The Secret To Successful Mediation

Personalize and Empathize

What do we all want when it comes down to it? More than anything else we want to feel like we matter in this world. We want to be remembered, noticed, acknowledged that we are here. Ask anybody worth their salt in the service industry and they will tell you the same thing. Human beings want to feel special!

As mediators we are taught to listen actively, communicate effectively and structure the mediation to come to a mutual agreement using the skills we were trained with. This is all well and good and is the backbone of our special practice.

I find that many clients have a need to communicate with me on a deeper level. Some are at the lowest point in their lives and just want someone to reach out to at this perilous time. I never back down and cherish the opportunity to assist them and just listen. Keeping in mind that I am a neutral and never project an image of taking a side either way.

It’s important to make each party feel special in their own way. We can do this by addressing them by their names, personalizing dialogue, addressing their concerns in a caring and comforting manner and most of all-expressing empathy for what they are experiencing.

Basically, look at your clients like they are special individuals worthy of your time and consideration. Express interest in them, put them at ease and really listen to them to get to the heart of the matter. At Divorce Harmony, we make a special effort to treat every client with respect and understanding. Please contact us at divorceharmony.com to learn more.


5 Important Things To Consider For An Amicable Divorce

Amicable Divorce

How can you have an amicable divorce? While there is not proven method that works for everyone there are some important things that you may want to think about and consider to have as successful a parting as possible for everyone involved.

1.  Divorce Affects Everyone In Your Life- yes, it affects you and your kids but it also affects your spouse. You are in this process together even if you are splitting up. Acknowledge that they are experiencing some feelings as well and it will do a lot to further your relationship in the future for having an amicable divorce. Having that empathy is priceless. This doesn’t mean you have to be best friends just that despite your differences you can see that they are experiencing change as well.

2. Build Your Support Team- And by support I mean a network of close friends and family that want to build you up and help you heal through your amicable divorce. NOT by pointing fingers at your ex to show that he/she was the bad one to make you feel like you are in the right. Support is important because it gives you the space and time to heal.

3. Choose Mediation- Most of the time if lawyers get involved early on you will not only incur major expenses but the entire process will be absolutely more acrimonious-the opposite of an amicable divorce. Stick to mediation where you both can decide what you want to do with your lives. It is empowering to give yourselves the authority to decide on what is most important to you. This empowerment will also lead to a collaboration of sorts between you and your ex. I venture to guess that if there’s children involved you both want what is best for them-even if what is best is not exactly the same for both of you.

4. Think Of The Future Not Just The Present-Things may be heated in those first few months of separation. This is totally normal and understandable. But that being said, it’s vital that you do not make any rash decisions with this heaviness still present.

5. Use The Power Of The Pen-You will have hard moments, that’s inevitable. To maintain that amicable divorce think before communicating anything-even in a fit of anger. Try to write things down in a thoughtful way instead of just saying something in the heat of the moment. Delivery is everything.

If you have any questions about an amicable divorce please contact divorceharmony.com and we will be happy to help.


Estate Planning Considerations in Divorce

Estate Planning

Has it crossed your mind what to do regarding any estate planning documents? You might need to modify some very important paperwork if you are divorcing. And it is much more favorable to consider these changes as soon as possible-like when you think you might be getting divorced. Waiting until after the divorce is processed may cause serious problems for you and your intended beneficiaries down the road.

Estate Planning

The first step in estate planning modification would be to think about the people in your life. Who would you want to play certain roles should unforeseen circumstances arise? This is a very important decision so it’s crucial that you come to these decisions in a thoughtful way.

Another tip is to make sure you change your passwords to important accounts and email. Try to keep things like this private from here on out. And find out from an experienced professional what you can change and when regarding your estate planning. It’s important to make informed moves so you don’t run into trouble later.

The main estate planning documents you should be reviewing are: your will, life insurance policies, trusts, power of attorney and rights of survivor ship in your personal property. Your agreement may reflect that some of these kinds of documents be changed or edited in certain ways.

Estate Planning

In many states there are protections in the law with regard to estate planning. For instance in Florida, in the case of an untimely death during the divorce process when all of the documents have not been edited yet-if the divorce is final the surviving spouse may not receive a disposition of any property or assets unless the agreement specifically says they do. There may be other protections put in place as well. If you would like more information please contact divorceharmony.com. We are here to help navigate this complicated but very important subject for you.


Building Blocks of Effective Communication

Building Blocks of Communication

What makes mediation effective? What do our disputes arise from? What are the building blocks of communication? What are the stumbling blocks to mediation? The answers to these questions are simpler than one might think. But to employ into actual practice takes time, experience and most of all patience and foresight.

The number one tool to ensure your mediation is successful is listening. Make your adversary feel like what they are saying is important and has value. Really listen when in communication. What are they trying to convey? Don’t just sit there waiting for your chance to speak.

Another point to make in communication is-sometimes what they are saying is not exactly the point they are trying to get across. Look for other important clues such as body language and expression to access what is really going on. In the same vain-be aware of your own body language and what it conveys. Are you expressing openness and willingness to engage in effective communication?

It is important to show the other side that you are at least open to the other’s ideas or suggestions. By doing this you show respect and the other side just might bend a little to your position as well. In that fashion it is vital that you do not interrupt the other side when they are speaking and that you really show that you are engaged in their story. A good tool to use is to repeat what they’ve just said to show that you were listening intently.

Your delivery of your position can make an agreement or break an agreement. So it’s not so much what you say but how you say it. Deliver your message with respect, calmness and a respectful smile! This goes for receiving feedback from the other side as well. You don’t have to necessarily accept what they are saying but receive the news with a calm demeanor.

If you would like more tips on how to have a successful mediation with Divore Harmony contact us today: divorceharmony.com


Divorce In The Age of Digital Convenience

Divorce and Digital Convenience

When dividing up resources in a divorce there is much more to consider in this day and age then just the family home and the car. Who would have thought we would be having serious discussions about our entertainment options and cellphone plans. But these are important things that the modern couple cannot live without and it’s important to figure out exactly how to navigate.

It’s often the case that those cellphone plans are much less costly when you are on a “family plan”. Unlike health insurance which is required to be changed by law when you are divorcing, there is no law that says that you have to close your joint cellphone or Netflix account. And many times the couples’ children are on the plan and they do not want to change the setup for them.

The convenience factor is also a big reason to keep these joint accounts. Think about your “list” on Hulu or Spotify with your movie and music preferences. If you have to start over that could be a big inconvenience. But your ex will have access to your preferences if that is something you care about.

Is it worth the money savings to then have to deal with your ex on who pays for the account, etc? For many, the answer is a resounding yes. Oftentimes you do not even have to converse with them, you can send your portion of the bill through an online method that doesn’t require any meaningful exchanges.

Frequently in mediation when working out divorces, this topic comes up and more and more modern families are choosing to keep their accounts together because they are saving money and it is easier for their kids to keep on with all of their subscriptions without facing a bump in the road where there will be many anyway. Even though it’s small they are coming together on this little issue which sometimes leads to more cooperation which is always a good thing! divorceharmony.com


Divorce And Your Health

Divorce and Health

Divorce is generally not good for your health. This is a fact that shouldn’t be hard to understand. The stress that is put on your body during this trying process can manifest in a variety of health problems including a 23% higher mortality rate. But with all things, knowledge is power and it’s important to understand the potential health risks as you navigate through the minefield.

Research from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health reveals that people living through divorce develop more chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease and mobility issues. This may be because when you’re depressed it’s harder to eat well, exercise and get proper rest. Remember to get that yearly physical to avoid high blood sugar, excess belly fat and high cholesterol. There are ways to control these harmful risk factors.

A recent study found that men and women who have gone through a divorce have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In fact, women that have gone through a divorce were 24% more likely to have a heart attack. The stress of divorce can lead to inflammation which in turn leads to these sometimes fatal heart issues.

Who wouldn’t be stressed and suffering anxiety when you potentially have to face new job, moving, less money, parenting alone, and just a general fear of the unknown. This stress can lead to drug abuse and/or depression. It’s important to know the warning signs and have someone you can talk to.

Make time for yourself. No matter how chaotic things get you need time to decompress. Also, why not start the process in as manageable a way as possible and go the mediation route? Stay away from two dueling, expensive lawyers and work together. The amount of stress you will avoid is worth it alone. Life is short make the best of what you have in the limited time we are allotted here on earth. Please give us a call if you would like to try the less stressful, healthier alternative to traditional divorce. divorceharmony.com


What To Avoid In Order To Have A Smooth Divorce


See below for an important list on what to avoid during the divorce process. As a Divorce Coach, I’ve seem that this list is quite common and my job is to help you overcome these stumbling blocks so the divorce is a success.

Using Your Emotions To Make Life Altering Decisions In Divorce

This is a big one. Breath, take a a step back. Take a look at the big picture. It’s best not to make huge decisions too quickly. Bad decisions made in the beginning of the process can set the tone for the entire journey and not in a good way. It’s my job as a divorce coach to help you realize what your ultimate goals are.

Giving Too Much Weight To The Small Things

While it’s understandably hard to be objective in your own divorce, there are certain things when looked at from a distance you would realize are not worth fighting over. Is it really worth fighting over who gets the dishes? A coach can help you gain a new perspective where you can see what’s important now and for your life moving forward.

Putting On A Brave Face When You Are Really Falling Apart

Divorce is one of the most stressful and traumatic events of one’s life. It’s important to have family and friends by your side for support but they are not neutral and usually do not have the professional capabilities to help you. That’s where a coach can come in. They can assist you in developing a smart plan to get through this uncertain time.

Wasting Your Hard Earned Money On Unnecessary Legal Expenses

Being a lawyer myself, I can confidently say they are overrated. Most of them are unnecessary and quite honestly not that smart. You have the power and ability and may not even need an attorney. Lawyers are so expensive and and oftentimes add fuel to the fire, prolonging what could have been an easy, fast, inexpensive divorce. A divorce coach can help you think more clearly and not make bad decisions regarding your legal support.

Prolonging The Misery Because Of Bad Or No Communication

How many times have we received an email or text and misinterpreted it’s meaning? With today’s technology it’s so easy to stay in touch but it’s also easy to get mixed or incorrect messages. One of the best ways I’ve seen my clients move forward with their divorces is by learning to communicate effectively with their exes. I can go over that email or text with you before you fire it off to your ex. Changing the tone of just one text has saved my client months of back and forth over nonsense.

For more information contact divorceharmony.com


How Do You Know You Really Want To Get Divorced?

Making The Decision To Divorce

You’ve thought about it,

You’ve looked online,

Maybe you’ve even discussed with friends or professionals.

Maybe it’s actually your partner that is calling for a

But this is a life changing decision and one that requires
thoughtful reflection.

Things to Consider

1. Do you still have feelings for your spouse?
Some people thinking about divorce still have feelings for their partner but a lack of communication or other issues may be pulling the relationship apart. It’s important to figure things out before proceeding with divorce. The assistance of a psychologist or other professional may be helpful.

2. Are you really ready or just threatening divorce? Many times, when we are in heated arguments with our spouse divorce is used as a threatening device out of frustration or anger and to possibly gain some kind of control over the situation. But do you really mean it? If so, realize there is no need for threats anymore. You can gain control and adjust your mindset.

3. Are you reacting to a particular situation or behavior of your spouse or have you thought about this from a non-heated place? Take a deep breath and access everything when you are calm. Deciding to divorce is a heavy decision and should only be made with a clear head and should be a decision you can support over time. Emotionally charged decisions are not wise ones-even when those emotions are
completely valid.

4. What are your intentions with the divorce? Are you hoping that starting the divorce process will be a wake-up call for your spouse? It is not wise to use divorce as a tool to improve your marriage. It really is a last resort. Divorce means the end of a marriage.

5. Can you deal with the negative feelings of divorce? Divorce brings many negative emotions to the surface. Hurt, disappointment, anger, failure, shame, rejection among other feelings. Will you be able to manage them?

6. Are you ready for your Children’s upset feelings and unpredictable behavior? Your kids may be sad and angry-even at you. Are you prepared to deal with their changing needs?

7. Your lifestyle may be vastly different. Divorce causes rifts in the family’s financial structure. Are you perhaps ready to downsize, reduce your expectations and face uncertainty and maybe insecurity?

8. Are you ready to take control of your life? Whether it was you wanting the divorce or your spouse, are you ready to move forward in a healthy way without holding onto bitterness?

What To Consider Before Divorcing

The good news is that you can make an informed decision. And if you eventually do decide to take the route of divorce there are ways to do it where you would not be drained emotionally and financially. Here at Divorce Harmony we believe in helping people get divorced in a natural, healthy way where the 2 parties decide together what they will do-and not leave it to a disinterested Judge and expensive, dueling Attorney’s to decide.  Through mediation you can actually have a peaceful and collaborative divorce process.

The above steps are all very important questions to ask
yourself before moving forward. If you would like more information about
deciding whether to get a divorce and the impact it may have on your life and
your children’s lives please contact us for a free 20-minute consultation. We
can work on a plan custom fit for you and what you want and hope for the
future. [email protected] or (917) 353-5153 or leave your information below and we will find a time that works for you.



Why Is Getting Divorced So Expensive??

Expensive Divorce

Why so Expensive?

Why is it so expensive to get divorced?  Well, think about why you’re getting divorced in the first place. It’s usually because of some form of lack of communication, lack of trust and/or loss of respect for your spouse. Now, how do you go about divorcing peacefully when you have these major issues with this person? Is it possible to get divorced without the melodrama and avoid the big expense?

What actually goes down in a divorce proceeding? How much is emotional and how much is the stuff that needs to be put down on paper to finalize the thing? A major majority is the emotional bomb and only a small percentage is the actual meat and potatoes of the divorce proceeding.

Expensive Divorce

How to Utilize Your Attorney

For many getting divorced, this will be the first time they are dealing with a lawyer. They do not realize how much the hourly fees add up to. They spend the first few months just fighting and then they drain all of their savings on what is essentially nonsense and do not have anything left to actually solve the problem and come to an agreement.

They don’t know how to utilize the lawyer and the lawyers are not telling them this! Much of divorcing couples’ problems should be addressed by other professionals whether that be a divorce coach, mediator and/or therapist. The legal system is not equipped to handle these circumstances.

Expensive Divorce


Many people still aren’t aware of their options to avoid an expensive divorce. And by expensive I don’t just mean money. I’m talking about precious time that we only have so much of, your children’s well-being and your mental and physical health.

By utilizing professionals other then your divorce attorney, you can learn to come to a resolution with your ex in a more intelligent way allowing you both to get those meat and potatoes and move on in a more graceful less expensive way. Please contact divorceharmony.com for assistance with this.


Are We Overusing The Term Narcissist?



I’m not a fan of labels. Every person on this earth comes with their own unique set of traits and sorting them into neat little boxes just doesn’t work. It seems like I hear the term “narcissist” every day. Are you married to a narcissist? How to deal with a narcissist. The victims of narcissists. And so on. But do we really understand the true meaning of the word? And are we overusing the term to the detriment of real victims and ordinary people dealing with difficult people the wrong way?

There is a spectrum for narcissism and everybody has a certain amount. Being on the spectrum does not mean you are a narcissist. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is an official mental health disorder that characterizes a group of people that fall fall so extremely high on the spectrum that they are considered ill. Just because you may have an inconsiderate, selfish partner does not mean they are a narcissist. When we over use the term, we trivialize real victims of narcissistic abuse versus your everyday variety jerk AND we assume that narcissism is always negative.

By putting people with bad behavior into a labeled box, it can make you feel better. It can make the victim feel like they are in the right. The other person is the sick narcissist and they are the suffering victim. They are interpreting the actions of others only as it affects them, essentially making others seem more selfish then them. This attitude may prevent the victim from actually seeing their own bad behavior. That’s why it’s vital that we don’t label people without the proper diagnosis. I work with many reputable psychologists and social workers that can assist with this.

Cases do exist where there are real narcissists. It’s the overuse of the word that is hurting everybody. Whether you require divorce coaching or mediation, Divorce Harmony can help you figure out how to best deal with your partner moving forward.