We live in a volatile, uncertain and complex time. Advocating for the violent overthrow of an election and interfering in the work of Congress by armed insurrection is a criminal enterprise. Yet, the peaceful transition has occurred. This post does not address ways to engage in meaningful conversations while under duress, such as a hostage negotiation, or when someone is holding a gun to your … [Read more...] about Thoughts on Peaceful Transitions
Yes, Margaret, you can still get divorced in the middle of a global health pandemic. (Reference to Judy Blume’s classic young adult novel, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.) Speaking of God, unless you studied epidemiology or public health, you probably didn’t see this coming. This virus is pulling us all up short, killing friends and family, and disproportionately impacting the lives of … [Read more...] about Divorce in the Time of COVID-19
A lawyer is trained to solve problems. We look for solutions that meet the interests of our clients. All too often, while we are focused on the destination, the resolution, the “win,” many of us miss the opportunities for healing and growth along the way. We fixate on the outcome as opposed to the process. This is where the Collaborative Practice model shines a bright light on the opportunities … [Read more...] about Getting divorced? Now is the time to dream!
The other day the words just came out of my mouth. Emotional safety. What did I mean by that phrase, exactly? I meant being in a space where people could be themselves: vulnerable, imperfect, and capable of expressing their emotions without fear of judgment or interruption. That is my definition of emotional safety. As divorce lawyers, we are all (theoretically) trained to deal with risks and … [Read more...] about Emotional Intelligence – Finding those Spaces Where You can be Vulnerable in Times of Transition
Most of us aren’t taught to be honest communicators. When I recently searched “honesty and why it is so hard?” it brought up a bevy of articles on the psychology of lying. Discussions included: why we do it; can we stop?; should we stop?; when is it justified and when is it not?; is it okay in business?; and, is it ok when everyone else is doing it? I even learned a new word for using truthful … [Read more...] about The case for radical honesty: Is a little white lie a bad thing?
Well, by snooping, you kinda asked for it, didn’t you? Deep down, you had a feeling something was going on. Your spouse assured you repeatedly that there was no one else, but he/she has been acting so weird lately, that you just couldn’t shake the suspicion. So, when you had the chance, you went onto his/her phone or account just to double check. Then you see the confirmation. You feel like an … [Read more...] about WTF?! This Can’t Be Happening!
I’m somewhat attached to my identity as a “pretty tough cookie.” A Jewish girl from Detroit born to fight. That is what I tell myself when I need to be tough. My early experiences with injustice, racism, child abuse, and bullies certainly puts how I ended up a divorce lawyer into context. Recently, I had the experience of confronting my fear of death. A past client asked if I could help her … [Read more...] about Break the Silence. Speak Up Against Domestic Violence.
Actually, it is. It is just harder to prove than physical or sexual abuse. Emotional abuse is insidious and complex. It is known as “emotional maltreatment,” “psychological battering,” “psychological abuse,” “soul murder,” and has been identified in the psycho-legal literature as “the core issue and most destructive factor across all types of child abuse and neglect.” Redefining the Emotional and … [Read more...] about Mythbuster – Emotional abuse is not real, or as bad as physical or sexual abuse
If you have worked through the emotional stages of grief with respect to your divorce, or you are enlightened enough to be able to surrender to what is, then you are ready to start the negotiation process. If your spouse is at the same stage, then you are good to go. If your spouse is not emotionally ready, I urge patience. I know that is not what you want to hear. I understand you so badly want … [Read more...] about Divorce as a Grieving Process – Part 2: Are You Psychologically Ready to Divorce?
As I have said many times before, “divorce is like a death in the family except no one is bringing you food.” Divorce was the first time in my adult life that I was brought to my knees. It hurt so much that I was doubled over in pain. If that is where you are, close to that, or even worse than that, it’s time to take a deep breath or two. Allow yourself to feel the feelings of your divorce and … [Read more...] about Divorce as a Grieving Process – Part 1
What is vulnerability? Webster defines it as: “easily hurt or harmed, physically, mentally or emotionally. Open to attack, harm or damage.” No wonder no one wants to be vulnerable! In an adversarial divorce, clients get hit with a double whammy: they enter a public forum to engage in battle while emotionally depleted and vulnerable. Clients will be easily hurt in this model. They are … [Read more...] about Vulnerability is the New Strong – Part 2
Social scientists and neurobiologists have validated leaders who demonstrate vulnerability and authenticity in the workplace because such leaders promote “human connection”. This in turn promotes trust, and a “culture of forgiveness” that leads to demonstrably greater satisfaction and performance. Couldn’t we apply a bit of that data to our approach to divorce? The Harvard Business Review cited … [Read more...] about Vulnerability is the New Strong