How can you assure that you have a healthy, positive divorce? That both partners can move forward as quickly as possible into their new and productive lives? The answer lies in your own self restraint and not doing the things that convince your spouse that you are going to play dirty — because if you are going to do it, then so is your spouse. The ten worst (and most common) ways to damage your divorce are related to this. Continue reading
Tag Archives: Sam Margulies
People faced with divorce tend to ask the same first question: What are my legal rights? Although at first glance this might seem the most important question, in reality it isn’t. Why not? Your rights, as established by law, are so vague as to be almost meaningless. Let’s review them.
Your rights concern three issues: children, income and division of marital assets. Continue reading
Divorce mediation has evolved as a way to help married couples who wish to divorce to negotiate satisfactory settlements in lieu of struggling with litigation. And because marriage is an institution in which laws establish obligations and entitlements the resolution of such legal constraints as a condition of divorce makes divorce mediation appear dominated by legal concerns. But, in fact, most divorcing couples do not have issues of complex legal doctrines. Rather most middle class people have a lot of practical problems to solve, namely all the issues around how to efficiently use the resources of the family to optimize the welfare of all members of the family. The slowly growing popularity of divorce mediation reflects a growing recognition that the adversarial legal system often gets in the way of expeditious problem solving. Continue reading
Whether or not this story specifically resembles your divorce, the lessons within touch on the significance of how bad advice and divorce attorneys’ expensive maneuvering can leave you in dire financial distress.
Jeff Master and his wife Janet were living in North Carolina when Janet asked for a divorce. Jeff called to make an appointment with me, and three days later they were sitting in my office for our first meeting. Married nineteen years and with two children, ages 11 and 16, Jeff owned a building supply business that had been started by his grandfather and gifted to Jeff by his father who had run the store for forty years. Janet had not worked in fifteen years having chosen to be a stay at home mother. Jeff was 50 and Janet was 47. Both appeared fit and attractive. Like so many other couples they told me a story about a marriage that had gone stale so that both felt they had grown apart. There had been one short round of marriage counseling. Janet had finally told Jeff she didn’t want any more counseling and wanted a divorce. Jeff did not want a divorce and felt that they could fix the marriage with more counseling and a lot of prayer. But Janet had made up her mind and was clear that the marriage was over. Continue reading
Over the past fifteen years a movement called “collaborative law” has grown quickly in the American divorce system. As many people seem to confuse collaborative law with mediation I thought it would be useful to explore the differences. Continue reading
I have long thought that if I could get people to read one of my books on divorce
… I could change their minds about how divorce should be done and then change their approach to their own divorce. I frequently get e-mails or calls from people who have read one of my books, and they tell me that they have been persuaded and want to use mediation to resolve their divorce. Continue reading
Many people believe that an adversary legal system means that lawyers must fight with each other. People also believe that lawyers must be aggressive in order to be effective. The swaggering, loud and pugnacious lawyer is assumed to have an advantage in that he/she is assumed to be able to intimidate quieter lawyers. In truth all of this is utter baloney. Continue reading
Post divorce issues can be just as confusing to manage as those that come up during the divorce negotiation, and support may not always be easy to find. For this reason I am writing a weekly column at Parents Space to discuss issues I hear about frequently in my practice.
My latest article is on How to Manage Different Parenting Styles After the Divorce. Read it here.
I am always available for consultation to help work through any conflicts you and your ex-spouse may be having.
Sam Margulies, Ph.D., J.D.
Sam Margulies, Ph.D., J.D., is one of the most experienced mediators in the United States. Since 1980, he has mediated hundreds of civil disputes and approximately four thousand divorces including many complex multi-million dollar matters.
Author of several books on divorce, Sam Margulies is an empathetic and knowledgeable guide through the difficult journey of divorce. Residing in North Carolina but helping clients all over the world, contact Sam with your questions and to talk about your divorce.
Is there such a thing as good divorce? As in any human endeavor there is a range of performance and a range of possible outcomes. Just as there is bad divorce characterized by mutual self defeat, there is also successful divorce in which a couple has successfully negotiated a post-divorce arrangement that leaves both partners as well a s their children able to adapt to their new lives. Continue reading
During hard economic times many unhappy couples who would otherwise seek a divorce remain unhappily married because one or both believe that they simply cannot afford to get a divorce. Typically, these couples have long lived beyond their means accruing significant credit card debt that weighs them down and makes each month a budget nightmare. I often see couples who have credit card debt in excess of a year’s income and with minimum monthly payments greater than their mortgage payments. Although at least one of the partners feels desperate about the marriage, s/he cannot imagine where the money would come from to finance a second household and other increased costs that accompany divorce. Continue reading