On the newest episode of We Chat Divorce we’re joined by Winter Wheeler, Esq. to discuss The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™. Wheeler, a graduate of Georgetown University and Tulane Law School, has always combined her interests in culture, diplomacy, and the law. She is especially passionate about changing the face of mediation and arbitration - by bringing compassion, listening to the forefront, and placing the litigant and emotions at the center of the conversation. Wheeler is a former top civil litigator who has made her niche as an expert mediator.  

Wheeler is the creator of The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™, which she introduced to the world in her first TEDx talk in March 2021. Wheeler, a married mom of four, gave her second TEDx talk “Confessions of a Working Mom Who Has It All” in June 2021. She is co-author of the bestselling book, #Networked. She is also the creator and host of The Mediate Now™ podcast.   

Our hosts, Karen and Catherine, sit down with Winter Wheeler, Esq. to discuss The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™. 

  

Learn More >> https://www.winterwheeler.com/ 

 

Connect with Winter Wheeler, Esq. on LinkedIn >> @Winter Wheeler 

 

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Karen: 

Welcome to We Chat Divorce. Catherine and I are so happy today to welcome attorney mediator Winter Wheeler to our podcast today. In this episode, we're going to discuss The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™. 

Karen: 

Welcome, Winter. So glad you're here with us today. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here. I've been following y'all, and it's a privilege. 

Catherine: 

So fun to have you, and I want those flowers in your background. 

Winter Wheeler: 

They're fake, so I'll send you the link. 

Catherine: 

This is one of the things I love about you. 

Karen: 

So before we get into the conversation of the four cornerstones, I'm going to take a couple of minutes to introduce Winter. 

Karen: 

So, Winter is a former top civil litigator who has made her niche as an expert mediator. She is sought out for her unique, compassionate and successful style handling complex matters that involve a diverse range of cultures, including Spanish-speaking clients. 

Karen: 

Most recently, Winter was a senior attorney at a prominent law firm. And it's this extensive body of experience she brings into her current mediation practice that makes her work stand out. A graduate of Georgetown University and Tulane Law School, Winter has always combined her passions for culture, diplomacy and the law. 

Karen: 

Winter is the creator of the The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™, which she introduced to the world in her first TEDx talk in March of 2021. And Winter, you actually launched it yesterday, am I correct on that? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes, we launched a course based on the four cornerstones. 

Karen: 

I love that. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And that is available as a group or private classes. 

Karen: 

Awesome. She gave her second TEDx talk in June 2021, entitled “Confessions of a Working Mom Who Has It All.” I highly recommend that you listen to it. Catherine and I just got a little preview of it. Amazing! You have to listen to it. 

Catherine: 

Yeah. 

Karen: 

“Confessions of a Working Mom Who Has It All” 

Karen: 

Winter's also the co-author of the best-selling book #Networked. She's also creator and host of the Mediate Now podcast. Winter spends her free time volunteering in her community, enjoying her husband and four children, and traveling back to Miami, Florida, where she was raised, as much as possible. 

Karen: 

She's especially passionate about changing the face of mediation and arbitration by bringing compassion and listening to the forefront and placing the litigant and emotions at the center of the conversation. 

Karen: 

That is powerful, Winter. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Thank you. 

Karen: 

That's awesome. So, let's pop right into this and talk about the four cornerstones. I guess we'll start with number one. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Okay. 

Karen: 

Number one, what is it? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Number one. Number one is emotional intelligence. So, of course, emotional intelligence, we've all heard about it. It's one of the newest buzz phrases, right? It's how we relate to other people, how we understand ourselves. And it's about how we understand, how we relate to the world, and how our feelings, how our emotions interact with those around us. How do we react to those around us? How do our feelings affect how we interact with those around us? We typically don't think about that on a daily basis, on an interaction basis. And ... Go ahead, yeah. 

Karen: 

I was going to say, especially in the framework of mediation or negotiation, that I can see it play a really important part. 

Catherine: 

Well, yeah. Because everyone comes into mediation thinking it's their spouse, it's not them. Someone else's actions cause our reactions, so you're already geared up when you go into mediation thinking, "Okay, I'm ready to defend myself against anything he says," or vice versa. So you're not really thinking internally, "What am I actually bringing in here emotionally?" Other than my anger, or my hurtness, or the sadness, or what have you. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Exactly. 

Catherine: 

Is that what we're talking about here, how you walk into a mediation? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Exactly, exactly. It's about how what you do makes the other person respond. Now, you can go into it thinking "I'm going to respond to everything he says. I'm going to respond to everything that he's ever done to me. He's hurt me so badly and I have a list. I have that list of what he's done to me, and I know how I can counteract all of those things." 

Winter Wheeler: 

You can do that. That doesn't help you. It doesn't help you get what you want. Right? 

Winter Wheeler: 

So when you go into a mediation, what you need to focus on is how you can help yourself long-term. What is it that you need? What is it that you want long-term? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Short-term, it may make you feel good to say or have your mediator say something nasty to your ex, but that doesn't help you long-term. Right? 

Karen: 

Absolutely. 

Winter Wheeler: 

You know your soon-to-be-ex spouse. So what you need to do is think about how what you're about to say, the message you're about to deliver, is going to be received by them. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And one thing about this technique is, if you're the one using it, and likely you are the only one using it, you can project based on what you know about the other person, and decide what you're going to say, in such a way that you can control how they respond. 

Winter Wheeler: 

For example- 

Catherine: 

What about the individual, I'm sorry. 

Winter Wheeler: 

No, no. Go ahead. 

Catherine: 

A lot of times you hear people who jump mediators, I'm leaving this one because she's not listening to me. Or she's not defending me, or she's defending him too much, or she's agreeing with him and she's not seeing all the bad things he did to me. 

Catherine: 

I can see that plays into this as well. 

Winter Wheeler: 

It certainly does. And now, of course all mediators are not created the same. They're not all equal. We all have our quirks. We all try to be neutral. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I am now in the process of certifying mediators in this method, so you can look for mediators who are certified in this method. But if you inherently do not trust your mediator, trust your gut. Never forget to trust your gut. 

Winter Wheeler: 

But at the same time, your mediator is there to tell you the truth. And your mediator, if you're in a position where your mediator has separated the two of you because you should not be in the same room, your mediator knows what's happening in the other room. 

Winter Wheeler: 

So sometimes your mediator is telling you something about yourself that you need to hear and not necessarily saying the same thing to the other party. So when you are dealing with a mediator, I need you to be open and to be honest. And I tell people that at the start of the mediation. If I say something to you that you don't like, that makes you unhappy, that makes you upset, that makes you angry, my goal is never to make you upset. 

Winter Wheeler: 

It's to be honest with you. So you need to tell me if what I have done has made you angry. If it has made you trust me less, please tell me. Because there is always a reason for every single word that has come out of my mouth. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Mediators, good mediators, are calculated. Our goal is to get you what you need and some of what you want. We want everyone to go home satisfied. Satisfied is very different from happy, okay? Keep that in mind. It is very, very different from happy. But satisfied people go home with what they need. They go home feeling heard. They go home feeling whole. 

Catherine: 

I love what you just said and I think that we need to quote this out there. You go home with what you need and some of what you want. And I think that if you're listening and you're going to mediation and Karen and I always talk about compromise. Any divorce, there is going to be a compromise, whether you like it or not. At the end of the day, there's a compromise on both sides, but what's so rewarding is if you know what you want and know what you need, you'll realize that you'll get some of both of that basically. 

Catherine: 

And it allows you to have more of an open mind to the communication and be able to say, "Hey Winter, you pissed me off yesterday. You told me my ex was not such a bad guy and I think he's a horrible guy" or whatever it is. And then you always want to say, "Well, Catherine, let me tell you the truth here. I've seen worse or I've seen better" or whatever it is or "You're being unrealistic." I love that open communication. And I think it's so hard for a lot of people doing it and it basically stems down to the way we look at it. A lot of people don't know what they need and what they want financially speaking. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Absolutely, absolutely. 

Catherine: 

It leaves you so seriously scared through the process, which is why we're doing what we do. But this is great. 

Karen: 

Yeah. And I think you probably see Winter speaking about emotions, a lot of people coming to the table needing things or thinking they need things from a very emotional perspective. And you were going to make a comment a couple of minutes ago about for example. I'm hoping you were going to take something that somebody would say and reframe it into how they could have said it better. I think that would be cool. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yeah. I don't remember exactly. 

Karen: 

I'm very interested, but I think it would help our listeners to kind of have it for example, especially in the cornerstone of emotional intelligence, helping them understand what people typically want to say and then how you help them reframe it. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. So a lot of what I hear comes from a very emotional place. So a lot of states no longer have fault divorce. We have no-fault divorce. It doesn't matter that your spouse has cheated on you. It doesn't matter. Now here in Georgia, we do still have jury trials, so that's always fun, but most states don't have that. 

Winter Wheeler: 

So you can say to me all day long, "Well, he should owe me more money because I found out he was sleeping with Susie." And you can say, "I want you to tell him that I" ... dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. Okay. That's great. The way I'm going to tell that to him is going to be very different from the way that you said it to me. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I also called myself an interpreter because you can tell me whatever you want to tell me, what I'm going to say to him or the other party, which could be a her, is going to be something that they can hear. Emotional intelligence involves understanding how, what you think and feel can actually be heard and understood by the other party. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And if you have been yelling at your partner, because you likely have been, especially in a case where they've cheated on you, if you've been telling them the same thing over and over and over again, and it's not sinking in, then clearly I'm not going into the other room to say that. Right? 

Karen: 

Right. 

Winter Wheeler: 

So I will reframe it into something positive. And can I reframe absolutely anything and everything into something positive? Yes, I can. That's my job. So we take, "You were cheating on me and you owe me, blah, blah, blah," into "She raised three children with you for X years and so as a result, she feels that she deserves X." 

Winter Wheeler: 

We don't talk about what he did with Susie, because he knows what he did with Susie. I don't always have to talk about what he did with Susie. We changed that up. We changed that up a bit. We just changed the narrative, but you have to come in thinking about what the other person thinks, how do they feel? 

Winter Wheeler: 

And it's so hard. I understand it. It's so hard to think about how that person who has hurt you so badly feels. But if you want to come out with what you need, you have to do that. You've got to take a lot of that emotion out. 

Catherine: 

Absolutely. And I think that's just par for the course in divorce. A lot of people see emotional injustices have some kind of financial compensation and understanding to your point what you need or what you want, at the end of the day, maybe determining, we see this a lot, how much did husband spend on girlfriend with part of our money? That could be discussed, right? But in the framework of how do we come to a conclusion they're not, "I'm hurt." 

Catherine: 

And so I really appreciate that first cornerstone of yours with just the emotional intelligence piece of it, because that is a critical piece of being very successful in negotiations, I believe. Being able to parse out what parameters of discussion will be. That's awesome. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes, definitely. 

Karen: 

All right. So let's move on to cornerstone number two is ... 

Winter Wheeler: 

Cornerstone number two is cultural knowledge. A lot of the time when I talked to people involved in divorce and divorce mediators, they will say, "Well, this doesn't matter. They've been married for so long. How could this possibly be a concern for them? They knew that going in." It's such a naive position to take. 

Winter Wheeler: 

When you talk about people engaging culturally, when you're in love and you get married, you think the cultural differences don't matter. And then you get married and you have children and they do matter. Now I'm in a multicultural, multiracial family here myself. So yes, they do matter. The extent to which they mattered, you don't even necessarily talk about while you're married, because it's easier a lot of the time to just gloss over it, or "I'm sick. We can't go to that event." 

Winter Wheeler: 

I pulled that this summer myself. 

Catherine: 

Darn headaches. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yeah. Darn headaches. My migraines are just crazy right now. Oh, COVID. COVID, my God. We can't fly. But once you're at the divorce table, those things mean a lot because this person is now going to have control of your children when you're not there. So what does that look like? Now suddenly Aunt Mary's graces tendencies will be visited upon your children when you're not there to shield them from them. And now it's a big problem. 

Catherine: 

Well, how do you come into your divorce now? I know we've seen this, it's just religious things. All of a sudden, they want custody during certain religious holidays, but never before did they exercise those holidays at all. But how do you change your mindset coming in when it was never established during your marriage? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. And so what I have seen and heard about is that it's more so an issue when the soon-to-be-ex spouse takes up with someone who is more culturally aligned with them. So now they've got someone who wants to celebrate those holidays. Those cultural corks are now part of the norm. They're a part of every day for them. So they're now going to be part of your child's everyday life. 

Winter Wheeler: 

So, oh, it didn't matter to me that you weren't Jewish, but now suddenly it does matter to this new person and so now we're doing it all the time. It didn't matter that you weren't Muslim. Well, now it does. And so, what you need to do as the non-religious, non-ethnic whatever it is, you need to figure out all of the things. Spend your time learning about what these new cultural issues are. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Now, should you have done it at the beginning? Of course, you should have. But when the other spouse tells you, "I don't care, honey, I don't care. I love you. We're going to do this. And we'll just do whatever you want" you probably didn't bother to go ahead and learn anyway, Love conquers all. 

Catherine: 

Yeah. Until it doesn't. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. Until it doesn't. Until it doesn't. 

Winter Wheeler: 

At that point, you need to spend your time learning a whole lot about what these cultures are doing. What are the norms? What are these holidays? What are they actually doing? What are they actually teaching and learn about it. Is it something that you can just simply live with? Can you ignore it? Can you just let it go? Find out are they simply acknowledging these holidays because these are a high holy holidays or are they deeply dug into this or are they actually relatively secular and just celebrate these holidays because they do, right? 

Catherine: 

I love that. So check your emotion- 

Winter Wheeler: 

Those are things you need to know. 

Catherine: 

So check emotional intelligence before you look into these cultural changes that you're about to have. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. Absolutely. 

Catherine: 

Because if I had little children and I don't right now, but if I did, and my ex-girlfriend now wanted to practice something, I would have to check myself because it becomes, I'm not doing it because of the girlfriend or what have you. And that's where you have to check yourself. And I love that. Learn about the religion, learn about the important holidays, and then say, "Think about the kids in the end." Would it hurt them to actually learn this? And let it go. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. Exactly. 

Karen: 

That is so difficult. That was my experience. My children were seven and five. And I tell people when I was going through my divorce, I wasn't just divorcing my husband. I was divorcing my lifestyle, everything I had been taught, which my children had been brought up and I can't do this anymore. So I had to go through the steps of not only allowing, but understanding that I can't change their lives to the extent I would like to because we had brought them up in that environment. So that was very difficult for me and I can understand the emotional, I don't want to say tragedy, but the upset that I had to experience, because I didn't understand that no one was going to follow my thoughts that this wasn't good for me then. I should've thought about that a long time ago. That was very difficult. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. And that is, I would call Grief. I talked about grief in one of my podcast episodes, Mediate Now, and grief is so many things, it manifests in so many different ways, but it's really the loss of anything that you believed was true or constant. It's the loss. It's the feeling that basically the ground has been taken from under you, something that you believed was going to be there for you is suddenly gone and you didn't want it gone. And there are ways to deal with that. 

Catherine: 

Also realizing that you thought you had something that you didn't, so you thought you had this lifestyle or this relationship because you created it and you tried so hard, but at the end of the day, you really didn't have what you were thinking you had. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. It is so hard for human beings to understand that everything we have is fleeting. It's not real. Nothing that we have is real. The things that we have are tangible for the most part. My home is tangible, but if it burned down, it's gone. It is gone. 

Winter Wheeler: 

The people that we love can die at any point. And it is hard for us to think of that. The people that we love and that we have committed to can leave us, they can hurt us because they have free will. But we don't like to think of it that way, because it is just too much to think of every day, but those things can happen. And when they do, we have to grieve. 

Winter Wheeler: 

When it happens, we go through grief and then we need to go through this process in order to bring our lives back to center and we need to get back to the place where we remember that we, I, I am what I have. I am enough. I will be okay. How do I take care of myself? And I take care of myself by remembering that I can deal with other people in such a way that I get what I need, by taking out a lot of the emotion, by addressing other people's emotions in a non emotional way. And that is what the four cornerstones do for people. 

Karen: 

Yeah. I love that you said that. You said, "I still deserve what I need." A lot of people are immersed in guilt and their response to that is, "I don't deserve it. Just take it all. I'll figure this out." I personally went through some of that myself because I felt so bad. We see a lot of clients coming through, "I feel bad. I feel guilty." He said, "If I take his pension, that's the last straw." You're not taking anything. So it's having that emotional, how would we say it, intelligent conversation and understanding. I love that you say that because I think so many people struggle through that when they're trying to reconcile all of the emotions. 

Winter Wheeler: 

This is why I'm an advocate for divorce coaches. Somebody to help you and remind you that the response you're having isn't emotional response, it is not a long-term intelligent response. Don't give up everything you have. Don't accept peanuts when you deserve more. 

Karen: 

Yeah. And know what you have and what the division is, because it helps you navigate through those very emotional conversations, because it's already in your knowledge bank and you don't have to wonder, you know every topic that comes up, you don't have to wonder how that works. 

Catherine: 

This is why I love our portrait because we'll lay out there what you have and what the considerations are for it. And I always say, "Listen, if your mediator gets you too much and you want to give it back, I'll help you write the check." And not one person has asked me to write a check to give it back to their spouse. So you need to know what your assets are, what your debts are, what are the considerations? And then it's your divorce. If you feel that badly after knowing everything and being in the know about everything, then go ahead, negotiate away, whatever you want. 

Catherine: 

But if you don't have that financial clarity do not feel bad because you deserve it. And listen, I didn't feel bad. And again, I never had somebody telling me they want to give their money back. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Right. I've never heard anyone say either. 

Catherine: 

Yeah. I have on the other hand, had people coming up and you all probably do as well saying, "Oh my gosh, Catherine, I wish I knew you five years ago. I just decided to walk away from it all and now I regret it" and their lifestyle drastically changed and "I don't know how I'm going to ever catch up." So that's what we don't like to hear. 

Karen: 

Yeah. They were lost in those emotions. So Winter, let's talk about cornerstone three. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. Cornerstone three. This will be a quicker one. Cultural immersion. So in this context, when we're talking about divorce and we know that we need to suddenly learn about another culture and we're making decisions for our family or for our children, we need to figure out what actually is happening. What may happen, what does this really look like for my kids going forward? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Try to get involved with the community. And if you're lucky enough to live somewhere where there's a large pocket of that community, go, see that community, go out there, try to make friends. It could be as simple as going to a restaurant and chatting up the waiter, signing up for language classes, if that applies, and really just putting yourself in a position in which you are no longer just a stranger, you're not kind of just on the periphery. 

Winter Wheeler: 

You don't want your soon-to-be ex-spouse being the only one who actually understands the nuances of this culture. You need to understand yourself so that there are no longer any surprises. Get out there and understand and immerse yourself. I know immerse immersion. It's not a trick. Immerse yourself in that culture and get involved. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I heard, I think yesterday or the day before when the new census data came out, the number of people who consider themselves to be multicultural, went up like 125%. So this is happening to a lot of people all over this country. We all need to be concerned about the cultures that we are engaging in and not concerned in a negative way, but interested. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Listen. And let's just back this up. Before you marry someone, learn about them. Stop marrying people because you, "Oh, I love him. He gives me butterflies." Honey, they all do. They all do. Okay? That's just how it works. Those are called hormones. That wears off. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Spend some time and learn. Is this really what you can live with if you had to be part of this culture without the spouse? Because that could definitely happen. At this point, what is it? Are we still at 50% divorce rate? I don't even know- 

Karen: 

Higher now. 

Catherine: 

Higher now. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Is it higher now? The odds are you could be part of this culture by yourself, right? This new culture, all by yourself. You have to understand it. Your children could be very interested in this new culture. They're half of that culture, 

Catherine: 

I know that people are listening right down there saying, "Shit, I'm not doing that. I'm not doing that because he never wanted to do that." But I think that if you can change the way that you're looking at this, the situation will really change. You're not doing it for your ex, you're doing it so that you can experience what your children are going through and you can have intelligent, supportive conversations with them when they come back, because you're coming from a place of knowing rather than just shutting off, which we should never just shut anything off in life. 

Catherine: 

But you're doing it for you and your children because a lot of times, and I can attest to that, when you divorce, your spouse may be in a better financial situation so they take them on trips and that you've never been there and they come back and your kids tell you all about it, and you're sitting there feeling so sad that you didn't get to go on that trip with them, not necessarily your ex, but with your kids. And they've now experienced something that you have nothing to do with anymore. 

Catherine: 

This process, number three of the cultural immersion, is really for the benefit of yourself and your children, and always feeling connected to them. If they ended up not liking it, the culture, what they're now exposed to, you can have a conversation with them about it. It is part of their life. I love that. I love that thought process. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Not to be completely stereotypical, but when you're talking about a man who is moving on to a woman with a new culture, they are often very likely to just immerse themselves in that woman's new culture. They are. That becomes his new normal. 

Winter Wheeler: 

My personal experience as a second wife, my husband, he was very much immersed in his first wife's culture. I don't think he could tell you anything about it today. All he knows is mine, that's it. He's made attempts to learn my secondary language and learn about the country my family came from and that's it. So these things happen and we need to be aware, we need to be ready. And it's for the benefit of the children. It really, really is. It's also for your sanity, but it's also for the benefit of your children. We have to keep that in mind. 

Karen: 

Yeah. And when you broaden that out a little bit, when you're co-parenting, it helps to be able to support decisions one parent makes or the other based on their culture. Sometimes it's not an intentional response, or it definitely comes from a place of, "This is what I believe is right, because this is what I was taught" and so forth and so on. And so it kind of minimizes the emotional disparity there when you can come at it from a place of, "This is what they believe, and this is how it works" and things like that. I love that you said that. Yeah, that's excellent. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And that's actually the perfect segue into the last cornerstone, which is genuine empathy. If you can truly empathize with how the other person is having to move on, because we all have to move on and we don't always move on in the same way, but if you can understand that this is how they have to do it, then you're going to be more likely to be supportive and kind, and you'll understand it in a much easier, more sympathetic manner. 

Winter Wheeler: 

If what they need is to be with some new person or even get more in touch with their own background absent any other third party, then you need to let them do that because we all grieve a divorce in a different way, but you do need to be able to understand what they're going through and how it's happening. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And the more supportive we can be of the other person, the better it is for our children, because we don't want our ex-spouse to be a shell of a human being. Now, as much as we may personally want to see that that is not good for our children. Not at all, not at all. We have to have compassion for them and that compassion for someone that you did love at some point means you need to continue to love them. Is it a different type of love? Of course it is. But you need to keep in mind, you did love them enough to marry them and have children with them. You have to remember that. 

Catherine: 

That sounds great. And that sounds so much more difficult. I don't know if you're listening. So how do you recommend someone shows empathy to a spouse who you feel like has no empathy towards you? 

Winter Wheeler: 

It's not even showing them empathy. They don't need to know that you have the empathy. It's really for you. 

Catherine: 

That's a better way to look at it. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yeah. In this scenario with the four cornerstones ... and it's different. This particular cornerstone, this fourth cornerstone is different when we apply it to different situations. It's about having that mindset for yourself. It's about reminding yourself that having some compassion and allowing that person the space they need is going to be what's best for you. 

Catherine: 

Which is much better to swallow, right? And so that again comes from being informed of where we go back to your other quotes is that you'll get what you need and a little bit of what you want. And so if you can keep that mindset, the empathy can set in for yourself rather than being an outpouring of stuff you're trying to take. 

Winter Wheeler: 

And truly, at the root of this, especially in a divorce context, the four cornerstones are self-centered. They are absolutely self-centered. They are designed to get you what you want. They have nothing to do with the other person. They are about setting yourself up to get what you need because the other person likely has no ability to communicate on such a high mature level. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Sometimes you have to be the adult in the room and the way you can be the adult in the room is to follow these four cornerstones. If you can follow all four and they all work together, got to do all four simultaneously, they will work you will be the adult, and the other person will likely not know that they are being somewhat manipulated. 

Karen: 

I'm just clarifying what I'm hearing from you. This has nothing to do with restoring relationship or repairing relationships and everything to do with negotiating to an end result to the benefit of you, yourself financially, and from a parenting perspective to the benefit of the children. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Sometimes that's the case. It depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to restore a relationship, you can use these four cornerstones and you can repair a relationship. However, if you have no intention of repairing a relationship, you can use these to give the appearance of wanting to restore a relationship. 

Winter Wheeler: 

It's all about civility. Truly. Being civil long enough to make sure you have what you need. You have to not focus on revenge. Revenge is not yours. It's not yours to seek. You have to not focus on getting your point across. The other person knows what your point is. You're mad. They don't care. They've told you they don't care. They've made that clear. So stop worrying about making sure they know you're mad. They know. What you need to focus on is getting what you want. What can you do to get what you want in a way that makes sense, in a way that makes the other person feel whole and complete, in a way that they don't feel that they're being taken advantage of, in a way that makes them feel that their needs, their rights are being respected? 

Winter Wheeler: 

And if you can follow these cornerstones, you can do that. Now, ideally, in my mediator-loving I love everybody little heart, you would actually mean these things, but you don't have to, and they still work. 

Catherine: 

And they allow you to move forward in a positive direction, which is what we truly believe in. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. You can move forward. 

Karen: 

And hopefully ... Go ahead, Winter. 

Winter Wheeler: 

No. You can move forward positively for yourself, for the other person. And I think that's the beauty here is that you can move forward positively for everyone, whether you actually mean it or not. Everyone gets to move forward in a positive direction. You, your ex, your children. Your children will feel that everyone is getting along, everyone is trying to make this work, everyone wants the group dynamic to succeed. Everyone. 

Karen: 

I love it. And then, what if everyone could incorporate these four cornerstones into every relationship, how different our world would be? 

Winter Wheeler: 

Yes. I firmly believe that this can be applied to every single relationship that we have. Every single one. 

Karen: 

It's amazing. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I use it everywhere. 

Karen: 

I love it. 

Catherine: 

Who is this available to and how do you get it? 

Winter Wheeler: 

This is available to absolutely everyone. It is not only available to attorneys or to mediators. I encourage everyone to get involved here. You can watch my TEDx talk. You can just go onto YouTube and search my name. Winter Wheeler TEDx. Be careful. There are two, This one is called Mastering the Art of the Uncomfortable Conversation. But you can also go to my website, WinterWheeler.com. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I am offering a course in this. It is a 14-hour intensive course in which you can be certified in this method. You can have group classes, private classes, everything is there available to you. 

Winter Wheeler: 

I encourage people to reach out because this method can revolutionize the way you communicate with people. 

Karen: 

Oh, I love it. That's extraordinary, Winter. Thank you so much. This concludes this episode on getting clear on the four cornerstones of mediation. Thank you so much, Winter, for a great conversation. 

Winter Wheeler: 

Thank you for having me. 

 

In this episode of We Chat Divorce, we’re joined by Susan Guthrie to discuss the topic: Divorce Attorney Secrets to Thriving BEYOND Your Divorce. Here’s an overview of Susan's experience:

 

Susan Guthrie, nationally recognized as one of the Top Family Law and Mediation Attorneys in the United States, has been helping individuals and families navigate separation and divorce for 30 years. Susan provides exclusively online divorce mediation and legal coaching services to select clients around the world through her business Divorce in a Better Way. Susan has also recently partnered with mediation legend, Forrest “Woody” Mosten, to create the Mosten Guthrie Academy to provide cutting edge gold-standard training for attorneys, mediators and other professionals. 

As a leading dispute resolution professional, Susan is honored to serve on the Executive Council of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Section of Dispute Resolution as the Membership Officer and to be a Co Chair of the Mediation Committee and Annual Advanced Mediation Skills Institute. 

Susan is also an internationally well-regarded expert in online mediation and has been training colleagues and other professionals in the practical and ethical considerations of conducting their mediations online with her innovative programs and webinars and has helped more than 18,000 colleagues transition to an online practice. 

In addition to her other professional endeavors, Susan is an award-winning podcast host. Having reached a podcast listening audience of almost 4 million in the past two years, Susan is the creator and host of the hit podcast, The Divorce and Beyond Podcast with Susan Guthrie, Esq. which debuted on iTunes “Top Podcasts for Self-Help” List. She recently launched The Learn to Mediate Online Podcast with Susan Guthrie, Esq. to bring current information, updates and news on ODR to her thousands of followers. 

Susan has been featured in and on media outlets such as CNBC, Market Watch, Forbes, Eye on Chicago, WGN, the ABA’s Just Resolutions Magazine, Thrive Global, The Nook Online among others. 

 

Hosts, Karen, and Catherine sit down with Susan Guthrie to discuss Divorce Attorney Secrets to Thriving BEYOND Your Divorce.

 

Learn More >> https://www.divorceandbeyondpod.com 

Connect with Susan on LinkedIn >> @Susan Guthrie

 

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In this episode of We Chat Divorce, we’re joined by Shawna Woods to discuss the topic: Prenuptial and Post Nuptial Agreements. Here’s an overview of Shawna's experience:

 

Shawna Woods is the Managing Partner of the Atlanta Divorce Law Group. She has been practicing exclusively in Family Law for 18 years. She is the host of the soon to be launched Happily Ever After Divorce Podcasts and regularly appears as a guest on the firm’s Facebook Live.   

 

Hosts, Karen, and Catherine sit down with Shawna Woods to discuss Prenup, Do They Help or Hurt?

Learn More >>www.atlantadivorcelawgroup.com

Connect with Shawna on LinkedIn >> @Shawna Woods

 

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In this episode of We Chat Divorce, we’re joined by Rebecca Zung to discuss the topic of How to Negotiate With a Narcissist. Here’s an overview of Rebecca's experience:

 

Rebecca is a narcissism negotiation expert, and one of the top 1% of attorneys in the nation, having been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Lawyer in America”, as “Legal Elite” by Trend Magazine. She is the author of two bestselling books: Negotiate Like You M.A.T.T.E.R.: The SureFire Method to Step Up and Win (foreword by Robert Shapiro) and Breaking Free: A Step-by-Step Divorce Guide for Achieving Emotional, Physical, and Spiritual Freedom.

 

Her perspectives are in high demand by television and print outlets, and she's been featured in or on Extra, Forbes, Huffington Post, Newspeak Time, Dr. Drew, NPR Talk Radio, Good Day New York and CBS Los Angeles among others. Now, based in Los Angeles, she is continuing to serve through her very popular YouTube channel, media appearances, podcasts, articles, and on-demand programs such as S-L-A-Y, S.L.A.Y. Your Negotiation With a Narcissist and Breaking Free Divorce Masterclasses.

 

Hosts, Karen, and Catherine sit down with Rebecca Zung to discuss How to Negotiate With a Narcissist.

Learn More >>https://www.rebeccazung.com/ 

Connect with Rebecca on LinkedIn >> @Rebecca Zung

 

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In this episode of We Chat Divorce, we’re joined by Evan Schein to discuss the topic: The Dynamics of Discovery and the Divorce Process. Here’s an overview of Evans's experience:

 

Evan Schein is a New York City-based divorce and family law attorney, partner and the Head of Litigation at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP. During his career, Evan has litigated high-conflict custody cases and complex financial matters. Evan leads the firm's litigation practice. He has helped clients find post-divorce happiness and build successful financial lives, advocated to protect children and fought for the rights of victims of domestic violence.

 

Evan is the host of the Schein On Podcast where he gives an inside and unfiltered look into the world of marriage, money, divorce and more.

 

Evan has taught several Continuing Legal Education seminars for various organizations and bar associations in New York and nationally and has been cited in publications for his work on prominent New York family law cases.

 

Hosts, Karen, and Catherine sit down with Evan Schein to discuss The Dynamics of Discovery and the Divorce Process.

Learn More >>https://scheinondivorce.com/

https://www.berkbot.com

Connect with Evan on LinkedIn >> @Evan Schein

 

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In this episode of We Chat Divorce, we’re joined by Gabrielle Hartley to discuss the topic of What You Need to Know Before You Get Married. Here’s an overview of Gabrielle’s experience:

 

Gabrielle Hartley, Esq. is a leading online mediator and family law attorney known for keeping 99% of her cases at the settlement table. She is the author of Better Apart; The Radically Positive Way to Separate, which received a glowing recommendation from Gwyneth Paltrow and People Magazine.

 

Before opening her full-service online mediation and professional training center, Gabrielle clerked in matrimonial court in NYC where she resolved hundreds of high conflict divorces.

 

She is a sought-after expert in the positive divorce space in media outlets such as The New York Times, The New York Post, U.S. News and World Report, has been interviewed on dozens of podcasts and is a regular guest on NBC Mass Appeals. Gabrielle serves on many committees within the ABA Mediation Access to Justice Week 2020, and co-chair of the DR Just Resolutions Mediation Edition. She is also on the Western MA Mediation and Collaborative Dispute Resolution Steering Committee.

 

Gabrielle trains divorce professionals in the Better Apart Method Online. In addition to offering training for professionals, she maintains a private mediation practice and is of counsel to Lisa Zeiderman’s law firm in Westchester and NYC.

 

Hosts, Karen, and Catherine sit down with Gabrielle Hartley to discuss what you need to know before you get married.

Learn More >> www.gabriellehartley.com

Connect with Grace on LinkedIn >> @Gabrielle Hartley

 

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On this episode of We Chat Divorce we welcomed Grace C. Roessler, Esq. Grace is an associate at Mirick O'Connell's Family Law and Divorce Group in Boston. She concentrates her practice in the areas of divorce and family litigation, including pursuing and defending the following actions: divorce, custody, child support, modification, contempt, request to permanently remove children out of the Commonwealth, paternity, restraining orders, department of children and family investigations, and elder divorce. In short, Grace is a busy person.

She has experience serving as a third-party neutral including court-appointed discovery master and is a certified mediator. While she aims to settle cases amicably and efficiently, including attending voluntary mediation or conciliation, Grace is prepared to litigate the matter in the best interest of the client.

She regularly appears before probate and family court judges, promotions, and trials to litigate on behalf of her clients. She volunteers for the Middlesex Probate and Family Court lawyer for the day program, is an active member and contributor to the Boston Bar Association, and serves as co-chair of the Boston Bar Association Family Newsletter.

Grace was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch© 2021 and The Best Lawyers in New England: Ones to Watch© 2021 in the field of Family Law.  In 2019 and 2020, Boston Magazine and Law & Politics named Grace a Massachusetts “Rising Star.”

Prior to joining Mirick O’Connell, Grace was an associate at the firm of Brick, Sugarman, Jones & McBrien, LLP. Here are her Bar & Court Admissions:

  • Massachusetts
  • Wisconsin
  • Certified Mediator

Hosts, Karen, and Catherine sit down with Grace Roessler to discuss how to navigate life insurance during divorce.

Learn More >> https://www.mirickoconnell.com/grace-c-roessler

Connect with Grace on LinkedIn >> @Grace Roessler

 

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On this episode of We Chat Divorce we welcomed Dr. Elizabeth Cohen, Ph.D. a/k/a The Divorce Doctor. Dr. Cohen is the CEO and founder of the online divorce course and membership called Afterglow: The Light at the Other Side of Divorce.  Her online course teaches women how to heal, grow and thrive after divorce no matter how difficult the process has been. She offers a monthly membership program to provide 1:1 coaching, expert support from divorce professionals and an engaged community of like-minded people.

Dr. Cohen received her PhD in clinical psychology from Boston University. She was the recipient of the prestigious American Psychological Foundation Research Award for her research on the emotional effects of 9/11. She has been featured on the Tamron Hall Show, the Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Women’s Health, Huff Post, Thrive Global, Daily Beast and Good Housekeeping. Dr. Cohen is a weekly contributor to Psychology Today with her “Divorce Course” column. Dr. Cohen hosts the Divorce Doctor podcast where she interviews people about their divorce experiences. Dr. Cohen’s book based on her Afterglow program entitled, - Light on the Other Side of Divorce: Discovering the New You  was published on April 20, 2021!  Congratulations Dr. Cohen!

Hosts, Karen, and Catherine sit down with Dr. Cohen to discuss how to Heal, Grow and Thrive Beyond Divorce.

Learn More >> https://drelizabethcohen.com/afterglow/

Purchase Dr. Cohen’s new book! - Light on the Other Side of Divorce: Discovering the New You

Find The Divorce Doctor – Elizabeth Cohen, Ph.D. on Facebook >>

Follow Dr. Cohen on Instagram >> @thedivorcedoctor

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On this episode of We Chat Divorce we welcomed Melissa A. Gragg, CVA, CFE, MAFF, CDFA, and owner of Bridge Valuation Partners. Melissa provides litigation support services and expert witness testimony for marital dissolution, owner disputes, commercial litigation, business interruption claims, personal damage calculations, lost profits, and personal injury. She also conducts business valuations for purposes of estate planning as well as mergers and acquisitions. 

Hosts, Karen, and Catherine sit down with Melissa to discuss Business Valuations and Divorce.

Let’s get into it!

  • Approaching the valuation process and understanding the reasons why.  
  • The difference between getting a certified valuation and a non-certified valuation.
  • The space of divorce, the space of mediation, the space of collaborative divorce, and how valuation theory fits within that.

Learn More >> https://www.valuationstlouis.com/about-valuation-experts

Find Bridge Valuation on Facebook >> https://www.facebook.com/ValuationStLouis

Follow Melissa on Instagram >> https://www.instagram.com/msvaluation/ Read the rest of this entry »

On this special bonus episode of We Chat Divorce, we are welcoming not just one but TWO AMAZING guests, Casey Shevin and Sonia Queralt, Co-founders of Divorceify

Sonia is a divorce litigator, divorce coach, and divorce survivor. She now dedicates her career to helping people going through divorce focus on building their future. She became a programmer and co-founded Divorceify to help people demystify the complexities of the divorce process.

Casey is also a divorce litigator turned divorce mediator turned divorce innovator. Casey earned her bachelor’s degree at Smith College and studied law at Georgetown University, where she was recognized for excellence in clinical fieldwork in family law. Casey is admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

So, let’s get to it….

Today we are chatting about Four Early Divorce Mistakes and How to Avoid Them –

  • Failing to Confront Indecision
  • Failing to Get Organized
  • Choosing the Wrong Divorce Process
  • Hiring the Wrong Help

As companies founded by divorce professionals, My Divorce Solution, and Divorceify have quite a bit in common, beginning with our commitment to the people we serve. This partnership combines an innovative flat-rate financial foundation – The MDS Financial Portrait – with Divorceify’s roadmap that includes a customized action plan, an education, access to reliable resources, and vetted local professionals selected specifically for you. Together, we will make the divorce experience clearer and more manageable.

We are thrilled to partner with Divorceify and support all the amazing work they’re doing to positively impact how people get divorced. 

Learn More >>

If you have questions for us or a topic you’d like us to cover, contact us at hello@mydivorcesolution.com or visit MyDivorceSolution.com 

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