Our Divorce Options Workshop

Our Divorce Options Workshop

If you are reading this blog, you are considering divorce. Depending upon who you ask, divorce can be the greatest or worst decision of someone’s life. Divorce is a life-changing decision emotionally and financially. 

I began offering a Divorce Options Workshop years ago to help answer the myriad of questions surrounding divorce. Should we try one more attempt to reconcile? Would separation help us stay away from conflict and help us work through some things? We heard about legal separation. How is that different from divorce? If we divorce, do we need attorneys? Can we do the process ourselves? And, how much does it all cost?

We answer all these questions and more at our Divorce Options Workshop. Here are some things we cover in the workshop:

  • Reconciliation. Many couples have tried counseling without much success. We offer a process of collaboration and building a team around you. We help with communication, conflict resolution, and some basic other topics like money and kids. We work to find a therapist to help with specific needs for both of you; anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. With your permission, we may invite others into the process. The goal is creating a team with the single goal of healing and reconciling your relationship.
  • Therapeutic Separation. I created this process several years ago. We help you separate for a period of time, making sure issues around money and time with kids are settled. Then, the process of working on your relationship is very similar to the process of reconciliation. We create benchmarks with you to evaluate your progress and help you make decisions along the way. Some couples are successful at reconciliation, while others decide to move on to legal separation or divorce.
  • Legal Separation. Couples may select legal separation for many reasons. What both parties agree upon is creating legal and financial separation. The process is very similar to divorce. If you have children, you will need a Parenting Plan and possibly child support. You will need to settle all the assets and liabilities in your marriage. If one of you is seeking spousal support, then you will need to decide on the amount and length of time.
  • Divorce. We get questions all the time about the divorce process. You can download the papers from the local district court and work through the process yourselves. Mediation is the next step in helping couples walk through the process and assist with any unresolved decisions. You can elect to consult or retain an attorney through the process. If you involve attorneys, you can either choose a collaborative or litigation process. With collaborative family law, both attorneys are trained in mediation and work toward the common good of the family. If you select a litigation attorney, then you will go through a traditional court process. 
  • We also answer questions on parenting time, custody, retirement accounts, how to deal with the house, businesses, child and spousal support, and more!

One of the most frequent questions we get is “How much does this all cost?” The least expensive option is downloading divorce papers from your local circuit court. However, many find that the paperwork and the process can be overwhelming. In mediation, we help couples through the process, including filing with courts. Our costs are usually less than the retainer for ONE attorney. We often save couples over $10,000. A collaborative or litigated divorce can cost from $15,000 to $25,000, and that is without a custody battle. Custody battles can cost $50,000 or more. 

The Divorce Options Workshop is FREE. You can register by going to our event calendar or clicking here. We also offer FREE 15-minute consultations for you and your partner. You can attend the Divorce Options Workshop with or without your partner. We have found attending the workshop together with your partner allows you both to hear the same information at the same time. When couples get separate consultations and receive very different information, it can push them into an expensive and divisive process with attorneys. We encourage you to learn about mediation and other options first, then make a decision about which option is best for you.

We hope to see you at our next Divorce Options Workshop or connect with you on the phone for a FREE consultation.

3 Actions to Take Your Relationship from Good to Great

3 Actions to Take Your Relationship from Good to Great

Want to know 3 simple actions that can take your marriage from good to great?

  1. Listen. Seem easy, right? Most people struggle with listening well. Listening is one of the key actions for moving from good to great in your relationship. Want to grow your relationship? Grow your listening skills. Only 2% of people are taught how to listen. If you want to learn about the five levels of listening and take the listening quiz to discover your listening “Villians”, click here. These teachings from Oscar Trimboli has helped many of our clients. I have found learning to listen at a deeper level takes communication to a whole new level. And, moving from good communication to great communication is a game changer.

2. Resolve Conflict. Unresolved conflict contributes to relational strain and can lead to break up. Understanding your Conflict Style for each of you as partners is helpful. Then, learning how to resolve conflict is a game changer. Conflict is part of life. Ignoring or fleeing from conflict is not resolving conflict. When you and your partner learn skills for conflict resolution, you take your relationship from good to great. You both feel safe and confident if you need to talk about a difficult subject, or any subject! You cannot grow a relationship if you are angry or hurt by an interaction. Great relationships include apology, forgiveness, and repair. 

3. Intentional Time Together and Apart. Life is busy. Our calendars can be filled with everything from work, kids, sports, and friends. Couples how grow from good to great keep their calendars with two important dates: each other and themselves. Time is an important fertilizer to grow relationships from good to great. You can skimp for a while during a season, but then time away together without kids keeps the fire burning. Over 46 years of marriage, Sharlyne and I have practiced daily time together and periodic time away, just the two of us. Our lives are busy with family and businesses. Unless we put it on the calendar, the time away does not happen. Our daily routine usually includes praying together before bed. This simple practice has continued to develop deep intimacy between our souls. The periodic time away refreshes our relationship as our only focus is each other. 

I hope these give your relationship a boost from good to great. If you need a bit of help, we help couples listen more deeply, resolve conflict more effectively, and take their relationship from good (or even poor), to great.

Happy Valentine’s Day 

Make “Someday” Today

Make “Someday” Today

The problem with New Year’s Resolution is most fail. In fact, one in four quit the first week! Only 9% make it to the finish line at the end of the year. Instead of a trying to lose weight or save money, how about focusing in on that Someday goal and make that actions for Today?

In order to convert a Someday goal into Today, you will need to FOCUS:

  • ONE

Follow involves finding a leader and walking in his or her steps. Whatever your Someday goal, the first step is finding a leader to follow. Everyone needs mentors. If you want to find success, follow those who have been successful. You define success. It might be a certain income level, or for more people today, a certain lifestyle. How do you want to live? The mentor you follow should not just have the income, but the lifestyle you desire and hold the values you embrace.

Shutting out the distractions is a major obstacle for most of us. That new shiny object is sure tempting. What about that shortcut? I can multi-task. No problem with more than one focus. If you want to find success, you need to narrow the focus to ONE. Narrowing your FOCUS to ONE thing is the secret ingredient to success.

You need a plan, a COURSE. Your mentor can help with a course. He or she built the rails. You can follow the path. Even if you are a trailblazer, there are those who designed a path to blaze trails. Select a plan, follow the plan, and stay the course.

Patience and Persistence are virtues to stay the course. Remember, one out of four quit the first week. You need to be one. You can stay the course until successful. You are the 9%. Nobody who is successful was the 91% who quit. When you face barriers and problems, both internal and external, you must decide at each moment your decision – persevere or punch out. The key to success is hanging around long enough to see the results. We live in an instant culture. Very few find instant success. Many find success through patience and persistence.

Congrats! You reached the finish line. There will be another Someday goal that needs to become Today. With each conversion from Someday to Today, you become more and more successful living the lifestyle of your dreams. 

Dreams come true when we FOCUS.

Wishing you a Someday that will turn into a Today!

Happy New Year

The Gift of Touch

The Gift of Touch

I know, I know, for some of you touch is a really hard one. You just are not a huggy, touchy type. If the love language of your partner is physical touch, you may be starving him or her. Physical touch is far more than sex, although is pretty important, too!  Here are some ideas for physical touch:

  • Hold hands during a walk or watching television together
  • Give a morning hug every morning
  • Give a good bye kiss when walking out the door
  • Give a kiss before bed
  • Give a massage to your partner – you can learn how. A massage gun can be wonderful
  • Simply cuddle
  • Here is a challenge – have sex for 12 days straight!

My wife and I slept in a queen bed for over 40 years. We liked the “feel” of the nearness of our partner. When away from each other, we really missed sleeping near one another. If you are touchy-feely or not, physical touch is important for all of us. For some, it is the primary way to receive love. If the love language or your partner is touch, let them feel the love on a daily basis this Christmas and beyond.

The Gift of Time

The Gift of Time

For some, it is far easier to give a gift than carve out time. We seem to have a scarcity of time. Everyone one is busy, even those who retire. I am not going to retire just so I have more time!  For those who want to say, “I love you” with time, here are some ideas:

  • When I spend an entire day with my wife, I shout to her, “you are important!”. We call these Day Dates. You do not need much money. You can hike, take a picnic, go to the beach, etc. One of our favorite Day Dates is driving the Columbia George Scenic Route in the spring seeing all the apple and pear trees in bloom by Hood River. We take the convertible, stop by the waterfalls, have lunch at Skamania Lodge or Hood River, then drive back to Portland over Mt. Hood. 
  • Something far more simple – set aside an hour each day to spend with your partner. No phones allowed. You might enjoy a sit down breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The key – uninterrupted time to concentrate on the one you love.
  • How about a night of nostalgia? Spend time together looking through pictures or videos from some of your best memories.
  • Spend a night building a Dream Board together. There is nothing more powerful than our dreams, especially joint dreams about the future together!
  • You can surprise your partner and take them out to lunch.
  • Give the gift of listening. One of the most precious gifts to your partner is listening deeply. Need some help? You might take the listening quiz.
  • My wife and I have a faith background. The most important time we spend together daily is prayer. We have found prayer deepens our relationship like few other activities.

My hope for you is creating some habits of sharing time together. I know couples today who rarely see each other. So difficult to enjoy a healthy and thriving relationship when time is so scarce between the two of you. May this Christmas you find a way create space for each other daily.