I graduated from Brandeis University in 1995 with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and minor in Education, and then I went on to law school and graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in 1998 with my Juris Doctorate. I studied and sat for the bar exam in three states and I was thereafter admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. I have been practicing law ever since.
In or around 2005 I studied and took certification courses in mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolution, and I have discovered that the techniques that I learned in mediation, in conflict resolution, have served to benefit clients in various aspects of my law practice. And, it is one of the stimuli that shifted my practice into the areas of family law, divorce mediation and prenuptial agreements.
At one time I had the belief that if you loved someone enough to declare your love publicly and commit to spending the rest of your lives together through marriage, then I believed that you loved them in your heart, in your soul and with all of your parts – the intellectual, spiritual, with all of your talents and all of your faults and everything that you accumulated including money, assets and debts. In other words, I didn’t believe in prenups.
In January 2002, I was married in a gorgeous ceremony, at a beautiful marriage hall and I was surrounded by my closest friends and family. Unfortunately, my marriage didn’t work out for all kinds of reasons and I sought a divorce. My divorce was bitter and very expensive. In the end, my marriage ended in a divorce decree and I felt free and lucky to get a second chance to finding my true and lasting love.
What I learned from my divorce is the reality that divorce does happen (even to those where it seems unlikely, or impossible). Of course, you hope that your love, your marriage is true and will be forever lasting – I did. I never believed it possible that I could fall in love and that I couldn’t make it last.
Now, I believe that you can find true love and it can last for the rest of your lives, but I also believe that you can learn from those who have had a failed marriage. That you can, if you go into a marriage with open eyes and an open heart, you can both live the life you dream to make together. But to have a successful marriage, it is important to have a plan.
Yes, I believe that couples are the CEOs of their marriage partnership in the same way that partners in a business are the CEOs of their business partnership. Just as you wouldn’t enter in a new business venture without a shareholders’ agreement or partnership agreement which contains the intentions of the partners – how will we invest the money, assets and investments that we have, how will we build the business, which direction do we grow the business, and what if we hit hard times, how will we push through them, and, if the business fails, how will we divide and share the business assets and debts? — spouses should consider these and other questions before entering into marriage.
“If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail” (Harvey Mackay).
You might have heard that before.
After my failed marriage, I realized that I had failed to plan, not just in my marriage but in other areas of my life as well. So, over time, I have believed more and more in this quote. Think about it. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t plan everything in my life. But the big things, the things that, to me, are important to me that I want to accomplish and that I would be disappointed if they did not come to fruition. You see, like most brides, I focused so much on my “big day”. I needed the right wedding hall, the perfect wedding gown, the most beautiful wedding bouquets and centerpieces, the best musicians, and the finest wedding invitation and all of the other aspects of my wedding were very well — planned.
But, I hadn’t given enough consideration to all of the days following my wedding. We were in love. Things would work out, wouldn’t it? One of the things that I would have had, if we had a prenup even if our marriage still didn’t work out, is that our divorce would have been quick and a lot less expensive.
You see, when you have a roadmap and directions, you are more likely to actually get where you are going. But when you don’t have a roadmap and directions, but you have an idea about a destination, you might get there and you might not, or you might get there, eventually. And, even if you have an idea about where you want to go, your idea on how to get there may be different than how your partner envisions the way to reach it. Is that satisfactory to you? Would you prefer to have a plan that works and a team player to support you which will lead you and get you where you want to go, or would you rather just live your life and hope that someday, at some point you might get there, or you might not. And, if you go with the latter, then you have to be satisfied that you might never achieve your goal or reach your destination. Is that ok with you?
What would it feel like to enjoy a beautiful and romantic wedding day with the love of your life, and know that you each share common goals and beliefs to living an extraordinary life from that day and all of the days following?
So now, I help engaged people to talk about the difficult topics and issues which typically arise during marriage and help them to have a healthy way to discuss them with their loved one now, and during their marriage. I believe that open, honest and authentic communication opens up great possibilities and leads to extraordinary relationships.