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Encouraging Your Spouse to Use the Collaborative Divorce Process

Posted On: May 21, 2020

Divorce is never an easy decision. But, once you have decided to move forward, you next must decide the best method of settlement for you and your spouse.

There are three options to consider: litigation, collaborative divorce or mediation. If you have already done your research and decided that the collaborative divorce process is the best way for you and your spouse to negotiate your divorce or separation, you must next encourage your spouse to engage in the collaborative process.

Let’s review each option to determine why Collaborative divorce would be the most beneficial.

Litigation

In contrast to the collaborative model, litigation is an adversarial process, designed to have winners and losers at the conclusion. Both parties are represented by an attorney who will advocate their client’s position with the potential threat of a trial. Litigation is the most expensive option, will take the longest to resolve and is the most emotionally draining on both parties. In addition, there are no guarantees at the end of the day what the judge will decide.

Collaborative Divorce Process

The collaborative process still has each party represented by an attorney; however, the key difference is that the attorneys are committed to obtaining a fair settlement for both of you to avoid a trial. Underpinning this commitment, the attorneys sign an agreement that they will not represent you in court if a settlement is not achieved. To assist you and the attorneys, and if your particular situation so requires, neutral unbiased financial experts and/or family support specialists trained in the collaborative process, will be retained to help navigate financial and family issues. The collaborative process will generally be less expensive, quicker and will result in an agreement tailored to your needs through the assistance of your collaborative team.

Mediation

In mediation, the parties negotiate with each other with the guidance of a neutral mediator. Mediation is the least expensive option and is a good choice if each spouse is comfortable advocating for themselves. If the mediators are also lawyers, they will write the agreement and prepare and file your divorce papers. Mediation does not require the parties to go to court.



Getting your spouse to agree to the Collaborative divorce process

If you’ve chosen the collaborative process, it’s likely that you want the assistance of an attorney and neutral financial or family experts to avoid the adversarial nature of litigation. To help get your spouse on board, it’s important to stress how the collaborative process would benefit each of you. You might do this by following these suggestions:

1. Be prepared to highlight how the collaborative model works and provide your spouse with helpful websites such as www.licdp.com and www.collaborativepractice.com ;

2. Provide your spouse with articles explaining the process and benefits of Collaborative;

3. Speak with your spouse at a less stressful time of day when there is a better chance of having a fruitful discussion;

4. Send a text or email if you and your spouse have difficulty communicating face to face;

5. Ask a family member whom your spouse trusts to discuss the collaborative option with them;

6. Don’t force the issue. Give your spouse the time to consider this option;

7. Speak with a collaborative attorney that you wish to hire. They can reach out to your spouse to explain the collaborative process and answer any questions your spouse may have, or alternatively, provide them with the aforementioned websites so that your spouse can consult with their own collaborative attorney.

To obtain more information and a list of collaboratively trained lawyers, financial experts and family support specialists, please visit www.licdp.com. Each member will be happy to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have.

Written by Pamela J. Pollack, Esq.
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The Top 10 Things to Do on Long Island

Posted On: May 19, 2020

Needless to say, Long Island is one of favorite places since it has been my home for my entire life.  As summer approaches (and as coronavirus restrictions begin to lift), it is always exciting to find different things to do.

These are among my favorites...making visits, even during the winter or fall months to the beaches, is a must for me.  I love hearing the beach sounds and walking to the lighthouse in Robert Moses State Park.  They have a great boardwalk path from the last parking lot to the lighthouse that is right next to the beach.  You can enjoy both and get some exercise at the same time!  Obviously the wineries are a fun place to go, either for a day out on the Island or a short trip.  The other thing that people may not be aware of is that we have some very nice museums right here on Long Island, and of course, boating, fishing and eating seafood are top on the list.

Check out this great article if you ever need a suggestion or need to think about what to do one weekend.

Linked article courtesy of Devorah Lev-Tov of Trip Savvy
Photo courtesy of Mitchell Bleier/Getty Images

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13 Free, Easy Strategies for Coronavirus Stress Management

Posted On: May 11, 2020

We all could use tips to reduce our stress at this time and it helps to take positive actions that we have control over.  Doing some simple things can help us cope and stay healthy, as stress can have an eroding effect on our health.

Selected excerpt(s), and linked article courtesy of Caitlin Constantine/The Penny Hoarder
Selected photo courtesy of Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

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Friendly Exes Self-Quarantine Under One Roof For Kids: 'This is the best way to be divorced'

Posted On: May 05, 2020

This article was a joy to read and so uplifting!  Divorcees decide to do what's best for their child and extended family by getting out of the city and self-sheltering together. I am sure it has its challenges but what a testament to doing the right thing for your kids and the "family".  Bravo!

Photo courtesy of Denise Albert.

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Domestic Violence Victims, Stuck at Home, Are at Risk During Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted On: April 27, 2020

This article is very much on point both Nassau and Suffolk counties here on Long Island have seen a rise in domestic violence reports.  The coronavirus has many victims.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Scottie Andrew, CNN; Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

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Register Now for Long Island Collaborative Divorce's 1st Webinar Moving Forward: Collaborative Divorce During COVID-19

Posted On: April 21, 2020

Register Now for Long Island Collaborative Divorce's 1st Webinar Moving Forward:  Collaborative Divorce During COVID-19

Tuesday, April 28, 2020
11am - 11:30am EDT

Our professionals will be answering some frequently asked questions about the Collaborative Model, as well as taking questions from attendees.

You won't want to miss this FREE event!

Register Now!

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Divorce During COVID-19: Why the Collaborative Model Makes Sense

Posted On: April 19, 2020

Many are experiencing the stress of isolation and uncomfortable 24/7 close confinement with their spouse. For some this is not a problem, but for others it has created strain and rifts within relationships.  For those having difficulty or facing divorce and separation, especially in these times when the courts are not available (except in actual emergencies), there is an alternative that will enable a family to move forward now while saving tremendous time, money and emotional trauma.

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See My Recent Interview With ParkBench.com on Collaborative Divorce Solutions!

Posted On: April 13, 2020

Below you can view and read my interview with ParkBench.com (Babylon Village)

If you have seen any movies portraying the frustration and cost of divorce, Collaborative Attorney Concetta Spirio explains that there is a Wholistic approach.


Describe your business.

I am an attorney who has been practicing for over 37 years. I am trained and experienced in alternate dispute resolution through Mediation and Collaborative processes. I am dedicated to helping families resolve conflict or the dissolution of a primary relationship without going to court, including the LGBTQ community. I am also skilled and experienced in other areas of law, including real estate, will trusts and estates, family law, including LGBTQ families, as well as having been experienced and continue when necessary to represent clients in litigation.

Where are you originally from?

I was born and raised on Long Island and Long Island has been my home for my entire life.

What made you decide to open this business?

I have always been an advocate from when I was a young child and had to express myself in oral debate or conversation. My preliminary college education was in Education and Athletic Training and then Social Work and then ultimately the Law. I was motivated to practice law from my innate feeling of seeking justice in wanting to help people on an emotional as well as practical manner.

How did you get started?

I worked for several years in other law firms and then decided to make my own mark in my own practice which enabled me to run my law firm and my office in my own way.

Why did you choose this profession?

I have moved toward and have embraced alternative dispute resolution because I recognize the value, not only legally and financially but the importance of emotion health of my clients and their families. As a young adult, I witnessed a very close family member go through a vicious divorce. That has inspired me to find a better path for people going through such horrible circumstances.

What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?

My passion for helping people and educating them about the alternatives available to them and being a part of a process that is so beneficial to my clients. What motivates me is being able to help people and the feeling of accomplishing good and what’s in my client’s best interest as well as witnessing their transformation through a difficult time that ends in a positive result.

What has surprised you most when owning a business?

The ultimate demands and stresses upon my time and efforts to not only do what I love to do but also have to deal with the business side of that and keeping the business going. I also take great pride in running an office the way I like it to be run so that I believe it is a good environment for me and my employees. I also recognizing that I have created a place for them to have a job and a way of supporting their families.

What was it like when you first started?

When I first started it was scary in the newness of learning how to be a lawyer in practicality as opposed to what you learned in law school. When I started my own firm, the scariness of having to be responsible for your own paycheck as well as keeping your firm and your staff alive and well.

What is something most people don't know about the business?

That there is compassion and I am passionate about what I do and who I help and that people are just not numbers or dollar signs to my business. I get emotionally vested in the wellbeing of my clients. I try to have an office that supports my clients in any way possible.

What would your customers say they love most about your business?

That they have an opportunity to actually be heard and listened to their stories by someone who cares. To become personally involved in my clients’ personal social events, whether it be to attend their performance in a band or be invited into their personal world as a friend. I have been fortunate that over the years many clients have actually become true friends

How do you motivate and encourage your staff?

I have a small private office that is very much like a family and we try to support each other on a personal level as well as business level. I also have a shared office space and my suitemate, and her staff also have become like family.

What are your goals over the next year?

To grow my business and especially develop more speaking engagements and more exposure to educate the public about alternative dispute resolutions and collaborative law and to build my other business with Pampered Chef.

What are your greatest challenges?

In an economy where people are struggling, cash flow and working with my clients and their financial needs, while keeping my office financially sound and running. I tend to care so much that I give too much of my time without payment.

How long have you lived in the neighborhood?

I have lived on Long Island all my life and I have lived in the Suffolk County Islip area for almost 20 years. We wanted to be in Suffolk County. We fell in love with the neighborhood where we found our home. Because my spouse worked many evenings, I wanted an extensive home office, and have an outside office that was close to my home.

What were the factors that made you choose this neighborhood?

I am a Long Islander at heart. I love being on the South Shore, having access to parks and beaches and living in a lovely residential neighborhood.

What are your favorite restaurants in the neighborhood?

I have a passion for good food, and I have a lot of favorite restaurants. I often don't just limit myself to the immediate neighborhood. There is a lovely takeout in Bayshore, "Mediterranean Express". There are also several lovely restaurants that I enjoy. There is Tellers in Islip that is excellent as well as H20.

What do you want to see improve the most in this neighborhood?

In general, for small businesses to flourish and each town have a vibrant main street.

What is something most people don't know about you?

That I have always had a passion and a love for horses. I love to play golf, although I have not been able to play in the last few years. Obviously, I have a passion for cooking and eating good food. I also enjoy travel but have not had the opportunity. My spouse and would like to go cross country when we retire in an RV. I can be found Gardening and am skilled at doing various own home repairs and projects.

Why do you think it's important for people to shop local?

I think it is important for us to support local businesses and to make our own individual towns thrive and make main street thrive, notwithstanding big business chains and online shopping.

What are some of the highest highs you've had in life so far?

Having an amazing partner and spouse in life that brings the lighter side of life to my world on a daily basis and is always there as a supporting influence. I’ve enjoyed different landmarks like graduating Law School, seeing my parents and family take pride and enjoy my accomplishments. Enjoying special times with my parents and members of my family. Knowing some career accomplishments that have made a difference for my clients. Having some amazing outcomes that were not expected or predicted because the law and court can be very unpredictable. Seeing clients thrive in the alternative methods of processing conflict resolution and being a part of that process that gets them and their family to a better place. Working in concert with certain colleagues that are dedicated to the same purposes as far as passion and doing good in the world and moving a good process forward for the world.

What are some of the lowest lows you've had in life so far? And what got you through it?

Losing my parents, watching my spouse lose her sister and living without her as a part of our lives, facing on a daily basis the critical illness of a close family member and watching that person’s parent lose their life, their planned retirement and their daily existence in the dedication for the care of their child and trying to manage the impossible nature of their circumstances.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had working with a customer?

I had the good fortune to have several and they boil down to being able to help and accomplish something very positive for the client. There are several outcomes that were against all odds and amazing victories in my view.

Where are your favorite places to go in the neighborhood?

I enjoy going to the parks and the beach. Going to a favorite restaurant and/or taking a walk in the neighborhood. Cooking, projects around the house, I’m very handy, do things in a construction type of manner.

What else do you do besides work?

Reading, watching a good movie, cook, house projects.

Anything exciting going on that customers should know about?

Reaching out to clients and customers, trying to contribute to anyone who needs assistance with respect to what is going on with the Corona virus. Education on things that they should have in place as far as being prepared to see a physician and/or having certain documents in place with respect to health care issues. With respect to my other business, constantly having Pampered Chef parties both live and online.

What is the best way for customers to contact you?

Via phone or email.
In addition, view the Website:
www.LICDP.com The Long Island Collaborative Divorce Professionals for Comprehensive Divorce Solutions. Helping Families Resolve Conflict Without Court

Who from your childhood had the biggest impact on you? And what did that person teach you?

My sister taught me so many things, not only to be kind and respectful to others and to help one another but to be a good and strong person and believe in yourself.

What’s one memory from your childhood that stands out to you?

I have so many good memories with all the travel that I did with my parents and even on my own at a young age. Going to Belgium to see my mother’s family for the first time at the age of 12 by myself. At a young age, recognizing and reconciling who I was with the negative terms and labels designated for the LGBT community and realizing the negativity surrounding it was not true and not a reflection of who I was.

What’s your current family situation?

Currently married. Although I have not had children myself, I have been very involved in the lives of my sibling’s children.

What does the future hold for you?

I am looking forward to a bright future in which I expand my connections and relationships and develop more than one business enterprise that can help people and also incorporate things that I love and enjoy.

If a young person asked you for advice on how to live their life, what would you tell them?

To be themselves and to follow their passions in what makes them happy.

When your life is over, how do you want to be remembered?

For the good person that I have been and for the support and friendships that I have given to others

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