Relationships are all about WE and US, not ME.

How many times have you, or someone you know say, “THEY are not making ME happy, there’s something wrong with THEM, MY needs are not being met.” Or alternatively, “If only THEY would… I would be happy.”

One of the couple complains the other defends, the temperature rises in the room, feelings get hurt, the argument escalates, and the relationship goes downhill from there.

WE’ve all had conversations just like these. We are all too aware of how conversations like these will end. WE hate listening to conversations like these between those around us. WE are well aware that our homes, our families, our communities, the public media, popular literature, are awash in conversations just like these.

I call these conversations ME-based conversations. They are full of ME, MY feelings, MY experiences, MY needs, and how I am being frustrated.

But what if shifted the way WE talk about our relationships from ME-based language to WE-based language?

What if WE were to say instead, “WE are not making ME happy; there something wrong with US, OUR needs as a couple are not being met?”

With this simple linguistic shift in the way WE speak about ourselves to ourselves and others WE take our partner off their hot seat, stop making them wrong and the one accountable for our feelings, responsible for the dysfunction of our relationship with them.

Isn’t it a lot easier to hear our partner when they tell us, “WE are not making ME happy,” “There something about US, how WE speak and listen to each other that isn’t working for US.” Isn’t “WE need to take a look at how successfully WE are doing US.” easier to hear than, “if only YOU would…then I would be happy.”

With this simple clever shift in the way WE talk about ourselves WE take our partner off the hot seat, stop making them responsible for our feelings and upsets. When our partner no longer has to defend themselves in the face of our upset and dissatisfactions – then WE can shift our attention to where it belongs, to US, about WE, and what is going on between US. Once WE have accomplished this, WE can begin to discuss, focus upon those thoughts left unsaid, misspoken, mistaken and misunderstood.

As a WE, speaking with one another as an US, WE have an opportunity to powerfully listen to one another. Together, WE are able to focus upon our WE-practices and take a good look at persistent behaviors and ways of our being together that are hurtful, unproductive, identify and examine those behaviors that simply don’t work for an US, any US.

As a WE in partnership with our relationship at stake, WE can look for what is missing, that if present would make a difference for US as individuals and bring new workability, expanded love, relatedness and intimacy to our WE.

And then We can be happy.

 

 

 

At Mid-marriage? Opportunity knocking!

You’ve been married for a while, you awake one morning, look over at the other side of the bed and begin to wonder, “Who is that?”

This is a pretty good indication that the two of you have reached “mid-marriage,” the curtain is ready to rise on the next act in your relationship.

If you were to take a marriage and family inventory you would notice that children are mostly grown and flown, the sacrifices you are making on behalf of family and career are growing less valid, and you are seeing renewed availability of time and money to spend on yourselves and on each other.

You have something else as well.

You have an extraordinary opportunity to recreate your marriage and lay a new foundation for the next stage of your relationship.

Mid-marriage is the ideal time to take a moment to:

  • Take a look back at who you have been for each other
  • Acknowledge your achievements
  • Hold a party to celebrate accomplishments
  • Close the book on the past and go on to
  • Lay a new foundation for the next decades of your lives (together or perhaps apart)

Relationship Literacy counseling will support you help you do all of this, and more.

What do you ant, who do you wish to be over the next 20 years of your life?

asks, paul@relationshipliteracy.com

 

My father, my son, and me

I really can’t complain.

I know I have no right to complain; but I am going to do my best to complain, anyway.

My problem? I have never been able to identify with nor wholeheartedly embrace the choices my thirty-five year old son makes.

His offense? He persistently refuses to live the life I would have him live, or make the choices I would have him make. He is smart and he is educated, but he has no significant other, no noteworthy means of supporting himself. He manages to get by with some subsidy, all while marching to the beat of a drummer only he can hear, God bless him.

I mean, I get it that I in my sixties am the child of the “Sixties.” Transforming our world was our ministry, our call, our manifest destiny. We had the Beatles, Civil Rights, Feminism, a Cold War, the Vietnam War, we walked on the moon.

He, on the other hand is a Gen X child of the “eighties.” They have heavy metal music (sigh), AIDS, gay rights, plus a few of their own wars and 9-11’s aftermath to cope with – but what he and his generation’s role will be, is not clear at all to me.

I will have to read the book when it comes out, I should live so long.

Reflecting on it, I don’t know how we got here. When I was thirty-five he was nine, we were living on a commune in Virginia, and I was reading the Lord of the Rings to him. It took a really long time but we loved sharing those books together, a peak father and son memory. Then life happened and he grew up.

To be honest, it occurs to me that, when compared with how my father must have felt when I was thirty-five, I get off pretty easily.

By the time I was my son’s age I had moved across the world to live on an Israeli kibbutz, drafted to serve in the Israeli army, married, changed our family name, had a son, returned to the U.S to live in yet another communal society, and then had a second child before going and getting divorced. None of this was in my father’s game plan for me.

So some compassion for my dad is overdue. I have some sense of how my father struggled to come to terms with my choices while loving me the best he could. Bless him, I did not make it easy. In my mind’s eye I have a sense of déjà vu, albeit with a role reversal.

So, when I take the opportunity to compare just how jerked around my dad must have felt when I was thirty-five, I get that I have no real right to complain.

But I will complain nonetheless and seek any sympathy I can solicit. It’s my story; I’m sticking to it, and I promise to go on loving my son as best I can, God help me.

LifeBook thoughts and expanding permutations

There are 76 million baby boomers and another fifty plus million others who could use the Living Legacy LifeBook as a framework for honoring themselves, each other, their roots, futures, and their descendants.

The more I discuss my book and ideas with others the more ideas for application arise. Please add more in your comments below (Thanks)

LifeBook or LifeBooks could be:

  • Part of a welcome packet for an independent living or retirement community.
  • Part of a Pre-burial plan contract purchase (if you are buying a hole that has not been dug, a monument that has not been cut to be erected on a plot you yourself will never really enjoy, have one of these to complete between now and the time you will be using your plot. It also makes for a well-written eulogy…)
  • Home care agencies, instead of watching one more soap opera with their home bound client – they can ask great questions and listen to some truly astounding replies.)
  • Senior downsizing movers and De-clutterers could use this.
  • Senior housing placement agencies can offer this as part of their services.
  • Senior centers could use this as inspiration for activities.
  • Retirement or other financial counselors could offer this to clients as a service.
  • Divorce counselors, attorneys, mediators can offer this to couples in distress to help them clarify their marriages and intentions, conceivably help restore health to damages relations.
  • A gift from:
    • Adult children to their Senior parents which would make visiting their parents much more enjoyable and productive
    • Senior parents to their adult children which would make visits much more enjoyable and productive
  • A gift to:
    • Newlyweds so that they can start their Living Legacies right away, and learn each other[s families early on in their marriage.
    • Oldy-weds (a relationship enhancement tool) who can take their intimacy and compatibility to the next level by sharing their lives in this manner – one tell their stories or bucket list, the other scribes – then switch roles, then discuss between them.
  • A service for religious congregations.
    • Honoring their senior members,
    • younger members, youth groups, can visit and listen and record older members as they retell their stories, share their wisdom.
  • And much more yet to be conceived. 
  • There is even a memory board game in the works… (imagine)

Anything you can do or say that will help me reach 150 million Americans would be deeply appreciated.

You can write to me directly at livinglegacylifebook@gmail.com

Thanks!

Paul

 

 

 

Dissolving a Marriage – At Mid-Life and Beyond

When I meet people and tell them that I am a divorce lawyer, I often get comments something like: “We have been married for over 20 years; I guess we will never need your services.” Or, “We’ve been married so long, there’d be no point breaking up. Divorce is something the younger folks do.” Your children’s special events will truly be special despite their parent’s divorce. You owe it to them. Many of my clients have been married 20 to 30 years and even more. A significant amount are over 50 and I have even had clients over 70. The mid life and beyond divorce is not as unusual as one may think.

Privacy and Respect are important values to mature couples.

Most couples seeking to end their marriage do want to with a minimum of rancor maintaining some dignity and respect for each other. But for the mature couple, who has witnessed friends and family turn their lives upside down both emotionally and financially through expensive litigated divorces, this is even more important. They have worked hard to build an estate and are not interested in wasting their assets on a financially draining process. A 2008 issue of Consumer Reports points out that one of the most expensive money mistakes a person can make is “Launching a Divorce War”. This ranks as number three in the publications list of 12 biggest money mistakes.
To avoid the divorce war, mature couples are looking for solutions preserving their privacy, dividing their assets according to their individual needs and minimization of the emotional trauma that comes from closing the door on a relationship and lifestyle that has weathered many years.

There are alternatives to litigating a divorce

The legal community has recognized the need for non-adversarial divorce, especially for couples who have been married for a longer period of time, and have accumulated a variety of assets including real estate and retirement plans. Today, a group of attorneys are now active in collaborative law, divorce mediation, cooperative divorce and some are even available to help a couple in a so-called “kitchen table” divorce where the couple does most of the negotiations themselves. An on-line search at A Respectful Divorce collaborative law sight provides many resources and several resources are also available on my web site.

Divorce is a normal life transition

Although divorce is sad at any juncture in life, it is especially important for long term couples ending their marriage to put it in perspective. As Tim Jenkins, a family therapist in Redmond, Washington points out “The success or failure of a marriage should not be judged upon whether it ends or continues “until death do us part.” It might be better judged on how much growth it has afforded us as conscious human beings striving to connect intimately. There is nothing abnormal or blameworthy about divorce. It is to be expected. If we can help people to use this normal life transition to launch into new and richer living then we will be doing a far better service than trying to maintain relationships that don’t serve or brutally severing relationships that must end through litigation.”

When you need an experienced divorce attorney in Kirkland, Bellevue, and the Greater Eastside contact Karin Quirk

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law
5400 Carillon Point
Kirkland, WA 98033
email: Karin@KarinQuirk.com
website: divorceforgrownups.net
Facebook: facebook.com/CooperativeDivorce
Linkedin: linkedin.com/karinquirk
Twitter: twitter.com/karinquirk
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sdsvg28ZOM

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law represents clients throughout the greater Eastside (King County, Washington State), including Kirkland, Bellevue, Bothell, Redmond, Woodinville, and Sammamish.

 

How Divorce Closed Down A Business

“The business was forced to close because of the owner’s divorce”

I was disappointed as I approached a favorite business only to find it had closed it’s doors for good.  An employee of a neighboring business told me it closed because the owner had gotten a divorce.  As a divorce lawyer, this made no sense to me.  Why would a divorce cause a business to close?  Who would possibly gain by this?  Not the owner, certainly not the customers and even the ex spouse would be disadvantaged by the business being closed.  Yet it does happen and it can be avoided.  Here are some examples from my own experience where a business has been put in jeopardy during a divorce.  Of course, the facts are  altered and I have used illustrative composites to preserve the privacy of these real people.

Interference with lending activities

Ron had a very successful wholesale business.  When his wife filed for divorce, she got what are considered to be standard financial restraints.  These restraints prevented husband from borrowing or pledging property “except in the normal course of business”.  I”m not sure what normal course of business means and apparently neither does the bank because they put a hold on his line of credit and stopped all lending.  Ron’s business required funds to purchase inventory to fulfill orders.  His customers generally paid in 30 to 90 days.  The line of credit was vital to his business.  As he was less able to fulfill orders, his sales dropped dramatically.

Ron was eventually able to recover after the divorce but the value of the business, and thus the wife’s share of community property was greatly reduced.  Ron’s wife’s attorney, by not considering the impact of her actions on the business, actually reduced the amount of wife’s ultimate settlement.

Refusing to accept  payments over time

Beth had built a unique service business that had grown over time and according to the business appraiser, had great future prospects.  Beth offered her husband time payments for his community share of the business but husband refused.  He wanted to be paid in a lump sum.  Beth had to sell assets and equipment in order to be able to buy her husband out of the business.  Soon after her business failed because she just didn’t have the resources to continue.  Her husband got a nice lump payment as settlement but now, since Beth’s income is significantly reduced, he has to pay higher child support.  He made a short term decision that cost much more in the long term.

Interfering with business operations

Mike was a great entrepreneur and had many business operations.  He often leveraged one property to fund purchase of another.  His business also was successful because he fostered good personal relationships.  His business suffered from the divorce in more than one way.  One, because he was distraught and distracted by the divorce and the attendant subpoenae, depositions and interrogatories, he  wasn’t as attentive and he let management decisions be made by his less experienced employees.  He also had trouble with financing because his wife would not agree to the financial arrangements he was trying to make.  His wife and her attorney also called upon his business associates and queried them extensively.  Soon they became reluctant to enter into new ventures with Mike.

I began working with Mike after the divorce had been going on for over a year.  His instructions to me were to “just make this go away”.  We did settle the case within a short time.  As I reviewed the file I compared the original offer made one year earlier and found that the value of the business had dropped almost in half.  Wife spent $150,000 and a year to get less than husband had offered a year earlier.

Intrusive discovery

Sally was a managing  partner in a boutique financial services firm.  She very much tried to keep her personal life separate from her business life but the two really merged when she was dissolving her marriage.  Her husband’s lawyer demanded access to confidential and highly sensitive information such as board of directors minutes and all the partnership agreements.  Understandably, some of this information was necessary to evaluate the case but a less adversarial discovery plan could have saved everyone time, preserved privacy, reduced emotional trauma and saved Sally’s career.

The  outside board of directors were not pleased with the additional work and were worried about release of sensitive information into public record.  Sally was replaced as managing partner and her career took a hit.

Again, who gained by this overly aggressive discovery?

Airing dirty laundry in the workplace

I probably don’t have to tell too many stories to make this point. Everyone has numerous stories of bad behavior in the workplace: the wife who stomps into the business making hysterical accusations, or the husband who made a scene at the company party.  Now with the omnipresent social media, folks have an even better opportunity to embarrass each other and themselves.

From a financial perspective this behavior damages everyone.  People have lost jobs, not received promotions and business is interrupted.  Besides the emotional cost, both parties suffer financial costs.

And it didn’t have to happen.

Respectful, cooperative divorce makes economic sense

Most people expect that behaving in a cooperative manner (like grownups) saves money, time and emotional trauma in a divorce but these examples show that being respectful respectful and cooperative often means there will be a better financial settlement.

This doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be discovery and that all the financial information shouldn’t be shared.  It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a fair business appraisal.  This is necessary in order to have an equitable division of property.  However, being respectful and cooperative means that the parties develop a financial discovery plan together.  Perhaps even agreeing to use neutral experts instead of having a battle of the experts.   Furthermore, by cooperating, the parties keep their private information out of the public record and can keep the negotiations and ultimate settlement confidential.

There is no reason a business should have to be closed because the owner got a divorce.

When you need an experienced divorce attorney in Kirkland, Bellevue, and the Greater Eastside contact Karin Quirk

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law
5400 Carillon Point
Kirkland, WA 98033
email: Karin@KarinQuirk.com
website: divorceforgrownups.net
Facebook: facebook.com/CooperativeDivorce
Linkedin: linkedin.com/karinquirk
Twitter: twitter.com/karinquirk
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sdsvg28ZOM

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law represents clients throughout the greater Eastside (King County, Washington State), including Kirkland, Bellevue, Bothell, Redmond, Woodinville, and Sammamish.

 

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I’m not sure what to blog today/tonight, so this is a smorgasborg.

Finally saw the Muppet movie with Harrison this afternoon.  …Ok, “saw” is not quite accurate.  How about “managed to view the Muppet movie through bleary eyes filled with nostalgia that displayed like a six year old girl.”   It was a good movie.  Hilarious, really.

We picked up our Christmas tree lights and outside lights afterward.  Oh – oh!  I have a picture for that:

Oops.  Wrong picture :)

Alt text for the image, e.g. “The Mona Lisa”He was awake.  And faking.  Until I screamed “SUBURBANNNN!!!!!!”  Now he has a waffle patterned bruise on the top of his head.  It’ll look good in the Christmas pictures.

So we have our lights, our weeks worth of veggies and fruit, and a Muppet movie in our memory banks.  He’s having a hard time understanding what’s going on with mommy and daddy doing separate holiday things with him this year.  So at some point before the 20th we’ll have to find something to do together.  I tried some explaining, including that mommy and daddy are still friends, but in a six year old world where growing up to be Batman is still a possibility, explaining will only make the tiniest of dents.  (Harvey Dent)

I’m at 200 words, and some thoughts are finally brewing back up.  Time to draft another post.

Scott Bell
MediaDesignSeattle.com
BLOG 

Are you suffering from Mistletoe Avoidance Syndrome?

Are you beginning to dread the upcoming holiday season?

Have you begun to think, “I just do not know how I am going to sit and smile at them for one more year,” or, “Am I going have to have to pretend to get along with her, again?” or, “Oh gee whiz, another Christmas with him?.”

If you are beginning to feel those questions you may have a case of MAS, or Mistletoe Avoidance Syndrome. If one of the “those people” happens to be your spouse, you may be looking at some serious trouble with Spouse Avoidance Syndrome (SAS).

The good news is that there is still time before you have to smile and pretend that everything is “fine;” you have a whole month to “spruce up” family relationships before you have avoid that person beneath the mistletoe; you have two solid months to make Auld Lang Syne really mean something when you sing together New Year’s Eve.

The bad news is that if you don’t do anything you are looking at a replay of last year. The worst news is that if you do nothing at all you can look forward to another holiday season just like this one, next year.

It is not too late; it is not too late to take an inventory of relationships that don’t work and repair broken lines of communication in and around your family.

Being right warms no beds; truth is a cold companion. Whatever lies between you and them, real or imaginary, is in the past.

What will matter is your relationship with them in the coming months and years.

What there is to do is to reach out and touch someone, start a dialog, swallow a gallon of pride, and apologize; ask for forgiveness wherever and whenever you can – even if you were right.

Paradoxically, they may very well be waiting for you to call them. So why not call first – and get to be the hero for being the one who got the ball rolling again?

If the person you are dreading being with is your spouse, stop now. Stop whatever you have been doing (it hasn’t worked, has it?), and get yourselves to a relationship repair professional: a counselor, a pastor, or another person with whom you feel safe.

Einstein reminds us that insanity is,” Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
Looked at in another way, shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza gifts is a whole lot easier when you actually like the person you are shopping for.

There is no good reason to suffer any longer than it takes for you to realize that you are suffering from Mistletoe Avoidance Syndrome.

Reach out and touch someone; add some serious warmth to the coming season.

Please take a moment to add your end-of-the year family and relationship suggestions below. Together, we can make our holidays a whole lot warmer. Thanks!

Suggests: Paul @ RelationshipLiteracy.com

MarriageBook: How can you know when your marriage is over – or about to begin?

The old adage still remains true today, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”

How often has it happened that we stop and wonder “Why?” Why is it that what was once a wide-open future for the two or us, overflowing with infinite possibility, a marriage blessed in holy matrimony and destined to conclude with a happily ever after ride into the setting sun, why doesn’t it feel that way any longer, and hasn’t felt that way for some time? Why?

In the beginning you had ample time for one another, to play, laugh, and spend time with friends and hobbies, but over time the necessities and sacrifices arising from raising and fledging children, pursuing careers and career paths – have all rushed in to fill the void created by “life happening.”

If you take a step back you will understand that you are in fact in a relationship transition and the important questions then become, “If that is so, then what are we in transition to? Is our marriage over? How can we tell?”
The short answer is that, “It’s hard to know where you are going if you do not know where you have been.”

Create a MarriageBook

For best results, and for the clearest guidance and answers, the two of you will need to craft a marriage inventory called a MarriageBook. Your MarriageBook is a year-by-year all-encompassing recollection of your marriage and relationship. In the process of creating a MarriageBook you will temporarily set aside your confusing painful present to create a living representation of a years-long relationship.

When your MarriageBook is complete, you will have a clear illustration of: who you once were, who you have been for each other, and how you arrived to the present day. With a MarriageBook you can choose to rekindle, redesign, and recreate your relationship, and add new pages to your MarriageBook, or begin a process of marriage dissolution. With a MarriageBook, if you choose the path of marriage dissolution, you will be able to “close the book” on your marriage and move on with your lives as individuals who have had a past history together.


How do we create our MarriageBook?

The materials you will need to create your MarriageBook are: a 1-inch loose-leaf binder, with one or more pages for each year of your marriage and pages that will hold photographs or other marriage documents. Slip a photo of the two of you on the cover of your MarriageBook and a photo of your family, or other memorable image on the back.
Then you will need sit down together, with a friend or other person you trust, who will meet with the two of you to ask and record the responses to questions like: “Who you were when you first met, how did you got together, what did you see in one another, what was the courtship like? Year-by-year, including as many images as possible, record the places you lived, where you went on vacation, with who, record significant events you witnessed together, where you were on 9-11, the births of children, graduations, marriages, friends, your favorite foods, books, movies, political and spiritual beliefs, television programming, careers and career transitions, awards, and so forth.


Do we need both partners to create a valid MarriageBook?

No, both parties in a relationship are not absolutely required. While it is clearly preferable that both adults in a relationship participate in the creation of a MarriageBook together, where the relationship and communications within the marriage have deteriorated to the extent that collaboration is no longer a viable option, even one partner can create a MarriageBook and receive much of the same benefits from doing so: clarity, confidence, and a renewed sense of direction.

Once you know where you have been and who you were you have an informed sense of where you want to go and how to get there.

Paul @ RelationshipLiteracy.com

My Journey To Becoming a Divorce Lawyer for Grownups

I write a blog post on my website.This blog has always been a series of articles designed to educate people about the divorce process and encouraging them to behave like grownups and engage in cooperative respectful divorce.  It has never been about me.  In fact I have a personal blog in which I exercise my creative muscles and share my personal stories.  I belong to a support group of bloggers which has encouraged me to tell the story of how I came to be a champion of grown up divorce.

Most lawyers spend three to four years in law school and then begin their career.  I spent 35 years preparing for my law career before I went to law school.  Going to law school in my mid fifties, I often felt like the oldest living law student.  My previous life included teacher, mother, homemaker, sales executive, stock broker, real estate appraiser and a few fill-in jobs in between.  At one time I even taught job finding workshops for career changers.

I wanted to be a lawyer in high school but I was talked out of it because I was a girl so I became a teacher instead which was considered to be a more appropriate career for a woman.  I also earned my Mrs. degree.  The man I married went to law school so I had that vicarious experience and I loved it.   Then life happened.  I pursued other careers, married, had a child, divorced and moved to California to enjoy the beach life.   Along the way I collected certificates and licenses that required passing tests, including the Series 7 investment adviser license, Certified Real Estate Appraiser and even Insurance Life and Disability.  None of these were an adequate substitute for the license I knew I really wanted.

One day I decided to stop in at a local, for-profit law school.  Going into the admissions office was like visiting one of those high pressure gyms –- you are not leaving until you have signed a lifetime contract.  I was expected to take the Law School Aptitude Test but the score would not determine my admission.  It was a bittersweet experience to find I had scored somewhere upward of the 90th percentile.   All these years I avoided taking the LSAT and all along I would have done well enough to attend almost any law school.  My score gave me a full tuition scholarship for my first year.  Sweet.  I also made law review and won some scholastic accolades including one for my score in Federal Income Tax class.

While it was very easy to get into my law school,I soon discovered actually graduating would be a challenge.  At least half the first year class dropped out before the second year and some dropped out even later after incurring crushing student loan debt.  I would not be one of those drop outs.    Not only was I determined to complete law school,I was determined to pass the bar and start my own law practice.

In 1996 I passed the California bar on the first try.  At my swearing in ceremony I was disappointed that I did not win the prize for oldest new lawyer.  The winner was much older but he had taken the bar 26 times!   I was living in a little shack in Laguna Beach, California.  I had a laptop, a printer, a fax machine and some business cards printed up at a local copy shop.   I was in business.

I had bar card, would travel, so I could do free lance work for other lawyers which paid the rent at first.  This free lance experience gave me lots of court experience as I made appearances on cases for other lawyers,especially eviction cases.  In the mean time I kept meeting people who had family law issues – child custody, divorce, pre-nuptial agreements.  I took on any kind of case as they were all learning experience.  As I often repeat, ”I didn’t choose family law,it chose me.”  Once I knew my area would be family law I started taking every seminar and training class I could find.  I even apprenticed with a leading family law attorney by answering her phones and doing clerical work part time while building my own practice.

Business thrived and I built an active family law practice in Huntington Beach, California.  Many of my cases were high conflict contested cases.  I spent a lot of time in court and developed a strong camaraderie among the local family law bar.  With a large office suite, a new car, new wardrobe and a significant support staff I had come a long way in a short time.  The business was very stressful,however.  The cases were emotionally draining and I started searching for a way to find more peaceful resolutions for my clients and for me.  I became selective about cases and  started to limit my clients to those people who were determined to act in the best interest of their children and would behave with integrity.  This was the early beginning of Divorce for Grownups.

In 2003 my family and I decided that I would return to the Seattle area to be near them.  I was promised a grandchild in return.  All my worldly goods were put on a big rental truck and the new car was on a flat bed trailer as we came up I-5 to Kirkland, Washington.   Once again I found myself with a laptop, a printer and a fax machine working out of my little extra bedroom.   The move gave me the opportunity to re-think my business model.  I attended in-depth training in divorce mediation and collaborative divorce and I became involved in the growing collaborative law community in the Seattle area.

Today I have a lovely office near the waterfront in Kirkland, a very small staff and a much more fulfilling life.  By helping my clients find a better way to divorce I have created a less stressful life for myself.  My mission has become to change the way we do divorce in this country.  While we will always need the family law court for some cases,such as we will always need the criminal courts, most people do not need to experience the pain and intrusiveness of litigation while they are going through a difficult transition in their lives.

Respectful,Cooperative Divorce is the name of my Facebook page and Divorce for Grownups is my brand.  I look forward to enrolling others to support this effort.

Oh, and yes, I did get that grandchild.  He is now six and a half and the light of my life.

When you need an experienced divorce attorney in Kirkland, Bellevue, and the Greater Eastside contact Karin Quirk

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law
5400 Carillon Point
Kirkland, WA 98033
email: info@divorceforgrownups.net
website:  divorceforgrownups.net
Facebook: facebook.com/CooperativeDivorce
Linkedin: linkedin.com/karinquirk
Twitter: twitter.com/karinquirk
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Sdsvg28ZOM

Karin Quirk, Attorney at Law represents clients throughout the greater Eastside (King County, Washington State) including Kirkland, Bellevue, Bothell, Redmond, Woodinville, and Sammamish.