As a divorce attorney, and psychologically-trained mediator, I hear all
kinds of diverse divorce stories. I have decided to share some of these
stories monthly with you.
Naturally, I will change the names and some of the details to protect my
clients. The purpose of sharing these divorce stories with you is to let
you know, you are not alone. There are peaceful, rational solutions available to you.
You really can have a happily-ever-after.
Ashley and Robert were married for 12 years. They had 10-year-old twin
boys. They were both professionals. He was a pharmacist, she an aesthetician.
They lived in a mother-daughter home in Westchester. When I received a
phone call from Robert over Labor Day weekend, he was extremely angry.
He left a voice message saying his mother-in-law was destroying his family
and his wife was doing nothing about it. He had decided divorce was the
only answer to this problem.
During our phone consultation the next day, he told me that their marriage
had been a struggle since the beginning largely due to his wife’s
inability to stand up to her mother. She had insisted on living next to
them and they purchased a mother-daughter home to accommodate her.
Over the years she had been very abusive to both of them demanding a lot
of their time and creating a wedge between them. She actually played them
against each other and his wife was extremely abused by her mother.
This was now affecting his 10-year-old twins and he had decided he would
divorce his wife and wanted full custody of the boys. He had attempted
on numerous occasions to express his concerns to his wife and suggested
they buy a home for her mom so she wasn’t living with them.
His wife couldn’t stand up to her mom and refused to do anything
about the damage this woman was inflicting on the family. The twins were
actually afraid of her and became withdrawn especially when they were
around her. She would rage at times and then con them with her manipulative
behavior. They were all walking on eggshells and Robert couldn’t
take it anymore.
It was clear to me, as a psychologically-trained divorce attorney and mediator
that the mother was dealing with some type of mental illness, perhaps
borderline personality disorder.
I suggested I have a phone call with him and his wife to facilitate a divorce
conversation. Robert discussed mediation with Ashley and she agreed to
a phone call.
When I spoke with them, Robert opened up about wanting a divorce in more
detail and also suggested trying to get her mother some help. His wife
insisted there was nothing wrong with her mom and her husband just didn’t
like her. She agreed the family was a mess but blamed him. It was apparent
she was very controlled by her mother and Robert was determined to move
forward with the divorce. She agreed she was not happy and wanted out
of the marriage as well. She agreed to participate in the mediation process
but was not giving up her relationship with her mom.
Their mediation process has not been easy. I realized his wife, too, had
some type of mental health issue, which may have been hereditary. She
was abused by her mother but had some of her own demons as well. It was
a sad and complex situation.
The wife agreed that the twins should live primarily with their dad. She
said she needed some time to herself and thought he was a better dad than
he was a husband. We did try to have her speak with one of the psychiatrists
on my team but she was hesitant.
We are now working on custody, visitation and division of property. Discussions
are going well and Ashley and her mom have moved out of the home and are
living in a nearby condo. Robert and the twins are living in the marital
There is more work to do on this case and we are hoping that Ashley will
eventually get some psychological help but we are taking baby steps at
the moment to complete the mediation process.
If this sounds like you, please know that discussion, compassion, negotiation,
and solid legal guidance can solve your divorce problems. The comprehensive
focus of my psychologically-based divorce mediation process can really help.
If you would like to share your story with me, call me. I will give you
common sense answers to all your divorce questions. I will help you, as
I did with Ahmed and his family, to find a silver lining, using my powerful
divorce mediation method.
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are
still available virtually.
I look forward to hearing your story and helping you find the best possible
solution. I’ve got a unique family friendly approach to divorce.
I will be happy to share it with you.
Call New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner now to schedule your Free Consultation.