The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.


The Smart Divorce Workshop Series – Space Still Available

The Smart Divorce® Workshop Series


These workshops are appropriate for individuals contemplating or already experiencing a divorce. Strategies for reducing financial costs and personal turmoil will be presented. Participants will learn what to expect legally and emotionally, and so be able to move through the process with confidence and focus while saving time and money. A subsequent session will address parenting issues, how to work with parenting experts more effectively, and available resources. Feedback from therapists and lawyers has indicated that The Smart Divorce Workshops have helped to prepare individuals for the process and make them better clients.


I have added two new workshops to the series called – Taking Control of Your Finances – with guest speakers Atsuko Hiroaka and Aaron Nimon, both Investment Advisors of BMO Nesbit Burns. The focus of these sessions is to help manage and effectively deal with your financial concerns; how to overcome your fears and understand the financial considerations as you work through the divorce process and postdivorce concerns.


Click on the link for more information: the-smart-divorce-workshop-f09-2-finr1


Program details:


The Smart Divorce: Learning the Basics – February 4, 2009


The Smart Divorce: Taking Control of Your Finances – February 11, 2009

with Guest Speaker, Investment Advisor – Aaron Nimon of BMO Nesbit Burns


The Smart Divorce: Parenting Through Divorce – February 18, 2009 2008


The Smart Divorce: Taking Control of Your Finances – February 25, 2009

with Guest Speaker, Investment Advisor – Atsuko Hiroaka of BMO Nesbit Burns

“Your seminar game the confidence I needed to start my divorce. I know what to do now and feel I’m not alone.” Dave C. Toronto

“I met a client who took your seminar today. An educated client makes this work so much easier!” Jacqueline Vanbetlehem, Mediator and Family Therapist in Oakville

Location: 12 Lawton Boulevard, Toronto (Yonge and St. Clair)

Registration Fee: $25 per workshop

Call The Smart Divorce at 905 695 0270 or email


Leave a comment

Divorce’s collateral damage


Sometimes you don’t just lose your ex, you lose your

extended family and friends as well.


There are many “emotional” adjustments you have to make to build a positive life postdivorce. One of those is getting used to the fact that many friends and extended family you had while married, are no longer there for you once divorced.

Evaluating what you need to do, to let go of some of these once important relationships, requires coping strategies which will lead you towards achieving a smart divorce. Please click on the link to read more about tips and ideas as to how to navigate this new phase in your life postdivorce.


I wrote this article for More magazine’s online edition. More magazine is a publication which celebrates women over 40. Men should also feel comfortable reading this article as it offers great insight into moving on and how to prepare yourself for new relationships postdivorce; tips that apply to both men and women. If you would like to browse through this magazine click on the following link:

Leave a comment

The thinking behind a prenuptial or co-habitation agreement


The Crafting of Prenuptial and Co-habitation

Agreements and the Conversations You Need to Have

Everyday there seems to be another issue of divorce highlighted by the media.  One of the biggest areas of concern appears to be prenuptial/co-habitation agreements as celebrities seem to contest these all the time.  However, prenuptial/co-habitation agreements are not just for the wealthy or the famous.  The purpose for drafting them and the conversations which need to take place to craft them are critical.

I am currently researching a book entitled Get It Right This Time and Move On: The Conversation You Need to Have. This is a revolutionary book covering the number of issues facing people going through not only another divorce, but offers ways to assess another significant relationship.  It also guides people on their way to a smart relationship the next time, and moving on with the rest of their lives intact.  While researching this book, I found that there seems to be a clear consensus on the importance of prenuptial/co-habitation and cohabitation agreements which need to be included in the mix.

Both type of agreements – prenuptial and cohabitation – are on the rise.  Despite this increase, many family law lawyers feel that not enough of their clients are requesting these agreements. On the client side, there needs to be greater education about what these agreements are for. Furthermore, people are afraid to discuss their thoughts behind these agreements with a potential partner as a result of potential conflict and/or undermining their relationship.

Here are some considerations when thinking about the purpose of prenuptial and cohabitation agreements:

– People are less casual about the concept of prenuptial/ co-habitation and there is less stigma attached to them as in previous generations.  They are becoming far more acceptable.  The purpose is to protect assets in the event of divorce or death.  Interesting, many people don’t think about how an untimely passing could factor into the mix.

– People are afraid to talk about prenuptial/ co-habitation with their partner as they think the issues/financials they want to discuss are going to affect the relationship.  The truth is, if you can’t have these serious conversations, then perhaps the relationship wouldn’t make it in the long term.

– The prenuptial/co-habitation agreement is an excellent opportunity to evaluate short, medium and long term expectations of the relationship, help you think about the important factors in the relationship and forces you to discuss finances – which many couples do not want to consider.

– As one lawyer I spoke to said – when it comes to physical intimacy, people have no issue talking about their wants and needs.  But, when it‘s time to discuss the real issues of a relationship and what is important to a couple financially, people want to avoid these conversations until it is too late.  They are afraid that discussing their philosophy on finances is going to unravel the relationship.

– You can look at prenuptial/co-habitation agreement as divorce insurance.  For example, you have car insurance, hoping that you never need it, but if you are in an accident….well thank goodness you’ve got the protection.

– Many very wealthy families are preparing “family prenuptial/co-habitation/co-habitation” (for every new partner to sign) to protect family assets, business and so on.

– The divorce rate rises with each subsequent marriage.  For instance, with second time marriage the likelihood of divorce is 60%. As you have older couples getting married there are other factors to consider that a young couple don’t worry about – children.  It is obvious that people want to protect much of the wealth accumulated outside of the new marriage for their children.

– A Prenuptial/co-habitation agreement for older couples has a different meaning than for younger couples who are just starting out.  The younger couple in many instances has less financially to be concerned about.

– Middle income families are beginning to get prenuptial/co-habitation agreements so as not to offend the children; as the children want to ensure that the family heirlooms stay in the family and are not lost in the event of a divorce.  This way, you can protect grandma’s sterling place settings, sentimental family items and so on.

– Much of the same conversation as to how finances are going to be managed long, medium and short term can be addressed by a co-habitation agreement.

Prenuptial co-habitation agreements are an excellent way to protect assets in the event of separation/divorce. However, the important conversations a couple needs to have when agreeing to craft the agreement could actually go a long way to ensuring they are on the same page and hopefully avoid the all out war, which too often results.

Leave a comment

Deborah’s upcoming media appearances

Learn more about being smart about divorce with Deborah

Hear Deborah talk about

The Smart Divorce – Live

I have been invited to speak about The Smart Divorce and dealing with the many issues surrounding divorce and relationships on both television and radio this week. Tune in and hear lots of informative information.


Watch Dear Valerie – Tuesday January 13 at

2pm on Rogers Cable

How fluent are you in the language of love? Beginning Tuesday, January 13th at 2 PM, Rogers TV presents Dear Valerie, with relationship expert and veteran journalist Valerie Gibson. Dear Valerie is a LIVE source of instant, honest and realistic advice on love, sex, marriage, dating and family relationships. Valerie will take calls from viewers and answer their most intimate questions. Viewers are encouraged to call 416.446.7090 and ask about life, love and the pursuit of self fulfillment. The number for those wishing to call the show outside of the Toronto area is 1-800-968-7836.

I have been invited to be Valerie’s very first guest – an honor and a thrill for me!


Wake up with ‘A’ Morning – Wednesday, January 14


If you live in Southwestern Ontario, you are able to watch Southwestern Ontario’s #1 Breakfast show. Broadcast live from the heart of downtown London and throughout Southwestern Ontario on Atv; airs weekdays at 6am. I will be appearing around 7:15 am to talk about The Smart Divorce.


Have your copy of The Smart Divorce signed by Deborah


If you want to meet me personally, there will be a book signing from

12 – 1:30 at Chapter’s north London location at Richmond Centre, 86 Fanshawe (519)672-6781. Please feel free to ask your questions.


Tune in to hear Deborah on Midlife Mojo Radio –

Thursday, January 14


Author of the best selling book Midlife Mojo, the Unstoppable Frankie Picasso host Midlife Mojo RADIO. This show feature guests who are passionate about midlife and all the possibilities that exist for an amazing life during this time. I will be the featured guest Thursday, January 14. Listen in at 11:00 am EST, 10:00 CST, 9:00 MST, 8:00 PST.


You can tune in online at:


Please call in and ask your questions at (646) 716-9430

1 Comment

How to Divorce and not Wreck the Kids


If you are facing divorce or know someone who is,

this may be of interest…


The CBC showed a documentary this week called How to Divorce and Not Wreck the Kidsit is airing again Saturday January 10, 2009 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld. How to Divorce & Not Wreck the Kids takes viewers inside one of life’s most devastating transitions as three Canadian couples, determined to keep the needs of their children first, work through their separations on camera.


Within this documentary, Dr. Joan Kelly, an internationally acclaimed practitioner, researcher, educator and author in the field of divorce and separation, offers excellent advice to help put your children’s best interest first.


For Dr. Kelly’s Top 10 checklist to help protect your kids, more information and to watch this documentary online visit the CBC website:


This is a very informative documentary and offers insight into the divorcing process using Collaborative Law.