Peaceful Divorce

1. Appoint a Special Master (go to person) for disputed issues regarding the kids
Instead of running to court when issues come up in the future, build into your divorce agreement a back door to avoid court. Is there a couple who has already successfully raised their children, whose opinion you trust? They would be the perfect Special Master to use when kid disputes arise in the future. This is an honor most people would gladly accept. When issues come up, the parents go to the Special Master, explain their positions and leave it to the Special Master to give their best advice which would be followed by the parents. This avoids court and attorney expenses. If you don't know a couple like this have one parent give a list of 3 child therapists to the other parent who will interview them and make the final decision. That way each parent has input.

2. Joint Custody Ideas
If you are looking at joint custody arrangements, how about the popular 5/2 2/5. This is a very stable and predictable way of child sharing that insures no more than 5 days will ever go by without seeing the children. One parent takes each Monday and Tuesday while the other parent takes each Wednesday and Thursday then have every other weekend which will either be Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to one parent and then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to the other parent. The children always know where they are that day and there are fewer transitions.

3. Child Custody Ideas - Nesting
This is for parents who are really focused on the best interest of the children and need to save money. This is YOUR divorce, not your kid’s. Why should they suffer just because the two of you are getting divorced? They don’t want to move and they don’t want to go stay at mom or dad’s new place. They want to be in their own room, in their own neighborhood, close to their friends. So the two of YOU move in and out of the house when it is your turn to be with the kids. When you are not in the big house, you are at the shared bachelor pad. This can be an inexpensive studio or one bedroom flat that is shared by the parents. You need to have rules about not leaving tell tale items that belong to lovers and clean after yourself. This saves a LOT of money since no one has to rent or buy a new place that is big enough to accommodate the kids.

4. Support Modification
As circumstances change, it may become necessary to modify child or spousal support. Most states have some sort of calculation they use to determine support. Any paralegal can run the numbers for you so there is nothing to fight about. In your divorce agreement, add a clause that states that the two of you want to reduce legal fees by having informal modifications when there is a change in circumstances. Agree to exchange year to date income information and to use a paralegal to determine support and draft a stipulation in order to avoid court. Also include an attorney fee provision that says if one party does not abide by this agreement and the non breaching party seeks relief from the court, they WILL be entitled to attorney fees. This way everyone has an incentive to follow the agreement.

5. How To Find A Mediator
The phone book is full of divorce attorneys. How do you know who to trust? When looking for a mediator it is best to avoid the wolves in sheep’s clothing. You do not want an attorney who primarily practices adversarial law. While it is best to use a mediator who is an experienced lawyer so they can give accurate legal information to the couple, you want to use someone who focuses primarily or better yet, exclusively on mediation instead of litigation. Ask the mediator how many mediations they have done (the more the better), what their success rate is, how long it takes and the cost. Then compare the answers to see who the two of you like best.

6. Mediation Won’t Work For These Kinds Of People
Mediation is not right for everyone. Experts agree that about 15% of the cases involve high conflict personality types (Borderline, Narcissistic, Histrionic and Antisocial). Those kinds of people want to fight. They need the drama and chaos that IS our adversarial system. Mediation is also not right for people who are hiding income or assets. Dishonest people will not deal fairly with their spouse which forces the honest spouse to hire an attorney to do discovery in order to uncover hidden information.

7. Photos and Albums
Don’t forget about the family photos. Everyone will want at least some. If you have the negatives, use joint funds to make copies. If you don’t have the negatives anymore and both of you want the same photos, use joint funds to make copies. If you have children, they are the ones who will get these precious mementos. DO NOT tear the other parent out of the photos. It is not fair to the children who will want the photos intact when they grow up!

8. When Pets Are the Kids
This issue should be treated exactly like child custody. The parties are in a MUCH better position to make decisions about what is in the best interest of the animals. Courts do not want to be bothered with "property" issues like pets so they will not be much help. A couple will be much better off if they engage in mediation when pets are involved. You can tailor a custody and visitation agreement where the two of you can share the pets as you would children. Both of you should be responsible for vet costs or any other extraordinary costs. If you use doggy daycare, those costs can be shared. Be realistic about whether or not the pet has a primary bond to one person or the other. And like human children, pets that have grown up together and love each other, should not be divided. They are better off together.

9. Coin Flip Provision For Dividing Property
It is insane to spend money on fighting about who gets what. There are some things that should naturally go to one spouse instead of the other and you both know it so don’t fight about it. Go through the house together and identity who wants what. For everything that you can’t agree on, flip a coin one time. If it comes up heads, the person who is older picks first, tails the younger person picks first. They will pick the thing they want the MOST and then it is the other person’s turn, going back and forth until all items have been chosen.

Views: 9


You need to be a member of Peaceful Divorce to add comments!

Join Peaceful Divorce

Comment by Fran Brochstein, J.D. on February 10, 2008 at 11:58pm

I especially agree that the kids should stay up and the parents should do all the moving in and out!

Of course, you are lecturing to the choir!

Keep up the good work.

Become an affiliate of the Happily Divorced! book and audio program! Let Reformed "Killer" Divorce Attorney, Cynthia Tiano, and Dr. Max Vogt, Marriage and Family Psychologist, take you on an adventure into the lives of two families going through the divorce legal system - one doing "legal battle" and the other creating a "peaceful divorce". Learn how to create a Win-Win from their experiences...


Latest Activity

Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

What About the House?

Going through divorce means dealing with hundreds of details, some more important than others. One detail that merits extra contemplation is how to deal with the marital home.Does one spouse want to keep it because the children still live there? You don't want to disrupt their lives any more than is already happening. What if the children are grown? Do you still need that much of a house?Here are the three most common means of dealing with the house in divorce:Selling the house and dividing the…See More
Apr 24
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Child Support for Special Needs Children

We know that the divorce rate among all couples is about 50%, but there is no question that divorce rates are even higher among parents of children with special needs.Below is an article that was written by Dr. Howard Drutman and Marsha Schechtman, LCSW. In this article, they talk about the considerations that must be understood about the special needs child. In addition to their information, we also have to think…See More
Mar 28
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

An Email From the IRS? Don't Believe It

Scam artists have developed a new tactic in cheating taxpayers out of their hard-earned money.Transcript fraud is when taxpayers are lured into opening an attachment that is supposed to be their tax transcript. In fact, the attachment contains malware that will intercept all of your outgoing data, with the intent of capturing account numbers. From there, the thieves withdraw the money and the taxpayer is left without…See More
Feb 21
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

2018 Taxes & Divorce: There Is Still Time

If you are getting divorced or just got divorced the last thing on your mind is taxes. It is important to remember that if you got divorced anytime in 2018 (even Dec. 31, 2018), you will be considered divorced for the whole year of 2018. What does that mean for taxes?It could mean a higher tax bill than you thought.  If you are receiving alimony this year it will be taxable to you.  If you are…See More
Dec 28, 2018
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Tax Tips for the Recently Divorced

We are only 4 weeks away from the end of the year. What does that mean for people who have gotten divorced in 2018?It means you have to get ready to file your tax returns for the year ending 2018 by April 15, 2019, or else extend it. Remember, just because you extend it, you still have to pay any tax that you owe by April 15, 2019.If you got divorced in 2017, here are some items you need to think about for tax…See More
Dec 12, 2018
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

An Elegant Solution: The Child Support Account

Today I’m pleased to bring you a special guest blog written by my colleague Steve Erickson. In his 35 years of experience, Steve has come up with a novel approach to child support that shifts couples away from being adversarial and toward collaboration. This method is called the Child Support Account, and it was originally proposed…See More
Nov 15, 2018
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Withholding: A Down Payment, not a Tax

In my experience, many people do not know the difference between the withholding amount (the taxes deducted on your pay stub) and their tax liability. All they know is that they don’t have the money. They think they’re square with the government, and are surprised if they owe any amount on top of what was withheld. That’s why I thought it would be useful to review the…See More
Oct 25, 2018
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Divorce & Support Payments – When Can You Use it to Qualify for a Mortgage?

One of the things I have learned over the years is that we cannot be a Jack-of-all-trades and a master-of-none. In today’s ever-changing world, we need to have connections with professionals in other disciplines and specialities. This is especially true with divorce professionals. I think it is important that practitioners have a network of specialists on which to draw. Today I am going to do just…See More
Oct 4, 2018
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Projecting Your 2018 Taxes

Have you thought about doing a tax projection for 2018?Obviously, this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, no one wants to be surprised around tax time. Here’s why you should get a head start on knowing the new tax law and how it will affect you and/or your business in the coming tax year.We are seven months into the New Year. You may not be aware that we have a new tax law that went into effect on December 22, 2017, or that most of the provisions took effect on January 1, 2018.Here are some…See More
Aug 23, 2018
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Mediators: The Swiss Army Knife of Divorce

Today I’m featuring an article by a colleague of mine named Martin Kranitz. Martin, a mediator in Maryland, has obtained certification from the Maryland Council for Dispute Resolution, one of the first organizations to provide mediator certification based on demonstrated performance rather than just education and mediation courses taken.  In this piece, Martin discusses one of the many functions a mediator can play,…See More
Jul 12, 2018
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

The Top 3 Reasons to Choose Mediation

As attitudes change about marriage and divorce, mediation has become an attractive alternative to traditional litigation. Still, some people are wary of it. The good news is that the facts support mediation, and in this post I provide a “cheat sheet” to help you persuade a reticent spouse into the process.Control: You and your spouse get to control the speed of the process. You both get to make…See More
Jun 5, 2018
Robert D. Bordett, CFP, CDFA posted a blog post

Things We Don’t Think About When Getting Divorced

Financial issues are a big part of the difficulty of divorce, in part because people don’t realize there are certain contracts that take precedence over divorce decrees. In fact, that’s the number one misconception that people seem to have. Being able to identify financial issues can help take away some of the pitfalls and stresses that can arise…See More
May 31, 2018




© 2019   Created by Cynthia Tiano, Esq..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service