The Smart Divorce® Weblog

Move forward with focus, hope, and confidence.


How to Be Smart About Mediation

Understanding what mediation is as a process, and finding the right mediator, are critical elements to developing  smart and long lasting parenting and financial agreements that are predicated on informed, thoughtful decision making.  A good mediator will discuss what your goals are for the process, what is important to each of you and will help you to craft a plan that addresses those goals and intentions.  This is important to understand, as all mediators are not created equal!

Our guest, Cara Raich, (  ( explores the specifics of mediation in this episode of The Smart Divorce, with Deborah Moskovitch and Steve Peck.   Cara is a mediator and attorney who specializes in helping people find non-adversarial resolutions to conflict. She mediates a wide range of cases including divorce, family conflicts, and organizational and civil disputes.

Cara is dedicated to helping her clients avoid the challenges and acrimony that frequently accompany adversarial proceedings. She does this by enabling her clients to come to realistic and informed agreements that work for them and their families. Cara believes that separation and divorce are family matters with a legal element, not a lawsuit that happens to be about a family.

To understand how these goals are accomplished in a fair and reasonable manner – and gain perspectives on alternative ways to view mediation and settlement we discuss:

  • What does neutrality really mean?
  • What are the process choices that people have when contemplating divorce?
  • How do we as a society view divorce?
  • What is a successful divorce?
  • What is the role the law will play in your divorce? Is the law relevant, determinative or something in between?

This interview will surely help you understand the many aspects of mediation.

To listen, click on the link 

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Celebrating Mother’s Everywhere

And to all….a very happy mother’s day.  Although, to be honest, I feel everyday should be mother’s day — by that I mean, it shouldn’t be only one day where our children show their love and respect, it should be everyday.

I came across some articles I would like to share , and I hope you enjoy.

What my mom taught me about being a working mother

by: JUDITH TIMSON, The Globe and Mail

Whenever there’s a tedious new eruption of the so-called Mommy Wars (watch out, Ann Romney), I summon up an indelible image of my mother from when I was around 11. She was heading out, dressed in a form-fitting black coat with a mustard-coloured little hat perched on her head.

In the midst of a difficult marriage that would eventually end in divorce, she was off to a momentous job interview. She landed the job – as an executive assistant at a scholarship trust foundation. And for more than two decades, her work shaped and sustained her.

She taught me valuable lessons about the role of work in a woman’s life: I learned that work can be a solace, a refuge, a turning point. It can boost your mental health, give you pride and self-sufficiency, and make you feel necessary in the wider world. And yes, it can rescue you when your marriage goes belly up.

We don’t hear much about the sustaining value of work itself in the trivial furor over whether “good” mothers should work outside the home when their children are young. Of course, I know that being a mother IS work, and argued as such in my book Family Matters.

To read the rest of the article click on the link

My Mother: The Ultimate Fearless Role Model

by Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post

The first experience of fear I remember was a particularly strange one. I was 9 years old. Over dinner one night, my mother started telling my younger sister, Agapi, and me about the time during the Greek civil war, in the 1940s, when she fled to the mountains with two Jewish girls. As part of the Greek Red Cross, she was taking care of wounded soldiers and hiding the girls.

She described the night when German soldiers arrived at their cabin and started to shoot, threatening to kill everyone if the group did not surrender the Jews the Germans suspected (rightly) they were hiding. My mother, who spoke fluent German, stood up and told them categorically to put down their guns, that there were no Jews in their midst. And then she watched the German soldiers lower their guns and walk away. And just hearing it, I remember the fear rising inside me, not just fear for my mother and the danger she faced but fear for myself. How would I ever live up to this standard of fearlessness?

My mother did not let financial concerns stop her from leaving my father when I was 11-years-old. For my father, as for many Greek men of his generation, there was nothing wrong with extramarital affairs. “I don’t want you to interfere with my private life,” I remember him telling my mother when she complained. His marriage was part of his public life, his affairs part of his private life. But that was not okay for her, and even though she had no job and no obvious way to earn money, she took her two children and left, trusting that somehow she would make ends meet. And, somehow, she did.

Super Moms


Who would have guessed there were so many Wonder Women out there? Not to mention an army of Beyoncés, multiple Michelle Obamas and a batch of Sandra Bullocks.

At least, that’s how The Post’s young readers see their moms. For this year’s Mother’s Day contest, we challenged them to compare the leading women in their lives to a star, superhero or historical figure. More than 200 kids responded with heartfelt comparisons, though a few insisted their mothers were like no one else. Still others proved that love is blind, seeing the essence beyond age and gender, seeing their moms as George Washington . . . and the Incredible Hulk.

In a field this wide and wonderful, it was hard to pick just three winners. Congratulations to Louise Cruz, Marco Vucovic and Nigel Walker, who won their heroines a massage and facial at the Oasis Day Spa. Let their letters and these honorable mentions inspire you to make your mom feel like a star tomorrow — Mother’s Day — and every day.

Wonder-ful provider

I think my mom, April Bond, is Wonder Woman because she is a single mom who takes care of me and my 18-month-old sister, and she works her butt off to take care of us. She always finds ways to keep us together no matter what. I know it’s not easy for her, but she loves us. My mom is Wonder Woman and I love her dearly.

–Nigel Walker, 10, Brooklyn winner with mom

Just don’t get her mad!

If my mom was a superhero, she would be the Hulk, because sometimes she gets mad and turns super strong. But like the regular Bruce Banner, she’s smart and mild-tempered. Sometimes she tells us why she’s mad, then my brothers and me try to fix the problem. A mom’s work is very exasperating.

–Darshan Singh, 11, Queens

Leader of the pack

The historical figure most like my mother has got to be George Washington. He waged war, she wages a battle to get us to eat a healthy dinner (there really isn’t much of a difference). Washington oversaw an army; my mother oversees four teen/preteen kids and a troop of their friends. Washington helped midwife a country; my mother gave birth to four kids in four years, all over 9 pounds. However, the thing that makes my mother most like George Washington is the fact that both Washington and my mother are known for fighting to keep the home front safe. Come hell, high water or middle school, I have never felt insecure at home, and that is thanks to my mother.

–Eden Hirtzel, 16, Lititz, Pa.

To read aout more Super Women, click on the link

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Life Post Divorce: Cooking For One

Life after divorce: Cooking for one

Tips and recipes to keep you healthy and happy when you’re eating on your own


 Deborah Moskovitch

life after divorce

Regain your lust for healthy living
It’s more a factor of laziness, rather than anything else. I take pride in ensuring my children eat well, preparing healthy, nutritious and delicious meals. But when it comes to cooking for one – when my kids are with their dad – well, there’s a bit of slippage. I figure, what’s wrong with an occasional bowl of cereal for dinner, followed by a 100-calorie snack or two? Sometimes I indulge in my favorite: cottage cheese and noodles. At my laziest, I grab a decadent chocolate bar for lunch, followed by an apple for dessert.  But there are alternatives.

I think I’ve figured wrong when I read about the importance of healthy eating. As I celebrate the wisdom gained through age and maturity, sadly, my metabolism doesn’t grow, but rather my midsection. To help get me out of this rut, I enlisted the help of leading Canadian nutritionist Barbie Casselman for the times when I’m cooking for one.

“If we want to stay healthy, feel better and look younger, we have to change our lifestyle,” says Casselman. “By which I mean all the factors that contribute to the way we eat, the exercise we get, stress, cigarette and alcohol consumption, our relationships and our spiritual outlook.”

To read the whole article, and tasty recipes from Barbie Casseleman’s book – Good For You Cooking,

Click on the link:


The Finances of the Grey Divorce

I’m Divorced, Now How Am I Going to Retire?

The Smart Divorce on Divorce Source RadioFor the new generation of empty-nesters, divorce is becoming more common.  Moreover, among people ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has doubled over the past 20 years.  It used to be that as people got aged, the chances of divorce declined – but this is no longer the case.  Given that the aging population is living longer and healthier, retiring post divorce is an issue for the grey divorce segment.

Eva Sachs on Divorce Source Radio

On this episode of The Smart Divorce with Deborah Moskovitch, our guest is Eva Sachs, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and founder of Women in Divorce Financial discusses the many concerns, considerations and consequences of financial planning post divorce for the older divorcee.

What do you need to think about, is a question many ponder. We answer that question and explore more:

  • Creative solutions for a financially prudent separation agreement
  • Adjusting to lifestyle differences post divorce
  • Managing debt with less
  • Medical/health benefits
  • Retirement plans for the divorced
  • The home as a burden or asset

Find out how to protect yourself and develop a list of questions, as you work through your finances for a financially secure retirement.

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Understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

My colleague, Dr. Robert Cipriano Jr., has put together this very informative YouTube video on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The effects of PTSD and the impact on the family is serious, and a deep understanding of what goes on is critical.

Tune in and watch this important video as Dr. Cipriano explains what PTSD is all about.

If you want to learn more, I interviewed Dr. Cipriano on The Smart Divorce.  Click on the link below to hear  this informative show