Welcome to the inaugural post for the Law Offices of Thomas D. Ferreira blog. Come here to find useful information and tips on navigating the California family law courts, getting more time with your children, reducing conflict in your co-parenting relationship and saving money through mediation and self-representation. My hope is that this page will become a discussion forum, allowing divorcing people to share their experiences, their frustrations, and most importantly, their wisdom.
YOUR FAMILY CAN THRIVE AFTER DIVORCE:
Whether you have decided that your marriage has irreparably broken down, or you have just received “the announcement” of divorce from your spouse, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed. I’ve been there, and I understand.
When my wife, and mother of our 2 children, made “the announcement” in November 2005, my first reaction was to hire the most aggressive lawyer I could find, and throw my problems into the lawyer’s lap. Fortunately, I received some wise counsel to deter me from that path.
I had a friend who introduced me to Dr. Deena Stacer, Ph.D., founder of the High Conflict Intervention Program. I attended Dr. Deena’s Tuesday night High Conflict Intervention class, and learned a better way to resolve my divorce issues.
Let’s fast forward 5 years to today. I have a thriving solo law and mediation practice. I have a happy second marriage, a solid relationship to both of my young children (ages 5 and 6 currently), and an extremely favorable parenting plan with my ex-wife.
I am proud to say that my ex and I share a high-cooperation relationship, a relationship characterized by mutual respect, mutual agreement on issues, and most importantly, on mutual, trust, trust built through 5 years of making specific commitments, and then performing on those commitments.
My ex and I resolved our case through mediation, settling our differences without going to court. We have successfully reframed a high-conflict relationship for the benefit of our young children. My passion is to show other couples how they can have all this, and how they, too, can have happy family life following their divorces. Through this blog, I will teach you, the reader, how you can accomplish this too. And, I will connect you with the resources to help you make it happen.
IT’S ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS:
No matter how much time you have with the children, and what your financial situation is, success in family court is all about the quality of your parent-child relationships. This is the central piece of wisdom that has allowed me to flourish after my divorce.
I recently watched a movie with George Clooney titled Up In The Air. I was pleasantly surprised at the theme, a man with an empty life, unattached to anyone resembling a friend or family member. The central character discovered what’s really important: family life.
If you step back from your divorce, and think about what really matters, isn’t it your primary relationships? It’s your family, your friends, and especially your children. The battle over property, money and custody places these relationships in jeopardy.
Through this blog, I will give you information on the law and court process. But more importantly, I want to show you how you can disengage from conflict with your ex, how you can save huge amounts of time, money and mental energy, and how you can redirect all those resources towards building lasting and solid family relationships.
A CAUTIONARY TALE:
One of the people I met at the High Conflict class was a gentleman who desperately desired to reconnect with his kids. He had spent over $100,000.00 on his lawyer, fighting a custody battle. In addition, he had paid a custody evaluator, and his children’s lawyer (known as “minor’s counsel”). And, to add insult to injury, the court had recently ordered him to pay his wife’s attorneys fees, also in excess of $100,000.00.
That’s $200,000.00, enough to pay for private school, enough to pay for lavish trips or adventures with the children, enough to build a new wing onto the house to be the children’s rooms. And, every time he went to court on that case, he was faced with new indignities and problems.
Imagine if he was able to disengage from the conflict, take the time that he had with his kids, and focus on building a true and lasting parent-child relationship with each child. Imagine the good that would have been done, not only for him and his children, but for later generations of that family. Imagine teaching those children that adults really can solve problems, cooperate and trust each other.
I’m excited about helping you get started on this journey. Tune in, and let’s get started!
Thomas D. Ferreira, Esq.