team members to facilitate the educated and peaceful resolution of issues. Where one of the spouses suffers from mental illness, this may involve more heightened involvement of the divorce coaches. In many cases, depending upon the depth of emotional issues and even where mental illness exists, the clients’ goals can still be amicably achieved. Appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem in Collaborative Divorce or Mediation Cases: In cases where a … [Read More...]
New Research Finds The Lack Of Parent-Adult-Child Connectedness Negatively Impacts The Well-Being Of Parents Of Gray Divorce & Can Deliver A Severe Blow To Their Recovery.
For the past three decades, the divorce rate for those 50 and older, known as "gray divorce," has continued to climb in the U.S. and abroad. In 1990, 9% of persons getting divorced were aged 50 and older. By 2019, more than 36% of people getting divorced were at least age 50. Researchers predict that by 2030, the divorce rate for this population will grow by another third. Divorce is the second most stressful life event, second only to the death of a loved one. Divorce can undermine individual well-being. Research also indicates that most people are distressed long before the divorce begins and remain so several years after divorce. Research about adult children of divorce found that some adult children avoid parental conflict by reducing contact with their parents. Parent-Child Relationships and Parent Adjustment in Gray Divorce. Carol writes: Miriam, a 53-year-old successful businesswoman, shares her experience. "I can't believe I'm in this situation! About two years ago, … [Read More...]
While it’s true that navigating the road of divorce can be bumpy and unpleasant, I firmly believe you have within you the power to ease some of the strain. I was divorced after 24-years of marriage and I know from personal experience that going through divorce can be mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing. I’m in the financial wellness business and I identify as a “Fiscal Fitness Coach”, it allows me to be unabashedly my authentic self. By employing the coach’s mindset, I have one mission and that’s the help people to better outcomes. It means I can say whatever I believe to be true if I have conviction that it’s in the best interest of those I serve. It also means that I don’t sell anything. People can take my advice or leave it. Although I know a great deal about financial planning and investments, it’s not the same thing as marital asset division. So, I turned lemons into lemonade by becoming a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA). My practice is focused on … [Read More...]
Creating a legal life legacy plan can be daunting. Excuses like “I don’t really have anything”, “I’m young and healthy”, or “I’ve just never gotten around to it” can lead to heartbreak, stress, and costly court proceedings for our loved ones, should the unexpected happen. This is even more challenging if you are legally separated or divorced. Everything you worked to preserve can be turned over to your spouse or former spouse, if you don’t create a legal plan detailing your wishes. There are some common misconceptions and complications if you are legally separated compared with divorced. But, in either case, with some work, you can get your plan in order to protect yourself and your loved ones. Estate Planning when you are Legally Separated (still married) A legal separation differs from a divorce in that it does not end the marriage. While property like homes, cars, and financial accounts and certain legal obligations are resolved, the marriage stays in place. Whereas at … [Read More...]
Introduction: Divorce is without doubt one of the most challenging experiences a person can get through. It involves emotional upheaval, uncertainty about the future, and the end of a once-cherished romantic partnership. Fear can become a constant companion during this journey, casting a shadow over decision-making and exacerbating existing conflicts. As a family law attorney with a focus on mediation and collaborative divorce, I have witnessed how fear can hinder the divorce process and impede the path to a peaceful resolution. When a couple is in litigation, they may soon find that all of their fears turn into reality but that does not need to be your story. In this article, I aim to shed light on the role of fear in divorce, its impact on individuals and families, and how mediation and collaborative divorce can help alleviate these fears and enable the spouses to be active participants in a path to peace. Fear is a natural response to uncertainty, loss, and change. In the … [Read More...]
Coparenting with a toxic ex-spouse can be challenging, but it’s not impossible to find ways to navigate the situation effectively for the well-being of your children. Over 30 years of research indicate that that ongoing parental conflict increases children’s risk of psychological and social problems during and after divorce and into adulthood. The higher your conflict, the more likely your children will suffer. You may see them exhibiting symptoms like loss of energy, depression, anxiety, difficulty focusing, sleep disturbance, isolating from family and friends, and acting out. And some children outwardly seem “ok” but are struggling inwardly. Here are some suggestions that may help: Remember, effective coparenting may require time, patience, and perseverance. While it can be challenging, your commitment to creating a positive environment for your children can profoundly impact their well-being now and into the future. 1 BIFF for Coparent Communication by … [Read More...]
Death is a certainty for everyone. Divorce is a certainty for roughly 48% of all Californians, according to recent studies. Divorce is also the second most traumatic event a person can experience; second to the loss of a loved one. People going through contested divorces often experience significant emotional and physical stress. So, it should come as no surprise when a spouse becomes incapacitated or passes away in the midst of their divorce. In one of my high-conflict mediations, the couple had finally reached agreements, the wife had already signed the judgment, but the husband missed his signing appointment. I later learned that he had a heart attack on the drive to my office and died. What happens with the divorce? DEATH OF ONE SPOUSE BEFORE THE MARRIAGE IS FORMALLY ENDED: If either spouse passes away before the judgment ending the marriage is entered, the family law court loses jurisdiction (legal authority) over all issues, except for those already formally decided … [Read More...]
I recently moved to Long Beach, California, from the Inland Empire and I’m amazed at how dog-friendly this town is. I can pretty much take my dog everywhere: stores, restaurants, cafes. Watching dogs interact, you notice unique personalities – the introverts, the hippy-dippy free spirits, the rambunctious ones. This reminded me of just how aware and connected dogs are to the people and events around them. I once had to travel internationally and leave my pup behind. We adopted my sweet pup as a rescue when he was about two years old. A couple of years later, we had to take this trip for a week. I checked in with the sitter each night, and all was going great, until our last night away. The sitter called to report that she had to take him to emergency for vomiting and had blood in his stool. Of course, my greatest fears realized, I approved whatever the ER vet recommended. I picked him up the next day straight from the airport, paid the $1,000+ vet bill, and followed up with my … [Read More...]
As more and more couples are waiting longer to marry, California lawyers are seeing an increase in requests for Premarital (also called Prenuptial) Agreements. By the time they get married, many people already have assets, such as retirement accounts and real property, and some even have children from a prior relationship. During the COVID19 pandemic, many people experienced the downsides of not having a premarital agreement and/or updated estate plan; with the loss of remarried loved ones, they also lost their family legacy to a stepparent or step grandparent. In one case, mom passed away quickly and, having no “prenup” or estate plan, stepdad, by default, got mom’s premarital assets. Result? Her two adult sons (who did not get along with stepdad) were given a couple of jet skis and were told to go away. Stepdad kept the family home, mom’s car, bank accounts, and personal belongings. You never think it will happen to you, until it does. Despite its negative reputation, prenups can … [Read More...]
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by Diana L. Martinez Collaborative Lawyer and Mediator, Law and Mediation Office of Diana L. Martinez California is one of nine “community property” states as it relates to divorce. This […]