Get on the path to results today with separation mediation
Get on the path to results today with separation mediation
November 21, 2021
Booster shots and booster juice, both are good for you but neither will live your life for you. The pandemic has made us all a little afraid of each other. That can be good in some circumstances but not in others. Certainly it helped us avoid the virus. But it can also lead to distrust and even violence. The recent Rittenhouse verdict from the Kenosha street killings is a possible case in point. Now, I can't claim a direct causation between the pandemic and an 17 year old welding an assault rifle in the streets but it is not a big jump to at least consider the deleterious affects of distrust of those around you. Throw in a good old love-of-gun culture and the last jump is a small one.
Separation and divorce can be rife with distrust. So far the story is mixed about the affect the pandemic has had on rates of separation and divorce, but there is evidence that domestic violence has increased during the pandemic. Can rates of separation and divorce be far behind once the pandemic subsides?
November 12, 2021
I still have the compromise image on the front page. Usually I like to change it up every few weeks but this one strikes me as unusually important and worth keeping for a while. Can't tell if it's the pandemic, the fires or the recent floods, but my sense is that folks are becoming less prone to compromise when dealing with their separation issues.
Is it the loss of control we are all feeling? That chaos is here? Perhaps, although chaos is NOT here. This too shall pass. Stay calm, focus on who you admire, on who love, stay heathy, and patient. Your separation and divorce issues will get resolved.
October 29, 2021
President Biden just said
"No one got everything they wanted, including me, but that’s what compromise is. That’s consensus, and that’s what I ran on."
Couldn't agree more. And that is a good message for couples seeking help through mediation. Think of what you can give in on, be more flexible, look to the long term.
My Agreement to Mediate document highlights this need and commits my clients to compromise at the risk of additional charges being made.
October 28, 2021
The lawyers representing clients in a separation / divorce can fuel the fires of conflict or cool them. The good ones cool them while still doing a good job of protecting their client's interests. My dear departed father once said to me, "Lawyers can over protect their clients." Say what?
I've seen this in action. At great cost, an over-weaning lawyer can push for that last morsel of advantage, that last lower dollar of spousal support for the payer [usually the husband], or that last extra dollar of support for the recipient [usually the wife]. The legal bill can overwhelm any net advantage to their client. Or that same over-protective lawyer might purposefully add to the legal bill of the other side if their client is using legal aid. This can be done for example by not replying to a document on time, requiring the other side to ask again and again. A neat trick I have seen is to make purposeful mistakes in a document. That requires the other lawyer to catch it and fix it, again, all at great expense to the non-legal aid side. These examples sound less like over protection and more like unethical conduct. It all happens but fortunately not often. Ethical lawyers far out number the others. But as with power imbalances between spouses, a mediator needs to watch for such conduct and counter it as best they can.
October 26, 2021
The home page image is soothing. An intergenerational group on a dock? Is that dad with the hat and rod, arm stretched out, with grown up son, hat on back wards with daughter or granddaughter getting ready to cast her lure? It looks like dusk, but could be morning. I like the scene and the ambiguity, leaving one with more than one interpretation. We need possibilities these days. And if you are facing separation, it's all about possibilities. Try to see them, they are there.
October 25, 2021
The web is giving conflicting information on divorce rates during the pandemic. Perhaps it was up in the early days on 2020 and perhaps it fell off with time. Each period with good rationales for why. It more noise in my view. And what does it do for any of you considering separation? Who cares what everyone else is or is not doing?
Three important messages for every couple with children who are thinking of separating:
1. You will always be a family.
2. What affect is the model of an unhappy marriage with an unhappy mom and dad having on your children?
3. There IS life after such a change, things will get better.
These three ideas suggest I am advocating that you separate; I am not. Try everything you can: marriage counselling, individual counselling, prayer if your are inclined. Talk to your friends, people you trust to have your best interests at heart. Proceed only after you are completely sure you can not carry on with the status quo.
Once you are sure, there are ways to proceed.
October 22, 2021
Flu shots today, hoping for the booster vaccine soon. The pandemic has played havoc on relationships of all kinds - friendships, family, and of course marital or marriage-like ones. Within the family, parents haven't seen out of town children and siblings are suffering absences too. Life long friendships can be strained. Work relationships have been majorly disrupted. Still, there is optimism in the air. We seem to be getting through it.
A surprise bit of news: divorce rates appear to be lower durning the pandemic. Folks seem to want to hang-in. Will the trend reverse as the pandemic subsides?
October 20, 2021
The home page has another picture of a family. I want my viewers to think of themselves as part of a family - their family, which of course they are. But some folks can forget that when the emotions surge during separation. Work hard to see the future as one of family, even if it's going to be different, with different routines and traditions, new ones at that. Do not give up. It will get better and you will survive and be happy again, and with your family.
And now, some family promotion. The following links are to my son's new music videos. He's the producer and writer of the music, and director and editor of the videos. This has little to do with separation and divorce although it is in keeping with the theme that "You'll always be a family". His mother has been a great resource for him and we are both very proud of his accomplishments. Besides, it's great music.
October 17, 2021
An apology: So sorry for the lack of function for the video! Have no idea how or when that happened. I have added links to youtube and hopefully it's fully functional now.
October 15, 2021
I like the image the image that was on the the Home page October 15 - a family stepping out onto a long dock on the ocean, seemingly a little tentative. Perhaps they are in a holiday in the tropics, feeling both excited and a little overwhelmed by the beauty and the power of the swells. They are sort of together, a bit strung out on the boards but definitely aware of each other. I reminds me of almost every family at one time or another. Mom and dad with two kids, standing between them, standing with them, looking for direction. The group looks happy to me somehow. Whatever happens to them, they will always be a family.
October 13, 2021
US - Canadian border opens to the vaccinated. Great news for snowbirds and anyone wanting to drive to see friends and family just over there, just a cross that line. Maybe it will ease some pressure for those considering separation or divorce. How's that?
It's taken years for couples to get to the point of considering separation or divorce. They don't want to do it. They find every reason NOT to do it. And that's often a good thing. A relationship is hard to build and not to be abandoned on a whim. So how does the open border fit it? Well it's another distraction. "Hey honey, we can go back to our double wide in California?! " That's something to look forward to, something to plan for. Maybe in that time, they find a way to fix things, to stay together. I always hope my clients are doing the right thing, that they have tried everything and are secure in their decision to separate. I tell them, I'm not a marriage counsellor and won't give you advice, but I will help you leave each other with some dignity intact. That's always the plan.
October 7, 2021
A visit to my home town, Winnipeg, a literal walk down memory lane, always brings back fond memories. There's the house where I grew up; there's my old school, my best friend's home, my favourite 7-11 store. And over there is where my kids played, where, at age 4, they crouched down in the tall grass as a train rumbled by, all huge and noisy.
It's hot here, summer is not yet done with the Prairies. I miss the flat lands, the big sky, the waterfowl edginess. The trees are big and proud of their colours and stamina. It's fall in the open wilds. It will eventually cool down. The mythical Big Northern mallards will come down from remote northern pockets and fly south through the open world of the prairie.
September 30, 2021 TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION DAY
An important day for Canada. Long overdue but welcome just the same.
September 28, 2021
A couple I had been working with went rogue. Both became increasingly fixed to their positions. Neither wanted to bend, to compromise, in short, neither really wanted to mediate. I thought we were making progress, but beneath that surface, a seething resentment belied the effort.
I believe that neither sincerely wanted mediation. Instead, they wanted to use mediation to advance their own agendas. Each hoped to “turn” the mediator into an advocate. Now, most clients want their mediator to like them, so see the world through their eyes. Human nature. But the cynical use of the process, of the mediator and the other spouse is simply wrong. They are no longer clients.
If you want mediation for your separation, be truthful, honest, respectful of your spouse, and of the process. If you are able to do that, then come on in!
September 27, 2021
The new image on the home page is rather difficult to look at. The home page picture is meant to grab your attention without scaring you away. A mix of realism with hope is preferred but it's hard to find such images. Separation and divorce are difficult but not impossible and there is a process that gets you through in one piece.
September 11, 2021
The twentieth anniversary of 9/11 is too big a moment for me to comment on. But the US withdrawal from Afghanistan is not. For one thing, it has parallels to separation and divorce and the abandonment of twenty million women and girls to a ruthless movement cries out for comment.
The US lost a twenty year war against the Taliban, essentially fascist group. They presented their effort as a war on terror but I wished they had presented it as protecting the vulnerable. And that this divorce did not lead to care for the vulnerable, that no "child or spousal support" was due and there is no "Parenting Plan" in place, leads me to believe this is not over, that the US will return some day.
It was summer time hot on the weekend but Fall is so close you can touch it. Really you can. Stand near a deciduous tree, reach up and touch its color-changing leaves. There, you've touched Fall. Like many of you, the Fall is my favorite time of year. Cooler, a little mysterious. Being from the glorious prairies, the Fall yields migrations and sights that inspire and brings a kind of welcome melancholy. The kind of feeling you get when listening to "Four Strong Winds" by almost anybody. My favorite versions are by Neil Young and Ian and Sylvia.
So, how to deal with separation and divorce, especially if melancholy is in the back ground? Easy, do it day by day and breathe. Just breathing helps. It won't write your Separation Plan - I'll do that for you - but it will help you get to a proper separation agreement. Once the lawyers have the Plan, it's a small step to your Agreement, all for less than the time and expense of going roque on your partner and bring in the big legal guns right off the bat. Take a deep breath and call a mediator.
August 13, 2021
My play nice message of August 9 recalls an article I wrote years ago while mediating in Winnipeg. I republished here on May 4, 2021. Some of you will rebel. I get that. That so-and-so ex-partner does not deserve “nice”. Quite the opposite you’d say. If there are no children involved, well, indulging in some animosity and anger can feel pretty good, at the time at least. Look at the public marital spats that involve vitriol. Social media posts – see? See what a jerk s/he is?!!
But truly, longer term, animosity and anger will hurt you, and those around you. It’s a bit like the anti-vaxers. It’s selfish and risk the spread of a virus. In this case, the virus is corrosive sentiments in you, and others.
So, this summer continues to disappoint. No mirrors but lots of smoke, and heat. Way too much heat. Even West Coast folks who get glum in the wet dark winters can be happy for rain. Here’s to rain, and cooler air.
August 9, 2021
There's only 137 days until Christmas, plenty of time to find a gift for your loved ones. If you are considering separation, you might be wondering who will be on that list of loved ones. I say, buy your partner something anyway, especially if they are a co-parent.
Co-parenting is a life long effort and should be done as if you still cared for him/her. That does not mean you act as if nothing happened, or that you act as if still do love him/her. It means being nice, forever. Don't show any anger, don't say insulting things about about him/her, and smile. Try being a little duplicitous if need be. It will pay off in better sleeps and happier times.
July 23, 2021,
Time to enjoy the summer. The heck with doom and gloom. Life is too short to waste a minute of it. If you feel that your relationship is on its last legs, call and fund out if mediation is for you. No charge.
July 15, 2021, Yes, we have entered the world of the Big Smoke. Just got back from Vernon and it's getting bad there, like most everywhere in the Okanagan and Caribou.
If you are facing separation, can you even begin to think about what to do about it in this almost-post-pandemic, pre-catastrophic-fire-end of the world climate change crisis? A nice walk would help, maybe, if the poor air quality doesn't choke you. How about vacation by a lake, go for a swim? Great if there is room at camp ground.
Ok, so I'm being purposefully doom and gloom. But I'll wager that for many in the depths of marital or relationship woes, my words strike a clear and true note. For those not in those depths, take a moment for a compassionate thought; maybe call someone you know going through it. Take them out for coffee. Tell them a joke. It's tough enough right now facing the systemic calamities without adding relationship collapse.
Over the many years of my mediation practise with separating and divorcing couples, almost 100% say they felt better after making the call and starting the mediation process. Action beats gloom and doom any day.
July 2, 2021, The Big Heat is gone. Good riddance.
Have we now entered the world of the Big Smoke? It's not hard to be gloomy when disasters such Lytton happen. Those unfortunate folks. The Province did really quite well fighting the pandemic. Let's hope someone as competent as Dr. Henry is in charge to deal with what's looking to be a terrible year for fires.
Family mediation for separating couples can be rather like fighting fires - it can be hard to see through the smoke caused by fear, and the heat of anger can burn. My suffering clients need cool air, deep breaths, and some hydration. The fear and anger usually subside a little simply by doing something about their situation, such as making that first call to me. Embers though can stay on a slow burn for a long time. That's ok. It's just nature and will cool off eventually.
So, if you are reading this wondering what to do about your deteriorating relationship, take that deep breath. Ask yourself:
1. Have we tried counselling?
2. Is there still hope for our relationship?
3. Do I want it to work?
4. Does s/he?
If the answers to the above are not encouraging, please call me. I'm not saying I will take you as clients [I do need both of you]. If there is any hope for your relationship, I'll refer you to those that can help save it. I am not in the business of helping end a relationship that shouldn't end. But if it truly is over, I can help get you to a new life in a dignified way.
June 28, 2021, The BIG Heat
Dangerously hot in Vancouver over these next few days. My hope for struggling couples is that the added stress of too much heat doesn't spill over into their already over-heated relationship. Some words that might help are "calm assertive", "cool but not cold", "being curious not judgemental".
That last one is getting a lot of play lately due to a fine TV series called Ted Lasso, worth watching. But the notion and emphasis on being curious had been around in the mediation world a long time. In courses such as "Dealing with Angry People", suspending judgement in favor of curiousity is a skill that can be taught and learned. It might take some practise but worth a try. And it can help cool things down.
June 10, 2021
Well that start of summer thinking didn't last long. Rain and cool tempts brought me back to reality. The family tug of war image is better - it represents a healthy activity in good times, can be representative of the struggle in bad times, but offers hope for a return to happy summer times.
June 6, 2021
I know it's not summer yet, at least not officially. But I always start "summer-thinking" around now, even late April or early May. A previous Home page image was my official start of summer-thinking. Just because.
Parenting after divorce – developing a co-parenting plan that works
Parenting plans can address:
1. Financial issues
2. Schedule details
3. Communication and interaction
4. Travel with children
5. Decision making
7. Changes in circumstances
Today we will focus on #3 - #6.
3. Communication and interaction:
“I sent that email three days ago, the one about the kids sleep over this weekend? Why didn’t you reply?”
“I thought we agreed that if I didn’t reply with in a day then you could assume I agreed to your request. Damn, this isn’t working.”
Actually some parents find the no-reply default plan works just fine but I don’t recommend it. No reply might mean it was never received, so as with most all other communications, it takes a broadcaster and a receiver to complete the message so reply as soon as possible.
“Ok great, so I’ll pick her up at 9am Saturday, but I’ll need her passport, we are going driving 2 hours south of the border after all.”
“What are you saying? I’m supposed to have her passport? Where does it say I have it? I thought you had it!”
“ Well you’re her mother, I just thought you would take care of stuff like that.”
Not good. Too many question and exclamation marks. Those two punctuations [? and !] are things you want to avoid when separated!! The passport brings us to a big issue.
4. Travel with Children:
Your Parenting Plans will say something like: ‘You must notify the other Party within a reasonable amount of time the following: destination, itinerary, contact info, and if out of country, medical insurance, and explicit notarized permission from the non-traveling parent approving the travel.’ Pretty reasonable I'd say.
5. Decision Making:
“Dad, I want to go over to Billy’s house to play!”
“Oh that doesn’t work Peter, I didn’t get your Mom’s permission for that.”
“But Dad, its Saturday and Billy lives right next door! Mom always let me, and besides, he just spent the night here on our sleep-over.”
“Oh boy, I don’t’ know what to do. Ah, I know, I’ll look it up in that handy, ready to use Parenting Plan our mediator put together for us. Where is it… now let me see, ah here it is. It says:
‘Day-to-day decisions are to be made by the Parent who has care of the children at the time.’ Ok you can go but be home before you Christmas ok?! Love you!!”
Big decisions, such as education, religion, health, extracurricular activities, and after-school care are usually done jointly.
“Mom, can I go sky diving with Billy and his mom? It’s really safe, the use parachutes and everything.”
"Yes dear but be home before dark.”
That "be home before dark’" was a well-worn parental warning when I was a kid, last century, before time. All you had to say at 9am on a Saturday morning was, ‘I’m going out!’ and you would hear, ‘Ok but be home by dark.’ And if it was June 21 and you lived anywhere near the 49th parallel, that would mean by 10pm. If you lived in Whitehorse you never came home.
I’m old enough to remember running behind the John Deer tractor when dad sprayed DDT for the mosquitoes, perfectly safe. Made me what I am today.
The degree to which your plan addresses all the potential sources of danger is limited only by your imagination and level of paranoia. But for sure you’ll want to think about deep-sea scuba diving, motorcycles, and yes, even sky diving. If your kids are really young and you lack confidence in your ex, think about the more obvious such as use of life jackets, seat belts, sunscreen, helmets, safeguarding household cleaners, poisons, and medicines.
Your plan may say: ‘Both Parties will employ safety measures to protect the children. This includes but is not limited to the following:…’ And it will likely also say: ‘Neither Party can engage children in a dangerous sport without first getting written consent from the other Party.’ So it is ok to sky dive as long as both of you agree, and hopefully your child actually wants to do it too. The last big area for Parenting Plans addresses Changes in Circumstances, but that and more details on parenting will be for next time. Happy parenting.
May 11, 2021
Mother's Day come and gone. Hard day for some. Those that had to face reduced time with their kids as a result of a separation arrangement might wish the day to pass quickly. Days like Mother's or Father's Day, Xmas, heck, any traditional annual mark on the calendar can come with mixed feelings, and straight up dread for others in their life after separating.
It's trite to advise accept and move on. Unfortunately it's also true. We all have to accept loss and grief, some more than others to be sure. Not seeing your kids on Mother's or Father's day, or on an anniversary of significance can hurt and hopefully you can tell yourself that it's not all the end of the world.
That was the criteria I had with my daughter when she was very young. If something unfortunate happened, she would it into context: "But it's not the end of the world is it Dad?" "No, sweetie, " I'd say, "it's not the end of the world." Smart kid.
May 4, 2021
Hope you found the Marriage as Flight essay helpful. Here's another:
Your mother was right: Play nice
Are there really 50 ways to leave your lover?” The short answer is no. Paul Simon mentioned only a handful and truth be known, there are only a few. The ‘Traditional Way’ which, when all parties work together, results in a good legal separation agreement in an acceptable time and at a reasonable cost. But that’s if everyone works together – all 6 of you: you and your spouse and your representatives. The position-based, adversarial nature of the traditional divorce, when all are not moving in the same direction, can be expensive, bruising, stressful, and time-consuming, not to mention the potential damage it can do to your kids. The participants take a position and fight to protect it.
Today, we’ll explore the other ways - ways more focused on mutual interests, ways we have grouped under the ‘Play Nice’ banner.
Financial and emotional capital
The deep insult so many divorcing people feel is exceedingly hard to ignore. Both spouses can feel betrayed, harmed, and can, with great clarity and a mountain of evidence, show proof of the injury the ‘other’ has inflicted on their well-being. Injury begets anger, anger begets revenge, and revenge? Well, revenge is expensive. Financial and emotional capital can be spent for years to right perceived wrongs. And you will see yourself as a victim. Victimhood is righteous and, in its own odd way, comforting. But it can bankrupt the rich and healthy.
Play nice you say? Not me! On the contrary, playing mean has a much more attractive aroma. Surely revenge will taste sweeter. And indeed it may, but only for a while. It soon turns bitter and sour. Your once pleasing visage becomes that of a baby with a lemon slice - pursed lips, a look of growing reflective shock.
The main issues in divorce are financial and the kids. Under "financial" are family assets and liabilities as well as support payments – spousal and/or child support. Under ‘kids’ lies the greatest treasure you have and to get to a resolution on your children, you need to be counter-intuitive and pay attention to the money first. As we mentioned in the Marriage as Flight article, figuring out the finances first will free you to take that deep breath to discuss with your spouse how to co-parent the kids. The ‘but’ you will have is: But how do I get through the money issues without a lemon-face? He/she will want the RRSPs, the boat, the BBQ and the [fill in the blank] and I’ll be left with nothing, and I’ll be damned if I am going to give in! How to get to “playing nice?”
Playing nice means…
Don’t fight in front of your kids.
Don’t fight at all.
Don’t’ write angry emails or texts.
Don’t leave angry voice messages.
Don’t speak poorly of your spouse (especially in front of your children).
Don’t take that easy cheap shot. Learn to bite your tongue.
If you have another relationship, don’t flaunt it in front of your spouse or kids.
If you don’t have another relationship, wait until after you have your agreement before starting one.
Get help from therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, divorce resource books.
Call a family lawyer versed in mediation and negotiation.
Call a family lawyer practicing Collaborative Law.
Call a service like ours, Dignified Divorce.
You don’t actually have to be nice. That might be more than you can stomach. In that case, just pretend to be nice. The truth can be over-rated anyway, and hypocrisy can be useful when employed for a greater good (please do not quote me on this). The greater good is your kids and if you are honest with yourself, you’ll have to admit that the last few years together was a study in pretending.
So, the stage is set for progress: you promise you’ll be disciplined enough to at least pretend to play nice; you’ll call a pro who knows how to work with couples who would rather be in Philadelphia; and you are willing to take deep breaths, bite your tongue, and listen carefully for a few months.
Our preferred approach is to focus not on position-based thinking, but instead on shared-interest-based thinking. We negotiate for a flat fee, usually in the $3,000 -$8,000 range, which when spit between the couple means $1,500 - $4,000 each for resolution of all issues prior to getting a family lawyer to finalize the plan as a legal separation agreement. As far as we know, it is the least expensive, fastest, and least stressful approach to resolving issues. But there are conditions… You need to be able to be in the same room or virtual room with your spouse once or twice in the process, and you’ll still need a lawyer at the end of it. Our goal is to have you about 90% through the process by the time you need to retain the services of that lawyer.
Another ‘play nice’ approach is collaborative divorce. Collaborative divorce started in California in the 1990s and has quite properly spread throughout Canada and the US. It is a practical and thorough approach involving lawyers, coaches/therapists, and a financial expert. As with the negotiated, resolution approach, collaborative divorce commits the parties to being respectful and cooperative.
Some of you simply are nice and can use the ‘do-it-yourself’ packages out there. I have no opinion on these. Apparently they work fine for some folks, but as my dad, a lawyer, used to say, “Anyone who hires themself as their lawyer has a fool for a client”, so be careful. Overall, it boils down to the age-old advice of moms everywhere: “Be nice, or at least play nice.”
May 1, 2021
A fews ago I wrote numerous articles about separation, family law, and mediation. One of them, likening marriage to flight, keeps coming back to me, so I thought it time to republish it. Here is it, hope you like.
Marriage as flight.
I once traveled to Toronto on the ‘red-eye’, real cheap, 4 am flight. Big rock concert to attend. My buddy and I were all of 20 years old and living the weekend hippie life. As we approached Toronto International, the Captain announced that the light that is supposed to indicate the landing gear was secured would not come on. He said we couldn’t be sure if the wheels would hold once we landed. The procedures for an emergency crash landing were given: fasten seat belts, put false teeth/ pens/ glasses away, cross you arms and lower your head to the pillow on your lap. A flight attendant told me she needed strong, young arms for something special. No problem of course. My job was to sit by the back emergency door and push it open in the event of a crash landing. People were crying, some praying. Myself? I thought I should be paying extra for the thrill of it all. We cruised over the tower several times while the controllers used binoculars to see if the big bolt securing the landing gear was in place. The tarmac was filled with fire trucks and ambulances. The landing went just fine. Apparently it was only a faulty light.
Ah youth! Those carefree pre-marriage days before serious responsibility and commitment came knocking at our doors.
To my mind, a marriage is much like an airline flight to a vacation destination. In marriage, first we get engaged and then plan the wedding, much like deciding to go on a vacation and then booking the flight. Once on board, we find our seats and settle in. In a marriage there is a period of settling in too – kids, careers, parenting. There’s a bit of turbulence during those years for sure but a safe and soft landing at your dream destination is expected.
However on some flights the turbulence become so severe that the warning lights flash, the captain comes over the loudspeaker and asks passengers to fasten their seatbelts and emergency masks fall from the consul above. In a marriage too there are signals that announce the pending failure of the marriage.
At this time in your marriage, as in your flight, your first instinct is to protect your children. But take heed of this caution:
“If the cabin loses pressure during flight, you will need to put on an oxygen mask or risk losing consciousness. Put on your own mask before assisting other passengers, such as a young child. If you are incapacitated, you will be unable to assist anybody else.”
When travelling through a divorce it is essential that you take care of yourself emotionally and financially so that you are able to protect your children. Dignified Divorce offers you that opportunity.
A common urge of divorcing couples is to panic, to put that oxygen mask on their kids first, a mistake often facilitated by traditional divorce processes. The main issues in divorce are financial and the children, and the best approach is in that order. Yes, the kids are your most precious asset, but get the money figured out first: what is everything worth, what is the total debt, how will we split it, how much and for how long will spousal support will be paid, what about child support? Once these issues are resolved, you’ll be able to breath and focus on the kids and your co-parenting plan. And flying won't be so turbulent.
April 20, 2021
I took a golf lesson recently and discovered that I wasn't following through after I hit the ball. I needed to reach through the hit area and finish high with my right foot ending up on its toes.
I like the metaphor of following through, for couples wondering what to do. They need to follow through. If they have concluded that their relationship is not sustainable, follow through, do something about it. Call an expert and get on the path to results with separation mediation.
April 14, 2021
A sore arm and shoulder for a few days, then some fatigue one day, but that was it. First Pfizer shot is done. By Friday April 23rd, our antibodies should be active, giving us some comfort that life is more secure, more predictable, we hope.
On the outside, nothing much will change; we will still wear masks and socially distance, but in the inside, I know we will feel better. But good grief, the variants and this third wave in BC and across the country is worrisome. Already we have changed some summer plans and others are on hold.
A major concern about the pandemic was its potential for added in-home stress for stressed relationships. Studies are being done and so for now, I don't know how definitive they are but the early signs are not good. Family violence appears to be way up, and rates of separation and divorce will surely follow.
If you are one of those facing a relationship that seems too broken to fix, have tried counselling but nothing seems to help, maybe it's time to call a separation mediator. It costs nothing.
March 30, 2021
Thank to to those who have contacted me recently. The Chat button is painless but so is a direct call. I don't bite.
March 27, 2021
Theses days find me posting more. I am also writing stories from my life and have even started a short fictional story. Is it nostalgia or a new found artist outlet, or just the pandemic pushing me around? Don't know, but I do know I enjoy it. My first effort was about a dear friend from my childhood. He was an extraordinarily talented guy, died at 36, much too young. Schizophrenia confused his last years, albeit, I never saw that in our youth which comprised grade school and university years.
My next article focused on time working at a fishing camp as a guide, in north western Ontario. Some nostalgic refection here for sure but also instructive. It brought perspective, and a deeper understanding of a time passed. Guiding in a remote camp with fellow university students, learning the art of walleye and lake trout fishing from Cree and Ojibway local guides gave an education I could not have found in class.
Does any of this relate to separation or divorce? Stay tuned.
March 26, 2021
I'm happy to announce my new membership in the Family Roster of the ADR Institute of BC. You can still find me on Mediate BC's Family Roster, another great organization helping people resolving their differences.
Their websites are: