Better Solutions for Family Law Disputes

Divorce, Child Custody, Elder Care, Inheritance

South Bay Mediation Newsletter



May 2013

For Families in Conflict and Those Who help Them
This newsletter offers information and resources to assist those seeking effective resolution of divorce and family conflicts. For more information about South Bay Mediation, informative videos, and how to schedule a free consultation...Click Here


Eric Piety, MA

Divorce and Financial Stress

Plan ahead to avoid major financial setbacks


 Ten steps to take when preparing for a divorce


1. Avoid conflict, if you can.


Legal fees are typically the biggest cost related to a divorce. If your separation is highly contested, you can run up bills in the tens of thousands of dollars - money that gets subtracted from anything left over for you or your spouse after the divorce.

You may need the support of lawyers or a mediator, but try to keep a level head and work together on the best solution. A divorce is difficult enough without adding the additional financial strain. Do what you can to see each other's points of view and come to agreeable solutions, so you can avoid the legal back-and-forth as much as possible.


 Click here to read full article

Divorce & Children

What Parents Can Do to Help


1. Parents do not have to be friends after divorce, being considerate and business like is more realistic.


Treat the other parent as you would a business partner. Keep in mind the "mission statement" of this new business is to raise the

child custody 1best children possible. Consider how you would behave with a business associate you were trying to close an important deal with (you probably wouldn't resort to name calling).    
2. Be on time. 

Being late is inconsiderate of the other parent and the child. Being late can interfere with the other parent's plans and hurt the feelings of the child who is waiting for you. It can also disrupt the child's routine.


3. Stay out of conflict with the other parent. 


When discussing a challenging parenting issue, take a time out, take a concern "under advisement," cool down, do some processing, and then contact the other parent with your thoughts. There are two sides to effective parenting communication after divorce: (1) learn to raise issues respectfully and without blaming and (2) learn to respond to a parent's concerns without defensiveness and argument. You will need to learn to attack problems together, not attack each other because there is a problem. Former partners know how to push one another's buttons and this can sabotage a business- like relationship. The following is a possible way to address concerns respectfully:


Understanding the Process


by Chip Rose, J.D., California Family Law Specialist

Mediation can be described as a process that employs the neutral participation of a third person to bring two parties in conflict to a mutually agreeable settlement. 
couple 1
As background to a discussion of the application of mediation to the divorce process, it would be helpful to first look at some typical relationship circumstances that tend to exist between spouses when they have reached the point where one or the other has decided to end the marriage. 
When marital partners begin pulling away from one another, the most obvious symptom of the growing distance is a significant breakdown or loss of trust. As the parties literally pull back from each other (emotionally and physically), the space between them becomes a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum and it is predictable that something will fill that void. Given the absence of any meaningful communication between the parties, what tends to grow unchecked in that void is anxiety. Anxiety is the emotional response to "not knowing"--not knowing what the other person is thinking or feeling, not knowing what they are doing or planning to do. When no actions are taken to establish some method of constructive communication relating to the most mundane aspects of daily life (especially regarding money and bills), and left unchecked, that anxiety will eventually blossom into full blown fear. Once either party reaches this critical state, it is common to begin to take actions that are emotionally-driven and often contrary to that party's true best interests.

Typical of such decisions are the following actions: canceling credit cards or charge accounts; withdrawing or transferring funds from bank accounts; changing the status of beneficiaries on life, health or auto insurance policies; and ultimately, hiring a lawyer "to look out for their rights."


While these actions are seen by the party undertaking them as defensive, they are invariably experienced by the other spouse as aggressive and threatening. The natural reaction of the other spouse is to respond in kind, taking reciprocal emotion-driven counteractions. Like the phenomena of mirrors facing each other which create an infinite series of reflections, each party reacts to the counter-reaction of the other party. A mutually-destructive downward spiral is generated and quickly gains so much momentum that it may move beyond the ability of the parties to contain it.


Not only are attorneys not capable of putting this fear back in the bottle once they are brought into the case, they are committed to follow policies and procedures of a system that assumes that the other side is an adversary and, therefore, to be treated with distrust and suspicion, like any enemy in battle.


Effective and affordable, South Bay Mediation assists families throughout the Los Angeles area. Having been through the painful processes of litigation and divorce, I know how damaging legal battles can be. I also have experienced the power of mediation to create solutions that maintain everyone's dignity while working through painful conflicts and allowing all parties to get on with their lives. 


A workable agreement is always possible, even in the midst of anger and resentment. Contact us for a free consultaion. 


Call (866) 405-2219 or go to our website


Eric Piety
South Bay Mediation

Special Service
military family 

Veteran Family Program

Divorce Services for

Los Angeles Area Vets


South Bay Mediation in Torrance, is offering 3 hours of divorce mediation services at no cost to military personnel, veterans and their spouses. Because mediation reduces the stress and expense of divorce for all involved, this service to military personnel is South Bay Mediation's way of giving back to those who have served.

Military families, like all others, face the difficulties of maintaining a marriage in our modern world and in the midst of a suffering economy and high unemployment. In addition, military families must cope with the daunting stresses that deployment and long periods of separation have on a marriage. As proud as we are of our military families and the resilience they demonstrate, marital dissolution is a reality that cannot always be avoided.  South Bay Mediation wishes to share its expert skills in order to ease the burden for those who have decided divorce is their only option.

To learn more about the Veteran Family Program, or any of the services offered at South Bay Mediation, contact:


Eric Piety

South Bay Mediation


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