Common sense ? What’s common sense got to do with divorce ?
Usually, very little… and that’s the tragedy.
I’ve been helping couples in New York City and Westchester County get divorced for over 30 years now — as a litigator, as a lawyer negotiating for one spouse — but mostly as a divorce mediator.
My conclusion ? Most couples do it wrong. Terribly wrong. Anger erodes common sense, and instead of sitting down to work on problems that have been handled on a daily basis for years — how to parent, and what do about finances — separating spouses dump the problems into the laps of lawyers to negotiate for them. Or worse, waste years of time and tens of thousands of dollars just to have these most important family decisions determined by a total stranger: a judge.
The choice is simple. You can negotiate in mediation, and send your kids to college, or you can litigate, and send your lawyers’ children to college. You can choose to sit in a room together now and resolve the issues with the assistance of a trained professional, and be able to sit together at your child’s graduation or wedding. You can pass through this difficult period without destroying your ability to talk and parent together, and navigate this transition and keep your emotions and finances intact. While it’s always difficult to resolve the issues raised by divorce, with mediation you don’t have to turn over either the discussions or the determinations to anyone outside the family. Mediation is your choice to keep control.
For the last several years, I’ve been the Director of the Divorce Mediation Clinic at Cardozo Law School in Manhattan, focusing my attention on teaching the next generation of divorce mediators, as well as helping develop the skills of family mediators through trainings held across the United States. However, I’m still interested in helping couples in need, as well as improving the practices of the professional mediators who work with them. What you’ll find on this website is my common sense approach to divorce mediation for people who are facing the crisis of divorce, as well as resources for professionals serving as divorce mediators.
Let me know if I can help you… make sense of it all.
“We have it in our power to build the world over again”
Thomas Paine, in Common Sense (1776)