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UNDERSTANDING
CUSTODY DISPUTES
AND EVALUATIONS

THE BOOK

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Why I Wrote This Book, Getting Past Ugly

At some point in talking to your friends, your family, your colleagues, complete strangers telling you about their divorce, they will tell you that it was “ugly.”

Rose writing

What makes a divorce emotionally ugly is custody disputes. We, as parents, have a great deal of identity and emotions tied up in our kids. From the time they are born, we want what’s best for them. And when you get divorced, each parent may have very different ideas about what is best for your children. That’s where it can get ugly.

Custody disputes are ugly and painful and frightening. No one ever wants to give up any time with their children. But by understanding what goes into making a custody and parenting plan, this book can help keep you focused on what is best for your child, rather than your own fears, anxiety and pain.

I get asked frequently whether it is depressing being a divorce attorney. After all, a divorce is one of the most painful losses that you can experience, including the pain of losing a family member. As a divorce attorney, I see the ugliest of the ugly every day. Somewhere along the line, your life has gotten off track, heading in a direction that you don’t want to go. But I also see the divorce process and the custody dispute process as a way to get your life back on a track that is healthy for you. I have the opportunity to assist in that process in a way that minimizes the damage to your children.

My hidden client is your child.

I assume that you want what’s best for your child, and you want help to get there. Sometimes custody disputes are so ugly that people are traumatized for years and cannot get past their pain and loss. If I can make that process a little less traumatic, if I can help you build a little more resilience, so that you do not experience trauma for years after the divorce, then I’ve accomplished my goal in representing you as a client and in writing this book.

Getting Past Ugly: the book

This book helps you learn a process to be better prepared, to be more resilient going through the process and to transition into a new family structure. I don’t like the term “broken families.” Your family is not broken because you are getting divorced. You are restructuring your family.

Many books on custody disputes focus on either the unrealistic “let’s just all get along and be happy” approach, or on the “how to kill your opponent in the battle” approach. This book gives you information that will help you better communicate what is important to you about your child and what you believe needs to happen in the best interests of your child, so that you can navigate an emotionally safe passage in a practical way.