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Do You Know You Don't Need a Lawyer to Divorce?


You may have just heard the dreaded “D” word pass your spouses lips. You feel sad, lonely, and scared. But you don’t have to be!

We’ve all heard the horror stories from friends, newspapers, blogs, and tabloids. The typical divorce can be a nightmare, and everybody loses. Except, maybe, the divorce attorneys, who get paid for their time while divorcing couples fight over money, houses, and children.

This is the way it’s been ever since the founding fathers of our country adopted and imported the British legal model for divorce–the adversarial system. Now that one in every two marriages in this country ends in divorce, the devastation caused by the system has come under question.

Divorcing clients often ask me as a New York divorce attorney, “Is there a better way?”

My answer is, “Yes.” It’s called “mediation.”

These days mediation is extremely popular and day-by-day becomes more widely embraced.

As a psychologically-trained divorce attorney and mediator, I have developed a highly successful mediation method that addresses psychological and legal issues while safely guiding couples through the divorce process, saving time, money, and pain.

How does divorce mediation work?

The divorcing couple hires one individual, instead of two opposing divorce lawyers, to help them resolve their differences. The divorce mediator is an independent, unbiased individual, trained in mediation (usually a lawyer or a mental health professional), whose job is to facilitate an agreement on all issues between the husband and wife. The results are astonishing and can achieved often in hours and weeks instead of months and years.

How does this happen?

The answer is in the process, and in the skills of the divorce mediator, which when using my divorce mediation method includes a strong knowledge of negotiating, creative problem-solving, and psychology.

What happens when divorcing couples use the traditional adversarial system?

Each spouse hires a divorce lawyer, often paying from $7,500 to $ 25,000 as an initial retainer for each gladiator. This down payment will be used up at the rate of from $150 to over $700 per hour, for the lawyers’ time, depending on the location (state, city) and the expertise and reputation of the lawyer.

Since it is the divorce lawyer’s job to represent a client “zealously” within the bounds of the law, the divorce attorneys usually embark upon their mission enthusiastically, with the intent to “win” for their client, whatever the definition of “win” might be in the situation.

This creates instant conflict, even between couples who may have disagreements, but are not necessarily adversarial.

The nature of the legal system requires the participants to be adversaries. The name of the game is to make things as difficult and uncomfortable as possible for the other “side.” (Even the nomenclature is adversarial.)

This is done by such methods as refusing to pay family bills, like the mortgage and utilities, refusing to supply needed spending money to a dependent spouse, and/or refusing to allow the other parent to visit freely with the children.

This behavior does not always happen, of course, but it happens often enough, fueled by anger and hurt as to why the marriage is ending, that it has become infamous for the pain it inflicts.

The goal of sparring divorce lawyers and clients is to make someone so vulnerable that they will settle the entire matter on terms advantageous to the other side.

Not every divorcing couple starts out wanting to hurt each other by withholding money or children. Ultimately, a judge will make decisions about who gets what, but not until many months or even years go by, and thousands of dollars with delays, adjournments, the slowness of the bureaucratic system, until justice delayed is justice denied, with enormous financial and emotional cost to the entire family, especially the children, who are sometimes used as pawns.

Control is no longer with the couple, but in the hands of strangers–the judge and the divorce attorneys.

When couples work with me as a divorce mediator, they have a strong tendency to talk about their grievances during the marriage–what happened in the past. There is plenty of blame and name-calling to go around.

What I know, and use in my work, is that talking about the past does not result in an agreement. In fact, it often prevents reaching an agreement.

Part of my role as a divorce mediator is to direct the couple to talk about what they want for the future. This feels sort of strange to the couple who is used to arguing about past behavior.

As part of my process I will summarize, emphasizing useful information and ignoring irrelevant and emotional comments. Another technique is “normalizing” by which the couple is reassured that their problems are not unique, and that other people have struggled with the same issues before and have successfully resolved them.

I also suggest couples consult a divorce lawyer at any time, if needed, during the mediation process. This suggestion can be reassuring to a timid spouse who feels he or she will be bullied by a controlling partner.

As a psychologically-trained mediator, I help you arrive at an agreement that will keep you both out of court and keep your children happy too.

I am an advocate for divorce with dignity. I have mastered techniques using psychology and sound legal strategy to get couples through the divorce process without going insane or draining their bank accounts.

Let me show you how divorce mediation works. Call me for a free consultation. 212.734.1551.

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic all our FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.

Continue to stay healthy and safe!

Warm regards,


Call New York divorce lawyer Lois Brenner now to book your Free 1 Hour Consultation.


We still have a few appointments available this week!