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Wednesday, June 27, 2012


This is the time when you and your spouse are discussing the possibility of divorce. You may be in marriage counseling or individual therapy to save your marriage. It's also the time to start your financial planning for a possible divorce.
  • Gather historical financial documents such as tax returns, banking records, real estate purchase and sale documents and any other records pertaining to your assets.
  • Find a good divorce lawyer.  Efficiently utilize your time when you interview a prospective lawyer to learn about your potential risks and results if the divorce truly occurs. Start your divorce financial planning.
  • Avoid stressful situations and conflict as much as you can. Plan any pre-divorce discussions with your spouse so that they occur in a neutral location. Avoid involving your children, friends and relatives in your divorce. 
  • If you and your spouse can have reasonable, somewhat amicable discussions about settlement, begin pre-settlement negotiations. Start with a full disclosure of the information about your income, assets, liabilities and expenses.
  • If divorce is imminent and you and your spouse can't communicate to work out your divorce settlement or if one of you is more in control and more powerful than the other, move on to the next step. Don't waste time and energy on trying to work out an agreement until you are both on a level playing field.

  • For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --


Collaborative Divorce is a process in which both spouses hire a lawyer specifically trained in collaborative family law: both lawyers work together with both spouses in confidential, four-way meetings in order to come up with mutually beneficial resolutions to their divorce issues. It's a cooperative, rather than competitive, method of settling marriage dissolution -- based on full disclosure and empathy rather than on trying to "win" with antagonistic deceit and mistrust.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --


Where separated parents are in agreement on major issues affecting the life of their child and have little or no concern for the judgment of each other, they can opt for joint custody, sometimes also referred to as shared custody. Here both parents legally have an equal say as to decisions affecting their child. It is assumed that they can reach decisions either by consensus or by one acquiescing to the judgment of the other. 

Joint custody respects the equally important role of both parents in the child’s life and may facilitate less conflict and more involvement on the part of both parents. From the child’s point of view, this can mean more harmonious relationships which in theory leads to better adjustment. Typically joint custody works best where there are low levels of conflict between the parents or even in moderate conflict but where the parents can resolve disputes maturely.
In some cases, parents opt for joint custody knowing they may periodically require the support of a mediator to reach certain decisions. If matters of violence, drug or alcohol abuse, mental illness or more than moderate levels of parental conflict exist, joint custody may be contra-indicated as it can lead to further conflict and distress to which the child would be exposed with potentially harmful consequences.

More recently, the concept of parallel parenting has entered into the social science literature. This form of joint custody denotes that major decisions are likely already in place, the result of mediation or Court Order and that both parents otherwise retain decision making authority while the child is in their respective care. In other words, both parents may make decisions about things like activities, as long as they do not interfere with the child’s time with the other parent.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


You and the other parent must make every effort to eliminate all types of negative actions towards one another in the presence of your child. This type of behavior can cause your child psychological harm that may be irreversible. This includes all arguments, phone arguments, nasty remarks, poking fun at one another, etc.

There have been many studies that have proven that the act of arguing in front of children causes significant emotional harm. It is understood that you and the other parent probably have your share of differences, but do not let those differences get the best of you and your child.

Partaking in verbal conflict in front of your child may cause him or her to have feelings of frustration, aggression, anxiety, depression, isolation, lack of self-esteem, just to name a few. You must keep in mind that a child has feelings towards both parents, and to see parents showing anger towards one another makes them extremely uncomfortable. At times they feel insecure. They are not sure what is right or wrong. Children can also assume that they are expected to pick a side, which creates separation. The golden rule to remember, "children should never be put in a position to take sides".
If the conflict between you and the other parent is or becomes very consistent, your child may show signs of tension and nervousness when you and the other parent are around each other. Since the verbal conflict is routine and it is all he or she may see and hear between the two of you, it is very easy for your child to perceive that he or she is the root or cause of the arguments.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --


A mistake parents may make when they separate from the family home is to try to compete with the other parent by showering the children with gifts. Sometimes parents do this out of guilt but you have to remember that your children do not need new things from you every time they see you; they do however, need your love. This is not a competition for the love of your children. They should love you unconditionally already and competing for their attention by buying them things or letting them stay up later or any other things that are done because you are trying to get them to favor you over your ex, is wrong. This will ultimately back fire on both of you. The children will pick this up very quickly and it will only make it confusing for the children as to how they are supposed to behave and what they are to expect. Your goal should be to keep the same rules for each house; that gives them the stability they need. If you are giving the children anything they ask for, the children will come to expect it. If they expect this behavior from you then setting limitations on them later becomes a big problem.         

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --


Deciding on divorce is a big decision. You should understand that you aren't a bad person just because you think you want a divorce. Your spouse is not automatically a bad person because he/she may be causing you to feel this way (or so you may think), you're just people, plain and simple. 
The Mindset You Need To Make This Difficult Decision
You're reading this for a reason...because you have been thinking about divorce for one reason or another. Being in "limbo" is a horrible feeling because you can't really get rooted if you are in limbo...all you know is that you aren't happy and don't know what to do.

You may feel stuck in a rut or feel like you are wandering aimlessly. Whatever the case, not being certain of what will happen can be tough to swallow and only contributes to your being unhappy. Another reason that this is usually a tumultuous and arduous time for people who are in this stage of life because it usually involves self reflection and a heightened awareness that may never have been reached before in your life.

This can be most difficult and scary, but I assure you it is healthy in the long run. When doing this "inward reflection", you may find out some things about yourself that you may not like. You may recall some things you had forgotten. You may realize that this isn't all your fault or you may realize that you had a hand in leading yourself here too. Whatever happens from here on in, your mindset has to be conducive to being brutally honest to yourself.

Since this can be a gut-wrenching time in your life, you absolutely must realize that one serious danger you face is making the mistake of not being fully aware that people don't make clear decisions during heightened emotional times. You must remember that emotion clouds judgment and bad decisions are made when the wrong side of your brain produces something by using emotion rather than intellect.

This cannot be stressed enough...when making any decision or thinking deeply about a concept, make certain that you are logical and impartial to the best of your ability. You must be comfortable with finding flaws within yourself and realizing that those are flaws that you agree with. You must be ready to admit self guilt and self fault, or this won't work.

For more information, contact the Family Law Offices of Renee M. Marcelle at (415) 456-4444, or online at http://www.familylawmarin.com/ --