Tag: Blog

Loyalties are always tested in divorce. The process is difficult on adults and families. Loyalties are greatly tested on the couple’s sons and daughters. Children of all ages, but especially those who are minors or still living at home, can be traumatized by divorce. They often are burdened by feeling of sadness, guilt, anger, and confusion. Besides that, children can be acting out and feeling anxiety when their parents are going through the divorce process. It is important to learn and understand how children of different ages and sexes cope with divorce. This will help you understand how to approach the topic of divorce with your child and help the divorce process go smoother.

In this issue, I’ll talk about how a PeacefulSplit® Divorce mediation helps to minimize the risk of your children having divided loyalties.

How divided loyalties affect children of different ages?

Younger Children:

Infants do not have the cognitive ability to understand or comprehend divorce and its emotions. Children whose parents divorced when they were infants have no memory of the divorce and generally grow up having no memories of their parents ever being together.

Toddlers (ages 2-5) have limited cognitive ability to understand divorce or their own emotions. They will miss the parent that used to live at home. It is nearly impossible to explain divorce to a toddler. They are not able to cope with their love of each parent and the fact that they are no longer living together.

Older Children:

School-age children (ages 6-12) often take divorce the hardest. Although they understand the concept of divorce, their active imaginations hold onto the belief that their parents may someday get back together. At these ages, children are egocentric and tend to believe that the divorce is somehow their fault. They often conjure-up ways to reconcile their parent’s relationship. Children at this age go through a grieving process during divorce and may often feel anger, aggression, sadness, and hostility towards one parent or the other. Withdraw from social and academic activities is common.

divided loyalties negatively impacts children
Children do not divorce their parents…Why should they have to choose between them?

Teenagers (ages 13-19) have a much more developed understanding of divorce. They have likely witnessed other family members or friends’ parents go through divorce. They understand the concepts and general repercussions of infidelity, mistrust, and betrayal. This can lead teenagers to place the blame of the divorce on one parent. They will often feel compelled to choose sides in the divorce. Their loyalties are divided between both parents. Therefore, this time-period leads some teens to become rebellious and be more susceptible to experimenting with drugs or alcohol. Some teens feel that if they work extremely hard in school and get amazing grades and are very compliant, perhaps their parents will reconcile.

Always be mindful how your child’s age affects their understanding of divorce.


Does divorce affect boys and girls differently?

Studies have shown that boys and girls react differently to their parents’ divorce. Both sexes experience negative impacts from divorce, including coping with where their loyalties remain: mom or dad. More importantly, parents going through divorce – and especially post-divorce – should work hard and collaboratively to ensure that their sons and daughters never have to choose sides.

Parents of boys impacted by pre- or post-divorce issues may find it easier to notice the impact. This is because boys tend to act-out behaviorally and expressively. Conversely, girls may internalize their emotions and while very much impacted, may not clearly show it externally.

Hetherington & Kelly (2002) found that boys tended to get less emotional support than girls from their parents during and after divorce. This failure to address boys’ needs negatively impacts their ability to cope in healthy ways about their parents’ divorce.

Girls learn that expressing emotions is a positive characteristic and behavior. Boys tend to believe that showing emotions is a sign of weakness. They learn to “man-up” or “just keep it inside”.  This restriction often has negative effects on children as they grow into adults. There are many methods you can take to help your children understand their feelings during the divorce process, regardless if they are boys or girls.

Always be mindful to encourage your child’s free expression of their feelings and emotions.


Here at PeacefulSplit® Mediation, our sole mission is guide, comfort, and assist you and your spouse or partner so that you can obtain a peaceful divorce. Most importantly, we never judge you based upon your values, beliefs, culture, ethnicity, race, gender or sexual orientation.

If you and your spouse are ready for a PeacefulSplit® Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help by answering all of your questions and explaining to the both of you the benefits of a PeacefulSplit® Mediation.  Both parties are sometimes on the same page. Other times there are big difference. I am available to help you under either scenario.

If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical “PeacefulSplit® Mediation” or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you.  Call me at 954-272-8292.

0

Divorcing is hard on everyone involved, but it is most difficult on your child. When spouses divorce and minor children are part of the marriage, it is very important for the focus to always remain on what is in that their best interest. Parents who focus on what is best for them, what they want, or getting revenge/being spiteful, rather than the best interest of the children, can traumatize their kids even more in divorce.

In divorce mediation, spouses need to resolve which parent the children will live with primarily and how often they will visit the other parent. When one parent moves out of the home, leaving their kids behind can be very difficult. The parent may want the children to live with them because they will miss them and can’t bear being separated. Unfortunately, when a marriage is over there is no way that both parents can see their children 100% of the time anymore. Although it will be hard to discuss, there are a few ways to make sure you are keeping your child’s best interest in mind when going through mediation.

In this issue, I’ll talk about how to keep the keep the focus on the children’s’ best interests during divorce mediation.

Ask yourself why you truly want something?

When thinking about dividing up assets, property, money, and time-sharing with your children, it’s easy to get caught up in wanting more than your spouse. I also suggest that each parent always ask them self: “why do I truly want what I want?” If the reason is primarily so that your spouse can’t have “it,” then you are not focusing on your child’s best interests. If he reason is mainly so that your child will want to be with you more than his/her other parent, then you are not focusing on your child’s best interests.

Always be mindful if what you are seeking is truly what’s best for your child – not you.


Ask yourself if your child is really benefiting?

When deciding on your Parenting Plan and making decisions about where your child will live, what school they will go to, when they will be visiting the other parent, ask yourself if your son/daughter will truly benefit? Often times when I work with couples, decision-making focuses on what the parent wants or needs. It’s easy to divorcing parents to get so caught up emotionally in their divorce that they tend to make decisions without really thinking about the child. In every decision concerning a minor child, the parents should be every decision on what’s in the best interests of the child. For example, will it benefit your child if the parent that the child will live with does not have a car? Lives in a one-bedroom apartment? Ask yourself if the child is benefiting from the school or medical choices being made?

Always be mindful that the child’s needs are paramount – not the parents.


Ask yourself if your child is hearing kind words about the other parent.

Mindfulness is essential to communication. Always keep your child in the back of your thoughts when communicating with your spouse. When speaking to your spouse, speak to them the way you would if your child was present. You should always be respectful, even when you are emotional.

Divorce decision must focus on the child.
A PEACEFULSPLIT™ Divorce mediation is focused on the well-being of the minor child.

Mindfulness with also help you to stay level headed, have good focus, and remain calm.

Always be mindful that the child loves both parents.


Ask yourself if you are being open to negotiation.

You and your spouse once made a talented team. You need to be open to negotiating and making decisions about your child’s future together. Many couples benefit from family counseling after or during a divorce. Realizing you will need to compromise is the first step to negotiating.

Always be mindful that the goal is not revenge or pain – but peace for your child and family. 


Ask yourself if you are listing to your son’s/daughter’s needs and desires.

If your son or daughter is old enough to express their desire, take that into consideration. Young children do not always know what is best for them. As they get older, they know what they want and will tell you. Take their wants and needs into consideration when you are making decisions that will be permanent.

Always be mindful that your children have needs and wants and feelings. 


Here at PeacefulSplit® Mediation, our sole mission is to guide, comfort, and assist you and your spouse or partner so that you can obtain a peaceful divorce. Most importantly, we never judge you based upon your values, beliefs, culture or sexual orientation.

If you and your spouse are ready for a PeacefulSplit® Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help by answering all of your questions and explaining to the both of you the benefits of a PeacefulSplit® Mediation.  Sometimes both parties are on the same page, and often they are not. I am available to help you under either scenario.

If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical “PeacefulSplit® Mediation” or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you.  I can be reached at 954-272-8292.

0

You have likely heard myth after myth about divorce. Is your image about divorce from the movie “War of the Roses?” There’s often a wide gulf between the way divorce and mediation works in real life and how it’s portrayed by Hollywood. What you see on the screen or hear from friends and family is often a far cry from the real thing.

As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, I’ve heard many of the common myths people have about the divorce mediation process. The truth is that can have a transformative difference in the lives of people.

In this issue, I’ll talk about reality and common myths of divorce mediation in Florida.

MYTH #1: We argue so much, mediation is a waste of time.

While many couples on the brink of divorce are combative, the goal of divorce mediation is to prevent the process from becoming an all-out war. As your Mediator, I’ll make sure the conversations remain productive and on-track. There is no taking of sides or picking winners and losers. Instead, our time together will be focused on mutually-agreed upon problem solving – not who can shout the loudest. I have worked with many high-conflict couples, and regardless of levels of conflict, divorce mediation will work if you both have a shared goal to end the divorce peacefully.

FACT #1: Arguing in Marriage Does Not Prevent A Peaceful Divorce


MYTH #2: We’ll just be pressured to reconcile.

As your Mediator, my role is not to reunite the two of you. Rather, I’m committed to help you both end your marriage without any further anger or misery. The decision to end a marriage is often a sad and unsettling time, but there’s hardly any benefit to “fighting to the bitter end.” I don’t pressure either spouse to settle for anything that they don’t agree to. Divorce mediation is designed so that no decision are made without both spouses saying “yes.” If you or your spouse says no to any issue, then we keep on negotiating. In mediation, you each have full power and control to say “yes” or to say “no” anytime.

FACT #2: Mediation Is Not About Pressuring Either Spouse to Agree.


MYTH #3: The courtroom is the best place to make decisions about my kids.

If you have plans for garnering sympathy from the family court in exchange for full custody or a divorce financial ruling that soaks your soon-to-be former spouse, you should know that your feelings do not come into play in the courtroom. The courts simply don’t care about how you feel. Keep in mind that the divorce process is not geared to punish one spouse over another for behaving poorly. Rather, the goal of the court is to merely dissolve the marriage – nothing more.

When divorce involves minor children, the emotions and stakes are even higher for both parents. The ultimate choice each parent must make is who do they want to decide issues about time-sharing, decision-making and overall care of their minor children: the Judge or themselves. In Mediation, both parents will make decisions about the best interests of their children. Although the court will ultimately review any parenting plan you agree to to ensure the child’s interests are protected, you are not leaving all the choices and decisions up to the Judge.

Mediation allows parents to decide about their children
One myth about divorce is that the Courts must decide all issues about minor children. The truth is that parents can make the decisions and the court will just review it to make sure its not against the child’s best interests

So far, I’ve never met anyone who has told me that they were happy to let the court decide issues about how to raise their children.

FACT #3: Parents Know Their Children Best And What Will Work For Them.


MYTH #4: Divorce mediation is too expensive.

Many divorce lawyers charge several hundred of dollars per hour to handle your case. They will almost always require a large up-front retainer too. That can easily run your final bill to thousands and thousands of dollars – and ever higher if your spouse decides to fight the divorce. In a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, however, I charge a low flat-rate that will not leaving you guessing about the final cost of your divorce. I am committed to helping you both to resolve your issues as quickly as possible.

FACT #4: Mediation is Less Expensive Then Both Spouses Hiring Lawyers in a Contested Divorce.


Here at PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, our sole mission is guide, comfort, and assist you and your spouse or partner so that you can obtain a peaceful divorce. Most importantly, we never judge you based upon your values, beliefs, culture or sexual orientation.

If you and your spouse are ready for a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help by answering all of your questions and explaining to the both of you the benefits of a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation.  Sometimes both parties are on the same page, and often they are not. I am available to help you under either scenario.

If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical “PeacefulSplit™ Mediation” or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you.  I can be reached at 954-272-8292.

0

When considering divorce, you will likely feel overwhelmed, exhausted and confused. Thinking about alimony, money, property, debts, custody, visitation and your family’s well-being can feel like crushing weights on your shoulders. Now, if that wasn’t enough, you also need to think about the consequences that the new tax law may have on your divorce and financial future.

Recent taxation modifications made at the Federal level are causing a bit of head scratching because of the major changes in the handling of alimony payments.

Does this mean that you may want to delay or speed up your divorce plans? We’ll talk about it in this issue.

What is Alimony?

Under Florida law, alimony is legally required financial support made by someone to his or her former spouse for either a specific amount of time or permanent. Courts will consider a host of factors to determine the amount to be paid,  including the:

  • length of the marriage;
  • financial resources of both parties;
  • standard of living established during the marriage;
  • earning potential of both parties; and
  • age of and health condition of both parties.

One question I am almost always asked by couples is how can we figure out the proper amount of Alimony? I wish there was a formula like the one used to calculate child-support because that would make the process so much simpler. However, since that does not exist, I work with couples to balance the factors above (and the other ones listed in Florida law) to help couples figure out an amount and time-frame that is fair and equitable to both the paying-spouse and the recipient.

The topic of Alimony almost always causes a strong eruption in emotions during mediation as the spouse paying invariably feels that they are paying too much, and the spouse receiving usually feels they did not receive enough. As your Mediator, I work hands-on with both spouses to find a middle-ground that works for both spouses.

How will Alimony change with the new tax law?

Before the new tax legislation passed, the person responsible for paying the alimony was generally entitled to count it as a tax deduction on their personal tax return. Likewise, the spouse receiving the alimony was generally required to report it as taxable income. For both parties, this reciprocal handling of taxation for the alimony payment made sense and seemed fair.

Under the new law, however, the person paying will no longer be able to claim it as a deduction. Likewise, the payments will be tax-free to the person receiving the payment. Now when I work with couples, there is an added strain on the negotiations because of this new taxation rule.

The new tax laws will affect divorces finalized as of Jan. 1, 2019. The previous tax law will still govern divorces finalized on or before Dec. 31, 2018. As a result, many experts are expecting a rush of divorces in late 2018. In fact, many of the couples contacting me and choosing the route of a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation because they want to take advantage of the current tax law.

The taxation of alimony payments is changing
Alimony is a hot-button issue in divorce. The new tax law made it even more challenging.

Will the new law affect my divorce?

For the party required to pay alimony, the divorce just became much more expensive. In addition to paying a specified amount, he or she will also have to pay its associated income taxes. For this reason alone, it’s likely that alimony will become an even bigger challenge for couples to agree about. For the paying-spouse, the true cost of alimony will be more expensive, and for the recipient-spouse, the true value of the payment will be more valuable.

The new taxation law recently passed. So far, Florida has not adjusted the way alimony impacts the calculation of child support. Currently, it is still counted as income to the recipient-parent as as an expense to the paying-parent.

Here at PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, our sole mission is guide, comfort, and assist you and your spouse or partner so that you can obtain a peaceful divorce. Most importantly, we never judge you based upon your values, beliefs, culture or sexual orientation.

If you and your spouse are ready for aPeacefulSplit™ Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help by answering all of your questions and explaining to the both of you the benefits of aPeacefulSplit™ Mediation.  Sometimes both parties are on the same page, and often they are not. I am available to help you under either scenario.

If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical “PeacefulSplit™ Mediation” or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you.  I can be reached at 954-272-8292.

0

Many same-sex couples were ecstatic in 2015 when it became legal to marry in Florida. Just a few days after that historic day, the Tampa Bay Timespublished an article that chronicled the experiences of a woman who was jubilant for a completely different reason: Florida would also have to allow same-sex couples to divorce.

“It was a very liberating moment,” the woman told the newspaper. “All of the angst, frustration and anxiety that was just under the surface was finally released.”

In this issue, we’ll talk more about same-sex divorce in Florida.

How many same-sex couples are in Florida??

Census information from the Williams Institute tells us there are nearly 50,000 same-sex couples in Florida, the third highest rate in the U.S. behind New York and California. While 51% of such couples in the United States are female, women make up approximately 64% of gay marriages in the U.S.

Are same-sex couples more likely than straight couples to divorce?

Current research and data reveals the exact opposite. A study published by the Williams Institute reveals that same-sex couples divorce at a slightly lower rate than their heterosexual peers. The research confirmed that, on average, same-sex couples divorce at a rate of about 1.1% — compared to the 2% annual divorce rate between heterosexual couples.

same-sex couples and divorce mediation
Same-sex couples divorce at lower rates than heterosexual couples, but can also benefit from a PeacefulSplit divorce mediation

How is same-sex divorce different in Florida?

Many issues common with heterosexual couple divorces are found in same-sex separations. For example, division of assets and property, alimony, child support, parental responsibility, etc.

Just as with heterosexual divorces, there are two types of same-sex divorces: settled and contested.

As a licensed attorney for over 23 years and a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator, I firmly believe that  divorce mediation can be a big help in assisting both same-sex and heterosexual couples obtain a peaceful and amicable settled divorce marked by open communication and agreement.

A big challenge for same-sex couples facing divorce, however, revolves around any children they have together. If both partners adopted a child during their marriage, they will both enjoy the same parental rights as heterosexual partners. This includes custody and child support arrangements based upon “the best interests of the child.” This is the same standard applicable to heterosexual divorces.

If a sperm donor or surrogate was used to have children, the Court will generally not view one of the partners as a biological parent. This is especially true if that partner did not choose to adopt the child.

If you’re considering same-sex divorce in Florida, call Peaceful Split Mediation:

For all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation, divorce can be incredibly complex matter. Emotions and anxiety quickly create environments that cause costly mistakes. Divorce mediation, however, creates an environment of calm and ease. It is in this mindset that you will be able to collaboratively resolve your differences to achieve your individual and collective interests.

Just as with an opposite-sex divorce, if you are in a gay marriage in Florida and do not have a divorce agreement in place before you go to court, you will be most likely be required by the court to take part in divorce mediation.

Here at PeacefulSplit™ Florida Divorce Mediation, our sole mission is guide, comfort, and assist you and your spouse or partner so that you can obtain a peaceful divorce. Most importantly, we never judge you based upon your values, beliefs, culture or sexual orientation.

If you and your spouse are ready for a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help by answering all of your questions and explaining to the both of you the benefits of a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation.

If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical “PeacefulSplit™ Mediation” or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you.  I can be reached at 954-272-8292.

0

Men and women are equally likely to end a non-marital relationship. A recent study confirms that it is women who are more likely to initiate divorce proceedings. However, as both former partners begin their post-divorce lives, who has the tougher time?

We’ll talk about in this issue.

Why women start most divorces?

According to the study, which was published in Science Daily and researched by the American Sociological Association, a big reason for women beginning the divorce process is a desire for the flexibility available in non-marital relationships.

A key finding in that study was dissatisfaction with a perceived loss of independence, coupled with husbands who tend to be controlling.

A different study from the AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) also found that women tend to initiate the divorce process – but for different reasons. The study found that women “were more in tune with the danger signs of a problem marriage.” The study also found that men were more likely to be completely caught off guard by the suggestion of a split.

Who fares better after a marriages end?

With evidence showing that women initiate more divorces, there’s research suggesting that women – as compared to men – also enjoy happier and healthier lifestyles thereafter.

A research project into the post-divorce health habits of men and women found that its men who are more likely to experience negative physical and mental health effects following a separation.

Among the suspected causes of such findings is the absence of a positive healthy influence many wives have upon their husbands. When that influence is no longer around, many men are prone to develop unhealthy habits, including use of tobacco and alcohol.

An NBC News report suggested that many men take longer to recover from the shock of divorce because they often do not realize how dependent they are upon their spouses or partners until they are served with divorce papers.

How does a PeacefulSplit™ Divorce Mediation level the playing field?

For starters, neither party has the upper hand during divorce mediation. Eric B. Epstein, Esq., a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediation, will take specific steps to eliminate any power imbalance – real or perceived – and both spouses will be empowered to stand up for themselves, their desires and their feelings.

For some, the outcome of mediation is not divorce, but reconciliation. For the vast majority, the outcome to a successful PeacefulSplit™ Florida Divorce Mediation is a hostile-free divorce that is healthier for the spouses as well the any children. The key to a successful mediation is working with an experienced mediator who will encourage creative settlement ideas and ensure that the parties negotiate in a non-threatening manner.

Divorce doesn't have to be ugly; It can be peaceful
A PeacefulSplit™ Divorce mediation is focused on the well-being of the spouses and any children.

Hardly anyone enters into a marriage thinking it will end. Life, however, presents us with different challenges every day that often lead us on a road we thought we’d never travel.

Even though divorce mediation in Florida is a generally required if you and your spouse do not already have a settlement agreement, the goal is to ensure that whatever differences both of you are having are resolved in a civil manner, and that the resulting agreement is in the best interest of both parties and any minor children.

In a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation,  I work with both spouses to keep the focus on the following:

  • the best interests of the minor children;
  • your divorce experience – and not anyone else’s;
  • developing and implementing their short-term and long-term goals; and
  • deciding about their needs and desires.

If you and your spouse are ready for a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help and ready to have separate conversations with each of you, or, as is my preference, a conference-call during which I can explain to the both of you the benefits of a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation. Sometimes both parties are on the same page, and often they are not. I am available to help you under either scenario.

If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical PeacefulSplit™ Mediation or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you.  I can be reached at 954-272-8292.

0

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her former spouse, Coldplay front man Chris Martin, lit up social media outlets recently when they shared a family photo of themselves with their children. The former celebrity couple made headlines in 2014 when they announced they were “consciously uncoupling” after 10 years of marriage but would concentrate on co-parenting their two young children, ages 13 and 11.

Co-parenting is a term that has begun to weave its way into the fabric of society, and its emphasis on teamwork in the post-divorce raising of children is the big reason why.

In this issue, I will explain how divorce mediation helps set the stage for effective co-parenting.

What is co-parenting?

Simply put, co-parenting describes a joint parenting partnership between parents who are no longer romantically involved but share in the responsibility of raising their child. It emphasizes open communication, cooperation and flexibility among the parents.

How does divorce mediation lead to co-parenting?

As with co-parenting, the hallmarks of divorce mediation are establishing communication and a sense of understanding. From the outset of the mediation process, Eric, as mediator, works to establish a model of respectful communication between you and your soon-to-be former spouse or partner.

Do children really benefit from co-parenting and mediation?

In addition to helping parents find common ground on issues like child support, division of assets and debts, division of martial property, etc., the establishment of a respectfulrelationship among the parents is crucial to the mediation process – and especially the children.

effective co-parenting reduces children's anxiety in divorce
Children do not divorce their parents…Why should they have to choose between them?

When children are exposed to a verbally hostile relationship between parents, the results are often tragic and long-lasting. Recent studies confirm that children whose parents were not on speaking terms are at a higher risk of experiencing poorer health throughout their lives. Additionally, they are at risk of:

When children are exposed to a verbally hostile relationship between parents, the results are often tragic and long-lasting. Recent studies confirm that children whose parents were not on speaking terms are at a higher risk of experiencing poorer health throughout their lives. Additionally, they are at risk of:

  • developing destructive behaviors;

  • isolating themselves from their family and friends;

  • developing issues with substance abuse; and

  • having thoughts of suicide or of committing violence.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, other research points to the success of post-divorce co-parenting. Among the findings, children who have enjoyed the nurturing environment of a parental relationship grounded in respect were shown to:

  • enjoy more academic success;

  • have a better sense of self-esteem;

  • experience far less instances of behavioral problems; and

  • exhibit fewer occurrences of stress and anxiety.

How do I find the right divorce mediator in Florida?

Divorce mediation is almost always mandated in Florida when your divorce is contested. Beyond committing to making the mediation process work, the most important step you can take is selecting the right Florida divorce mediator.

When making your selection, be sure to interview them in person, and base your selection on a mediator who is:

  • committed to remaining a neutral third party;

  • experienced working with parties go through legal disputes;

  • someone with a calm demeanor and good with problem solving;

  • knowledgeable about financial matters;

  • posseses advanced training and education in the field of communications and emotions;

  • dedicated to making decisions in the best interest of your children; and

  • compassionate, rather than someone who is merely “going through the motions.

A blueprint for success in your post-divorce life is essential in taking your next step, and the communication platform provided by a PeacefulSplit™ Florida Divorce Mediation is often the foundation for positive and successful co-parenting after the divorce is final.

If you and your spouse are ready for a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation, or are just contemplating divorce, I am here to help and ready to have separate conversations with each of you, or, as is my preference, a conference-call during which I can explain to the both of you the benefits of a PeacefulSplit™ Mediation. Sometimes both parties are on the same page, and often they are not. I am available to help you under either scenario.

If you are ready to divorce, want to avoid a financially and emotionally draining legal battle, and desire an economical “PeacefulSplit™ Mediation” or just want more information about the divorce mediation process, then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you.  I can be reached at 954-272-8292.

0

 

WELCOME TO OUR NEWEST PEACEFUL SPLIT MEDIATOR

I am pleased to announce that Erica Epstein has joined PeacefulSplit as a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator. Erica has extensive experience regarding early childhood and school-age children and related issues, as well as working with families with special-needs children. Most importantly, Erica and Eric are married and combining their skills to provide mediation services to families and couples during the divorce process.

Erica received her Master’s Degree in Early/Elementary School Education from Adelphi University and was a New York City school teacher for over ten years. Subsequently, she was a licensed Pre-welcomeSchool Director at a private preschool in West Palm Beach for over seven years where she worked with over a thousand children and families.

Currently, Erica is expected to graduate in June, 2017 from Nova Southeastern University with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. E

Eric and Erica will be offering joint mediation to help couples going through the divorce process. We hope to provide a comforting experience for our clients going through the stress and anxiety inherent in the divorce process.

If you are ready to divorce and want to avoid the legal battle and obtain an economical “Peaceful Split,” then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., and Mediator Erica Epstein are ready to assist you.

Feel free to contact Eric or Erica at 954-272-8292, 844-4PEACEFUL or email us at eric@peacefulsplit.com.

1

In heterosexual marriages, women begin the divorce process in greater numbers than men.  Why? It seems counterintuitive since we have been bombarded with messages that women, in general, want long-term, stable relationships and marriages, while men, on the other hand, are more apt to abandon relationships and move-on quickly.

According to a recent study, women initiated 69 percent of divorces compared to just 31 percent of men. Interestingly, in non-marital relationships, both men and women initiated break-up in relatively similar numbers, and mutual break-ups were common. So what is unique about marriage that causes women to more than doubly initiate the end of the relationship? Here are some possible explanations for why women initiate divorce in greater numbers than men.

1. Married Women Expect Greater Satisfaction

According to the same study, in marital relationships, women are significantly less satisfied in the quality of the relationship than men, while in non-marital relationships, both genders are equally satisfied in the level of quality of the relationship. For women, it appears that they place greater important in being satisfied in their marriages and have less tolerance for a relationship that is not meeting their level of desired satisfaction.

2. Men Are Afraid of the Consequences

Historically, men are more likely to pay alimony and child support than women. Does this cause men to fear the consequences of divorce more than women? The data is inconclusive. Sure there is a certain logic to the explanation that because men, over the course of time, have had more to lose financially than women in divorce that it might explain why men are more reluctant to initiate a divorce.  However, in modern history, the finances of men and women in the workplace has, on average, leveled-out. Today, there are many women who earn more than men and, consequently, are the ones who pay more child support and alimony. It doesn’t seems like fear of the financial implications is the likely reason behind the numbers.

3. Women Are Less Afraid of the Consequences

Today, modern women are powerful, independent and major wage earners in the marketplace. Quite frankly, they are not reliant on men for their financial resources as in the past. Consequently, women are realizing more than ever that if they are in an unhappy marriage, they have options. Where in the past an unsatisfying marriage may have been viewed as a life-sentence, today, women have a myriad of options at their disposal in terms of earning potential, employment opportunities and unrestricted access to dating potential mates. In essence, women now have the power to move on from an unhappy marriage with confidence.

Overall, men and women have varying reasons why they seek divorce.

For women, here are the top 5 reasons:

  • Male Dominance –  resulting from cultural, religious or societal reasons.
  • Infidelity – it generally takes upwards of two years of work for a couple to survive infidelity. Often times, the couple gives up trying before they’ve completed the work required.
  • Violation of Marital Duties – Sometimes, a husband may become financial unstable and irresponsible towards his family and/or children. He may also walk-out on his family, both literally and figuratively.
  • Lost Love – At its core, marriage is about a commitment among two adults to share a life together, raise a family and be “in-love.” When a spouse falls out-of-love, the marriage loses its strength and foundation.
  • Unrealized Expectations – Ever since we were children, boys and girls have fantasized about their wedding, the type of house they would live in, and the vision of their spouse. Sometimes, those fantastical expectations still remain with us when we date and choose a partner, and when “real-life” begins, the fantasies come into contact with reality. While many of us adjust our expectations to comport with our reality, others find that transition very difficult and cannot stop comparing their spouse of the “real-world” with their spouse of their “expectations” world.

For men, here are the top 5 reasons:

  • Lack of Appreciation –  when men feel under-appreciated or a lack of appreciation from their spouse of family, they tend to transform their love to resentment.
  • Financial Issues – Financial disagreements over issues such as spending, expenses, income, vacations, etc. can be very stressful to most couples, and to men especially. Given their inherent desire to provide safety and security, a perceived challenge to that instinct from their spouse or other family members can cause anxiety, resentment and disillusionment.
  • Infidelity – The only one of the five reasons listed that also matches a reason on the women’s list. That shows how great fidelity and honor means to both men and women, and how a breach of that security and trust is often an irreversible action that leads to divorce.
  • Lack of Commonality – For men, having activities and goals and pursuits that their spouse shares with them and has in common is vitally important. It is often the case that when the couple first meets, dates and get married, common interests are shared and incorporated into their daily lives. However, as time goes on and complacency takes hold, those shared common interests wane, and each party can drift to their own individual activities and interests, making the other feel abandoned and alone.
  • Sexual Dissatisfaction – For men, sexual performance and their perceived view of satisfying their spouse is key to their confidence and security not only as a husband, but as a man. When they perceive, accurately or inaccurately, that their partner is not satisfied with them as a sexual partner, their core perception of themselves can be shattered. However, rather then addressing the issue with their spouse, men are more likely to shut-down, hunker-down in their own reality, and act upon their insecurity by pulling-away or by running-away.

Regardless of the reasoning, when a man or a woman comes to the sad conclusion that their marriage must end, they have many options, none of which is inherently better or worse. However, a person must decide how they envision the process of divorce happening to them, their spouse and their family.

Do they picture it like “War of the Roses?” Do they picture worse? Hopefully, they picture it much, much better. In that case, a “Peaceful Split” divorce mediation may be the right choice for them,

As a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and attorney practicing law for over 20 years, and as a Graduate Student in Marriage and Family Therapy, I have the perceptive, maturity and respect for the entire systemic unit to understand that regardless of your desires, the entire family system will be affected by your divorce. My desire and goal is to guide and assist you through this process is as painless a way as possible Divorce will never be without pain, hurt and anger. That is a natural side-effect of the process. But with the right guidance and perspective, you and your family can emerge from a divorce without permanent damage and with an ability to go on as a family – even as you live separate lives in the future.

If you are ready to divorce and want to avoid the legal battle and obtain an economical “Peaceful Split,” then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you.

1

Divorce is a traumatic event that creates upheaval in the family system and can cause a myriad of altering life changes upon children. Whether the children are young, middle aged or adolescents that feeling of ‘togetherness’ as a unit becomes ripped apart.  While you can’t control what is happening as a result of a failed marriage, you can help your children cope with the undesirable outcomes. Behavior stability may be impacted and can have a detrimental ripple on how the child functions in school, socially and in every day living arrangements.

It is vital to ensure that the children are not suffering silently due to depression or ‘out of the blue’ atypical behavior. Therefore it is recommended to stay on top of these unforeseen changes and ask questions to the adults they are surrounded by at school, coaches, and teachers. Similarly if there are any confused signals the child is receiving when in the home, it is crucial to remember to try to co-parent as best as possible. Each parent may contribute to his or her child’s outlook but a solution of remaining civil and keeping good communication should counteract this rocky relationship.

As a parent who shares custody and has a working parenting plan, it is important to monitor your own behavior around your child.  Your actions and words have a great impact on how your child perceives the world around them and what they are going through. A child may be feeling unsettled during this scary time and may act out as a result. What helps a child to come to terms with this is to be able to approach him or her calmly and ask if there is anything you can do to make your child feel more loved and secure and that both his parents are there for him/her. Being able to have consistent boundaries and rules established in both homes will safeguard the way a child relates to his environment. It may take a child some time to self-regulate emotionally, but over time they come around. Children are resilient and are able to bounce back at times. For other children they are slower at finding themselves through the chaos and may need outside help. Either way it is best to reach out to a counselor, therapists, and other mental health professional that are trained and knowledgeable regarding ways to help a child who is suffering from behavioral issues. Sometimes, a child may feel more comfortable when opening up about their feelings to a trusted individual who is not as closely involved with what is happening. Allowing a mental health professional to step in can only further help with modeling a desirable outcome you as the parent hope to obtain long term.

Parents are faced with challenges when their family has become divided. Children are dragged trough these hardships regardless of the aftermath. As a tool to consider when going through mediation is to make sure children are being monitored for behavioral concerns, being patient when approaching children about their feelings, and continuing to be a part of their life no matter what may happen

If you are contemplating divorce and want to put your children’s interest first, avoid a costly legal battle and obtain an economical “Peaceful Split,” then Attorney and Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator, Eric B. Epstein, Esq., is ready to assist you. Contact him now to discuss your mediation options.

Written by Erica H. Epstein, M.A. (Early Childhood/Elementary Education). Erica was a New York City public school teacher for 12 years and a Florida Pre-School Director for 7 years. She is presently a 2nd-year Master’s Degree Graduate student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Nova Southeastern University and is completing her training to become a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator.

1