Miller Law Group - March 2018

60 East 42 St. New York, NY 10165

(914) 499-0705 or (212) 485-9836



MARCH 20 1 8

The Origins of Westchester Family Law

C oming from a family of therapists, I always had a keen interest in people. When it came time for me to choose my career field, however, I thought to myself, I’m way too bossy to be a therapist . So, I decided to pursue another passion of mine: justice. After starting law school, it didn’t take me long to realize that law school is not about justice, so I focused my education and career on the intersection where the law meets people in their everyday lives. My early career was at a firm where about half our practice was matrimonial work and the other half child welfare litigation. As I gained experience in family law, I quickly realized that there had to be a better way to help people settle divorces than what my colleagues and I were doing. When I took my first mediation training in 1990, I was hopeful that this was the solution I was looking for. By integrating mediation ideas and skills into my divorce negotiations, the possibility to find mutual solutions that didn’t create long-term division was much more likely. There was only one problem with this methodology: the other lawyer. Not that they were bad people or bad lawyers — they weren’t. The problem was that we just couldn’t get on the same page as to the best criteria to settle our cases. In these negotiations, it was hard to change the focus from strategic attacks and legal arguments toward discussions about mutually beneficial solutions. After 10 years of serving clients, I found myself going through my own divorce. I’d like to say I applied all the lessons I learned from going through this process so many times as a lawyer, but I did not. My former husband and I were unable to mediate our divorce and I felt a tidal wave of fear for the well-being of my son and daughter. As a litigator, my observation had been that it was impossible to keep children out of the middle, no matter how hard everyone said they wanted to protect them. More times than I want to admit, I’d seen children used as a bargaining chip — viewed without a voice or needs of their own. I was unwilling to take that risk, for if I have one flaw as an attorney, it’s my focus on kids in the process. When I saw what my children had to go through, and how little they were considered, it opened my eyes to this gigantic fault in the whole methodology — so much so, I got out of the field altogether. I quit my job and began taking an intent focus on investing in the one person I seemed to be ignoring my entire life — myself. I realized I had been going through life doing everything I thought I was supposed to, without being in touch with what I really wanted. I had become a guest in my own skin. By grabbing hold of my own reins, I found freedom and hope in myself. That’s what empowered me to take control of my life and my future.

and experience to help people more effectively, I decided to give it a try. After the first day of

training in January 2003, I felt like I had come home. All the faults in the old, traditional process were being addressed, and this more

modern approach had the best interests of the family in mind. The best part about it: The lawyers are disqualified from litigating. This rule completely removes the threats and arguments and gets down to the core of finding appropriate solutions. Collaborative law and mediation have been the focus of my personal practice ever since then. I fully endorse the way they help find solutions for families. It’s at the very center of what we do and who we are. As a firm, we always try to help our clients find the best solutions. We focus our practice on out-of-court solutions because these are more practical, more humane, and often less costly. When it’s necessary, we will go to court to protect our clients and we leave no stone unturned to advocate for the best solution. The process of divorce can strip you of your pride and your poise. Staying focused on what matters most to you, your core values, and how you want to live the rest of your life is hard, but that is how you reach the best result. Helping people divorce with dignity is our mission. Please contact us if you would like to learn more.

At this time a friend had reached out to me about a new process called “collaborative law.” After taking steps to find a different career outside of law, but still yearning to use my training

—K atheri ne Miller



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How to Find the Perfect Sitter


Finding the perfect babysitter can be daunting. But, as most parents know, sitters are a necessity. Here are some tips to help you find the best sitter for your family. Many people turn to family friends or neighbors to find a trusted sitter, but searching for a candidate online is also a great option. No matter where you look, you should start by creating a short list of potential caregivers and screening them for your family’s needs. Review their experience, education, certifications, and hourly rate. If you have online candidates, you can read parent reviews to get a better idea of a sitter’s performance and personality. Make sure to run a basic background check on each candidate. Next, check out your potential sitter’s references. Online profiles almost always require them, so don’t be afraid to reach out. Call their references and check your sitter’s other social media profiles to learn more about their personality and hobbies. Finally, run an enhanced background check

through your local police department or through a private online service.

Once you have compiled a list of candidates, it’s time to conduct interviews. When communicating with candidates you don’t know, remember not to give out too much personal information. Set up phone interviews for the first round, and if you like the candidate, set up an in-person interview in a public place. Your questions should be geared toward your lifestyle and the expectations you have for a sitter. Make sure you’re on the same page about job specifics, discipline, and responsibilities. If you’re still sold on the candidate after the in-person interview, consider introducing them to your kids to get their opinion on the sitter. Once you’ve decided on the perfect babysitter, make sure to monitor the relationship and ask your sitter and child open and upfront questions after every session. The most important thing to remember is that your sitter must be compatible with the needs of your family. Sometimes, you learn that a perfect candidate is not the right fit for your family. But that’s okay! Once you’ve gone through the process once, finding another sitter will be a breeze.

Why You Should Try


Choosing mediation means choosing to take control over your post-marital destiny. When you leave your future well-being up to the courts ... anything can happen. The power to decide what happens is taken out of your control and put into the hands of a judge. Not only do you lose control, but the battles that ensue in divorce court are often vicious and incredibly damaging to the whole family. We offer mediation services so that you can forgo the risks of court and maintain control of your future. Our mediation services go beyond just divorce. There are many instances where mediation is beneficial and our team is proud to help you navigate through a slew of different conflicts,

including those regarding family businesses, estate planning, trusts, probate, or elder law.

Mediation is a way for two or more parties to come together to work out their differences in a nonthreatening setting. We find that when you’re able to remove the stress of court proceedings, the resolutions you achieve are much more effective and accurate. We make sure negotiations are guided by a neutral third party so that both sides of the table can work toward a just and mutual resolution. This process allows you to resolve your conflicts in a lasting fashion without burning any bridges. Our team here at Miller Law Group is experienced and highly skilled in a variety of different areas of mediation. Regardless of your type of conflict, contact us today and let us put you on a path toward an amicable resolution. Take control of your future — don’t hand it over to a stranger.


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Your Diet During Divorce

Going through a divorce is an extremely stressful process that affects more than just your emotional well-being. The damage inflicted by this event can be extremely prominent — if you let it. In many cases, we’ve found that when someone is in such an extreme state of distress, poor dietary habits arise and people try to self-medicate. That’s why we sat down with dietitian Dinah Barr Campanarro to discuss a four-point holistic plan on how to stay healthy during divorce. 1. Proper Nutrition It’s important when dealing with stressful matters to eat as cleanly as possible. Eating the right types of foods and the appropriate number of calories is the best place to start. The proper number of calories will depend on a variety of factors, but when looking for proper nutrition, it’s important to eat foods that are nutrient-dense. 2. Adequate Exercise It’s recommended that the average person exercise at least 30 minutes per day, five times a week. These workouts don’t need to be life-altering, muscle-shredding workouts. A focus on maintaining muscle mass with some light resistance training will help with maintaining wellness. Exercise also releases a high number of endorphins, which helps boost your overall mental health.

up with to make sure that you are taking care of yourself during a divorce. Here’s what it stands for:

• •

Rest Sleep

• •


Social Engagement

The necessity of each of these will differ based on one’s personal needs, but they are all important for maintaining balance in your life. 4. Care of the Soul It’s important to take time for your spiritual well-being during stressful times. Whether it’s yoga, reading, nature walks, or spiritual guidance through church activities, your soul needs care as well. This is often neglected, but it’s just as important to your health. Divorce can take over all aspects of your life if you let it. These suggestions provide quality advice to anyone looking for holistic balance during this stressful event. Our team of lawyers is here to help you through a tough time so you can divorce with dignity.

Sweet and Zesty DETOX SALAD

3. Recuperative Self-Care RSRS is the mantra Dinah came

Hoping to shave off those extra holiday pounds or keep up with your New Year’s resolution? Look no further than this easy winter detox salad!


Laugh It Up!

For the Dressing •

For the Salad •

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

3 cups chopped kale leaves

• • • • • • •

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

• • • • • • •

2 cups chopped broccoli florets

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups chopped red cabbage

1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger

1 cup matchstick carrots

1 tablespoon honey

1 cup chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon white miso 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

1/3 cup sliced green onions

1 diced avocado

INSTRUCTIONS 1. To make the salad, add all ingredients to a large bowl; toss to combine. 2. To make the dressing, add all ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Season with

salt and pepper or add extra honey for a sweeter taste. 3. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve immediately.

Recipe inspired by



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271 North Ave. New Rochelle, NY 10801

(914) 499-0705 or (212) 485-9836

I NS I DE The Intersection of Law and People 1 Finding the Perfect Babysitter Mediation vs. Court 2 Holistic Self-Care During Divorce Whip Up This Winter Salad in a Flash! 3 Adults Need Parents Too 4


W hen your child packs their bags and strikes out on their own, your parenting journey isn’t over. It’s just different. Regardless of their age, distance from home, or stage of life, your child still needs a parent. You may not be changing diapers or teaching them to drive,

life. Don’t tell them what to do. Offer guidance only when it’s wanted. Be open with them about your mistakes so they can learn from your experiences as well as their own. Listen, Listen, Listen You can’t correct every parenting mistake you’ll ever make. If you find yourself trying to correct mistakes you made years ago, stop. You can accomplish much more by listening to your adult child now than you can by trying to right your past wrongs. Parenting young children involves a lot of talking. Now that they are older, take time to listen. Love Them Just because your child isn’t under your roof anymore doesn’t mean they don’t need love. Love from a spouse or a child of their own will never fully replace a parent’s love. Let your child know you always have their back. Be proud of them and their accomplishments as an adult. Your love and support means just as much now as it did when you were raising them.

but your child still needs your support. Here are three guidelines that will help you make the transition from parenting a child to parenting an adult. Treat Your Adult Like an Adult No adult wants to feel treated like a child. They need a support system, but they don’t need help with their homework anymore. Give them space and let them feel free to explore adult

Parenting an adult is an exciting adventure. Remember, while your relationship will change throughout the years, your child will never stop needing your love and support.


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