BLOG

Define Collaborative

I attended a luncheon recently with a speaker who discussed what exactly constitutes a “collaborative divorce.” I hadn’t realized that the question was open to debate! Did he agree that one could perform a collaborative divorce with just two attorneys, one for each party,so long as the participation agreement specified that the lawyers were out…

Read More

Community Liaisons

It is the objective of every practice group to build the awareness, acceptance, and use of collaborative services generally, and their own group’s efficacy, in particular. What if we had an outside advisory board or focus group comprised of representatives from various community organizations and resources to assist us in getting the message out, providing…

Read More

Perspective

When I was seven years old, my parents divorced. My mother loaded us kids into the van and moved us 3000 miles away. I never saw my father again. Ever. Later, whenever I would ask for something that we could not afford, Mom would explain that my father never paid his child support and I…

Read More

Mediation Massacre

Traditional divorce processes are destroying the fabric of American society. Yet another tragic news story that didn’t need to happen: On December 4, 2013, a doctor attending mediation in Manchester, Tenn., was gunned down by his estranged wife in front of his lawyer’s office.  Dr. Harry Bartee, 47, was shot multiple times by Brenda Bartee on the…

Read More

Misnomer

I am one of those lawyers who believes in sharing my own story with my client, in part because I want each one to understand that we have something in common, and in part because it makes it easier for them to share with me. The following is one of the many true stories that…

Read More

I Began College When I Was 16 Years Old…

I began college when I was 16 years old, health before I actually graduated from high school.  (Yes, years later, Vestal High School condescended to send me a diploma, but not until I had passed several courses at college to complete my high school prerequisites!  Which my mother didn’t tell me about until many years…

Read More

Latest Scandal – Gossip Girl Divorce

Good morning! Gossip Girl here. Your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan’s elite.  Did you hear about actress Kelly Rutherford?  Kelly just filed for bankruptcy!  She spent everything she had on her divorce, purchase  plus some!  And you won’t believe the juicy details, all of which you can find on-line in the…

Read More

Why Pro Bono Collaborative Divorce Services?

I have always been a trial lawyer.  (Well, since law school anyway!)  And I am, among other things, a family lawyer.  So, in the old days, I offered free divorces because it was an easy way for me to give back.  But after I spent a couple of years volunteering like this, I became dis-enamored with the…

Read More

Problems Finding Pro Bono Collaborative Clients

We immediately ran into problems.  Not that finding clients who qualify for free services was difficult.  No, we had an established local agency in our community intaking and qualifying needy individuals.  So, we simply solicited referrals there. However, I had naïvely expected that Bay Area Legal Services would send us prospective clients without hesitating.  Not so fast!  The first problem we ran…

Read More

Are Financial Affidavits Mandatory in Every Divorce Case?

Collaborative professionals have long labored under the assumption that Florida law requires financial affidavits in every divorce case, even the collaborative ones.  But, in Salczman v. Joquiel, Florida’s Third District announced that financial affidavits are not necessarily compulsory.[1]  In that case, there were no children, and neither party had requested any form of permanent relief from…

Read More