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Collaborative Attorney and Family Mediator Carl Arnold Scores First Post on New Collaborative Law Institute of MN Blog

Listen to this! Fun news. I’m a member of the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota. Effective 4/15/2013, they are starting a blog for practitioners to post short articles about the Collaborative process, etc. This is the neat part…they chose my blog post as the VERY FIRST ever! Notice the picture of the conference table and chairs. I took that picture of our conference room last Friday! Katie Arnold (my spouse and a mediator) was a big help in making the blog post worth reading after my initial draft.
Here’s a link to the post titled Collaborative Teams Actively Think About the Client Experience.

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Families Not Included in “Affordable” Health Insurance, New Federal Rule

This will be an interesting year in learning how health care will change when 2014 gets nearer and we learn more about how the IRS will treat insureds and their families.  There was a recent decision by the IRS to only include employees–and not their families–in the definition of affordable health insurance under the new law.  That means that families may have to pay a lot of money for health insurance coverage and at the same time not qualify for the subsidies called for under Obamacare for insurance that is too expensive through employers.  From the New York Times:

In deciding whether an employer’s health plan is affordable, theInternal Revenue Service said it would look at the cost of coverage only for an individual employee, not for a family. Family coverage might be prohibitively expensive, but federal subsidies would not be available to help buy insurance for children in the family.

As insurance has increased faster than the pace of inflation and wages and salaries recently, more and more families have been unable to afford health insurance.  

For the entire article from the NY Times, click here.

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“Destination Divorce”, sounds like a good idea!

The New York Times recently ran an article titled “Quick Getaways, at the Divorce Hotel“.  It was about a business called “Divorce Hotel” where couples could check in married and check out divorced.  The business would provide a schedule, legal advice, whatever the couple needed to get through the divorce process.  Although the article says that the concept is applied in Europe, they hope to bring the idea to the United States.

I’m a little hesitant, but I think that for some people this could be a great model.  We have often talked about doing something we’ve named “Destination Divorces” where we would take couples on a cruise or vacation to Hawaii or something like that and during the trip we could relax, for example over an extended weekend, and have some ocean views while stepping through the divorce process.

The price could actually be less than many divorces that go to court! Imagine that! You would get to be in a pampered environment, and have a meeting or two each day related to the divorce, and you could be done quickly and spend less money than going to court!

This model could work really well in a Collaborative Divorce setting where the couple agrees to each hire a Collaboratively trained lawyer and that they will not go to court with those lawyers. In a sense, this just makes the Collaborative process a little shorter by making the time between meetings less and makes the environment much more fun! It could also work in a mediation environment. The mediator (or mediators, if you are using co-mediation with a male and female team of mediators) would run all the meetings and provide a summary of the agreements at the end.

To make this work, the couple would need to have all their financial information collected and shared beforehand.  In my view, there would also have to be an option to not come to final agreements or to have the ability to not agree at all.  Some people just need to sleep on things for a week or two before deciding, rather than just sleeping on a decision for one or two nights.  Also, some cases are not going to settle and it would be inappropriate to hold someone hostage, even in a sunny tropical environment, unless they agree.  So, as long as that was clear, it seems like many couples could do quite well in this sort of pampered environment!

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Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson; Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

The book Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson has a lot of interesting ideas surrounding the issues of communication between couples. I was lucky to be fortunate enough (see video below) to sit down with the author herself (through Skype) to discuss her perspectives on relationships, both what she believes to be the causes of conflict and the best ways to resolve them. Not only is the book informative, but it includes exercises that are meant to help the reader understand their situation and move forward in a healthy way.

By observing the patterns in the way people connect and disconnect, Sue believes that there is a way to help in the future to short-circuit future similar conflict patterns. She is able to recognize the core problems without being distracted by superficial details of conflict. Sue argues that the idea of dependence on another individual is not a negative attribute as so many believe it to be. As humans, we are meant to function with and depend and rely upon each other and that kind of connection makes not only the individuals stronger, but the relationship as well.

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Daisy Camp – Upcoming Dates for Two Different Classes in November 2011 and One Weekend Retreat in February 2012

Great news! Here are some upcoming Daisy Camp seminars.  These are very inexpensive.  It seems to me that you can’t help but get your money’s worth.  You’ll learn more about the divorce process and your options.

Day-long Divorce Seminar on November 12, 2011 from 9 A.M. to 6 P.M.

See this link for seminar course details.

Children, Divorce and the Holidays on November 15th from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M.

Keep the Holiday Spirit Alive! Discover ideas that will help your family thru the holiday season.

Winter Weekend Retreat – February 3-5, 2012

Daisy Camp provides legal, financial, and practical advice from professionals who are outstanding in their areas of expertise. The retreat is designed to help women who are going through divorce related transitions. The retreat also gives woman the opportunity to meet and bond with other women who are experiencing similar fears and challenges. Attendees leave the Daisy Camp with a comprehensive divorce handbook and the option to attend ongoing support groups.

To register you can:

e-mail daisy@daisycamp.org
call Marlys Ousky at 952-405-2060
click here for their online seminar registration

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How to File a Motion to Modify Child Support in Minnesota

Do you have a child support order in Minnesota and are looking for help with a motion to modify child support? We can help! We’ve helped tons of people with motions to modify child support. Did you lose your job or change jobs so your income has changed? Is your income lower than it was when your child support was last ordered? Did your medical insurance change? Did your childcare or daycare sitution change? Is your child or children now in school and doesn’t need child care anymore? Call Arnold Law and Mediation at 507-786-9999. We help people all across Minnesota with motions to modify child support.

For the Minnesota Court Forms to make a Motion to Modify Child Support, click here.

We can help you! Call and learn more at 507-786-9999 or email arnoldlawandmediation@gmail.com.

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Divorcecommunications.com is an online tool that helps parents co-parent

Many of you are familiar with Ourfamilywizard.com, but here is another website called Divorcecommunications.com with what appear to be similar goals…helping parents communicate, schedule and share information about bills, etc. all in one online location.
From the “About” section of their website:

Divorce Communications is the all-in-one tool offering parents the ability to discuss schedules, process payments, document conversations and view the minute details surrounding shared parenting.

You should take a look at divorcecommunications.com. The website is well-designed and clean looking with easy navigation. They also have a co-parenting blog here. Let me know what you think by posting a comment below!

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