The Collaborative Premarital Agreement Process – A Better Way to Start a Marriage
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...]
What is a Divorce Coach and Why Do I Need One?
The Divorce Coach: A Vital Member of the Professional Collaborative Team As has been proven, the collaborative model works so well because all of the members of the collaborative team play an equally-critical role in the success of the collaborative process. We know that emotions can run high during a divorce. We also know that emotions can get in the way of rational thinking, and the ability to access the cognitive areas of our brain, which is critical for effective problem-solving. Divorce Coaches are best-suited to help clients move past the emotion of a given impasse, and past the high emotions of the divorce itself, and to help clients focus on realistic options to obtain a more favorable outcome for their families. What is the Role of a Divorce Coach? A Divorce Coach is a licensed, mental health professional who has specialized training in Collaborative Divorce and Mediation. The Divorce Coach is a co-equal member of the clients’ Collaborative Divorce Team. In a full … [Read More...]
Thinking about Divorce? This Is What You Need to Know
Perhaps you have already tried counseling. Sadly nothing has worked. One or both of you have decided on divorce. If you decide to divorce the most important next decision you will make for your family is what process to choose. Divorce has two tracks and they operate simultaneously. There is the Business Track and the Emotional Track. If the Emotional Track is not handled well it can easily knock the Business Track off course, create enormous damage to your family, including your children, as well as cost you more money and time. The Business Track generally involves attorneys and financial specialists. The Emotional Track benefits from the expertise of a well trained and experienced Divorce Coach. In most places, there are four ways to get divorced. Unfortunately, many people only know about two options. Get an aggressive attorney and fight it out Try to do it yourself. These two choices above carry significant risks. Trying to maneuver your way through a complex legal system … [Read More...]
How Can a Divorce Coach Help You During Your Separation and Divorce?
The word "coach" has many meanings. Collaborative Divorce Coaches differ significantly from the "certified divorce coaches" who have proliferated in the past ten years. In the collaborative divorce process, the Divorce Coaches must hold a license in a state, province, or country that requires an advanced degree in a recognized clinical mental health field, requires continuing education, and is regulated by a governing body under a code of ethics. Their license must remain in good standing with their licensing boards, and they must comply with the highest standards of their licensing boards. They may be licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional clinical counselors, or licensed psychiatrists and must have at least five years' experience working with couples and families experiencing separation and divorce. Collaborative Divorce Coaches must have a background, education, and a minimum of five years’ experience … [Read More...]
The Role of Minor’s Counsel in Litigation and in Collaborative Divorce
In high conflict litigated cases, a Judge will often appoint Minor’s Counsel in order to assist them in determining orders that are in the best interests of the child or children of the marriage. Minor’s Counsel is an attorney who represents the children. They are not a therapist or a custody evaluator, however they will gather evidence to present arguments to the Court as to what orders are best for their client or clients [the children]. Minor’s counsel is able to access the confidential records for the child such as medical records, educational records or any records from therapists that have been treating the child. When I have been in the role of Minor’s Counsel, I try to meet with the child in a neutral setting such as a park or a setting that will be comfortable for them. If I know that they like animals, I may bring one of my dogs with me to the first meeting. My goal in the first meeting is to provide the child with a safe space so that they can talk to me. In most litigated … [Read More...]
How Does a Legal Separation Differ from a Dissolution of Marriage?
If you are unhappy in your marriage what can you do about it? You could seek a divorce, a legal separation, or a nullity. The process of filing a case with the court is almost identical, but the procedure and the ramifications of filing a legal separation or a nullity instead of a divorce are different. In California since 1970, we have a “no-fault” system in which there are only two grounds for divorce — “irreconcilable differences” and “incurable insanity.” Irreconcilable differences can encompass a wide variety of reasons, but often means that the spouse applying for the divorce is in a new or better relationship, is being harassed or abused by the other spouse, or wants a different life in another state or country but their spouse does not want to move away. Any of these reasons can create a breakdown of the marital relationship, with required testimony to the court by the petitioning spouse, that the couple can no longer live together. Why file for a legal separation instead of a … [Read More...]
What Women Should Know About Divorce
If asking for spousal or child support, you will always receive more money if you are already employed or have a source of income, your husband is earning more than you, and you can show a need for his financial assistance through a request for child and/or spousal support. Thus, it is detrimental to purposefully limit your stream of income, quit your job if not necessary, or downplay your ability to earn because you think you will receive more from your husband. If you are in a domestic violence situation, and periodically experiencing threats, intimidation, and even physical assault, you should separate from your husband as soon as you are able to do so. You must educate yourself about the domestic violence cycle and know that each incident could become worse physically and psychologically than the last one you experienced. Without assistance, education, and separation, each incident could become more harmful, not only to you, but also to any children living with you. There are … [Read More...]
13 Tips for Talking with Your Children About Your Separation and Divorce
by Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT www.DivorcePeacemaking.com The following tips will help you prepare to talk with your children about your separation and divorce. You care about doing the best you can for your children because you are reading this article. Give yourself permission not to be perfect. No one is. This is a stressful time for all of you. Remember to keep taking slow, deep breaths --- you and your children will get through this difficult time. Agree on a time when you both can be present to talk with your children together. Siblings need the support they can provide each other. Divorce is a major life crisis for all family members. Treat it as such. Ideally, it is best to share the news with your children when they have adequate time to absorb what you will be telling them, for example, when they do not have to go back to school in a day or two after hearing the news. Plan your presentation to your children in advance. Make some notes about what you plan to say … [Read More...]
How to Have a Peaceful and Successful Divorce
How do you avoid the trauma of divorce – the battle, the fighting which can endure for many months or years, and the constant argument and opposition to a partner whom you once loved or even still care about? What does it mean to have a peaceful and successful divorce? How do you discuss and create solutions to divide your assets and debts; share the parenting of your children who are not yet adults or still in school; and calculate a fair distribution of earnings to support two households? Mental health professionals tell us that when we are angry, in trauma, and emotional, that we are not thinking with the best, problem-solving parts of our brains. How are we able to master our emotions to think rationally and to creatively develop solutions and a new sense of purpose? How can we recreate some of the empathy that we formerly had for our spouse to create a base for teamwork, connection, and solution? Through an out-of-court process of collaborative divorce, working with a … [Read More...]
Have You Read?
Therese Fey named President of Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County
Assumes office early; will serve through 2017-2018 term Contact: Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR 619-997-2495 or firstname.lastname@example.org (Irvine, California) – Family law attorney Therese Fey has been named President of Collaborative […]