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The Intentional Family

William J. Doherty, Ph.D., The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties "An Intentional Family is one whose members create a working plan for maintaining and building family ties, and then implement the plan as best they can." This book is all about rituals, those "repeated and coordinated activities that have significance for the family" and bond members together. There…

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Putting Children First

JoAnne Pedro-Carroll, Ph.D., Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce This book is one we highly recommend to our clients with children. Right out of the box, Dr. Pedro-Carroll identifies the concerns nearly all children face when their parents separate. Next, she teaches how to respond to those concerns with empathy and love. She debunks the…

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How to Talk So Kids Will Listen . . .

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too (Revised Ed.) Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish have written two timeless "how-to" books on communication skills for parents. Both are derived from their experiences as parents and child development specialists. In…

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The Truth About Children and Divorce

Robert E. Emery, Ph.D., The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive Dr. Robert Emery is a professor of psychology and the director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and several books. His research…

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Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life

Sam Margulies, Ph.D., Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life Sam Margulies' book is one of the best books on divorce on the market. It is a must-read for spouses contemplating separation. The first part provides an overview of the economic, legal, and emotional landscape of divorce. It also explains the roles of lawyers, mediators, and other professionals. The second part describes how…

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Managing divorce burnout

Divorce is one of the most stressful life experiences some people will endure. The prolonged and complicated nature of the process, coupled with the strong emotions that the process evokes, can lead to burnout. Burnout is more than ordinary stress and tiredness. Burnout is exhaustion with a strong sense of powerlessness. Left unchecked, it can cause frustration, withdrawal, procrastination, overload,…

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The role of lawyers in mediation

We recommend that couples have the agreements they reach in mediation reviewed by attorneys and written into a contract called a separation and property settlement agreement. Most mediators will provide a written summary of agreements. But a summary is not a contract and may not be enforceable if one side doesn’t live up to her or his end of the bargain and…

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What is nesting, and can it work for us?

Recently, we have seen an increase in parents willing to try an arrangement called "nesting." This is a joint physical custody arrangement. The parents rotate in and out of the children's home according to a schedule rather than shuffling the children between homes. In the most common variant, the parents take turns residing in the former marital residence with the…

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One reason you should mediate your divorce

Reason: If you litigate, the court is going to make you. In North Carolina, parties who file claims for equitable distribution of property, post-separation support, alimony, child support, child custody, or visitation can be ordered to participate in mediation. Court-ordered mediation is a different animal than private mediation.  If it's an equitable distribution or alimony case (you and your spouse…

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