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Divorce Story


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.

Elaine and Josh have been married for four years. They have a baby, a dog and are very unhappy. Elaine called me a few weeks ago in tears. She explained that her husband was very irritable and not capable of caring for their four-month old son. Elaine said having a baby during this pandemic had been extremely stressful.

Elaine and Josh were fighting a lot, had different opinions on how to handle the birth, were anxious about not having any physical family support, and Josh had lost his job as a Broadway producer and will probably be unemployed now until May, if not longer.

Elaine is a grade school teacher and is working from home, virtually. Elaine told me that Josh had struggled with alcohol in the past and his drinking amped up again during the pandemic. She told me for the sake of her son she decided she needed to divorce Josh.

We discussed in detail the impact of divorce on children because she wanted to know in my experience what I thought about her divorcing with a child of such a tender age. As a psychologically-trained divorce attorney and mediator I gave her insight from my 35 years of experience.

I asked if she and Josh had considered therapy to help with their marital issues, and she told me they had tried a few sessions and it just didn’t work.

We discussed at length mediation vs. litigation. Elaine said she still had compassion for Josh and just didn’t want to fight anymore. It was important to her to maintain some civility. She decided that mediation might be a good starting point, and I made some suggestions on how to speak with Josh about mediation. I offered to speak with Josh separately to hear his wants and needs and to explain how mediation works.

When I spoke with Josh he admitted that the stress of life during COVID had swallowed him up and his relief was a shot of scotch here and there to relieve his pain.

He was very hurt that Elaine didn’t want him caring for their son independent of doing it with her. He felt Elaine was being controlling and distrusted him. He also agreed the marriage was over and he needed to let go.

He expressed how important it was for him to be part of his son’s life. He said he would do whatever it takes for him to be a good dad.

Elaine and Josh did decide to try mediation. They were able to make decisions about their home, two timeshares, a small Etsy business they have where they sell dog products (inspired by their bulldog), and how to divide their assets.

As a mediator who thinks “outside of the box,” I came up with several creative ideas on how Elaine and Josh would share custody of their baby boy. We structured a parenting agreement in which Josh agreed to supervised visitation with his mother present until he was feeling better emotionally and could stabilize his behavior. We discussed therapy for his alcoholism and he actually joined AA online. Josh also agreed to take some parenting classes virtually to give him additional support.

Lisa and Josh had a few angry conversations and lots of tearful moments during our mediation sessions, but they are both now on their way to a healthier and happier life for themselves and their son.

Mediation does not always work, but it is always worth a try. Mediation is a productive, non-adversarial process that gives a couple strength, dignity, and finality. In this case, mediation was the soothing bandage their marriage needed to transition to a better life.

As their mediator, I encouraged them to talk things through, gave them suggestions on how to have the difficult discussions, advised on making important legal and life decisions, and helped them achieve a more peaceful and healthy dissolution to their marriage.

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 Lisa and Josh, to find a silver lining, using my powerful divorce mediation method so you can move on with your life peacefully.

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

I look forward to hearing your story, and helping you find the best possible solution.

Stay Healthy and Safe!

Warm regards,


New York divorce attorney Lois Brenner still has some appointments available this week.

Please call to schedule your FREE consultation now.

Call 212.734.1551