Two Negotiation Steps People Forget (at the Drive-Thru)!

Image There is a problem.  A lack of  aligned interests.  A need for a solution.  

Whether figuring out which drive-thru everyone in the car will accept or settling the terms of a divorce, there are two steps most people forget when attempting to get to a resolution.

“Everyone” remembers to figure out what they want, right?  But, too often, the self-interests trump all other considerations in trying to reach a compromise.  (Rookies.)

The two other steps – critical, strategic steps! – that are too often overlooked in getting to an acceptable middle ground are all about the other person/side’s perspective:

1.  What offer CAN the other person accept?


2.  What reason should they say “yes” to your offer?

When these two additional steps are taken, a party is far more prepared to get a deal that they want than attempting simply to get everything (wishful thinking) that they want.

So, how does this work in the real world?  On your road trip with the kids, you anticipate the “fast food stop.”  The next Interstate Exit has a Wendy’s, a Subway, and a Burger King.  You, the adult driver, want to run through the Wendy’s Drive-Thru…but know that the kids are Whopper Junkies.  

So, how are you going to phrase this to get them to see things your way?  Give your “phrase” to win the kids over in the comments section below.


Georgia Divorces are “Different”

ImageLook, tell a friend, tell an enemy…one state’s divorce laws are not another state’s divorce laws!

This means that getting a divorce in Georgia will involve Georgia’s laws (okay, there are some extreme exceptions to that statement, but they probably don’t apply to you).  New Jersey’s laws aren’t going to apply.  California’s laws aren’t going to apply (so stop relying on the tabloids that detail Hollywood breakups for your legal advice in Georgia).  

All kidding aside, the realities of “domestic relations” law (which includes divorce) are very state specific.  So, when looking online for information about divorce – make sure that you are looking at comments that involve your state’s legal landscape.  

In Georgia, may family law firms have incredibly rich resources on their websites about the law…for free!  Take advantage of them, and consider whether these kinds of attorneys – who are interested in informing you about the law – are right for you!  Here are a sampling of some good sites with divorce resources:


Parental Conflict: How it Can Be Harmful for Children

Parental Conflict: How it Can Be Harmful for Children.


Co-Parenting is hard.  There are so many mistakes that can be made so easily.  The benefit of using a competent “divorce focused” therapist to assist with building a Parenting Plan that anticipates more than just which day of the week the children are with each parent can be monumentally important to the parents’ overall success in raising children truly “as well as they could.”

Integrative Divorce Mediation assumes that divorce professionals – whether in the financial, legal and parenting (which can include therapists, communication coaches, educational specialists, and more) – are integrated into the mediation process.  In short, parents can use the co-mediation model whereby each “professional” serves as a neutral party (in other words, one mediator in a team of mediators) to get a comprehensive and customized solution that will serve their family holistically.

Not a bad idea, eh?

Divorce with “One Mediation,” a mediation firm in Atlanta, Georgia that specializes in family disputes and works tirelessly to educate individuals and families about their options.

When Do I Need to Update My Will?

Recently Divorced? Time to update your will…

Elder Law Update


When I began publishing this blog, an important goal was to educate the community on those issues my clients often raise, and this is definitely one of those:  When do I need to update my will?

This list is not all-inclusive, but includes some of the more common events that would require a review and possible revision of your estate planning documents (i.e. wills, trusts, financial power of attorney document(s) and/or health care directives):

1.   Birth of a child

2.   Marriage or Divorce

3.   Death of a beneficiary

4.   Significant change in personal wealth or purchase of a life insurance policy

5.   Change in applicable law (tax, trust, will, medical decision-making, etc)

6.   Moving from out-of-state

7.   Significant health issues of the testator (that is, the person who made the will) or a beneficiary, especially if it involves assisted living or skilled nursing…

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