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If you are divorcing and have avoided litigating with your spouse by using mediation to resolve your divorce you have given yourself and your children a gift that keeps on giving. It is a gift that demonstrates your ability to put your family first. It is a gift that will empower you to make wise decisions and control the outcome of your divorce. Mediation is a gift that allows you to preserve your finances so that your retirement and your children’s college fund will remain intact after the divorce. It is a gift that will give you skills that you can use to resolve the inevitable conflict that will arise with your ex-spouse as you co-parent in the future. Be sure and share the gift ...

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Words Hurt Too

By Terri Breer
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As children most of us heard the saying “sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Perhaps the author of this ditty wanted to teach their child that kids who bully and say mean things can only hurt you if you let them, or maybe the point was an attempt to encourage “toughness” and to “turn the other cheek.” However, we all learned early on that the words we speak and the words that are spoken to us can hurt us.

A more accurate version of this saying is found in a poem by Ruby Redfort:

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can also hurt me.
Stones and sticks break only skin, while words are ghosts that ha...

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Marriage counselors often talk about how couples repeat the same "dance steps" when they argue. It is common for couples who are divorcing to have developed some bad communication styles, and they may have engaged in these styles for so long that they are now habitual. A marriage counselor may try to teach couples new dance steps to save their marriage and handle conflict. Unfortunately, if the couple continues to be stuck in old patterns of conflict, these destructive patterns do not get any better when they divorce.

Destructive Divorce Dances

THE LIMBO

Characteristics

  • Cut down criticisms
  • Not fair fighting
  • Pushing buttons

How Low Can You Go?

THE MACARENA

Characteristics

  • Arguments never die out
  • Alway...
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Whether the parties have agreed to sell the Family Residence, or one spouse is going to “buyout” the other spouse’s marital interest in the home they will want to consider the following before they negotiate the final settlement terms and conditions regarding the disposition of the Family Residence:

• Are they emotionally ready to negotiate with the other party?
• Have they gathered sufficient legal and financial information for wise decision-making?
• Have they generated options based on the total marital estate and incorporating a global perspective?
• Have they had sufficient opportunity to consider the input of financial advisors and real estate professi...

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This is the second part of a Three-Part Article on best practices for mediating the disposition of the Family Residence. Last week’s blog focused on the important considerations and questions that need to be addressed when the parties are deciding whether to sell or stay in the family home. This article will assume that the parties have agreed to list the Family Residence for sale.

Mediators and other divorce professionals should rely on a step-by-step process that they routinely implement to ensure that their clients consider all the practical and financial issues involved in selling the Family Residence. In most cases, the parties will have a myriad of concerns and fears that include...

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The most common issue that parties negotiate when a Family Residence is part of their marital estate is whether it will be listed for sale, or whether one party will keep the home and “buyout” the other party’s interest. There are other options that the couple might consider, but for the most part the parties are weighing the two basic options of whether to sell or stay.

Sometimes parties will arrive at their first mediation session with the Family Residence already in escrow or listed for sale. Other times they have decided that Husband or Wife will keep the residence and they have calculated and agreed on how much money the party keeping the home will pay the other party ...

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Several years ago, I was at a workshop presented by Bill Eddy, Esq., LCSW when he talked about a simple technique that can be used in mediation to shift people out of blame and intensity into a calmer, problem-solving mode. The technique is called “So What’s Your Proposal.”

Here is how it works. When you find that one party to a dispute is blaming the other party, complaining unceasingly about a current situation, or only has negative, unproductive things to say about a current issue, the complaining party is asked to make a proposal that they think will resolve the dispute or solve their current complaint. Proposals should include WHO will do WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE. The oth...

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Sometimes self-represented parties in a divorce proceeding do not retain attorneys because they are confident that they can resolve their divorce through settlement negotiations with their spouse. They may be aware of the mediation option for assisting with their settlement negotiations, but they do not select the mediation option because they may be concerned that mediation is not going to be fair, or that using a mediator, like retaining an attorney is simply too expensive. In other cases, there may not be significant conflict between the parties, but one of the parties is simply not willing to participate in a mediated process.

The parties may have already decided how they will divide thei...

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Although a mediator should never provide "legal counsel or advice" to either party, a good divorce mediator may need to provide the parties with basic legal information or specific legal rules that are applicable to the disputed issues in their case. Sometimes when parties have an early proposal for resolving a particular issue in their case, they will quickly abandon their original proposal when they are presented with the “vanilla version” of the law by their mediator. If they discover that their proposed division of a particular asset or asset group is not supported by the law, they may immediately want to resolve the issue in a more equitable manner.

For example, when the par...

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Among the biggest challenges that spouses face when they divorce are the debilitating fears that often accompany their thinking about the divorce. It is common for the parties to feel anxious, worried, sleepless, troubled, concerned, cautious, and nervous. Fear of being controlled, fear of being manipulated, fear of being ignored, fear of not being heard, fear of losing control, fear of not being respected, and fear of feeling like a failure are all common emotions that can negatively impact a party's ability to make wise decisions during divorce. Couples will also encounter fears related to the high costs of the divorce and they may fear that they do not have enough money to pay for t...

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When you commit to a cooperative mindset, choose a sensible dispute resolution model and assemble a team of divorce professionals to guide you through the process, you and your spouse will be empowered to make wise decisions regarding the termination of your marriage.

Call now to schedule an initial consultation with one of our Divorce Attorney Mediators.

Secure a bright future for your family.

Breer Law Offices

7700 Irvine Center Drive,

Suite 800,

Irvine, CA 92618

Phone. 949.788.2992

Fax. 949.788.2993

Email. terri@breerlaw.com