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Are You Contemplating Divorce?

Divorce and separation are probably two of the most stressful life events, good or bad, that people endure with the death of a spouse being first on the list. Other such events would be death of a close relative, personal injury or illness, breakup of an affair, a jail term, marriage, loss of a job, marital reconciliation, retirement, illness of a close relative, pregnancy, sex difficulties, business readjustment, change in financial status, work change, spousal disagreements, child leaving home, in-law problems, outstanding personal achievement, change in living conditions/residence/social activities, life changes, vacation, Christmas, minor violations of the law.

Knowing about the toll that divorce takes on couples and how to deal with them can be helpful to those who are contemplating divorce.

I have been a practicing divorce mediator for almost thirty years and, before that, a facilitator for therapeutic groups of fifteen to twenty men and women going through separation and divorce. It was, in fact, those groups and the knowledge I gained from the participants along the way that impelled me to become a mediator. I facilitated these groups for a total of twenty-seven years, both before and after I became a mediator.

In those groups, I saw ravages of the adversarial divorce process that ruled the courts, ravages that included the children of divorce. Group members would reveal their experiences, their emotions, their feelings of helplessness, and the inevitable escalation of hostilities between them and their spouses. These men and women would receive support from the other participants and some insight and strategies from the facilitators to help them get on with healthy lives.

My love and concern for these people led me to wonder if there was a better way than the scarring adversarial divorce. Win-lose.

And, I discovered that mediation is the better way. Win-win


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The New York court awards alimony after considering the spouses' financial situation, earning capacity, income, and the circumstances of the marriage. For example, if one spouse stayed home to care for the household while the other spouse supported the household, then the court generally requires the working spouse to continue supporting the other spouse. Alimony ends when the spouses agree, one spouse dies, or the receiving spouse remarries.
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