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Keep the Kids Out of the Middle

When parents are divorcing, children often get pulled into the middle of their arguments. It is so important to keep them out ! Divorce is a tough process. It is difficult, painful and expensive both emotionally and financially. Often times, parents, and good parents who care about their kids, end up putting their kids in the middle. Sometimes it is purposeful to show the ex they have the kids on their side or to validate their feelings. But sometimes, it is not conscious, as people are so hurt and angry that they say things to the kids not realizing the [...]

Joint Custody

Joint custody is sharing the children after divorce, but what does it really look like? And is it good for the kids? This is a question I am frequently asked. Joint custody can be either joint legal or joint physical custody or both. In NY at this time, joint legal custody is often the presumption, with both parents sharing the joint responsibility of decision making for their children. This means that neither parent can independenty decide any major decisions about the health, education or welfare of their children. Both parents must communciate together about what schools the children will attend, [...]


As the season changes, school starts, the days get shorter and cooler and the fall begins. Many of us are sad that the summer is over. And some people have major life events that are changing. Most of us resist change because it is difficult. But change is inevitable, actually it is the only thing that is guaranteed in life. The Buddhists tell us that we suffer because we resist change, rather than embracing it. It sounds simple, but it's not! We like life to be comfortable, stable, staying the way it has been. Many changes are painful. Separation and [...]

Should Parents Stay Together for the Kids?

I am frequently asked by parents who are having difficulty in their relationships if they should stay together for the kids. What's the right thing to do? What's the best time to split up? Well, as you can imagine, there's no easy answer to these questions. Should parents stay together for the sake of the kids? Well, no, but they should certainly try to work on the relationship because they have kids. Divorces, even amiable ones, are hard on everyone, and separating from a marriage should be a decision that is well thought out and planned. It is not an [...]

Parent Coordination

Parent coordination is the process where divorced or separated parents meet with a mediator to resolve issues they have with co-parenting their children. Mom thinks that her child should be on a soccer team, take music lessons and also a drama class each week. Dad thinks his child should take judo, learn tennis and work with a tutor each week. Who is "right?" They fight over their own ideas and cannot resolve the issue. They need to meet with a parent coordinator. A parent coordinator is generally a family therapist who has training in couple and family dynamics with additional [...]

How to Introduce a New Partner to Your Child After Divorce

I am so frequently asked the best way to introduce a new partner to a child after divorce. There is no perfect way, but there are guidelines that can make the introduction easier. Children of divorce have experienced loss. When their parents split up, even if they have joint custody and see both parents on a regular basis, they experience a loss of the intact nuclear family. That does not mean that they can't adjust to living in two households, but it generally takes some time and work on the parent's part to help them feel comfortable. Meeting a new [...]

Why Choose Mediation?

When a couple is contemplating divorce there are many options. There is mediation, collaborative divorce and as a last resort, litigation. Ending a marriage is an important decision to make and doing it the "right" way has implications for the rest of your life, particularly if you have children. Mediation is an excellent way to resolve conflicts in the dissolution of a marriage. Mediation is a voluntary process where both parties make decisions together based on their own and each other's understanding of their issues, taking into account the realities of their situation. The mediator functions as a neutral facilitator [...]

What’s the “Right” Holiday Schedule?

Choosing a holiday schedule for divorced parents can be a nightmare, but with sensitivity it can be manageable. There is no "right" schedule, the one that is best is what works for your family. Holiday time can be wonderful and it can also be very painful. It is a hard season not to be with your children. And being divorced means that part of the time you are not with your children. Both parents need to share the holidays with their kids. So, what's the best way to figure out a fair and equitable schedule ? Every family is different [...]

Separating with Respect

Getting along well with the one you love is not always easy. Getting along with the one you no longer love, can be even harder. Separating with respect is the key. Relationships can be very difficult at times. No relationship, even a really good one, is easy all the time. There are many difference between good relationships that last, and those that don't. Many couples who stay together are willing to weather some hard times. I often hear people talk about the really bad four years in the beginning, or the awful middle ten years when we had little kids, [...]

What Do the Children Know?

Children of all ages are aware of their parent's actions. Often parents think that the kids are young and that they don't understand, but they do..... When parents are unhappy with one another, the kids know it. Parents often think that they are "protecting" their children from the reality of their situations by not talking to their spouse about issues in front of the kids. but even if a couple doesn't overtly fight in front of their children, the children can pick up a chilly vibe, a tense environment or a hostile feeling. Children know their parents very well and [...]

Same Sex Divorce

Same sex marriage is becoming increasingly more accepted in our society, and with marriage comes divorce. Winning the right to marry is 37 states and are anticipating that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of acceptance of marriage equality, which will end discrimination, makes same sex marriage acceptable. Increasingly, gay and lesbian couples are getting married….and with marriage, comes divorce. Since same-sex marriage is relatively new, same-sex divorce is even newer. There is little research on the topic, but the last statistic published says that there are about half the number of gay divorces as compared to straight divorces. [...]

Why Avoid Divorce Court?

In thinking about how to get a divorce, it is helpful to understand the issues about divorce court. Frequently when couples are deciding to get a divorce, they threaten going to court. It is a common threat that often comes out of anger. "If you can't agree to give me (XYZ) I'm going to take this to court!" And sometimes, the situation gets out of hand and couples do end up in court. If they do, generally it is not a good thing. In divorce court, nobody wins. It is a myth to think that a judge will decide the [...]

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