Holiday Co-Parenting After Divorce: Thinking Outside the Box

The holidays are a stressful time for everyone, and this is especially true for parents of divorce and their kids. If this is the first holiday season you are going into since your divorce, you may find that the parenting schedules you set up are not going to work as you originally planned. There are a lot of possible reasons for this. [Read more…]

Kids of Divorce, Holiday Parenting Schedules

It’s that time of year when  divorced parents have to either decide where the kids are spending the holidays or when they go to their Parenting Agreement to review the schedule that was prepared during their divorce.

When I’m sitting down with divorcing couples during divorce mediation, often times, parents struggle with how to split up the holidays with the kids. It causes not only much stress for them but also stress for the kids. [Read more…]

Trick or Treat: How to Navigate the Halloween Parenting Schedule for Divorced Parents

Years ago, when I first started my divorce mediation practice, I was blown away by how passionate many parents are about Halloween. I found that many couples had no issue whatsoever with alternating weeks or days, and alternating holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. But when the conversation turned to Halloween, things got…scary. [Read more…]

Divorce Mediation: Why Does Divorce Tend to Run in Families?

As a divorce mediator, I deal with many couples whose parents have also been divorced. There is no doubt that divorce tends to run in families, but it is not entirely clear why this happens. For decades, most counselors and therapists in this arena have believed that it is due to adult children role-modeling the behaviors of their parents. [Read more…]

Divorce Mediation: How Long-Term Disability Insurance Protects Families during a Divorce

In the past, I have discussed the importance of having life insurance in a divorce settlement, particularly to protect spouses and children who depend heavily on support payments to stay financially solvent. This month, I want to touch on another type of policy that is closely related to life insurance: long-term disability. [Read more…]

The Benefits of Mediation for Unmarried Parents

Divorce mediation is not only for married couples. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than four out of 10 children in America are born to unwed mothers. In many of these cases, the mother and father are unmarried domestic partners. Other times, the parents live apart from each other. [Read more…]

New Jersey Supreme Court Sets New Standard for Child Relocation

In what has been called a “landmark” decision, the NJ Supreme Court has reversed nearly two decades of precedent by ruling that the relocation of children during divorce must be based on the best interests of the child. In a previous ruling from 2001, the court held that a custodial parent could move a child out of state as long as the move did not cause harm to the child.  [Read more…]

Dating After a Divorce: When to Introduce Children to a New Partner

One of the most common issues that comes up after a divorce is finalized is when and how to expose your younger children to new love interests. This scenario can cause a lot of tension and conflict, particularly when parents introduce their kids to their significant other without first talking to the other parent. After all, the last thing a parent wants to hear when their child comes home from a visit with their ex is “I just met Mommy/Daddy’s new boyfriend/girlfriend”. [Read more…]

The Role Fear Plays in Divorce

I have yet to have met a divorcing couple who doesn’t have fear. Fear of what?

“What will happen to me in the future?”

“What will happen to my children?”

“How can I afford to live on my own?”………..

The list goes on and on.  One of the  important things to me as a Professional Divorce Mediator is to make sure my clients are not making decisions from a place of fear. Although the divorce mediation process gives divorcing couples a chance to [Read more…]

The Best Ways to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

Going through a divorce is never easy. Dissolving a marriage takes a major emotional and financial toll on spouses and their families. Divorce mediation can alleviate much of the stress by helping you avoid costly and protracted litigation. By choosing mediation, you are choosing to resolve your differences privately and amicably, so you can preserve important family relationships. [Read more…]

Divorce Mediation is Not Just About Saving Money

Divorce mediation is an affordable and flexible alternative to traditional litigation, which is why a growing number of couples are choosing this option. Mediation is not just for people who “cannot afford an attorney” however. In my practice, I work with many high net worth couples who want to maintain more control over the outcome of their divorce, and do not want to spend their hard-earned cash on exorbitant attorney fees. [Read more…]

When is a Good Time to Start Divorce Mediation?

For many divorcing spouses, mediation can be an affordable and time-saving alternative to costly and protracted litigation. There is a common misconception, however, about when to start divorce mediation. Many believe that they must have everything worked out first before beginning the process.

Recently, I received a call from someone looking to come in with their spouse to begin mediation. He said, “We are almost in agreement on the last issue, so we are almost ready to come in”. [Read more…]

If Jen & Ben Affleck Can Mediate Their Divorce, So Can You!

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner recently filed for divorce, but as People Magazine reports, they have chosen to officially represent themselves in the filing, and handle the dissolution of their marriage as amicably as possible. I applaud them for using divorce mediation, and for choosing to keep the details of their divorce private.

Divorce mediation is becoming increasingly mainstream, even among high net worth couples such as Ben and Jen and other celebrities. Gone are the days when it is assumed that saving money is the only reason to consider mediation. [Read more…]

How Should You Celebrate your Children’s Birthdays After a Divorce?

As a divorce mediator, I work closely with couples to develop a settlement that works best for them. And when I begin working with a divorcing couple who have children, the first thing I do is establish a parenting plan. I do this first for a number of reasons.

First of all, I like to start with a topic in which the parents are likely to be on the same page; after all, nearly every parent wants what is best for their children. Secondly, children are not “negotiables”, and I do not allow them to be negotiated for anything. [Read more…]

Divorce Can Create Stronger Family Values

I am a true believer that when divorce is approached in a thoughtful and reasonable way, there can definitely be positive outcomes. It’s all a matter of how two people go about it and what their end goals are. One of the things I love most about being a divorce mediator is that I get to work with couples in a way that will enable them to strengthen their family bonds rather than pull them apart.  [Read more…]

Divorce Issues Are Not Really About the Law

Divorce is technically a legal proceeding, and once it is completed, the state recognizes the marriage as dissolved. But although the process is legal, the issues within a divorce have less to do with the law, and more to do with other factors. Among them include emotions, finances, and personal circumstances. [Read more…]

Divorce is NOT “One Size Fits All”

Divorce is almost always a difficult and emotional process. The uncertainty of “what comes next” tends to create a lot of stress for divorcing spouses. In addition, each circumstance is unique, and the wants and needs of the spouses vary from case to case. This can make it especially difficult to come to a satisfactory resolution through traditional processes.  [Read more…]

What are the Holidays Like for Children of Divorced Parents?

This month, I’ve invited author and freelance writer Paul Lindquist to write a guest post about what it was like for him during the holidays as a child of divorced parents. Paul has agreed to share his insights on how he experienced the holidays both before and after his parents were divorced, and how these experiences remain with him to this day. Take it away Paul… [Read more…]

Being Thankful Even When Going through a Divorce

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time when we take a step back and reflect on everything we have to be thankful for. This can be difficult, however, when you are going through trying times. For example, if you are in the middle of a divorce, or recently finalized a divorce, your whole world may be turned upside down. [Read more…]

How to Help Your Kids Cope through a Divorce

Dissolving a marriage takes an emotional toll on everyone involved, including (and especially) the children. Kids react in a number of ways to divorce, depending on their age, personality, and the specific family dynamics and circumstances. Initially, the reaction is often one of shock, anger, worry, fear, sadness, frustration, uncertainty [Read more…]

Divorce Mediation: The Importance of Life Insurance in the Divorce Settlement

September has been deemed by the insurance industry as Life Insurance Awareness Month, so I thought this would be a good time to discuss life insurance as it relates to the dissolution of a marriage. When I enter into divorce mediation with a couple, one of the things I ask for are specifics on their life insurance policies.  [Read more…]

CASA for Children of Mercer and Burlington Names Roseann Vanella as Board President

style=EWING, NJ, Sept. 20, 2016 — The Board of Trustees of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children of Mercer and Burlington Counties has appointed Roseann Vanella, founder of Advanced Mediation Solutions,  as president.  Ms. Vanella succeeds Andrea Stine of Morgan Stanley, who will remain on the board after having served as president for the past two years.  The board also appointed four new members.  They are Digesh Patel of Mercadien, who will serve as treasurer; Deena Betze of Borger Matez; Gregory Grimaldi of Conner Strong & Buckelew and Jane Massi of M&T Bank.

“This is a very exciting time for CASA of Mercer and Burlington! “ said Ms. Vanella. “We have brought together a very dynamic and cohesive team of passionate and dedicated board members along with our newly appointed Executive Director Katherine Carmichael. We are all dedicated to significantly growing the number of children served in both counties and will not rest until each child in need of advocacy has a CASA”  Read More

Divorce Mediation: Personal Solutions for a Personal Matter

Getting a divorce is a giant step for both parties, and the way you work out the terms and conditions of the settlement will have a major impact on your lives (and the lives of your children if you have any) going forward. When marriages are dissolved through the court system, those involved tend to take a “cookie cutter” approach to the settlement process, using pre-determined formulas [Read more…]

Divorce, The Raw Truth About Going Through the Court System

I am a Professional Family and Divorce Mediator because I truly believe mediation is the best possible way to divorce.

I truly believe that the divorce process does not have to be adversarial.

I truly believe that children’s lives do not have to be ruined because their parents have decided to divorce and get caught up in a process that is promoting adversarial behavior. [Read more…]