Blog: Ellen’s Divorce Tips

Penn State: What We Already Knew

It may seem that a blog about the recent events at Penn State are beyond the scope of appropriate subject matter for a divorce mediation website.  If it seems that way to you, then Penn State may be your first encounter with the sex abuse of children that is rubber-stamped with the silence of a school, or a church, or a family, or any other institution in which the abuse is occurring.  It is not my first encounter.  Not by a long shot.  

In my mediation practice, I have heard reports from parents about the sex abuse of their child at the hands of a neighbor or relative or teacher.  …

Who Is Listening?

When speaking to your lawyer or mediator on the phone, make sure the children are out of the room and out of ear shot.

The same rule applies when you are talking to your friends on the phone about your divorce or your soon-to-be ex-spouse.  The children should be nowhere around. 

You want to talk about your divorce in your house and the children are home?  Don't start talking until you have someone to care for the children and you have removed yourself from their vicinity. 

Getting The Math Right

When calculating a financial affidavit for your divorce case, you must get every figure correct. In Connecticut, the Court wants to see each person's household expenses and income broken into weekly amounts.  Most people, however, do not know how to correctly convert a monthly amount into a weekly figure. 

First, remember, there are NOT 4 weeks in a month.  There are 4.3333 weeks in a month—and dividing your monthly numbers by 4 will always yield  the wrong number.  

Ports In The Storm

Connecticut was one of the states hit by an unseasonal and catastrophic snow storm at the end of October.  At one point, reports were that 96% of the state was without power.  That meant that most of the state was without heat and lights. People without alternate living quarters or generators shivered through the dark nights, while their food thawed and rotted in their freezers.  As I write this, much of the state is still living under these dreadful conditions; and we are now 9 days past the storm.

Attorney-Mediator Ethics: The Analysis

A mediator is a neutral facilitator in the dialogue between parties with conflicting interests.  Equally important to what the mediator is, however, is how the mediator is perceived.  Is she neutral, or does she have some sort of bias for or against one of the spouses?  Is it actual bias, or is it a matter of how she is perceived by one client or the other?

A spouse who comes to mediation should feel comfortable in the knowledge that the mediator does not have a pre-existing relationship with the other spouse.…

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