Your Go-To Handbook for a Better Divorce
Divorce does not have to be a bitter ordeal—and no one knows this better than BJ Mann, a leading divorce mediator in Upstate New York.
In A Better, Not Bitter Divorce: The Fair and Affordable Way to End Your Marriage, BJ brings you the wealth of information she uses in her work with thousands of divorcing couples. You’ll find clear explanations, concise worksheets, and detailed checklists you need to navigate the four aspects of divorce:
- The Legal Divorce: The nuts and bolts
- The Economic Divorce: Turning one household into two
- The Children’s Divorce: Custody and parenting
- The Emotional Divorce: Your personal recovery
A Better, Not Bitter Divorce gives divorcing couples the information they need to take apart their relationship as equitably as possible.
It also guides them towards rebuilding their lives for themselves and their children.
BJ has guided more than two thousand couples through the divorce mediation process, so she knows that divorce does not have to be a bitter ordeal.
Through BJ’s book, you can benefit from the same expertise, knowledge, and caring she brings to the couples who come to her divorce mediation practice.
The book helps you establish the same neutral environment that focuses on finding your own solutions to end your marriage and start your new lives. It will help you keep your divorce mediation on track and affordable.
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Visit BJ’s Author Page on Amazon.
Praise for A Better, Not Bitter Divorce by BJ Mann
|“So many of the important parts of our lives are entered into with inadequate support. As someone who has experienced the pain of divorce, I feel profound gratitude for this gift from BJ Mann. This book offers detailed guidance and information regarding divorce, while also inviting you to connect again and again with your best self which is the wisest possible way to navigate divorce.”|
— Kit Miller, Executive Director, Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
|“BJ Mann has dedicated herself as a mediator and quickly rose to become a highly insightful and respected practitioner. She has brought to this role a sensitivity and empathy from her personal experience, a precise organizational skill from her previous professional life, and a generosity and compassion to the great benefit of her clients. BJ’s multi-faceted disciplined approach to her work has attracted thousands of grateful clients who have trusted her to gently guide them through difficult times. BJ’s knack of concisely explaining the dimensions of divorce and its impact upon families, from finances to relationships, will make eager and informed readers of those who open this book.”
— Gail Ferraioli, Clarity Mediations
About BJ Mann
BJ Mann brings readers the benefit of her seventeen years as an advanced practitioner divorce mediator, along with more than thirty years of experience in business, mentoring, coaching, and community leadership. Read her clients’ testimonials to learn more about the skills, knowledge, and empathy she brings to her work and to this book.
Prominent in her field, she is past president of the Rochester Association of Family Mediators, a former director and current member of the New York State Council of Divorce Mediation, and a member of the Collaborative Law Association of Rochester, Inc. and the Association for Conflict Resolution.
BJ also provides training for new divorce and family mediators and teaches a popular course on how to get a divorce. She lives in Rochester, New York with her husband, Turk, her dog, Grace, and several guest dogs at any given time.
BJ’s Tips for a Better, Not Bitter Divorce
“You have the option to choose the process through which you end your marriage, such as contested or uncontested,” advises BJ. “Regardless of the path, the facts of splitting your assets and debts, determining spousal and child support, and custody issues are all the same. How you make those decisions—for the better or with bitterness—has even more impact on your post-divorce life.” Mann offers the following insights for going through a better, not bitter divorce.
Divorce mediation is effective for both contested and non-contested divorces.
It’s a myth that only cooperative couples are successful in mediation. The mediation process helps you and your spouse stay in charge of your futures and hear each other’s thoughts and concerns directly, not interpreted through others.
The spouses decide how marital assets are to be distributed between them.
This includes houses, vehicles, pensions, retirement funds, etc. Whatever you both decide and agree to in writing is what will take place. Mediation is the better way to work that out. Using litigation to get a judge to decide because you can’t agree is expensive, and any “fault” perceived by either spouse as to the failure of the marriage isn’t relevant.
Have lots of digital assets?
People today are accumulating large collections of digital assets such as ebooks, an iTunes music library, digital TV shows during the marriage and shared as a family. Unlike household goods such as a set of dishes, digital assets can’t be split in half and remain useful. Little in current law provides rules or guidelines, and services like Amazon have their own rules about what can be shared and how. Mediation can help you sort through this issue.
Who pays child support and how much?
The real answer is both parents. Who actually pays child support to whom and how much is a function of the parenting plan to which both parents agree. Child support law is designed to create comparable environments for the children to feel comfortable in each parent’s home after the divorce.
Spousal maintenance is about reestablishing a more solid financial base.
Alimony is intended to provide a safety net to give the lower income party time to get on their feet financially. This is a provocative conversation even in mediation. The associated NY State and federal laws have changed significantly. Conveniently, there are calculators using the couple’s finances to generate “guideline” amounts that help with this topic.