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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

Options

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.

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Are We Overusing The Term Narcissist?

Narcissist

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.

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Does Having Your Own Divorce Make You a Better Divorce Coach or Mediator?

Divorce Experience

Divorce Experience

Does having your own personal divorce experience make you a better mediator or divorce coach? So often I see other professionals explaining how they can relate to you because they’ve been through it. They know what to expect and they tell you their personal stories.  Of course there is some value in their divorce experience. But is it a prerequisite?

As someone who has been married for 16 years and does not have my own divorce experience, I would argue that being divorced yourself is most certainly not a requirement to be an effective divorce coach or divorce mediator. In fact, going through your own divorce  may hurt your ability to be a neutral professional.  Divorce is such a painful, life changing disruption and we are only human. Oftentimes I wonder how a mediator can remain neutral if he/she has been through a similar situation as their clients. Everyone has bias’ to begin with.  But add in your own personal divorce experience and the bias may be too much. Of course this doesn’t apply to every situation.

Additionally, someone going through a divorce does not necessarily derive value from hearing about the professional they hire’s personal divorce experience. And, I would venture to say most don’t care. They want to know how you can serve them in their own personal situation.

Your divorce is fundamentally a business transaction. Even with coaching I explain to my clients that their emotions should not play into deciding how to divide their stuff. This only ends up costing them more time and money.  Divorce is painful and the feelings associated with it are legitimate and we deal with them in a constructive way so as not to interfere with you having an efficient divorce.

Please contact divorceharmony.com to learn more about an efficient divorce experience. Whether you are looking for divorce mediation, coaching or document preparation, we can help.

 

 

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Judge or Mediator

Judge or Mediator

Judge or Mediator

ROLE

Mediator’s are often associated with Judges. They are seen as a third person that makes decisions for the two parties involved in a dispute. The reality is a bit more nuanced as mediators generally do not do the same function as a Judge sitting on a bench. The best scenario is when parties themselves come to an agreement themselves on their own terms with the Mediator facilitating the process by helping the parties communicate and identify their needs and goals.

CONTRIBUTIONS 

Since the Mediator is presumably a professional and has mediated many cases before he/she may have the experience to know what works and what generally doesn’t in most situations. The questions becomes does the Mediator put on the Judge hat and share this knowledge early on? By doing so does this threaten the process of the parties own self determination? As an intuitive Mediator and listener, I take this on a case by case basis and really get to know my  clients to see if my input would add value to their mediation. In some cases by speaking up, I can help the parties see something they normally would not have seen. In other cases, speaking up too quickly may just add to the conflict.

Judge or Mediator

Judge or Mediator

LAW

I have to walk a fine line between letting my clients know what the law is and giving legal advice. Even though I am an Attorney, giving actual legal advice would compromise my neutral status. But that doesn’t mean I can’t let them know about past case law and what happens generally in cases similar to theirs. It’s a nice framework to have in mediations.

WHO’S THE AUTHOR?

Many times my clients want me to come up with suggestions. I’m happy to do so, but in a very cautious manner. I don’t want one or both parties to think what I’ve come up with doesn’t benefit them or is biased in some way. I go out of my way to explain my rationale. But I believe this is part of my job as a Mediator to help the parties get to an agreement. So in a way, we do function as Judges but not in the standard way one might think.  Please contact divorceharmony.com for more information.

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Consultation What To Ask

 

Divorce Consultation

Divorce Consultation

1. ASK RIGHT QUESTIONS 

Here at Divorce Harmony we offer a free consultation so potential clients can understand what we offer and if our services are right for them. It’s important to ask the right questions so I will attempt to explain what usually transpires in a typical consultation. First, I offer the consultation free because I look at it like an opportunity for both of us to determine if we are a good fit and I need to make sure that the case is appropriate for mediation or divorce coaching.

Divorce Consultation

Divorce Consultation

2. VIRTUAL

The consultation is virtual like all of our services here at Divorce Harmony so we can schedule at your convenience and can be done from anywhere from the beach to the carpool line or your company’s break room.

3. COMMON QUESTIONS 

The most common question I usually get is how long will the mediation or divorce coaching take. This is an “it depends” kind of question. I have had one hour mediations and I’ve had mediations that have lasted 6 months. The same with divorce coaching. Sometimes a client needs assistance with one particular issue and once we’ve resolved that, their coaching journey is no longer needed. Alternatively some coaching clients do not have a particular focus and may need more generalized guidance.

4. COST

Another issue that should be discussed is cost. We have a very transparent pricing system here with no hidden fees and ridiculous retainers. There is an hourly fee for mediation, coaching and drafting of documents. BUT we do not charge for every phone call or email. We also offer packages. This gives you the opportunity to decide if the pricing works for you.

Divorce Consultation

Divorce Consultation

5. INSTINCT

In the consultation I will discuss my methodologies for mediation or coaching and see if it is in line with what you are looking for. Ultimately, I think it always comes down to whether you feel comfortable with me as a mediator or coach. Do you feel like I can be a neutral, professional third party in your mediation or a supportive, available, savvy, motivational coach in your divorce journey. Please contact divorceharmony.com for more information.

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Divorce Coach??

Divorce Coach near me

Divorce Coach near me

WHAT IS A DIVORCE COACH?

What is a Divorce Coach?? And do you need one? How do I find a Divorce Coach near me? Many people are discovering that a Divorce Coach is an essential member of their team, if not the MVP of the process. A Divorce Coach assists parties to a divorce by offering support, guidance and organization throughout.  They can be attorneys or therapists but it is not required.

WHY? 

I have recently made the decision to add divorce coaching to my services in the hopes that I may help even more people. Often times I’ll have someone come to me that would like to try mediation but unfortunately their partner does not and would rather take the contentious route. I have to begrudgingly turn away that  person because in order to mediate we need both parties to participate.  By offering divorce coaching I can still help that one party have a hopefully successful divorce process. By successful I mean organized, low cost, less acrimonious, better for the kids and less time.

Divorce Coach near me

Divorce Coach near me

NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY

A Divorce Coach is different then your Mother or Best Friend in that he/she will give you neutral advice and not just what you want to hear. Also, your Mother and Best Friend may be too emotionally invested to give you clear guidance. This isn’t a bad thing they probably love you very much and want what’s best but its just not their role. The Coach will help you make the best decisions for your future since the Coach is not emotionally invested.

LOWER ATTORNEY FEES 

As an Attorney as well as a mediator I’m well versed in the legal ins and outs of divorce. I also know that Attorney’s can be ridiculously expensive. Part of coaching entails helping you made decisions and working out responses to emotional decisions in advance so you don’t have to go over it with your Attorney who will charge you an arm and a leg. I can also answer basic legal questions saving you money by not inquiring with your Attorney. Of course, there may be some issues that you will still need to speak to your Attorney with but I can help you break down what those are.

ORGANIZATION 

You are splitting up your entire life and it can be a whirlwind you may not be thinking clearly. Allowing a Divorce Coach assist you in organizing your goals, legal issues, emotions, family, financial concerns can give you back the power in your life. Setting goals and working through the tough stuff in the midst of upheaval can help in the present and for planning the future. Let’s work on a financial plan/career, relationships with your children, how to communicate with your ex-spouse and more. It’s not as difficult when everything is organized, put into a plan and as your Divorce Coach I demand accountability in a supportive way.

RESOURCES 

As a Divorce professional, I have a long list of superior professionals I have been working and collaborating with. I’m happy to refer an Attorney, a financial expert or a mental health expert. None of these may be necessary or all of these may be. It really depends on your particular situation but whatever the case may be I can assist.

Divorce Coach near me

Divorce Coach near me

COST AND TIME

The cost for a Divorce Coach is very reasonable. Unlike an Attorney, not every email and phone conversation is charged. I offer reasonable custom packages depending what your goals are and I am always on call. Additionally, like my mediation practice, everything is done virtually. We have sessions on your time from wherever you choose. Please inquire with divorceharmony.com to learn more.

ULTIMATE CONVENIENCE

In addition to Coaching I can draft and file all of your paperwork if that is something that you are looking for. You would not even have to go to Court! Everything can be filed online.

Divorce Coach near me

Divorce Coach near me

COMMUNICATION

It’s all in the message really. I can help you develop effective communication skills with your ex to facilitate a more pleasant divorce process including figuring out a parenting plan for your Children so their transition is as seamless as possible. And so you can get on with your life and discover your next chapter with a clear head and heart.

I’m excited for 2019 and working with more families and individuals in providing stress free, fast, cost effective divorces. Please contact divorceharmony.com for more information. Happy New Year!

 

 

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Body Language and Mediation

Body Language

Body Language

In a mediation how can you tell what the other side is thinking? Is there a secret formula? After having conducted countless mediations, I’ve come to rely on people’s body language more than anything. By learning how to “speak this language” I’ve come to understand where the parties are coming from. I sincerely contribute my success rate to this bilingualism.

Unlike court, which is by nature combative, mediation focuses on collaboration and a meeting of the minds. If one comes in using harsh words focusing on getting their message across verbally, they may lose sight of the more effective means of nonverbal communication. There have been many studies that prove that words are many times not enough. In communications that involve highly emotional personal situations, the words we say are of less import then the tone of voice and nonverbal bodily communication.

My job is to get the parties to come to a mutual agreement. Using body language signs to make sure we stay on track has been extremely helpful. I can sense how the other party is feeling or receiving certain information from the movements they make. For example, is one party excepting what you have to say? A good indicator of rejection is if they are sitting back in their chair, cross their legs in your opposite direction or folding their arms across their chest. If you see these signs or others what do you do? This is my key that a new strategy or approach to present the information is needed.  Or perhaps the parties need to caucus at this juncture.

Incorporating positive body language signs into the mediation can also make for a successful agreement. Smiling and showing general pleasantries can go a long way. Try to keep things in perspective. Whenever I feel like things may be going south I take a pause and try to “smile on”

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