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Don't Fight About It: Barbara Ann Bartlett, Attorney serving Tulsa

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Blog

A Ceremony of Divorce
May 9, 2011 8:05am
I was given this cermony for divorce by one of my clients.  I love the honor it gives to the marriage, and thought it worth quoting here.

 

ILLUMINATA: A Return to Prayer by Mirianne Williamson

Ceremony of Divorce 

            The purpose of this ceremony is to heal hearts, by forgiving the past and releasing the future. This rite is to be held in the presence of the couple’s children, and one person chosen by the couple to be the officiant of the ceremony.

            Like all the ceremonies presented here, this one should not be taken lightly or done casually. I recommend that a spiritual counselor or therapist be the officiant, after having worked with the couple privately to ensure that both participants are ready to declare publicly their forgiveness and release.

OFFICIANT    We come together today not in joy but acceptance.

            For yourselves and for your children, we ask God’s help in this important transition. May you release each other in love and forgiveness, that you may go on from this point healed and whole, no longer married but family still.

            We join with you in God’s presence, as you hereby let go the bond of marriage between you. We ask God’s blessing on you, as you both seek and grant forgiveness. We join with you in the recognition that through the grace of God there are no endings but only the chance for new beginnings, and we pray this day for God to give that new beginning, to you and to your children.

            I say to the children of this couple, whose souls are tried by the experience of this divorce, or have perhaps been tried still more by the condition of your parents’ marriage: May the angels minister unto your hearts and free you from

 

 

your pain. May you forgive your parents. In your hearts, may you accept and bless this decision.

(The officiant now asks the children, one by one, if there is any statement of feeling or intention that they would like to make. The children do so.)

 

                        And so it is. Let us pray. 

Dear God,

We ask You to take these two dearly beloved souls into Your hands.

Include in Your mercy and compassion their children.

May the golden cord that has bound these two in marriage be not violently                 severed, but carefully and peacefully laid aside, this act forgiven and granted meaning by God Himself.

May these two remain parents and sacred friends forever.

Never shall the bond of marriage be made meaningless, before God or humankind.

May these two beloved children of God remember that the love of their union was important, and honor it always.

Your experiences together were the lessons of live lived searching for love.

God understands.

He asks you to remember the innocence in each other, now and forever.

May forgiveness wash you clean. 

 

The love you gave and the love you received were real and will be with you always.

The rest, let us silently and willingly give to God, that He might heal your hearts and give rest to your souls.

You have suffered enough, in coming to this point.

With this prayer, may your family begin again, having released the past and sought from God Himself a new path forward.

We place both past and future in the hands of God.

You are still a family, blessed and held together by God.

May you remain so forever.

And so it is.

Amen.

 

            (At this point, the couple may choose a ceremonial return of each other’s wedding rings                or some other symbolic gesture of loving release. In marriage ceremonies, a couple often    chooses to light a single candle from two separate ones. In the divorce ceremony, a                couple may choose to light two separate candles from one. This symbolizes that                                  although they shall now lead two separate lives, the fire at the centers of their beings                  were blended by God and shall remain so forever.)

 

 DIVORCING HUSBAND  (To Wife)  (Name), I bless you and release you. Please forgive me; I forgive you. Go in peace. You will remain in my heart.

 

DIVORCING WIFE  (To Husband)  (Name), I bless you and release you. Please forgive me; I forgive you. Go in peace. You will remain in my heart.

 

OFFICIANT    Please repeat after me:

Dear God,

Please help us now.

Bless this decision.

Bless our children.

Thank You for what has been.

Thank You for what shall be.

Amen.

 

            I now ask all those gathered here for two minutes of silent prayer for the healing and restoration of these wounded hearts.

            (They do so.)

 

And so it is. (Name) and (Name), you are released from your commitment of marriage. You remain committed forever to the bonds of goodwill.

            God bless you
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Video that explains collaborative divorce over litigation
May 2, 2011 11:47am
I love this video.  Very professionally done.  It gets right to the heart of why you would do collaborative divorce, or at least a peaceful method of divorce.   It is only about 25 minutes, and worth watching.   If you need a quick way to understand the process, please follow this link.  

http://video.collaborativepractice.com/video/default.html

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Coaches for mediation, hybrid and collaborative. Why?
April 26, 2011 11:36am

Divorce coaching is a new and fast growing tool for divorcing couples to use.  It teaches ways to bring peace even when there is none.  It gives you skills unique to that position you will have as co-parents.   It brings closure to the pain, and helps you move on. 

 

It is not therapy.  It is proactive.  It is not meant to explore why you think a certain way, or who is right or wrong.  The overall goal is to assist you to move thru the divorce and to negotiate rationally.  If you are paying professional(s) to help you negotiate, time is literally money.  To make the best use of that time, ‘checking’ your emotions at the door is perfect….but who can do that.  None of us.  But we can use tools to help. 

 

Coaching could be used to address:

1.     Readiness:  How well the person is processing the divorce.  Is there still times of holding on to the marriage such that s/he would unwittingly be unable to say ‘yes’ to a decision that moves the divorce forward. That inability could stop the whole course of the divorce negotiation.  It could be an easy ‘yes’ to something like a filing date; or just yes to an agreement that puts to rest some of the issues…even in his/her favor.  But because s/he is not ready for the divorce, they have to keep it from happening.

 

2.    How to close all the wounds.  Put the past to rest.  It is time to focus forward.  The score will never be even.  It doesn’t need to be even.  What matters is peace.  Children feel toxic stress.  They also feel peace.  Which one would you want your child to be bathed in? 

 

3.    Communication:  the dynamics of the marriage are hard to break.  The couple needs to learn how to no longer be a couple, but to be solid co-parents.  That means ferreting out the dynamics that trigger emotions, addressing those triggers, teaching the trigger-er not to do it; teach the trigger-ee how to expect the triggers, how to deflect them, and how to box them up and throw them away.  Having that ‘plan of action’ will assist the person being triggered by emotion to avoid side tracking into that emotional state, but stay in a more analytical one.  This takes a lot of practice

 

4.    Denial/running away from conflict:  Coaching helps the couple stay engaged for co-parenting purposes.  Disengaging to not have conflict is as bad as having conflict.  Children need fully present parents, especially when those two parents are working together to put together the future of these children. 

 

5.    Messages:  Coaches help the couple come up with a message to the kids. One that will be said now, and one that will develop over time when the kids get older and ask more questions.  You and your present spouse might not know each other well by then.  Can you trust one another to stay on a positive message?  For the sake of the children? 

a.    Children need to have full permission to love the other parent.  Not to feel like they need to hide their love for that parent.  Divorce does not mean the child has to take sides.  Now or ever. 

b.    Children need to know how the fact that their parents are divorced affects them.   Be positive in these messages, and don’t invite yourself to make it a competition with your ex-spouse.

                                       i.    Their financial world (their terms – where I go to school; which camps I go to; how cool my birthday parties can be).

                                      ii.    Their social world (its your dad’s time so you have to ask him; it is your moms time, and you know she doesn’t like you going over there even though I am OK with so and so.)

                                    iii.    Their emotional world (how do I talk to you?  Is it fair to talk about the other parent with your?  Can I tell you something and you not tell the other parent?)

6.    Empathy:  Coaching will help you understand empathy…a lifetime skill that enriches your every part of your soul.  So start now, while its hard, and you will be great at it by the end.  In divorce negotiation, it is a necessity that you understand your spouse.  Don’t believe you already do.  You are getting a divorce.  Something isn’t right.  Probably involves understanding.  When you can’t understand, we don’t move forward in negotiation in your divorce.   

 

Talk to me about the trained coaches in our area.  It might be that you will hire someone different than your therapist.  But there are many reasons that makes for a good arrangement. 

 

We do all these things to help you.  Help you thru this difficult time.  Help you work with the emotions that are in your face and on your mind 24/7, and to harness them so we can work on the practical legal stuff that has to happen in a divorce.   

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Tulsa Divorce Court Launches New Website
December 17, 2010 12:41am

Tulsa County divorce court was one of the first in the nation to have a
website.  The court has put on an updated and classy look to its web
presence.  The new website has been launched at
www.tulsacountydistrictcourt.org/family_court


Be sure and check out the resource page. It has many useful things including Tulsa area community services.  The forms will be helpful for those representing themselves thru the divorce process, as well as those just needing more information. 

 

Information is power and a way to relieve anxiety.  So check it out!  




Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Generally
December 9, 2010 9:21pm

Please check daily since these times may change.  And always feel free to send an email or leave a voicemail to set up an appointment, or to let me know you need to drop something by. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

What to tell the kids
November 30, 2010 4:29pm

The Tulsa World has one of those 'ask Abby' type column.  This one caught my eye, and I felt it had a very good message. 

Dad wonders when to disclose details of divorce     By Ask Amy

Published:  Tulsa World

 11/24/2010                                                                                                                                           

 

Dear Amy:  My
6-year-old daughter recently asked me why her mother and I divorced. I didn't
know what to tell her. The truth is that my ex-wife left me for another man
whom my daughter has grown quite fond of. While I was incredibly hurt by how
the marriage ended, I do not want to be responsible for introducing issues
between my daughter and her mother (or the other man).I ended up saying that
she should talk to her mother about it. While that satisfied her for the
moment, I know the question is bound to come up again. Should I have just told
her the truth? If not now, would there ever be a time when she should hear why
her mother and I really split? I have always been honest with my daughter and
try to answer all her questions. I am disappointed in myself for copping out
and would hate for her to think she can't come to me for a real answer to her
most serious questions.  - 
Devoted Dad

Dear Dad:  I agree with you that you should
always tell your daughter the truth. Your
job is to be honest but also to protect your daughter's other
relationships  -  as well as you can.
At age 6, she is
too young to learn that her mother left you. You should discuss this with your
ex-wife. You and she should agree that you
want your daughter to emerge from any conversation with either of you feeling
positive about her own life and secure about her changed family. 
Don't wait for your daughter to bring
this up again. You can say to her, "Remember when you asked me about
divorce? I didn't really know what to say, but I've thought about it and I want
you to know that Mommy and I loved each other very much and will always love
you."We decided we couldn't be
married anymore. None of this was your fault. The divorce made me sad,
but
I feel like things worked out OK for us and I don't feel so sad anymore."

(emphasis added by me)

 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

If you see a problem
November 15, 2010 7:03am

 If you ever see anything on the website that you think is a problem, or could be done better, please email me at Barbara@DontFightAboutIt.com  .  My goal is to provide the best experience a couple can have as they transition out of their marriage thru a divorce.  I think I offer a unique service in the Tulsa area.  I am always wanting to improve it, though.  Please do not hestitate to let me know. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Powerful mantras
October 24, 2010 1:35pm

I find that when life gets tough, focusing on something that reminds me of the whole of life, the big picture, helps make it thru the next minutes, hours or days.  Here are some you may find helpful when going thru a divorce.

 

Love in your heart puts power in your soul. {Don’t let anger put toxic hate in your soul.}

There is something lost, and something gained, in living everyday - Joni Mitchell  

You cannot change many things, but it is totally your choice on how to feel about it.  

Don't lose who you are even though you are hurting. 

Don’t let your past be who you are now if you don’t want to be that person.

Forgiveness is what you do for yourself.

Your children get only one childhood.  

 

Send me the mantra that got you thru this difficult time so that I may share it here with others. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Legal help for free
October 24, 2010 1:21pm

You should be aware that Family and Children’s Services offers free legal advice on the following topics:

1.            Legal rights and visitation

2.            Pro se forms (forms for those who don’t have a lawyer)

3.            Mediated agreements

4.            Agreed to orders (something you and your spouse have agreed to, and want to file with the court)

5.            Other child related legal issues. 

 

It is at the Tulsa West Child Support Services Office.  440 S. Houston, Suite 401.

 

It is open on the 1st and 3rd Thursday every month form 1 – 4 p.

 

I am not affiliated with this group, and do not participate in this program.  I just know there are a lot of people who cannot afford legal help, and here is a place you may want to check out.  There may be more information at their website fcsok.org.  The location is a government entity that collects child support, but the people who run this free legal service is Family and Children’s Services, a nonprofit United Way agency. 

 

Barbara

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

When you can expect us to be open for dropping by
October 24, 2010 1:08pm

To accommodate clients, my office is often open  in the evenings and on weekends.  That translates to me or other staff members not being available every business day, all day. 

What I have decided to do is post the best times for people to come by for signing documents, or dropping off something, or picking it up.  View this blog on the day you are thinking you will stop by, and make sure I have noted that someone is going to be here.  I will also update my voicemail as to good times to come by. 

If you have a scheduled appointment with me and I haven’t listed that as an available office time, don't fret!  It is just that I don't want others dropping by interrupting us, unless I have someone else available to help them.   

On weekends I am often at the office.  I will list here when I am here on those days too.  However, the front door to the building may be locked.  Just call me to let me know you need me to come to the door, or walk around the windows and show me that you are here. 

If you want to pick the time, just email or call, and we will get the time you want to stop by on the calendar. 

Thanks.  I hope I am making this as convenient as possible for my clients.

Barbara


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Begin Healing
February 14, 2010 6:08pm

When you die, what will be the most important thing to you?  Will it be the toaster you got in this divorce?   Will it be the house you get?  Or even the retirement?  I am not saying those things are not important.  They are important to your day to day comfort.  But your emotional health cannot be sacrificed for those things. 

Just like it will hurt to give up half of your marital assets and to give up time with your kids, divorce brings about other kinds of injury.  It affects our foundation of ego, and that really is hard to deal with. You have the power to heal those feelings.  The power is in you.  No one can do this for you.  You need to start down that path.

When I say ‘heal’, I do not  mean to forget what made you hurt.  Nor do I mean that you have to forgive your spouse of responsibility for whatever transgression occurred.  I mean putting those feeling in perspective so that the wound starts to scab over.

Think of it as a case of emotional economics.  You only have so much emotion to share.  Where do you want to spend it?  How big a return are you getting right now with the anger you are carrying around?  One way to unload that bad debt is to forgive it. 

Healing is possible.  You just have to believe it is possible.  If you choose not to believe it, then you won’t even begin to heal.  In my decades of doing litigation, I rarely saw anyone begin to heal by fighting the other person in divorce court.  In collaborative or mediation divorce, the healing seems to starts at least midway thru the process.  And by the end of the collaboration or mediation, hopefully you will have the tools to move forward for a more positive life. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

What Does It Take?
January 16, 2010 7:36am

 Today I met a lovely lady who had a story to tell about her parent’s divorce.  They divorced when she was 5.  She is now 30.  When did they stop fighting? When did they stop putting her in the middle?  When their grandchild was being born.  Not just the year, but that moment. 

She explains that as she lay in labor, her mother sat to her left, and her father sat to her right.  Her husband was in the middle.  Her parents were taking potshots at each other as always.  That is why her husband had strategically placed himself in the middle. 

She could have just had one of the parents there, but that would mean she would have to choose one over the other.  She could have chose to have neither of them there, but she craved both of their support. 

So there they were, but still bickering.  Until, thru the pain, she finally yelled what she has been waiting to yell since age 5. “STOP IT.  JUST STOP IT.”

Maybe they finally figured out what they had been doing.  And what they were doing at that very moment…they had not been able to set aside their differences at one of the most important times of their daughter’s life. 

Maybe a light bulb went off.  Maybe they needed someone to call a truce for them.  But whatever it was, they figured out how to be co-grandparents.  And quit bickering.  Quit saying things bad about the other.  And had now maintained that peace for their grandchildren’s sake. 

 

 My goal would be that your child never has to be in the middle so long.


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

More on Healing
December 25, 2009 6:30am

A book by Ira Byock, called The Four Things that Matter Most,  dissects the living and death experience to come up with what brings us peace before we die.  It is contained in 4 phrases:

Thank you.

I love you.

I forgive you.

I am sorry.

Would these ever be any of the things you would want to tell your ex-spouse before you died.  You probably won’t get a chance.  Can your actions during the divorce suffice to send the message you want to send.

Also, remember your children will remember this event for the rest of their lives.  What do you want to show them. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Finding the New You
December 25, 2009 6:30am

The option of collaborative divorce in Tulsa, Oklahoma has begun to gain recognition.  Couples in Tulsa who choose this alternative divorce process should be mindful that divorce can still be a very emotional process.  One common emotion is fear of the unknown.  This is especially true when a Tulsa couple is divorcing after many years of marriage.  They often find themselves thinking “what do I do now” or “being a wife/husband is all I have ever known, I don’t know who I am anymore”.  The answer to this fear is that you must now find the “new you”, sort of like a metamorphosis (meta·mor·pho·sis a striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances).  

Imagine if you will a caterpillar.  It is green, fuzzy, crawling, and has so many legs to keep up with.  Soon those little legs will carry the caterpillar to the perfect spot in which it will become a chrysalis.  The chrysalis is very ugly and undesirable and to some it may seem as if the caterpillar has died.  The truth is, the caterpillar has not died, it is simply going through a transformation period.  Soon the transformation is complete and either a beautiful butterfly or undesirable moth will emerge. When a butterfly enters our world we take notice and say things like, “wow, look at that beautiful butterfly flying so freely with such grace”.  But when a moth enters our world we see it as an ugly pest and often shoo it away.

Collaborative divorce in Tulsa offers you choices in the outcome of your final settlement agreement.  You, however, have choices in how you come out of the divorce process.

It’s true that you will be a single person but will you be the butterfly desired by all or the moth nobody wants to be around?  Will you be noticed for your strength, your courage, your ability to overcome?  Will you allow pain and hurt to consume you and negative emotions to make you undesirable?

Divorce is a metamorphosis some Tulsa couples will go through, a real life changing event.  Unlike the caterpillar that does not choose its’ outcome, you do have the ability to choose yours.    The question is will the outcome of your metamorphosis allow you to fly freely with positive thoughts or remain imprisoned by negative emotions?  The choice really is yours.


Posted by Deanna

Thinking Rationally
November 7, 2009 12:24pm

Guess what, you aren’t thinking well. 

Divorce is stressful.  This is a fact.  It is also a fact that stress has a physiological response in your body, and especially your brain.  Stress shut downs the complex thinking parts of the brain so that energy flows to the FIGHT or FLIGHT part of the brain.  This is good when we are stressed because we need to run from bears, or fight off bad guys.  But our response to most problems needs to be more complicated than that.  Running does not accomplish anything, and fighting creates more problems. 

We need to figure out how to get energy to the thinking part of our brain, not the FIGHT or FLIGHT part.  How can we do that?

UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING:  We are animals.  We have animal brains.  When we get scared, the ‘reptile’ part of our brain takes over.  It is called reptile part since even reptiles have it.  It is what provides that core survival mode of ‘fight or flight’.  Our reaction might save our lives.  This served our ancestors well.  It is so ingrained that we can’t even control our response.  The brain takes over so fast we can’t think. 

WE NEED TO THINK:  The neocortex is more of what we consider the human brain.  It is where we process our experiences and learn from them. 

The neocortex isn’t functioning well when we are stressed.  The reptilian brain is taking all the energy.  To compensate, our brain creates shortcuts.  These shortcuts have been under construction since birth.  They help us process information when we don’t have the full energy to think.

So this is good news? That we have a way of using the thinking part of our brain even though we are stressed?  Kind of, but now always good.   

When we are stressed, we will try to put all new information into these old shortcuts.  So we absorb the information in ways we have trained ourselves in past times when we have been under stress.  This leads us to re-enforce beliefs we already have.  It does not allow us to create new visions.

Our brain does this because it is too hard to create new pathways.  This is biological.  Logic will not help us. 

That is why we need a safe environment when under stress.  One where there are no threats or perceived threats.  It lets our brains move to a higher level of thinking.

Our brain naturally tells us to pull back from things that are perceived as dangerous.  But when danger is not present, our human brain is attracted to growth. 

Once threats have passed, the brain can start not only processing the information, but it actually will start growing.  We re-write neuron pathways.  Awareness is broadened.  We can think of things we haven’t thought of before. 

That is why collaborative professionals work so hard to provide a safe environment to work in.  Fear and anger inhibits rational thinking.  It even causes a perception that there is more risk than actually exists. 

Feeling in control helps.  Understanding what is happening next helps.  Thinking rationally helps.
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Problem Solving Skills
November 7, 2009 7:00am

Other places on this blog I talk about how to think through problems.  This an important skill to have, and it takes some talent to develop.  If you are going the court/litigation route to solve your divorce, you let your attorney and ultimately the judge do all your decision making.  If you want control over what happens, then you need to learn problem solving.  This allows you to be a  full participant in what is going to happen in your divorce. 

 

1.  Recognize that a problem exists.  You and your spouse are in disagreement about something.  Knowing there is a problem is an important first step.  Be confident you can solve it.

 

2.  Define the problem.  Is it mostly emotional?  Is it a matter of getting acknowledgement for something?  Or a reaction to a past problem?  Here is where I want you to think of what is your need that underlies the problem.  Set the goal for fulfilling that need. 

 

3.  Information:  What information do you need to help you solve the problem. 

 

4.  Options:  There are at least 3 options for any problem.  Probably more.  Think of all of them.  You might have to go back to the 'information' step in order to clearly see all the options.  Don’t say ‘No’ to the option, even if it sounds silly.  Write it down. 

 

5.  Decision Making:  Narrow the options down to ones that will work best.  Decide on the one that best suits your goals. 

 

6.  Make It Happen:  Put your energy into your decision.  Own it and make it happen.

 


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Things to Keep in Mind
November 7, 2009 6:39am

1.  Transitions begin with something ending.  But at end of the transition is a new beginning.

 

2.  Everyone (spouses and kids) work thru the transition at different speeds.

 

3.  Healing cannot occur by fighting.

 

4.  Fear is usually the foundation of every issue in a transition.

 

5.  Treat your spouse as you would want to be treated. 

 

6,  Expect bumps in the transition.  I can guaranty there will be bumps. 

 

7.  Forgiveness is a way for you to heal. 

 

8.  Divorce is not a time to forget what matters most to you.

 

9.  The past does not have to control your future.

 

10.  You cannot control another person.  Don't waste your energy on that.  Use your energy to learn to accept that. 


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Control
November 6, 2009 8:57pm

You might surprise yourself on how much you try to control what your spouse does.  You probably do it without knowing it.  You feel you are being helpful.  Or trying to prevent a problem by instructing him/her how to do something.

 

You don't have permission to do that in a divorce.  You will only cause conflict if you try to tell your spouse what to do.

 

Nor is it good to try to have control.  It will set yourself up for failure. 

 

You can't control others.  You cannot control the paths they take or the responses they have.  Let go. 

 

You can only contol your own actions. 

 

Finallly, remember you cannot control the past.  It is physically impossible.  And you cannot contol the future since there are too many intervening factors. 

You can contol today.  And you can control your actions. 
And you can control your attitude. 


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Transitions
November 6, 2009 8:23pm

Divorce is a transition.  Transition is simply the time between the ending of the marriage and the beginning of the new phase of life.  One spouse is usually further through this transition than the other.  Some did not even know the transition was coming.  And some have finished with the emotional transition before the divorce even begins.

 

It is important for me to know where you are in this transition, and where your spouse is.  The difference in where you  each are in this transition may be the source of conflict.  One may be still looking for solutions to the marriage, or even denying that there is a problem.  The more that spouse is pushed through the transition faster that s/he is ready, the more resistance will happen, and the more conflict will surface in the settlement conferences. 

 

Another part of being ‘behind’ in the transition is that the spouse has not had time to come to grips with the fear of the uncertainty that lies ahead.  The spouse who has been thinking about divorce for a long time already has put thought into the future.  It is not as scary for him/her. 

 

Collaborative coaches can help start the process of accepting the ending.  The coaches will help the other spouse understand the delays that may occur from the lack of readiness.    

 

Hopefully in the end you both will have worked through the ending, but can embrace the new beginning.


 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

We attorneys are not so good at emotions ourselves
November 6, 2009 7:57pm

Attorneys in the Family Law area:  Did you know we have a high incidence of depression.  This is because we are trained to be aggressive and emotionally detached.  Pessimistic lawyers tend to excel at their careers, but all these traits lead to an unhappy personal life.  We are now officially worse off than dentists in rates of depression and addictions, according to an ABA newsletter by Sue Hansen posted 2/18.09:   


Need a change?  Try working in constructive resolution of every divorce case.  Collaborative divorce has allowed attorneys in the Tulsa area to change their practice for the good of themselves and their clients.  The clients have a healthier outcome and so do the lawyers. 

Tulsans have a choice of how they divorce.  Tulsa attorneys have a choice on how they practice divorce.

 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

A Better Divorce
July 4, 2009 4:12pm

Does divorce necessarily have to bring about harm? Hasn’t the harm already occurred in the relationship?   Do you and your spouse need more hurtful actions?

The way litigation attorneys are taught to fight for our client can wreak havoc in relationships.  Even if the marriage relationship is ending, do you want it to end with bloodshed?  And many times the relationship is not really ending.  It is re-forming to a relationship as co-parents. 

As your marriage fell apart, you two have probably used some harsh words.  You have used your words as weapons.   In collaborative and mediation, you learn to use your words as tools.  To build a better divorce. 

What if attorneys had the same creed as doctors.  “Do no harm”.  Can we?  Can we help in a divorce without making it worse?  I believe we can, but only if the forum where the divorce process not only allows, but promotes a safe and controlled transition.    

Less conflict means less stress for you and your family. 


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Be a Role Model
July 4, 2009 4:04pm

When you are a parent, everything you do is watched by your kids.  Studies show they will do as you do, not as you say.  So, what are you going to do in your divorce?  What will you teach your kids about difficult transitions?  About how to deal with anger?  relationships?

Luckily in collaborative divorce, you will have a coach to keep you balanced.  To keep you working towards that role model you want your kids to have.    


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Reframing Helps Bring Respect
July 4, 2009 3:48pm

So you had a bad marriage?  You’re Anger and hurt.  Getting worse at the end?  Your spouse is truly evil.  Probably truly evil people exist.  They are in the movies all the time.  But is life that simple?  You married them.  Did you see them as truly evil then?  My guess is that you two discovered you had different expectations of the marriage.  You both grew frustrated.  Frustration led to conflict, and conflict to contempt.  One author said that once you have contempt, your marriage is doomed. 

Does that mean your divorce has to be like your marriage? 

Bad relationships that end well re-frame the entire relationship.    Think about that your parent that you came to hate in your teens.  But as you came to understand yourself and them, you learned to respect  them.  And after you had that respect, those memories of the irritating times were re-framed so that you remembered them differently.  You may very well find out that a respectful divorce may do the same thing for you and your marriage. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Mediation is an ALTERNATIVE to Court
July 4, 2009 3:28pm

I have already talked on my mediation page about the mediation service I offer.  But if you are not use to doing divorce in Tulsa county, you would not know the type of mediation most practiced here. 

 

Mediation was originally developed as an “alternative dispute resolution”.  That means it was meant as an alternative to the divorce trial system.  It was meant to begin at the very beginning. But in Tulsa, mediation was built in like an afterthought in the divorce system.  It is something you go to towards the end of your case to see if you can settle it before you go to trial.  That puts a whole different slant on the mediation.

 

When the litigation method starts the divorce case, the spouses immediately take a back seat to the case.  Your trusted litigation attorneys take over.  Mediation is not their main emphasis.  Litigation is.  That is the way litigation attorneys are trained…to win, not compromise.   Mediation is done after much other work is done in your case.  Mediation may take up 2 hours of the maybe 20 hours your attorney will spend on your case. 

 

You will find the judges are very much for the mediation process, but they don’t see you until after you have hired an attorney. 

 

There is no one to prevent conflict when you start with litigation.  There is no one working on what may be the common interests of your family.   What is emphasized are the differences in the interests between you and your spouse.  So the conflict increases rather than decreases.

 

You can participate in mediation the way it was meant to be.  Start your separation in the mediation process.  You and your spouse can go to a mediator to start he divorce process and help you make agreements.  You can hire attorneys to give you legal advice in the mediation process either at the beginning, or at some time during the process, or maybe just for a couple of hours at the end of the process to look over your paperwork.

 

Mediaton does not have to be a second thought in your divorce.  It can be the main empahsis.  This helps keep the conflict down.  Conflict creates stress in you, and hurts your kids. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Expressing Need
May 25, 2009 4:25pm

One of

One of the elements that make mediation, collaboration, or the hybrid method so successful is the process we follow.  The process provides for certain things to happen.  One of those things is the expression of need.

 

Seems such a simple thing, but it is often the turning point in understanding.  It happens early in the process and clears the path for the other steps we will go thru.  Simple, but not necessarily intuitive.  That is why we practice on stating your needs.

 

First, the reason you say your need is twofold.  It helps you focus on what is important. Fear may have caused you to mislabel your needs. Is it really this house you want, or just a home?  Is it custody of the children, or a need to continue in your same parental role. 

 

The second reason you say your need is so it is heard.  Your spouse needs to hear what you need.  And you need to hear what s/he needs.  We will be on our way to settlement once both of you sincerely hear each other.

 

At the root of your needs, you will find a need for security, to be respected, to belong and contribute.  You need to be trusted, and you have a need to trust.  

 

To communicate your need, have it meet this test;

          It is significant to you

          There is more than one way to satisfy this need

          It is something of benefit to you,

and not phrased as a detriment to your spouse.

     

I often call the rule for expressing need as the ‘toaster rule’.  To say “I want the toaster!” does not tell us anything about your need.  It gives no other possibilities on how to meet that need, even if we were to guess what it was.  And it is just flat out confrontational.  Doesn’t saying “I need toast in the mornings” state your need much better?  And now there are about 5 ways we can look at to meet that need.  And you stated it in a way where others will want to help you meet the need. 

the ele

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

High Conflict Divorce
May 24, 2009 12:32pm

The term ‘high conflict’ refers to couples whose emotions keep them from moving forward thru the divorcing process.   These couples have lost respect for one another.  Their communication is nonproductive, and often destructive.  If there are children, then those children are at risk of serious and continuing emotional harm.

These are the couples that could benefit the most from the collaborative process.  The litigation system gives them endless ways to destroy each other, and their finances.  In collaborative divorce, we start immediately with coaches to help the couple come to terms with the emotions that are keeping them from moving on.

This is an area I have worked in for quite some time.  Before collaborative divorce became known, I developed the Parenting Coordination program in the Tulsa area, then in Oklahoma, and then on a national level.  I have written many articles on Parenting Coordination, and have been quoted in the Wall Street Journal on the topic.  I served on the task force for the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts to develop the Guidelines for Parenting Coordinators. 

If you feel you might be headed for a high conflict divorce, let’s try to prevent it.  You will be a healthier person, you will have healthier kids,, and you definitely will be better off financially. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

The Expense of Divorce
May 23, 2009 4:25pm

Many of my clients ask why collaborative divorce would be cheaper.  The reason is that you and I, and your spouse and his/her attorney, spend all our time in constructive movements to settle your case.  If you had hired me for a court type divorce, at least 75% of my time would be used to make you look better than your spouse.  Especially in custody cases.  In collaborative divorce, we don't need to do that.  The goal is not winning, but to make a fair settlement that both of you agree to. 

 

Smart Money agrees that collaborative is cheaper.  In an article written December 4, 2006 by Aleksandra Todorova, a litigated divorce wasover 4 times as expensive as a collaborative divorce.

 

Consumer Reports, in a February 2008 article sugggested that doing mediation rather than litgation (going to court) divorce saved the couples 75%.

 

My own experience of doing this for 24 years bears this out.  You will never know the pain and cost of a litigated divorce unless you experience one first hand.  I do not wish that upon you.  You may still feel the sting of finances when you divorce, but you can always know it would have been a lot worse if you did not do mediaiton or collaboration. 

 

 

Don't fight about it.  Save your money for your kids college education...or a trip.  Don't pay an attorney to attempt to destory the person you chose to have children with, or to spend your life with.  In the long run, what does it really gain you? 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Parents Classes and Conferences in Tulsa County
May 23, 2009 4:09pm

Parents of minor children seeking a divorce in Tulsa County will go through three extra steps in the divorce process.  The following is a list and explanation of each additional step for divorcing families in Tulsa County:

 

  1. Parenting Plan Conference:    Tulsa County requires that both parents attend the Parenting Plan Conference.   You cannot get a divorce in Tulsa County without attending this conference.  The conference is held in a small Tulsa County courtroom setting before a Tulsa County divorce judge.  During the conference the judge discusses the effects of divorce on minor children.  The Tulsa County judge’s discussion is followed by a short video.  The video gives audio and visual examples of the effects of divorce on children.  At the end of the conference there is a representative from Tulsa County’s Family and Children Services present.  The representative is there to help answer questions you may have about divorce with minor children in Tulsa County. If you are represented by a Tulsa County divorce attorney he/she may appear at that conference with you. 

      If you choose to do your divorce collaboratively, your collaborative team

  will discuss whether this conference shoudl be waived in your case.    Oftern the judges are willing to waive it, knowing that you are working on the same isseus in the process of a collaborative divorce.  The judges know you are getting the message if you go collaborative.

 

 

  1. Helping Children Cope with Divorce Seminar:        This seminar is sponsored by Tulsa County’s Family and Children Services.  Tulsa County requires that all Tulsa County divorcing parents with minor children attend this seminar.  The seminar is four hours.  It focuses on ways to help your child cope with divorce. There is a fee for this Tulsa County seminar and pre-registration is required.  Family and Children’s Service of Tulsa County will issue a certificate of attendance to each parent in attendance.  The certificate is filed and made a part of your divorce record in Tulsa County.  Parents seeking a divorce in Tulsa County cannot get divorced without proof of attendance to this seminar.

 

  1. Notice of Disclaimer of Interest by DHS:  Tulsa County now requires DHS to state whether they have any interest in all Tulsa County divorce cases with minor children.  The disclaimer is completed by a Tulsa County DHS attorney.  If you file for divorce in Tulsa County and have minor children the disclaimer must be filed before a Tulsa County court can grant your divorce. Tulsa County DHS must approve your divorce decree if they have an interest in your Tulsa County divorce case.  Normally Tulsa County DHS does not have interest in a case unless you receive services or owe them money.

 

All of these steps are mandatory for parents of minor children who seek a divorce in Tulsa County.  Steps one and two listed above are very insightful and offer a wealth of good advice to divorcing families in Tulsa County.  The focus of both steps one and two above is to help Tulsa County divorcing couples with minor children understand and nurture your child’s needs throughout the divorce process.    

Posted by Administrator

Elder Mediation
May 23, 2009 4:01pm

A developing area for the use of mediation is to help families come together to assist a senior who can no longer be fully independent.  This is stressful for the senior because s/he has been independent and does not want to rely on others for assistance.  It is stressful on the adult children of these seniors not only because it signals the ageing of a parent, but also because there may be a difference of opinion on how best to help.  These areas of disagreement may be between the parent and the adult child, or between the siblings, or maybe even between the adult children and the seniors spouse.

 

Just like in any relationship, success thru this transition will begin with respect.  Everyone’s point of view, needs and interests deserve to be heard and respected.  The seniors’ desires need to be hornored until such a point it is not safe for the senior. 

 

When families need help navigating these waters, there is assistance for them.  There are mediators who can help these families keep the peace while safeguarding their parent.  Siblings don’t have to become divided in a time when they could come together. 

 

See the “Contact Us’ page for an appointment to fully discuss the possibilities on how mediation may help in your situation.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Part of the Process
May 22, 2009 9:28pm

As of May 2009 the Oklahoma Academy of Collaborative Professionals voted to make Coaches a intregal part of every collab divorce.  Now every client will have a coach to use.  The professionals decided this after weighing all the aspects, including the cost.  A coach is better able to handle the emotional roadblocks that surface in almost every divorce.  The attorneys are not equipped to deal with these emotions constructively.  Instead, the client will receive coaching immediately, and at a cheaper rate than the attorneys.  The client will obtain a better resolution of the entire divorce, and not just the legal side.  The client will get more out of their time with their attorney, since all that time will be productive. 

 

Tulsa has many qualified coaches.  See YourDivorceChoice.com, Professionals link, Tulsa metro, and go to the bottom of the page for a listing of the coaches. 

 

When you hire me, I will talk to you about the different coaches, and look for the best fit for you.  They vary in cost from $120/hour to $175/hour.  The number of hours needed with a coach will depend on your needs.  Any way you look at it, they are cheaper than most attorneys.  Divorce is at least equally emotional as it is legal....many think more so.

 


 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Staying Together Because of Your Debt?
May 22, 2009 9:15pm

With the economy leaving everyone worried about their financial stability, it makes it even harder to make the decsion to divorce.  What are your options?

 

Have you thought about staying in your home.  Are you a couple who could call a truce to your differences, and simply work out an agreement that lets you share the home? 

 

It could just be a temporary arrangement until bills get paid off, or the house gets sold. 

A written agreement that is clear as to the sharing of expenses and tasks is preferable.  The more detailed you are, the less misunderstandings there will be. 

 

Of course the social implications are important to consider.  Understanding and abiding by the rules of having others over, especially dates, is critical.  A common message to tell family, friends and co-workers is helpful.

 

If you have children, give special consideration to such an arrangement.  Will this confuse them?  Give them false hope that their parents will stay together?  Keep in mind that it is not divorce that hurts the kids, it is the conflict leading up to the divorce and during the divorce that has the potential for harm.

 

If you need advice on whether this arrangement will work for you, let us help you.  See the Contact Us page on how to get in touch with us.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Oklahoma Academy of Collaborative Professionals
May 22, 2009 8:47pm

During the year of 2009, I have had the honor of serving as President of OACP.  OACP is  Oklahoma Academy of Collaborative

Professionals, an organization of attorneys,

mental health professionals and financial

advisors who work together to learn, practice

and promote a collaborative process for

problem solving and resolution of family law

matters without litigation. For more information about this organization, follow the links at the bottom of any of my website pages, or go to YourDivorceChoice.com

 

 

Posted by Administrator

Choose a Super Lawyer for Collaborative Divorce
May 21, 2009 2:48pm

Perhaps now that you’ve realized the benefits of choosing collaborative divorce, you are looking for a family law expert to handle your Tulsa county divorce, or just someone to speak further with about the benefits of collaborative proceedings for your divorce. In November 2007, Oklahoma magazine highlighted the most elite of this state’s finest lawyers , and Barbara Ann Bartlett was among this recognized group. Only five percent of the total lawyers in Oklahoma were listed as “Super Lawyers”, the name given to this prestigious group of law experts.

Barbara was chosen through a four step, rigorous selection process which included selection by her peers and evaluation based on a number of qualities including experience, pro bono work and community service, and quality of work within their field. So if you choose a collaborative divorce in Tulsa county, choose Barbara Ann Bartlett, one of Oklahoma’s Top 25 family lawyers.

Don’t fight about it. Call Barbara Ann Bartlett to discuss what a collaborative divorce could mean for you.


Posted by Emily Mapes

New Study Links Problem Behavior in Children to Divorce
May 21, 2009 2:48pm

According to MSNBC.com, a new study by Brian D'Onofrio (an assistant professor of psychology at Indiana University) shows that "certain problem behaviors, such as skipping school, getting into fights and stealing, could be traced to divorce." Another study he did also revealed that an unhappy family, whether divorced, divorcing, or considering divorce, can be linked to a child's future alcholism.

Studies like these are just more reasons why you should choose collaborative law for your divorce. Michael Goldberg, a psychology instructor at the Harvard Medical School, says that "One of the best predictors of how children will do after a divorce is the level of parental conflict."

Collaborative divorce is a peaceful, respectful way for a couple to resolve their issues by sitting down with trained professionals and discussing their issues. Collaborative divorce is less stressful, less demeaning, and less harmful to a family's well being because the parents aren't in a courtroom tearing each other down. It is also comparatively cheaper than litigation. According to the advice of the experts mentioned before, collaborative law is your only choice if you want your children to be as happy and healthy as possible during and after your divorce.

Don't fight about it. Make a choice to save your children. Choose collaborative law.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Tulsa custody fights
May 21, 2009 2:48pm

In Tulsa, as in all other family courts, a judge is often called upon to decide when a child should spend time with each parent.  What tools are given this judge to make this decision?  Mental health professionals in the Tulsa area provide the service of 'custody evaluations' in divorces.  This involves having the parents do personality tests, and for the family to be interviewed by the professional.  But no science exists that can conclude who is the better parent.  Listen to NPR's All Things Considered of 11/21/07,
Evaluators in Child-Custody Cases Scrutinized.  In the article, they point out that the science is ambiguous.  The tests given are flawed for the purpose of figuring out who is the better parent. 

The best 'decider' for your kids is you, the parents.  Both of you.  If you can put your divorce anger aside, and do what is best for the kids.  No fair fooling yourself that what is best for the kids is not to have contact with the other parent.  Only in extreme cases is that the right thing to do. 

This article said something that really hit home with me.  In the war of divorces, the children are the prisoners of that war. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Aspects of Divorce You Don't Hear About in the News
May 21, 2009 2:47pm

As a high school student, I get to see the things parents don't get to see when their children are going through a divorce. Many children and teenagers hide their emotions of loss and confusion while at school, but many cannot contain them. I have many friends who have divorced parents, and some that are divorcing currently.

During a divorce, parents don't see the complete change in their child's personality when they are outside the home. Many children who were once the bright, uplifting student in their class become bitter people who either get involved with the "wrong crowd" or just don't talk to anyone. They struggle to find someone to identify with their pain. Teens often turn to drugs and alcohol because they feel that there is no hope left for themselves. I have seen all of these situations too many times. Though I live in the Tulsa area, the effects on children in a divorce are the same around the world.

This is why I believe that collaborative law is the best way to settle a divorce. A child watches their parents' every move, and if they see their parents respectfully settling their differences, they will feel so much better about their parents splitting. If they see their parents tearing each other down and emotionally harming each other constantly, then they are likely to act out. Collaborative divorce provides for a respectful, more peaceful divorce. It also costs less money than other divorces, which leaves more money for the children.

Take it from a girl who sees your children when you are not around.

Don't fight about it. Settle your divorce respectfully and keep your children happy.

Posted by Emily Mapes

Collaborative Divorce
May 21, 2009 2:46pm

The American Bar Association had a pamphlet where the collaborative divorce is 1/10 to 1/20th the cost of a regular divorce.  Why can it be cheaper.  All the time of your lawyer is spent at working towards mutual agreement.  No money is spent on tearing the other person down, or in listing your best traits. 

Don't fight about it.  Settle your divorce with professionals who are committed to reaching settlement. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Tulsa Kids on Tulsa Divorce
May 21, 2009 2:45pm

Tulsa Kids, a leading publication in the Tulsa metro for local families, recently did an article called "Finding Middle Ground in Marriage." This piece highlighted the positive attributes of mediation and collaborative divorce as a means to resolving a marriage in crisis. One of the experts interviewed for this article was Barbara Bartlett.

When a marriage is ending, it is often easy for a couple to throw anger back and forth because they don't know any other way to deal with this huge life change. "(In that case) both sides are feeling wounded and, once one person is bitten, they want to bite back," commented Bartlett. "Couples need permission to deal with one another and put the conflict aside." This is where collaborative divorce comes in to save the day. Meeting with a family attorney specializing in collaborative divorce to solve your divorce qualms is the first step to moving on with your life in a way that is condusive to a positive, conflict-free future.

Don't fight about it. Solve your divorce problems with a collaborative divorce. If you're in the Tulsa County area, call Barbara Bartlett.

Posted by Emily Mapes

Collaborative in Tulsa
May 21, 2009 2:44pm
For collaborative divorces in Tulsa, listen to the Barbara Bartlett sponsorship on KWGS, the local public radio station for Tulsa metro listeners.  A respectful was to dissolve marriages without going to court.  Don't fight about it. 
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Tulsa NALS
May 21, 2009 2:44pm
thank you to the local NALS group for letting me speak about the collaborative divorce practice here in Tulsa.  NALS has honored me by asking me to partake in their national conference in March 2008 to speak on Collaborative  Divorce.  NALS is hosting the conference at the Doubletree Warren Place in Tulsa.   
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

War
May 21, 2009 2:43pm

There is no reason a divorce needs to turn into a war.  Anger ususally comes from fear.  Fear comes from the unknown of what will happen to you in a divorce, and your post-divorce life.  Recognizing this weakness in all of us lets the door open to the collaborative process of divorce.  If you are in Tulsa metro area, Oklahoma, please check out my website DontFightAboutIt.com

Don't fight about it.  Solve it with dignity.   

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Parenting Coordinators
May 21, 2009 2:43pm

Tulsa County divorcing parents have the possiblity of having a Parenting Coordinator assigned to their case.  Parenting Coordinators are a useful tool for those parents who need a referee to help them make decisions for their children.  See the article in the September 19, 2007 Wall Street Jounal on "A Referee for Mom and Dad" by Rachel Silverman.  I was honored to be quoted in the article for the research I have done on various laws that support this unique intervention into divorce conflict.  It is one way to Dont Fight About It. 

One word of caution I need to say, however, for some Parenting Coordiinaotrs in the Tulsa area.  Many attorneys who are parenting coordinators do not understand the reasoning behind the program.  The process is to reduce conflict.  Conflict is caused when one parent is able to change the status quo.  This is where the process gets overused.  If your Parenting Coordinator is changing the court order as to visitation, custody, or child support without specific limitations from the court, then there may be a problem.  Seek the advice of an attorney. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Divorce coaches in the Tulsa area
May 21, 2009 2:42pm

An emotional divorce is something that no court, including the Tulsa divorce courts, are equiped to handle.  In the scheme of your life and happiness, this divorce is more important than how much money you will get.  That is why the collaborative divorce in Tulsa county often includes coaches. 

Divorce coaches help deal with all the normal feelings when a marriage ends.  You will need help redifining your family relationships.  You will need to learn to say good-by to old traditons, and make new ones.  Once your emotional divorce is addressed, then you would be surprised at how fast the  legal divorce can move ahead.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

2007 Super Lawyers of Tulsa
May 21, 2009 2:42pm
There are four notable Tulsa family law attorneys who made the 2007 Oklahoma Super Lawyers.  These attorneys are not only known for their skill in family law, but are also leaders in bringing collaborative divorce to the Tulsa area.  I was one of these attorneys, along with Moura Robertson, Hugh Rineer, and David Tracy.  We were chosen as 4 of the 25 top family law attorneys in Oklahoma, and 4 of the top 12 family lawyers in Tulsa.  Why would we change from our career building court practices and turn to collaborative divorce? 
We have all seen the tragedy of the court system on families.  The litigation system breeds dissension and polarizes the parties.  Many time these parties are also parents, and will remain in that role the rest of their lives.  What happens to the children when their parents can't speak to one another.  We hope that we have started changing the face of Tulsa divorces by making them more future oriented.  What will your life with your child's other parent look like in a year?  5 years?  20 years?   
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

What to do if you are going to represent yourself
May 21, 2009 2:41pm

If you are headed for a divorce in the Tulsa county area, and have decided not to hire an attorney to help you, there is still a way you can get legal help without the expsense.  It is nationally known as 'unbundled legal services' even though that term is not well known in the Tulsa area.  We tend to use the word pro se to talk aobut people who do not have lawyers.

You can hire an attorney to give you advice, and to assit you in certain documents.  The attorney can even coach you thru a hearing.  You have to understand, though, that the attorney does not take full responsibility for your case.  Typically the attorney meets with you to discuss what you might need.  Then a list is made of what the attonrey will do and not do for you, depending on your needs, desires, and budget.    

A book that can introduce to this subject is Unbundling Your Divorce, How to Find a Lawyer to Help You Help Yourself, by Sue Talia. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Divorce: A Possible Money Mistake
May 21, 2009 2:40pm

Consumer Reports did a piece in February 2008 about "12 Money Mistakes That Could Cost You $1,000,000". Number three on the list is "Launching a Divorce War." The article quotes divorce in the Los Angeles area from $65,000 for a limited contested divorce to $250,000 for a full-courtroom litigation process. Though divorce costs in the Tulsa area aren't as high, they still can be quite overbearing.

Consumer Reports suggestion is to "work more toward diplomacy than war, which will increase the viability of the low-cost mediation option." A low-conflict divorce, like a collaborative one, can generally be solved for about seventy-five (75) percent less than going to court. Some sources, like the Amercian Bar Association, feel that a collaborative divorce is one-tenth to one-twentieth the cost.

If you're considering divorce, look into the option of collaborative law for the resolution to your marital problems. Barbara Bartlett of the Tulsa area, has had years of training, and training others, in resolving conflict.  

Don't fight about it. Settle your divorce in the financially responsible way. Contact Barbara Bartlett to talk about your collaborative divorce options in Tulsa County.

Posted by Emily Mapes

Trying to save money in a Tulsa divorce
May 21, 2009 2:40pm

The easiest way to save money is not to spend any money on an attorney.  That certainly is not wise when it comes to drafting documents that you want to have a legal affect.  But as stated in my previous Blog entry, you can hire an attorney for just some things, like drafting the documents.

A second way is for you to hire me as your attorney.  You can see if you spouse is comfortable in meeting with both of us.  I do not use threatening or coercive tactics with your spouse.  Respect is the key to hearing one another, and we can't settle until both of you feel heard.  If we get to settlement, I would ask your spouse, if she/he had not already done so, to contact an attorney for legal advice and to look over the final paperwork. 

If we are unable to come up with a settlement, I ask that your spouse hire a collaborative attorney so that we can start the collaborative process.  They must hire a Tulsa attorney who has been trained in collaborative law. 

 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

KEYS TO SUCCESSFUL COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE
May 21, 2009 2:40pm

Know your feelings.

When we try to resolve conflicts, we need to understand just what causes us to believe it is a conflict.  This is important to know because it is usually emotional feelings that causes most conflict.  The higher the emotion, the higher theconflict.

 

What is interesting is that once you explore your feelings, most people find that fear is the underlying cause of their strong emotion.  Fear can be manifested by anger.  Fear is a normal feeling when your life is changing as dramatically as it does in the divorce process.  It does not matter who wanted the divorce or why you wanted the divorce.  Fear does not derive from reason but rather emotion. 

 

When divorce becomes imminent, there is suddenly an uncertainty about your future, co-parenting, financial well being, and possibly loneliness.  Learning the origin of your fear will help you to express your fears at the collaborative table.  The collaborative table should be a safe place for you to express yourself and not feel vulnerable or threatened.  When you express your fears openly, it allows everyone to understand your stage in the transition process.  It also provides the opportunity for you and your spouse to communicate on a level to help understand one another. 

 

Know how you handle conflict.

We all have different ways of handling conflict in our relationships.  Some people avoid confrontation all together while others give in to their spouse’s demands to stop the conflict.    Others compete and escalate the conflict.  Some people simply compromise, which is a method of partially satisfying both parties needs.  We try to do it differently in the collaborative divorce process.

 

Collaborating is a way to explore methods of satisfying the needs of both spouses.  This requires stating your needs in an assertive way, but also a willingness to cooperate in hearing the other person’s needs.  Once each person conveys their needs we can then brainstorm on how to satisfy both.  

 

Rules for listening.

 At the collaborative table, both spouses will have a chance to state their needs.  It is each spouse’s responsibility to not just listen but listen well.  Listening well is the key to understanding the needs of each person.  It is also key to successful brainstorming in meeting both of your needs. 

 

First you must take the time to listen.  You must be focused.  You should always make eye contact.  You should never interrupt.  You should listen for the need.  It is a good idea to think of a way to restate the need so that your spouse knows that you understand.  Never judge the need,  but rather accept it as your spouses perception of what they need. 

 

Responding to your spouses needs at the collaborative table.

Responding in a constructive manner is a necessity at the collaborative table.  We all want to feel respected and have our feelings respected. Everyone’s goal at the collaborative table is to be heard.  In order for everyone to be heard, everyone must keep their ears opened. When hurtful things are said we tend to close our ears and thus, we stop listening. 

 

When you respond to your spouse’s statement of his/her need, do not withdraw.  Restate the need in a positive manner.  “I hear you saying…”, “Do you mean…"? Do not use judgmental language.  Do not try to analyze it.  Just simply understand it.

 

I hope these basic rules help those getting a divorce.  If you are in the Tulsa area, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Price of Divorce
May 21, 2009 2:39pm

Smartmoney.com recently wrote an article highlighting the benefits and disadvantages of collaborative divorce in today’s economy. Since the clients are avoiding a lot of the fighting time that is usually done through lawyers in a typical divorce, a large amount of money is saved. In Oklahoma, for example, a typical litigated divorce could run as high as $30,000, while a collaborative divorce would be closer to the $4,000 to $10,000 range.

This article also states that though the price maybe right, the collaborative divorce process isn’t for everyone. Both clients, and their hired representatives in the divorce, have to be ready and willing to sit down in a respectful setting and communicate plainly what they want. If there is hostility in the relationship or a feeling of the need to “get even”, the collaborative process will not work and could end up costing more in the long run. For this reason, Smart Money recommends coming to the collaborative table with an open mind and, if possible, lawyers that have worked together previously. This often leads to a smoother and faster divorce as the lawyers have an established relationship that can assist their clients in communicating better.

Don’t fight about it. If you’re facing a divorce in Tulsa County, contact Barbara Bartlett to find out if a collaborative divorce could save you money and hassle.


Posted by Emily Mapes

Negotiating thru emotions
May 21, 2009 2:39pm

Believe or not, we all have the power to negotiate for ourselves, even where the emotion is high, like in divorce.  As in all things, you just need to be ready.

 

The first objective is to be heard.  That means you have to say your message in a way that keeps the other persons ear open.  So what keeps the other person's ears open?  The same thing that keeps your ears open. This is where that 'do unto others' stuff comes in handy.

 

     Respect

     Listen without interruption

     No blame

     No intimidation

     No dragging up the last incident

 

To be successful at following these rules, your emotions need to stay in check.  Hard to do a lot of times.  So when you can't follow these rules, address those emotions before embarking on negotation.  In collaborative divorce, at least in the Tulsa area, we have coaches.  See other blog posts where I talk about the coaches role.  There are also counselors in tulsa that specialize in divorce counseling.  Both of you don't have to particiapte in the counseling for it to be of benefit. 

 

Be as emotionally healthy as you can, get the bad stuff behind you.  Then sit down and follow these rules to negotiate a settlement that is right for you. 

       


 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Comparing Methods
May 21, 2009 2:38pm
Over the many entries on this blog, the advantages of collaborative divorce have been listed entry after entry. However, you should know all of your options before deciding if collaborative divorce is right for you. The most common procedural methods for divorce are pro se, mediation, collaborative practice, and traditional litigation.
 
“Pro se” is a Latin phrase which literally means “for myself”. In this kind of divorce, the parties represent themselves. Advantages to this type of conflict resolution include the lowest cost possible in divorce proceedings and assurance that non-parties will not create or worsen conflict. There are some disadvantages, though. Without legal advice, neither party may understand the law or their legal rights. Also, agreements made in pro se family law disputes may have unintended consequences, or parties may have problems closing their case due to lack of legal knowledge. Pro se divorces also may put one party in a position to exploit the other in negotiations.

Mediation is where the parties in a family law dispute hire a third party to assist them in reaching agreements. The mediator does not have to be a lawyer. The goal of this process is to allow parties to reach agreements that meet the needs of both parties and their children without the financial and emotional cost of a court battle. However, if the parties don’t retain an attorney to represent them in addition to retaining the mediator, they will have to proceed without legal advice since the mediator cannot provide legal advice to either of the parties. If attorneys are hired, though, the parties involved will not save as much financially.

Traditional litigation is perhaps the form of divorce most familiar to Americans today. Both parties hire attorneys who provide legal advice and represent the positions of their client in negotiations and court hearings. This process is a very well defined and structured process that provides each party with the ability to compel the cooperation of the opposing party and third parties in providing information. The costs of this type of proceeding can be enormous, though, and a judge controls the outcome of contested matters. This type of divorce is also very public and can create unnecessary tension within the family unit. Traditional litigation can take much longer than other proceedings as well, because timing of litigation is subject to court dockets and other factors beyond the parties’ control.

Collaborative divorce, most often discussed in relation to Tulsa County on this blog, is a process in which separated or divorcing couples work as a team with trained professionals to resolve disputes respectfully without going to court. Each client has their own lawyer, and all four adults work together to find a solution that works best for all parties involved. This places the parties in control of the process, and allows priority to be given to any children that are involved. All information is disclosed and all aspects of the situation are talked about in the most respectful manner. If one of the parties doesn’t fully disclose or participate as they agreed to at the beginning of the process, though, the collaborative relationships are damaged and could potentially cost the parties involved increased time and money.

Don’t fight about it. Choose a collaborative process to resolve your family’s issues here in Tulsa County.
Posted by Emily Mapes

Barbara Bartlett in 2008 SuperLawyer for Family Law
May 21, 2009 2:35pm
Super Lawyers
Seriously Outstanding
only 5% selected each year

Posted by Administrator

Why use a Coach in the Collaborative Divorce Process?
May 21, 2009 2:34pm

Why use a Coach in the Collaborative process?  To answer that question, you should first understand the coachs' role.

 

What is the Role of Divorce Coach?  Divorce is a major life transition.  It marks the end of one part of life and is the beginning of another.  A divorce coach helps to manage the pain and strain of changing relationships, while focusing on goals for the present and future.  Working with individuals to make the most of ones strengths, the divorce coach assists one in being at their best during the divorce process, and making positive steps to a new life.

 

Coaches can help in reaching the expressed goals of the clients.  Although every case is unique the following are some common goals that most collaborative clients are in search of:

·       co-parenting effectively;

·        working together for the best interest of the child(ren);

·        considering the needs of each child.

·        Respect

·        understanding of each spouses needs and expectations

·        learn to be an extended family

·        clear communication.

You may wonder, how can we reach these goals?  Often coaches can and are used to help offer the best plan of success in reaching these goals.  

 

The following are some things to think about or ask yourself when considering the use of a Collaborative Coach:

·        Divorce destroys the family relationships.  It causes other family members to feel polarized.  

·        What legacy will you leave your children if you handle the divorce poorly.

·        Divorces are 90% emotional so why not address this so that you can be successful in your transition?

·        How much did your wedding cost?  Do you expect your divorce to be less?

·        How much thought did you put into your marriage?  Should you put less thought into the divorce?

·        If you sold your house you pay 5% to a realtor.  Is your divorce going to cost as much as a realtor?

Using a Coach to guide you through the decision making process is much like using a map for direction.  We often know where we want to go but when we are going somewhere we have never been, it's important to have a guide to help get us there.  That is exactly what a collaborative divorce coach is for.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Do you have a question
May 21, 2009 2:33pm
Feel free to email me any areas of concern about divorces in the Tulsa area, and I will reply as I can.  I cannot give legal advice, but I can give information in this blog and on this website.  Nothing I say on this website is meant as legal advice, or to replace the advice given to you by a competent professional.  I do know that knowledge can reduce anxiety.  If you are headed for a divorce, my goal is to give you information about the various methods available to you. 
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Tulsa area training
May 21, 2009 2:32pm
 
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Divorce or Dissolution?
May 21, 2009 2:31pm

What is the difference between divorce and dissolution of marriage?

 

Nothing, really.  Just history.  Divorce is the historical term for ending a marriage.  We are all familiar with it, so it is still what most of us use.  It is clear what we mean. 

 

A few years ago, our Oklahoma legislature decided to distinguish divorce from other lawsuits.  It had been {husband} versus {wife}.  That 'versus' makes it sound like the husband and wife are pitted against each other, like two corporations fighting over a contract.  So our law was changed to say 'In re the marriage of {wife} and {husband}.  Sounds a little nicer, huh?

 

And with that switch, we also switched the language from  divorce to 'dissolution of marriage'.  Hopefully it has less of an emotional impact since divorce had had such poor connotations in the past. 


Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Mental Health Professionals help in divorce
May 21, 2009 2:29pm
A good website for information on the emotional divorce is www.drdeborahhecker.com  She is not in the Tulsa area, but may be of assistance in explaining the emotional divorce, and how it impacts the legal divorce that the attoneys are working on.
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Why use a Child Specialist
March 15, 2009 9:45am
Child Specialists are trained to part of the collaborative team.  They are a mental health professional who meets with the children.  It is a way to give the children a voice in the process.  The Child Specialist will also meet with the parents.  The parents will hear what their childrens needs are, and how best to meet them.  This will assist in the formation of a Parenting Plan. 
Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Financial Neutral Key in Successful Divorce
March 3, 2009 2:21pm

Divorce and the Small Business Owner?  This Can Be A Win-Win Situation

On Forbes.com, Elizabeth Reingold wrote of a 25 year marriage ending between a couple who owned their own business.  The value of this company would have a major impact on the final divorce settlement.  At the time the couple decided divorce was a certainty, however, the business was not doing as well as it had in the past. 

The solution?  The couple entered into a collaborative divorce process and agreed to a financial specialist.  At the recommendation of a financial specialist, the wife remained a silent shareholder.  The present financial analysis and future financial projection of the business’ performance suggested it would turn around.  Trusting the financial specialists work, the wife opted for shares in the business rather than support alimony, believing that through the divorce process the business would turn around.  And it did.  Both spouses were satisfied with the outcome.

If they had litigated their divorce, the husband would have likely paid alimony and the wife’s income would have been low.  Instead, the company continues to grow and the wife receives dividends from a growing company and thus, a larger income.

In Tulsa, couples who face divorce have the option to use a financial specialist.  For small business owners in Tulsa, the collaborative divorce process is the best option.  It’s especially favorable if financial specialists are used.  It is important that you understand the financial implications of all settlement options.  When you use a financial specialist you can make settlement decisions based on information analysis and projections they provide.

What can a Tulsa business owner using the collaborative divorce process expect from the financial specialist?  When a business is involved the financial specialist will interview clients and sometimes they will interview employees.  They will look at organizational structures and evaluate the company’s fair market value.  Even when there is not a business at stake, the financial specialist will use the couple’s mutual assumptions to provide financial projections both short and long term.  They will then explain the estimated effect of each settlement option.  This is especially important when considering your financial future and future lifestyle.

Couples in Tulsa who use financial specialists in their collaborative divorce process will be educated.  Often, one of the parties will know nothing about the business finances when the process begins.  The roll of the financial specialist is to educate both parties so that they can make better settlement choices. 

Settling your divorce outside of court could cost a Tulsa couple 1/3 less than the litigated divorce.  Saving money, saving the business, a settlement in the best interest of both parties, these are all things a financial specialist will attempt to achieve for you.  All things considered, the collaborative divorce with financial specialists can be a win-win situation for business owners in Tulsa contemplating divorce.


Posted by Administrator

Staying in Control When Anger Rises
February 17, 2009 5:09pm

Staying in Control When Anger Rises

 

Most Tulsa couples facing divorce will likely experience anger one time or another during the divorce process.  It is good practice to have a healthy plan of action when dealing with anger, especially anger related to divorce.  Keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with being angry, but how you process that anger could be all wrong.

 

CNN.Com posted an article entitled “7 things to do when you’re really angry.”  If you are in the Tulsa area and facing divorce, perhaps one of the following 7 options will allow you to deal with your anger in a more healthy way.

 

  1. Acknowledge it:  Anger cannot be dealt with in a healthy manner until it is acknowledged.  There is some power in admitting you are angry.  Admission of your anger can also allow you to feel validated. It is the first step in working towards a resolution.
  2. Spell it out:  Write your feelings down.  Write them with a pen and write them on paper.  When you face divorce it can bring about countless emotions, with anger and fear being two of the most common.  Those couples who are living through a divorce in Tulsa may find freedom in writing their thoughts on paper.  As you write, you have the opportunity to process and replay the events that brought you to your pen and paper.  You can use your writing time to consider alternate options and steps towards resolution or even ways to manage your anger before it takes control.
  3. Get physical:  Transfer your anger into an activity that will allow you to release the tension of divorce.  In Tulsa there are many options for stress release such as running along the river, working out at the gym, or hitting a few rounds at the batting cage.   Releasing that stress and tension can be a healthy alternative to anger.
  4. Seek perspective:  Take a look at the big picture as opposed to what has you so angry.  It is no secret that divorce is hard on your emotions.  The reality is though is that there is more to your life in Tulsa than the circumstance you are facing.   Take some time to reflect on what is positive in your life.    Write those positives down on paper and meditate on them.  Even through divorce, anger can be lessened when you gain perspective on your position in life.
  5. Connect, carefully:  Vent on someone.  Just remember that friends typically choose sides in a divorce.  You don’t want to vent with someone who will encourage the battle.  Find someone you trust and be honest and open with your emotions.  There is comfort in just letting go with someone you can trust.
  6. Take action:  Divorce can make us feel powerless, as if our life is out of control.  Take some time to identify the triggers that get your feathers ruffled, and then take action.  Work on ways to improve the situation.  A plan of action against the triggers can give you a sense of control.
  7. Watch it:  Anger can linger in the form of hypersensitivity, making you more irritable.  It is important to remain focused and alert while working through the divorce process.  Keeping your mind healthy and well rested is a great way to be mentally prepared for working on issues of your divorce. 

For those couples in Tulsa who feel divorce is imminent, we offer the use of coaches in our collaborate process.  Coaches often give you a safety net in which you can vent, have your feelings validated, give you a sense of respect, and still keep the process moving forward in a positive way. 

Posted by Administrator

BOOK REVIEWS
February 6, 2009 2:19pm

I hope you will find the following book reviews helpful.  If you are in Tulsa, seeking a divorce or perhaps just contemplating divorce, you may find  useful information in these books. 

 

TITLE: THE COLLABORATIVE WAY TO DIVORCE The Revolutionary Method That Results in Less Stress, Lower Costs, and Happier kids-Without going to Court

AUTHOR:  Stu Webb, JD and Ron Ousky, JD  269 pages (2006)

SUMMARY:  This book has been described as a reader friendly guide to preparing for the collaborative legal process.  It provides information on the key elements involved in collaboration and how the process works.  It breaks down the Collaborative Divorce process and expands on each step to better inform the reader.  It is similar to what you will find in collaborative divorce in Tulsa.

 

TITLE:  Divorce: a Problem to be Solved, Not a Battle to be Fought

AUTHOR:  Karen Fagerstrom, Ph.D., with Diana Wild, Peggy Thomson, Ph.D., Rodney Nurse, Ph.D., ABPB, Milton Kalish, LCSW, Nancy Ross, LCSW, & Thomas Wolfrum, J.D.  117 pages (1997)

SUMMARY:  The authors of this book are mainly from the mental health field. They focus on the feelings of the break up.  It is described as a basic introduction to the Collaborative Divorce process.  Coaches in the Tulsa area will explore this with you too.

 

TITLE:  Divorce Without Court: A Guide to Mediation and Collaborative Divorce

AUTHOR:  Katherine E. Stoner Nolo; (2006)

SUMMARY:  This book is written using metaphors and hypothetical examples to guide the reader in making the decision to choose mediation or collaboration.  The author keeps her explanations neutral and puts the law in perspective.  This book offers insight to acquiring critical skills that will allow the spouse to proceed through the collaborative divorce or mediation successfully.  For those seeking divorce in Tulsa, this is a good general book.

 

TITLE:  Divorce Without Disaster Collaborative Law in Texas

AUTHOR:  Janet P. Brumley 272 pages (2004)

SUMMARY:  This book gives a real life in depth look at the individual steps of the Collaborative process.  It is written in 4 chapters and takes the reader step by step through the collaborative divorce process.  These steps apply to collaborative divorce in Tulsa, though the book is written about another state. 

Posted by Administrator

THE FRIENDLY DIVORCE
January 27, 2009 7:51pm

In the October issue of Family Circle Magazine, there was an article in support of the Collaborative Divorce (CD) process.  The article, entitled “The Friendly Divorce”, touched on the overall process of Collaborative Divorce and 4 key benefits of using the Collaborative Divorce process.  These are applicable everywhere, and would apply to Tulsa area divorces.

 

I agree with Family Circle that less bitterness is one benefit.  In the Collaborative Divorce process couples are able to focus on the issues that are most important to the agreement process rather than the emotions that drive them to feel embittered.  You do not want to make decisions based on those negative emotions.  Everyone wins when the focus is on a peaceful resolution based on the needs of both parties rather than one person getting his/her way.

 

Family Circle Magazine lists lower expenses as a second benefit.  For several reasons, they are absolutely correct.  I have seen heavy litigation cases in which couples have spent their life savings and/or gone in debt trying to ‘win’ their way.  Reality is that nobody will ever really ‘win’ in a litigated divorce, especially in a litigated divorce with minor child(ren).  Unfortunately, however, people get so focused on their anger they do not look at what they would lose in a Tulsa County Court, or wherever else they may be.  They will usually lose the opportunity to have a civilized relationship as ex-spouses.  Their child(ren) pay the biggest price.  The hope for co-parenting is usually diminished.  This causes the cost of a litigated divorce to be driven up even more as the parent(s) attempt to deal with the after effects of the divorce on the child (ren). 

 

Fortunately, there is the Collaborative Divorce process.  The divorcing couple using this method will usually spend far less.  Why?  Simply because they sit down together at the collaborative table and they work together. As Family Circle mentions, by giving full disclosure of assets the need for discovery, which can be extremely costly, is diminished.  We often use coaches and financial consultants to help each spouse understand and meet the needs of the other.  If both spouses work this way, it is a win/win.

 

An additional benefit of collaborative divorce is the use of a Child Specialist who will help the couple understand and meet the needs of the child (ren).  This saves the child (ren) from paying the biggest price.  The parent(s) are not left paying professionals to try to undue the residual effects of the litigated divorce.  In a successful Collaborative Divorce process the biggest winner can be and often is the family.  Divorce is a life changing event but it does not have to completely drain the family financially nor destroy the family emotionally. 

 

The third benefit that Family Circle Magazine lists is “quicker results”.  Litigation cases can and often do drag out for years and years.  Family Circle reports that the Collaborative Divorce process takes about 4 months on average.  My experience in Tulsa is that it will happen faster than that if you want it to.  When the court’s schedule is taken out of the equation the stage is then set for the divorce to move at the chosen pace of the divorcing couple.  This gives you a sense of control over when and how things will happen.  It can give you a feeling of security to know that things will happen when you are ready rather than when a judge says it must happen. 

 

The last benefit addressed by Family Circle Magazine is ‘a custom solution’.  Imagine a divorce in which you walk away with not only your self-respect, dignity, and respect for your former spouse but also a divorce agreement that is unique to the needs of you, your former spouse, and child (ren).  This is exactly what the Collaborative Divorce method provides the opportunity for.  It is the end result that everyone works so hard to achieve.  Collaboration provides the opportunity for the divorcing couple to make their own decisions as to how assets will be divided or their child’s needs will be met and so much more.    

 

Essentially the Collaborative Divorce process gives the divorcing couple more freedom of choice. In reality, who really wants the alternative, which is a judge telling you who gets what, how the needs of your kids will be met, etc.  There is no better person qualified to decide the best arrangement for your divorce than you yourself and your spouse.  You came together as two people who cared for and respected each other and through the Collaborative Divorce process you should be able to part as two people who at least respect each other.  If you are in Tulsa County Courts, a divorce could easily take over a year.

 

 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Families in Transition
November 27, 2007 12:27pm

A good resource for Tulsa County divorces is FamiliesInTransition.com   It has the divorce judges on the front page.  Hit the link to their picture, and you will get the daily docket for that judge in Tulsa.  If you see your case on the docket, you can press the link of the case name, and see your own case docket sheet.

FamiliesInTransition.com also has a list of mediators, parenting coordinators, custody evaluators, and more.  You will find forms that will assit you in trying to do things yourself, or at least give you information about what your attorney is doing for you. 

If you just need an attorney to put your agreement in writing, please keep me in mind.  I will do that kind of work by just charging by the hour without a retainer. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Coaches
November 6, 2007 1:54pm

You may have heard of using psychologists in the divorce process.  Usually it is to prove that the other parent has problems and is not fit to parent.  Or that one parent is better than another.  That is a destructive way to use this valuable resource.  In collaborative divorce, we use mental health professionals to 'coach' the parents. 

There is no reason to think that the communciation between the parents will get better upon divorce.  It usually gets worse.  So we use collaborative coaches to work with the parents to come to a neutral ground for communciations.

In the Tulsa County collaboratvie process, we get a coach for each parent.  We know the different coaches, and pick one that will work with you well.  Each of you meet with his/her respective coaches.  You may then begin having sessions with both coaches and both parents.  

The meetings are all confidential.  The coaches are not there to assign blame.  They are there to help you start a new level of relationship with your child's parent.  To help you phase out of the spousal realtionship, and into the co-parenting relationship.  This is best for you children, and best for your own stress level.   

 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Divorce in Tulsa County
July 23, 2007 9:28am

Divorce anywhere is a difficult time in someone's life. The people that live in Tulsa County, however, have an advantage if a marriage must be dissolved. Tulsa County has many laws in effect that help protect you, your spouse, and your children through this time of adjustment. To help navigate you through these laws, however, you need an experienced attorney from the Tulsa County area.

Another advantage of living in Tulsa County is the forthcoming of a new, more efficient way of divorce: collaborative. There are many trained attorneys in collaborative law in the Tulsa area that would be happy to help you and your spouse resolve your issues in a respectful, less damaging way.

There are countless questions that arise when the decision is made to end a marriage. Each situation is different. If you live in Tulsa County, choose a collaborative professional to help you with your legal questions.

Don't fight about it. Ask a collaborative professional if this type of divorce is right for you.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

A Well Trained Collaborative Divorce Professional
June 21, 2007 7:16am

If you have read any of the other entries on this blog, you realize the many benefits of collaborative divorce. You probably also realize the need for a trained professional to help you through this process of divorce. I recommend Barbara Bartlett.

Barbara is without a doubt one of the most educated professionals in the area of collaborative divorce. She has taken a total of twenty-eight (28) hours of conflict resolution training from various instructors between 1991 and the present. In addition to that training, she took a 40 hour course in mediation from Robert Benjamin. Barbara also took Basic Interdisciplinary training in 2006. She has taken nearly 16 hours of Basic Collaborative Law Training, and in 2007 she taught an Intermediate Collaborative Law course.

If you do choose collaborative law for your divorce and you live in the Tulsa area, choose the educated and experienced Barbara Bartlett.

Don't fight about it. Choose Barbara Bartlett for your collaborative divorce, and save yourself a lot of time, worry, and money.

Posted by Emily Mapes

Divorce and the Stars
June 18, 2007 9:10am

Every day you can turn on your television to hear the latest rumors about celebrity divorces. The media tends to dramatize these proceedings. There have been countless rumors about the custody of children, the splitting of assets, and as always, high strung emotional outbreaks. Of course, these are what comes with any divorce, only the every day person doesn't have the media breathing down their necks.

Now turn the tables. Imagine if these celebrities had decided to choose collaborative divorce over litigation. Their children would be assured that no matter what the media made up, their parents have created respectful boundaries in which to complete their divorce. The tabloids wouldn't sell as easily, because the public would know that there are no drag-out, disrespectful fights involving hidden agendas in a collaborative divorce. The stars would also save money as will as face value.

Maybe these people we look to for fashion advice should take a legal lesson from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Don't fight about it. Don't worry about it. Decide today to utilize collaborative law in your divorce.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Collaborative Divorce Around the World
June 14, 2007 8:28am

The IACP website has recently linked news articles showing that not only is collaborative divorce being used in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but around the world. Newspapers in Canada and Scotland as well as other areas in the UK have begun recommending collaborative law as a positive alternative to the other means of divorce.

These newspapers highlight some of the aspects of collaborative divorce that many people of Tulsa have experienced themselves through their divorce. Collaborative divorce is comparatively cheaper than litigation. Choosing collaborative law also helps a family going through divorce to stay together and respect one another, rather than cutting each other down through an extensive and embarassing litigation divorce. This benefits the children in a family the most.

With these benefits, it is no surprise that other areas of the world are taking Tulsa's lead and are choosing collaborative divorce.

Don't fight about it. Realize what the world is realizing- collaborative divorce that keeps respect for yourself and your partner in mind is the way to go.

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Tulsa County Collaborative Group
June 1, 2007 2:26pm

At the bottom of every webpage you will see a logo with 4 people sitting around a table.  This is the logo for the Oklahoma Academy of Collaborative Professionals.  Clicking on the logo will take you to our OACP site.  Under the Professional's page, you will find "Tulsa Metro".  This lists all the members of the Tulsa legal community who practice collaborative law.  It is important for both you and your spouse to each pick a Tulsa lawyer from this list to begin the collaborative process. 

Specially trained lawyers work with each other to have a constructive dialogue about divorce settlement.  We keep the fight out of it. 

Don't fight about it. 

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Collaborative law
May 4, 2007 3:20pm

The collaborative process is not only for divorce.  It is a process by which disputing people can explore common interests, weigh options, and come up with a criteria that helps them weigh those options ffor the most benenfit for everyone.  Arguing rarely changes peoples' postions.  What  the collaborative process does is keep down the emotional cost of conflict, but still allows each person to reach an agreement that is workable.

 Keep your dignity in your dispute.  You are bigger than this one problem.   

Posted by Barbara Bartlett

Collaborative Books
May 2, 2007 5:10pm

There are some excellent books about Collaborative Divorce. These have been written by the founders of the collaborative process, and they are 'guide' books for someone going thru the process.  If you are thinking about divorcing collaboratively, or are already in the process, these books will be of great help to you.    Check out them out:

The Collaborative Way to Divorce, the Revolutionary Method that Results in Less Stress, Lower Costs, and Happier Kids- Without Going to Court.   by Stu Webb

and

Collaborative Divorce, the Revolutionary New Way to Restructure Your Family, Resolve Legal Issues, and Move on with Your Life by Pauline Tesler

Posted by Barbara Bartlett
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