Two Approaches to Divorce

So you have been thinking about getting a divorce.  There are so many questions…  Can a divorce be completed peacefully? How long does a divorce take?  How much does it cost to get a divorce? If ending your marriage must happen, it is possible to get through the process in a peaceful way comparatively quickly, and at a low cost. At Heartland Family Mediators, LLC we help couples complete their divorce by supporting two approaches. The most common approach: Mediation Mediation is Read more […]

Admiring Children to Save Children

There’s every reason to believe that children need more admiration than ever when their family is going through a difficult time. Here are some quick hints on ways to admire children well—and in the process to protect them from many of life’s hardest knocks. Gratitude just for the chance to know you and be with you Reading and discussing books, seeing movies, dinner with no TV. Doing puzzles. Volunteering together. Making errands fun by doing them together. Read more […]

Yeah, But You Don’t Know My Co-Parent

One of the most common things we hear is, “I want to be cooperative, but my co-parent doesn’t!” Here’s help with that difficult challenge. Give yourself credit. Remember to honor yourself for everything you’ve done to protect your children from conflict. It is not easy. Remember the goal. Always remember to give your helpless children a safe place to live their one and only childhood. Your goal isn’t to win a fight—it’s to stop a fight to save your children. Read more […]

Words Matter: Some Helpful Words Between Co-Parents

“1 “I’m interested in your ideas on this. Could we talk sometime soon?”“You really saved the day.” Let your co-parent know that you’re genuinely open to his/her ideas. “You’re good with things like this—what do you think?” “I bet if we sat down and put our ideas together, we could come up with a great solution.” “2 “Please.” “Thanks!” “You’re welcome.” “You did that so well, and it meant a lot to the kids.” Read more […]

What Matters

By “Kevin” I’m 24, and I haven’t lived with either of my parents for almost six years. My parents still haven’t officially divorced, and I’m not sure they ever will. They don’t live together, and what they decide about that doesn’t seem to matter so much to me now. When I was growing up, I was scared to death of their getting a divorce, but now I’m not so sure why. A lot of my friends had divorced parents, and they seemed okay. Read more […]

Some Common Effects of Divorce Litigation on Children

Divorce Factors for Children Children’s True Needs Tendency of Litigation and Custody Evaluations 1. Place in parents’ thinking Object of everyone’sconsistent sympathetic focus, attention, and support “Nonparties”; true needsare either overlooked or distorted in service of parent’s fight 2. Role in the legal proceedings Complete liberation; noresponsibility (real or felt) for adult divorce tasks Used and lobbied (overtlyand covertly). Read more […]

Rules of Mediation

1. Legal Counsel and Legal Advice 1.1 THE MEDIATOR IS NOT ACTING AS AN ATTORNEY AND WILL NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GIVE LEGAL ADVICE TO EITHER PARTY. BOTH PARTIES ARE ADVISED TO SEE THEIR OWN LEGAL COUNSEL AT ANY TIME DURING THE MEDIATION PROCEEDINGS. 1.2 The mediator may give legal information to both parties as may be necessary for the parties to make informed decisions. Read more […]

Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Download the PDF for Rules for Alternative Dispute Resolution (PDF) Read more […]

Quick Help for Families in Transition

From the creators of: (for divorcing and divorced parents), (for parents working through marital problems), and (for never-married parents) Many parents have suggested that we gather into one place the video links, articles, and quotes that come up during the course of the free websites we’ve developed for families.  So, we did it.  In this single document you can now see these resources and use them in any way you find helpful. Read more […]

Lots of Research – Only One Conclusion

“Without question, the single biggest problem for children of divorce is being exposed to continuing parental conflict.”  Edward Teyber, Helping Children Cope with Divorce.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass (1992), p. 79. “Empirical evidence consistently points to parental conflict as the factor that most consistently predicts maladjustment among children whose parents have separated or divorced.”  Robert E. Emery, Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody, and Mediation. Read more […]

Joint Legal Custody, Lasting Family Peace

In Joint Legal Custody, separated and divorced parents make the major decisions concerning their children’s upbringing in the same cooperative way that happily married parents do. Introduction “Joint legal custody” (JLC) should be the goal of all separated and divorced parents peaceful and mature enough to focus together on their children. It represents the respectful cooperation that can help children and parents alike when parents are separated or divorced. Read more […]

A Note to Families With A History of Domestic Violence

Reprinted from If there has been domestic violence in your relationship (physical, emotional, or sexual), against either a parent or a child, please consider the following thoughts. First, use these two outstanding websites for immediate help. Read more […]

A Sample of Your Legal Rights in Divorce

You have the legal right to never again say anything good to your children about their other parent. You have the legal right never to adjust your parenting time to allow your children to participate in a special event at their other home. You have the legal right to ruin every pick-up and drop-off of your children by a caustic or chilly moment with their other parent. Read more […]

A Final Vow to You

Once we meant something uniquely special to each other. To our sons, we always will. No man will ever love them as much as I do; no woman will ever love them as much as you do. To them, we will always be family, and when they think of their family, they will think of us. Today I can see they would feel any attack between us like an attack on them—so it’s in our good relationship as their parents that they will think of the world as safe and themselves as worthy. Read more […]

12 Thoughts of Children Caught In Conflict

“I’m so ashamed.  I’m humiliated.  Other kids’ families aren’t like this.” “Children believe they are responsible for all of the major occurrences in their lives—including parental fighting.”—Edward Teyber, Helping Children Cope with Divorce.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass, 1992, p. 82. “I’m scared.  I don’t know what will happen next.” “In a home marked by conflict and unpredictability, children do not have a deep and abiding trust in their caretakers.” Read more […]

10 Earmarks of a Successful Family Transition

Parents’ focus is always the kids and the future.  (“If parents will agree on one thing, they’ll agree on everything, if that one thing is, ‘What do we want our children to look like when they’re 25?’”—Pat Brown.)  They see that building peace for their children helps everyone. Parents recognize that their conflict is a source of deep pain and serious danger for their children—and thus that their new peaceful and courteous relationship is essential. Read more […]

10 Clear Thoughts – Just When You May Need Them Most

In most cases, parents either win together or lose together. No one “wins” in divorce, and almost always a crusade for “victory” will cause more conflict, expense, and damage to children. Outcomes are good if they’re good for everyone. Protecting your children may be your light out of hurt and fear. Almost always parents do best for themselves when they build peace for their children. You and your co-parent need a plan. Read more […]

9 Myths That Fool Almost Everyone

Myth “1: “We have a competition.”   The Truth: Almost always in divorce, parents either win together or lose together. Parents’ common interests remain common after separation.   Myth “2: “We have legal problems.”   The Truth: Nearly all issues in divorce are Mom-and-Dad issues. Parents and kids are badly hurt when parent issues are miscast as legal ones.   Myth “3: “We have a custody dispute.” Read more […]

8 Hidden Keys No One Has Told You About

Here are 8 things (or as we call them 8 Hidden Keys) virtually all separated and divorced parents can use to protect their children and to build a better future.  And best of all, (1) they’re free, (2) they can be used immediately, and (3) they can be used regardless of what one’s co-parent is doing. Read more […]


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Indianapolis, IN 46220 USA
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