Category Archives: Child Custody

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 cases, the child has been exposed to the conflict of the parents for a long time. … Read More “The Role of Minor’s Counsel in Litigation and in Collaborative Divorce”

Five Important Financial Issues in Military Divorce

Military mother with a child on lap making notes

By Kristine Rushing, CFP®, CDFA®

Intro: There are many considerations in divorce, but those experiencing military divorce have some additional things to think about. Here are five issues military spouses should be aware of. 

 

Along with cooler weather and thoughts of Thanksgiving, November also brings Veterans Day, providing an opportunity to honor and thank those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. For many, that service has required personal sacrifices, from family challenges to the ultimate sacrifice. Whether during war or peacetime, events such as frequent moves, multiple deployments, isolation, stress of war, injuries, and returns to civilian life can all cause stress and anxiety for service members, spouses and their children. While the military branches offer programs to support relationships, divorce becomes a reality for many. Like their civilian counterparts, military spouses will need to determine a co-parenting plan, asset and debt division, and child/spousal support. However, those experiencing a military divorce need to be aware of some special rules.

 

1. Jurisdiction and State Law

Generally speaking, a spouse may file for divorce in the state where either spouse legally resides, with minimum residency requirements. However, the laws and treatment of property varies from state … Read More “Five Important Financial Issues in Military Divorce”

Dealing with the Fear in a Divorce

Fear in Divorce

By Bart Carey | Originally posted on https://familypeacemaker.com/fear-dealing-with-divorce/

All of the emotions that we see during the course of the breakdown of a marriage and the divorce process boil down to fear. I do not say that from my own expertise but from what I have heard over and over again from my colleagues in the mental health profession.

The first victim of any marriage that is going south is communication. As communication breaks down, people cannot solve problems together anymore. So, what they do is out of frustration and they start taking unilateral action.  However, because we are in a relationship, what you do affects me.  This is when the fear sets in. You lose control and you do not know what’s going to happen next and you don’t understand why your spouse is doing this to you.

This is when the fears arise and what it leads to is a tit for tat situation. It leads doing something that will make me feel like I am back in control of the situation. This back and forth starts to happen and it evolves. All of this happens before the client comes to us in the family law arena. This … Read More “Dealing with the Fear in a Divorce”

The Advantage of Child Support Calculation Through the Collaborative Divorce Process

Child Custody

A recommended article written by Leslee J. Newman, Collaborative Attorney, Mediator, and Family Law Specialist

“A divorce with children who are not yet adults includes decisions regarding child support payment.  In every state including California, there is a different formula to calculate child support.  If divorcing parents go to court and request a judge to make the child support order, the statewide formula must be used to arrive at the amount of the support to be paid from one parent to the other.  Find out how parents selecting an out-of-court process like collaborative divorce can create their own agreeable amount without going to court.”

Click the link below to read more.

https://divorcepeacemaker.com/blog_index/the-advantage-of-child-support-calculation-through-the-collaborative-divorce-process/

How to Help Your Children During Separation and Divorce

How to Help Your Children During Separation and Divorce

By Carol R. Hughes, Ph.D., LMFT

“If we don’t stand up for children, then we don’t stand for much.”
~Marian Wright Edelman, Founder, Children’s Defense Fund

 

Research about the effects of divorce on children indicates that:

  • Each year, over 1 million American children experience the divorce of their parents.1
  • Ongoing parental conflict increases kids’ risk of psychological and social problems.2
  • Improving the relationships between parents and their children helps children cope better in the months and years following the divorce.3

Children are the innocent victims of divorce.  Divorce ranks second only to the death of a loved one as life’s most stressful experiences.4  Litigation, which by definition is adversarial, can compound that stress exponentially due to the hostility it can engender and the exorbitant costs that parents can incur.  “Combat divorce,” a common term for litigation, requires that each parent have the biggest battleship armed with the biggest guns, which take aim at the battleship of the other parent.  Let’s remember that, no matter what else changes, each of these soon to be “ex-spouses” forever remains their child(ren)’s other parent.  During the process of litigation, that obvious fact can become obscured in the … Read More “How to Help Your Children During Separation and Divorce”

Learn Your Divorce Options at Spring Workshops

Attending our Divorce Options Workshop and learn about the various methods for divorce in Orange County.

Informative seminars help you learn about the different divorce processes

If you are struggling to find answers for your difficult questions about divorce, attend one of the Spring Divorce Options workshops offered by Collaborative Divorce Solutions of Orange County.

The workshops take place at Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, California. The final date for spring 2017 is:

  • Thursday, April 20, 6 – 9 p.m.

Register online at the Orange Coast College website here (enter “Divorce Options” in the search box), or by phone at 714-432-5880, extension 1 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. only). For additional details, visit our Divorce Options page here. The seminar cost is $55 per person and includes all materials.

Our goal is helping people in a diverse range of situations. Divorce is difficult and stressful even under the best of circumstances. It can be especially hard if you have children or economic difficulties. Divorce affects people from all walks of life, and no two situations are alike.

We know from experience it IS possible despite challenges to preserve the emotional and financial resources of the family while respecting everyone’s needs during a divorce.

Led by volunteer attorneys, financial specialists, … Read More “Learn Your Divorce Options at Spring Workshops”

Mom and Dad, Here’s What I Need During Your Divorce

…no, she’s mine…

by Jann Glasser, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Coach/Psychotherapist, Collaborative Coach

For children, divorce can be stressful, sad, and confusing. At any age, kids may feel uncertain or angry at the idea of their parents splitting up.

As a parent, you can make the process and its effects less painful for your children. Helping your kids cope with divorce means providing stability at home and attending to your children’s needs with a reassuring, positive attitude. It won’t be easy, but these tips can help your children cope.

A Child’s Wish List During Their Parents’ Divorce

  • I need both of you to stay involved in my life. Please communicate with me. Make phone calls, send texts and ask me lots of questions, but respect my right not to answer all the time. When you don’t stay involved, I feel like I’m not important and that you don’t really love me.
  • Please stop fighting and try hard to get along with each other. Try to agree on things that have to do with me. When you fight about me, I think that I did something wrong and I feel guilty.
  • I love you both and want to
Read More “Mom and Dad, Here’s What I Need During Your Divorce”

A Divorced Parent’s Holiday Gift Guide: Your Child’s Wish List

If you were to ask your children what they want to happen during the holidays in a divorce family, you might be surprised by their answers.

by Jann Glasser, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Coach/Psychotherapist, Collaborative Coach

Holiday season is here again. If you are divorced with children, the season can be challenging as you attempt to coordinate two households and extended family, trying to meet everyone’s needs simultaneously. As you begin to review your child’s wish list for the season, there is something more precious every child wants that you won’t find in any store or even on Amazon.

It’s time with both parents during the holidays, the kind of quality time that helps your children feel reassured that while their parents might not be living together anymore, your relationship with your child remains the same.

If your child could write out their wish list for the things to make it easier, the list would look like this:

1. Help me shop for or make a gift for my other parent, if I’m not old enough to do it myself. It feels good when I can give you each gifts that you like.

2. Don’t make me feel guilty about the gift I got or what fun I had with each of you.

3. Let me celebrate family traditions that … Read More “A Divorced Parent’s Holiday Gift Guide: Your Child’s Wish List”

The Honey Experiment: Can It Help Your Co-parenting Relationship?

Sweetening your interactions can improve your co-parenting relationship. Scott Bauer, USDA ARS/Wikimedia, Creative Commons license

by Suanne I. Honey, Certified Family Law Specialist, Law Offices of Suanne I. Honey

Let me start this blog by letting you know I am a family-law attorney who, unfortunately, still litigates cases. I prefer the Collaborative Process for many reasons. This means I work with couples who at times can be very angry with each other.

This post, however, has to do with attitudes. A recent Facebook post keeps popping up frequently about a teacher of mentally challenged students. He started each school day telling each student compliments specific to that student. There were both expected and unexpected results with her experiment. Most impressive, the students began giving each other compliments and their academic grades improved.

Being a strong believer in the concept of positive energy spreading just as quickly as negative energy, I decided to start my own experiment. A few months ago I started asking my clients who are engaged in a high-conflict relationship with the other parent to give the other parent a compliment. Daily seems too often and rings of insincerity and ulterior motives. I requested once a week or if that was too onerous, once a month.

There is an old saying that you … Read More “The Honey Experiment: Can It Help Your Co-parenting Relationship?”

Your Six Different Divorce Alternatives

You have choices in the way you pursue a divorce in California. Collaborative Divorce in Orange County. 949-266-0660.

by Leslee J. Newman, CFL-S, Family Law Attorney
Orange, California

1.  Self-Representation (“Pro-Per”)

Both parties may consult with attorneys, but decide to represent themselves in or out of court. Both parties are ultimately responsible for the agreements and paperwork that goes to the court for filing including the final Judgment.

2. One-Party Representation

One party is represented by an attorney and the other is not. Generally, the party who has the attorney is responsible for drafting the paperwork, and the unrepresented spouse would get advice as to what he or she wants included in the final Judgment.

3. Both Spouses Have Representation

Both spouses have their own litigation counsel, and try to settle parts of the case through settlement discussion. If they are unable to settle some or all of the issues, the case goes to court for a judge to make the decisions for the spouses.

4. Mediation

Both spouses retain the same mediator who acts as their neutral facilitator and does not represent either party. Depending on the style of the mediator, and whether or not the mediator is an attorney, the spouses may have the benefit of being educated as to the law, available options, recommendations, … Read More “Your Six Different Divorce Alternatives”