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Help Wanted

Have you been over to RonandRobertonDivorce.com?  Well, have you?  Because in the last week alone I’ve written about infidelity (twice!), fighting fairly, I’ve posted videos of my father being interviewed on CNN practically before I was born, and I shared an interesting podcast on divorce, for better or for worse.  I’ve been a very busy, very serious girl.  So busy and serious I’ve developed a raging case of Serious Scowl as a result of my many hours of intense concentration.  I am now in danger of developing a permanent case of The Furrow.  Please see Exhibit A attached:

The Furrow

Exhibit A -- The Furrow

You may have noticed that I’m using my BlackBerry to take photos a lot lately.  That’s only because I can’t get the damn thing out of my hand long enough to grab the camera.  I still can’t type on that tiny excuse for a keyboard, but I had that thing in front of my face for so long today that when I finally sat down to write tonight I was shocked by the ridiculous largeness of my 13 inch MacBook.

Anyway, I need your help.  Up until recently most of the content I’ve put together for RonandRobertonDivorce.com has been information I’ve gleaned from various sources; more a compiling of someone else’s writing than my own actual writing.  However, I was hired for my writing skillz and I’ve been given the freedom to write and post my own material, and what I’m really interested in is how divorce has affected you.  With divorce being as common as it is, I find it hard to believe that none of my readers have had some experience with it, whether it’s their own divorce, a parent’s divorce, or a friend’s divorce.   We’re all different people with our own unique views and needs and desires.  We all have our own ideas about marriage and divorce and I’d like to know what yours are. If you’d like to participate, feel free to share your thoughts as a comment or if you’d like to remain somewhat anonymous, email me at Trish@TheLawCollaborative.com.

And now a list of questions to help lube your thought processes:

  • When do you think divorce is necessary?
  • What are your views on divorce?
  • Is divorce an option in your relationship?
  • If you could imagine a perfect divorce (if there is such a thing) what would it be?  How long would it take?  How much would it cost?  What would it look like?  How would it start?  What would be required?  Would there be any conditions?
  • If you are a child of divorce, how did your parents divorce affect you?  What did you learn from it?  Did they remarry?  What was it like to grow up in a divorced family?
  • If you have been through a divorce, what would you do differently if you could do it over again?  What was your experience?  What did you learn from it?  How do you feel about marriage?

Of course you don’t have to share if you don’t feel comfortable.  And if you do share, I will most likely want to post whatever you’ve shared on the Internet for the Entire Universe to read, so please keep that in mind.   It is my intention to treat all your thoughts and stories with the utmost care and respect and I really do appreciate your participation.

Thank you!  And goodnight.  (And now I will collapse into bed and sleep like a dead person for the next seven hours.  Heaven.)

All ready?

Wow, so, it’s Wednesday. I really wanted to post yesterday, I had about a million things to tell you, but now it’s after nine thirty on Wednesday night and it just feels like it’s been so long since we talked.

First of all, the things that were said were said by people who’d never even seen this website or read a single word I’ve written, so don’t worry. I couldn’t believe how many comments and messages I got, apologizing for misunderstood or misspoken words. I had no idea you’d think I was talking about you. And no, Grendl, Nik didn’t say anything, and way to make a situation awkward.

Anyway, I should’ve been more specific. I was trying to explain how, despite the support from friends and family, I let a snide comment from someone who’s never seen my writing completely block me. And that it didn’t matter, because even if all I got were raisins, I was gonna keep on pushing.

Why does that suddenly sound so gross?

Moving on.

I have assimilated. I own a BlackBerry. It was free, with the data package, whatever, I just suddenly knew I needed to be able to access the Internet all the time, from everywhere, no matter what. Why did I know that? Because advertising works really well.

What we really wanted were iPhones, but the BlackBerries were free and I’d rather have hot needles shoved under my fingernails than use AT&T. Until this afternoon my cell phone was a little flip phone, cracked screen and chipped body, a simple device with a 1 megapixel camera and T9 text messaging, and I was happy with it. But now I have this … thing … this computer-like device that logs into the Internet and vibrates when I get a new email and downloads Apps and it terrifies me. It really, actually terrifies me.

In other news, I can now add Professional Blogger to my list of careers. I’d like to unofficially announce the unveiling of my latest project:

Picture 1

RonandRobertonDivorce.com is news, events, information, articles and personal stories from attorney’s Ron Supancic and Robert Borsky, partners in The Law Collaborative, a family law firm dedicated to bringing peace to the legal process and helping families resolve crisis.

Take a minute to let that sink in.  Divorce lawyers who advocate for the family.  They’re the guys you go to when you really believe divorce is your only option, but you don’t want to go to court, you don’t want to fight, you don’t want to make a big fuss. They’re lawyers who believe in the child’s best interest, family first, and preserving the integrity of the relationship between divorcing spouses. They’re lawyers who will recommend marriage counseling before they talk about filing divorce papers. They’re kind of amazing.

Check out the blog and tell me what you think.

Preface to a Prenup

Last week I mentioned how Mike and I have periodic romance-infused financial meetings, but I didn’t go into the how’s or why’s. We had our first financial meeting within a few weeks of getting engaged because we had to if were going to write a prenup.

The last time I told someone that Mike and I have a prenup, I promised myself I wouldn’t tell anyone ever again. But I’ve been thinking about it lately, especially after last week’s financial post, and the fact is that a prenup isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Our prenup is the reason we were debt-free less than a year after we married. Our prenup is the reason we have never had an argument about money. Our prenup is the reason I got to move with my husband to New York and live out one of my wildest fantasies. The last time I told someone we wrote a prenup that person grimaced as she said, “Why would you do that? Why would you marry someone you’re just going to divorce?”
“What?”
“Obviously if you need a prenup it’s because you know you’re just going to divorce the person.”
“What? No, it’s not. I don’t –”
“That’s awful, Tricia. That’s just awful. I’m really surprised.”

She was actually that appalled, I do not exaggerate. And she’s not alone in her feelings. Enough people have had that reaction that when she had it, I decided our prenup was something people just didn’t need to know about.

Except now I’m telling the entire Webisphere.

I’m working on learning how to stand up for myself. Today I’d like to announce that my husband and I wrote a prenup before we got married and contrary to what you might think it was not because we were rich or because we were planning on getting divorced. We had a lot of debt and our only assets were each other, but we sat down and we worked out the complications of our finances and in doing so, he learned how important it was for me to have the opportunity to run with my dreams. I learned how important it was for him to save money so that one day he could have an old sprawling house to fix up and build furniture for, with a treehouse in back for the grandkids and five big-headed dogs. And when I learned that, I knew I really did want to spend the rest of my life with this man, because no matter what happened between here and now, we really did want the same thing.

Writing a prenup was a way to protect ourselves from divorce. Everyone has different feelings about money and no two people feel exactly the same way. Money is a tender, delicate thing that dances with pride and envy. It can be used to hurt just as easily as it can be used to help. A brilliant family lawyer once told me that money is the last thing couples talk about and the first thing they fight about. I was determined not to have a marriage that could be damaged because we never talked about money. You can’t write a prenup without talking about money, and so we used it as an opportunity to have a very honest and very real discussion that would go on to help us shape our lives. And it’s true, we could’ve just had the conversation without ever writing the contract, but the fun in writing the contract was including provisions like:

“Prior to filing for divorce, the parties must agree to a minimum of one hour of marriage counseling, once every week for twenty-four consecutive weeks. If, after twenty-four consecutive weeks of marriage counseling the parties still agree to divorce, either party may file the Petition without effect. If one party files for dissolution without completing the agreed upon counseling, that party agrees to pay the other party’s attorney fees and costs in full.”  (Except a lot fancier because it was translated into lawyer-speak.)

I really do believe that if both parties commit to marriage counseling for six months they won’t need a divorce. And if they really still want one, then maybe they do need it. However, if one person isn’t even willing to give counseling a shot, then they should pay the damn legal fees.