I just returned from three days at the National Association of Divorce Professionals (I am a divorce mediator member) conference in Fort Lauderdale. It is an organization which has the mission of making the divorce process better by solving all of the parties’ issues. The organization includes professionals in four areas, legal, mental health, financial and residential. I learned a lot about law and procedure in other states, how to tell if a client (or anyone else) is lying to you based on body language and speech patterns, and so much more.
I met many professionals who assist people going through the divorce process all over the country – not just therapists, financial planners and other attorneys, but even an art dealer and a jewelry appraiser. Although I know art and jewelry dealers locally, sometimes getting the perspective of a professional in a different location is helpful and can even lead to a higher appraisal. I believe this new knowledge and expanded network will be invaluable to my clients moving forward.
Many clients do not realize how much time goes into continuing education and forming relationships with people through these types of organizations. When we are setting our fee for representation, it is not just based on our time but rather on our ability to solve the client’s problems. Practitioners who do not invest their time and money in education and other types of activities which ultimately help their clients are not necessarily bad at what they do, they are just not as capable at recognizing issues and helping their clients accomplish their goals because they simply do not have the same resources as those who do.
The NADP has as its motto “It takes a village” which in the divorce process makes a lot of sense. Two people are not just separating, they are also trying to figure out how to start over and eventually be happy. Pursuit of happiness is the reason people seek a divorce. They do not want to be divorced per se; they want to be happy. All the professionals who were at the conference are committed to helping people reach that goal.
Deborah E. Kaminetzky, Esq.
Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
132 Spruce Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516