In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 23, 2013 / 20 Teves, 5774

Divorce American Style

By Diane Dimond

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Are you or someone you know contemplating a divorce? Are there plans to hire a lawyer and take the matter to court? At the risk of raising the ire of matrimonial lawyers, I say, you might want to rethink that idea.

I've written in this space about alternative ideas to divorce court, the less painful process called "collaborative law" where specially trained lawyers act as mediators not adversaries. More recently, I wrote about how the family court system is overwhelmed with divorce and custody cases. Some divorces take years to wind their way through the courts. In the meantime, the warring factions continue to funnel money to their divorce lawyers — lots of money — that would likely be put to better use in establishing a new household or college funds for the children.

I have been with the same man for three decades — happily married for more than 20 years — but since I began researching the family court crisis, I've been unable to stop thinking about the state of marriage today. The cold hard statistics reveal shocking facts: 50 percent of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. There is a divorce every 13 seconds. Apply a little math and the staggering totals add up to 6,646 divorces each day, 46,523 divorces per week.

If the outcome is only 50-50, at best, why do people keep taking the plunge? And more importantly, when faced with the realization that the partnership is doomed, why do we fight so bitterly for the spoils — the house, the car, bank accounts and, of course, custody of the kids. What makes us turn so ugly?

It's not the job of the court system to try to figure out the human dynamics behind a divorce. So for answers, I turned to those who study the human condition.

"The attitude toward marriage and its longevity has changed," clinical psychologist and author Dr. Patricia Farrell told me, as she described why marriage is no longer a sacred institution. "Divorce is now a right that comes with marriage. Why else would people have pre-nups? There is flexibility in marriage now that didn't exist before."

In what other part of your life would you throw absolute caution to the wind knowing there's a 50-50 chance of failure? Yet millions of us blissfully marry every year. Why?

Dr. Patricia Saunders, Ph.D., a psychologist trained in psychotherapy, explained it by saying humans are hard-wired to need an intimate relationship. "It's the 'attachment' hormone that we've all got vis-a-vis evolutionary biology," she explained. "Primitive parts of the brain release it, and our higher brain centers don't have much control over it." The end effect, says Saunders, is that it's really easy for us to "Miss red flags or rationalize them," when looking at our partner's foibles.

In other words, love is blind. OK, I get that. But once the glow of contentment is gone and your spouse has morphed into someone you can't stand to be in the same room with — why don't people take the easy and logical way out? Fill out some forms, split the material goods and go on their separate ways. Why do we so often see the prolonged animosity depicted so well in the film, "War of the Roses"?

Dr. Robi Ludwig, a nationally known psychotherapist, told me that in many divorces all ability to calmly communicate and compromise goes out the window. At that point, "They're probably lucky they're not killing each other," she said. So, these couples often turn to matrimonial lawyers to advocate for them in court.

"A partner may like the idea of a pit-bull lawyer successfully fighting their battles for them; even if it costs them a fortune," Ludwig said. "Our more primal emotions are to win and to survive. Fighting helps us to feel — on a primal level — that we are right, we can win, and then, ultimately, we will survive."

Farrell, also a best-selling author whose latest book is "Fired Up: A Shrink's Musings," blames lawyers for escalating tension and perpetuating the idea that you will suffer, financially, if you go the do-it-yourself-divorce route. "Couples are easily convinced, in their emotional state that they need this service and that each of them needs a lawyer (now there's two fees) in order for each of them to have their interests protected. It's lawyer PR all the way," Farrell said. Saunders agreed, "The saddest part is that the kids are the ones who suffer from the chaos, anger and vengefulness. They can't understand why mom and dad are acting like different people and often wonder if that level of negative emotion will be turned on them."

According to Forbes (2006 figures) matrimonial law work is a $28 billion a year industry.

I will concede, in the case of a stay-at-home parent who is up against a wealthy and vengeful partner, it is a good idea to have a legal advocate on board. But I'm not referring to a high-powered or celebrity-type divorce where millions are at stake. I'm talking about the average Joe and Jane, who the latest statistics show, will spend about $15,000 (lawyer's fees, court costs, filing fees, refinancing) to undo their union. The more simple mediation route will still cost several thousands.

In these strained economic times isn't it smarter to keep all that money in the family — even if it is a disintegrating family?

Doesn't someone out there have a better, easier idea for couples that no longer want to be married? Send me your ideas. If they seem plausible, I'll share them in a future column.


12/16/13 Who Judges the Judges?
12/11/13 Corporations Are Liable, Shouldn't the Government Be Too?
12/09/13 Life After a Tabloid Scandal
12/11/11 The Cult of the Disgraced and Misplaced
11/03//11 Sunshine Laws Putting Citizens at Risk
10/27//11 Do Prisoners Deserve Free Medical Treatment?
10/17//11 No Justice From Justice
10/12//11 Paying the Price --- Twice
09/26/11 When is Photography a Crime?
09/19/11 Laws to Catch Up With Science

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Investigative journalist and syndicated columnist Diane Dimond has covered all manner of celebrity and pop culture stories.

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