Friday, April 30, 2010

When do you introduce the children to the new partner?

At what point do you introduce the children to your new partner? Does it matter how old the children are?

In my case I remember being 6 years old and as soon my father moved out, my step father moved in. I was angry, confused, hurt, and wasn’t sure what was going on. Was this man replacing my father?

Every case will be different and the children have to come first. I am sure my mother thought she was doing what was best for her, and maybe even us at the time, but it had an impact on me and still does.

Does anyone remember their parents divorce and meeting either of their new partner(s)? What was it like? I am interested in hearing from anyone who has gone through this.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Divorce According to Harold, the Mover

Some boxes, pictures, and my carrom board recently were delivered to my home by Harold. As usual I chatted with Harold as he moved the boxes off the truck and I checked them off. The topic got around to divorce. Harold told me that divorce changes nothing. He said if you drank before you would drink after. If you cheated on your spouse you would continue to cheat on your new significant other. He said there was very likely that if you remarried it would be someone like your previous spouse. As a person who has counseled couples for 30 years that they could have a new beginning this was quite a revelation. I certainly have seen many individuals get a fresh start but I think Harold observation is very important. If individuals want a different life, they have to work at it and be careful they don’t repeat the behavior which caused them to get divorced.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(173) 4/27/10

Friday, April 23, 2010

You don't have to feel alone in the process of a divorce

As I went though my own divorce, I felt alone, very alone. There were no "blogs" and there wasn't a "Facebook" or even "LinkedIn". Now there is so much support out there via the internet, people don't have to feel alone. I think in order to understand divorce and what it does to a person, one has to go through it. That's why I created my website, This website was created from experiences and hardships that I not only went through as a child of divorce but as a mother who is divorced. If I am able to help others with my experiences and help them to realize they are not alone, I have accomplished my goal with this blog.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Delaying Divorce in Arizona Part 3

We continue to monitor the bill in the Arizona legislature to extend the waiting period for divorce.
The bill as amended was signed by the Governor on April 7, 2010. You can see the law as amended below. It would appear that the final version kept the 60 day waiting period but allowed a party to request an extension. This shifts the burden to the party who wants more time and not less.
"Sec. 2. Section 25-381.18, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended to read:
START_STATUTE25-381.18. Dissolution of marriage; legal separation; annulment; stay of right to file; jurisdiction for pending actions
A. During a period beginning on the filing of a petition for conciliation and continuing until sixty days after the filing of the petition for conciliation, neither spouse shall file any action for annulment, dissolution of marriage or legal separation, and, on the filing of a petition for conciliation, proceedings then pending in the superior court are stayed and the case shall be transferred to the conciliation court for hearing and further disposition as provided in this article. All restraining, support, maintenance or custody orders issued by the superior court remain in full force and effect until vacated or modified by the conciliation court or until they expire by their own terms.
b. if either party wants to extend the stay under subsection a, that party shall file a petition with the court stating the basis for the extension, which may include a plan for reconciliation or a counseling schedule. the court shall grant an extension of up to one hundred twenty days unless the other party establishes good cause for proceeding without delay.
B. c. If, however, after the expiration of the period prescribed in subsection A and any extension granted under subsection b, the controversy between the spouses has not been terminated, either spouse may institute proceedings for annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage or legal separation by filing in the clerk's office additional pleadings complying with the requirements relating to annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage or legal separation, respectively, or either spouse may proceed with the action previously stayed, and the conciliation court has full jurisdiction to hear, try and determine the action for annulment of marriage, dissolution of marriage or legal separation and to retain jurisdiction of the case for further hearings on decrees or orders to be made. The conciliation provisions of this article may be used in regard to postdissolution problems concerning maintenance support, parenting time or contempt or for modification based on changed conditions in the discretion of the conciliation court.
C. d. On the filing of an action for annulment, dissolution of marriage or legal separation and after the expiration of sixty days from the service or the acceptance of service of process on or by the defendant, neither spouse without the consent of the other may file a petition invoking the jurisdiction of the conciliation court, as long as the domestic relations case remains pending, unless it appears to the court that the filing will not delay the orderly processes of the pending action, in which event the court may accept the petition and the filing of the petition has the same effect as the filing of any such petition within such sixty days after the service or acceptance of process."
Amend title to conform See at:
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(172) 4/20/10

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Dates for Better Parenting Better Divorce Classes - April and May 2010

  • Do you have serious conflicts with your co-parent? Research has shown that children of divorce don't have to be damaged for life if their parents have cooperative and collaborative relationships.  Respectful co-parenting can provide children their best chance of living normal lives after separation and divorce.  
  • All of our facilitators are experienced mental health professionals with years of total experience working with families. They have extensive training in conflict and resolution and mediation (l-r: Judy Colich, Vi Ballard, Paula Van Doren and David Kuroda).  
  • Dates and times of ClassesSeries 3: Mondays, April 19, 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 2010. Series 4: Thursdays, May 27, June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1, 2010. 
  • Time and Location: 5:30 - 7:30 pm, 21535 Hawthorne Blvd. Suite 585, Torrance CA 90503. For parking area, enter from Carson or Del Amo Circle and park under building 
  • Cost: $360 for the 6-sessions. Credit cards accepted, $370.  For information and registration: Call 310-373-7994 or 310-245-6814 Both parents expected to attend the same group 
  • This workshop is recognized by the L.A. Superior Court/Family Court Services as a local alternative to attending "Parents Without Conflict" in Los Angeles. Labels: Children, Divorce, Parenting, Court, Co-parenting

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Delaying Divorce in Arizona Part 2

We continue to monitor the bill in the Arizona legislature to extend the waiting period for divorce. The Senate approved a revised version of the bill (SB1199) at the end of March. See Howard Fischer’s article in March 30, 2010 Arizona Daily Star at This bill is an improvement of the older bill. It allows the divorce to be granted sooner if both parties agree. This works very well for mediated divorces where the parties do agree on everything. It will give divorcing couples another good reason to mediate their divorce. We will continue to keep you posted on this very important bill.
As always, you can post any comment about this blog or Divorce Mediation, or just Mediation by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(171) 4/11/10

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Wedding Mediation

A mediator’s skill set can be applied to many different issues. I started out doing divorce mediation but now do marital mediation, elder mediation, community mediation, employment mediation, and housing mediation. I am always looking for new areas to mediate. After reading, Abby Ellin’s article in the April 4, 2010 New York Times entitled "Burden of Paying for Wedding Bells Shifts," I have now found a new area - Wedding Mediation. See her entire article at
Ms Ellin indicates that
"..with these shifts in the financial landscape of weddings have come changes in the dynamics of who gets to call the shots.
According to Lizzie Post, a great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and a spokeswoman for the etiquette institute in Burlington, Vt., that bears her ancestor’s name, "Money should never be used as a bargaining or leveraging chip." Nor does she think it is ever acceptable for one family to dictate solely what’s happening in the wedding — especially if all parties are paying. "You should get the two families together in advance and talk very respectfully and candidly about what everyone’s wishes and expectations are."...."It helps for everyone to discuss this right off the bat," she said, adding that even if the parents aren’t involved, she always requires the bridegrooms to attend planning sessions. "Sometimes you can see the guy doesn’t want to be there. And I say, ‘If you’re not involved in the meetings, you’re going to get swept up in this tornado and you’re not going to like it.’ "
Glenna Tooman, the owner of Memory Makers Event Planning in Boise, Idaho, agrees that it is better to bring all parties to the table from the start. "I encourage my brides to include the groom’s mother." She added: "Sometimes you have a person who can be very controlling. But if they have a good relationship with the groom’s mother and she is supportive of the bride, it can be a great bonding experience."
But as Ms. Goldberg pointed out, these sharing arrangements could easily evolve into competitions. "Everybody becomes a party planner when they’re throwing money around," she said. สบ
These are issues where a mediator can be a very big help. I would be surprised if mediators are not already helping out. I can’t imagine these problems being resolved without a mediator.
Brides, grooms, and their families, we are ready when you need us!
As always, you can post any comment about this blog, Divorce Mediation, or Tucson Arizona by following the directions at the right in the green column or at the bottom of this website. Learn more about mediation at WM(170) 4/4/10

Friday, April 02, 2010

Stop Fighting About Finances....Kimberly A. Kick, LCSW

Numerous studies over the years have cited finances as a major cause of conflict in relationships. It is naive to think that once the couple parts, these disputes will merely fade away. On the contrary, many individuals cite finances as one of the top arguments engaged in with an ex-partner. What makes it worse? When children are dragged into financial disagreements and disputes.

Arguments about money can, and usually do, get ugly quick. Just ask the co-founder of All About The Children at, Cathy Chestler. Cathy recounts having to go to court on behalf of her father take the stand with both of her parents present, to testify. She recalls being asked by her father’s lawyer if their was enough food in the house, and how often groceries were placed in the refrigerator. Her father’s lawyer presented her with checks written by her mother to her and asked her if she really received them or if they were falsified. “Sitting up on the stand, looking at my mother on one side, and my father on the other, was one of the worst experiences of my life. The fear and confusion was overwhelming and as I stepped down from the stand, I broke down.” The lawyer was obviously attempting to insinuate that her mother was not using the child support for the children. This is an experience in Cathy’s life that isn’t easily forgotten. She felt pulled between her parents and was in a no-win situation. Indeed this caused relationship issues for her with her parents and siblings for some time afterwards.

Most parents would state that the best interest of the child is their main concern. Sit in family court for a morning and you will see that this concern is easily forgotten when finances enter the picture. Financial disagreements lead to anger, hurt, and accusations of wrong-doing by both parties. Many males question whether or not the child support they pay is going for their children. Many females question how their ex-partner possibly thinks they are contributing enough money for the children not to suffer and maintain the lifestyle they were accustomed to pre-divorce.

Easing financial disputes is essential if the needs of the children are going to be put first by both parents. This hasn’t been accomplished for many ex-partners by numerous court appearances and legal fees. What is the solution? Most ex-partners question where the money goes; if money has been sent, there can be disagreement about where it was applied. Financial disputes are easily resolved and tracked when both parties use Money Matters, one of the key components to All About The Children’s website.

In Money Matters financial transactions are tracked for members through the website; bills are posted, money is transferred from one parent’s checking or savings account to the other parent’s account. The money is applied directly to the bill posted. Partial transactions are recorded and the amount still owed is noted. All of these transactions are date and time stamped, including when a bill was posted. There can be no disagreement about paying an expense or when it was paid, as all of the information is objective, secure, and cannot be altered.

Take action and resolve financial disputes by utilizing All About The Children, the premiere divorce communications website that does what no other divorce tool does, resolves financial disputes through direct payment that is tracked.