Redesigning Your Space, Redesigning Your Life

August 15, 2016

After a 3 year marriage, interior designer Kerra found herself living alone for the first time in her life. In the condo she had shared with her husband she felt surrounded by too many memories and decided to make radical changes, surprising even herself by selling almost every piece of furniture she owned. She went about crafting an entirely new and feminine space, making design decisions she hadn’t been able to make when she was living with other people.

As an interior designer, Kerra was able to do what many divorcing partners dream of but don’t have the resources to tackle.

Her story is inspirational (you can read more about her design overhaul here: http://www.today.com/home/see-how-woman-reinvented-her-home-her-life-after-divorce-t84396), but for many who are facing the difficult decision of splitting their entire lives – friends, family, care of children, money, house and everyday possessions – it is a dream that won’t be realized. Often during divorce, at least one spouse needs to buy a new residence and sometimes in a hurry. Buying a new place amid the stress of divorce, a full-time job, children and bills is difficult as it is, so decorating and design takes second place.

This is unfortunate, because our living spaces determine the daily choices that we make. Whether we have a workspace at home (if we work from home for example) can make such a difference to our relationships and the flow of our daily lives. After divorce, an opportunity to redesign a space in a way that is no longer a compromise with your spouse can be the first step to rebuilding a better life.

A Solution

Fortunately, 3 Riverz Creative is there to assist with this transition. A design firm that works in conjunction with Santa Clara Mediator and Boileau Conflict Solutions, one whole department is dedicated to helping people make the best design decisions possible during a divorce transition. The approach is scientific and mathematical, based on phenomenology and psychoanalysis and a deep understanding of how our spaces effect our daily wellbeing.

The service is completely tailored to your budget and designed to help you make the best decisions, including light, paints, furniture, rugs, woods and metals and patio, all quickly and with maximum efficiency.

3 Riverz Creative can coordinate with you through tele-communication such as Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime. The professionals on the team are highly qualified and are at work while you work, sifting through the best design solutions for you, and happy to do all the spadework necessary to have your new house or condo in order for you.
Kerra’s advice to others who are going through a divorce: “Everything can be reversed, in our homes, in our lives. Don’t be afraid.”
Please contact our partners 3 Riverz Creative at 3riverzcreative@gmail.com to see how we can craft a design solution for your new life.


Good Parenting Plans Take the Sting out of International Child Relocation

August 9, 2016

In international child relocation, sudden changes can make all the difference. If one parent has to suddenly relocate with their company, or follow better opportunities abroad, an international parenting plan may be necessary.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced family law professional.

Recently, Brexit exposed many companies and individuals to potential fallout. California has one of the largest alien populations in the US, from out of state and abroad, and according to the LA Times, quoting the LAEDC, “there are about about 1,145 British-owned stores, offices and other establishments in Southern California that employ nearly 55,000 workers, the second-largest source of foreign-owned establishments in the region behind Japan.”
Whether a parent has to move a few hundred miles away, or across the Atlantic, child relocation can be fraught with complications, making respectful and healthy agreements an asset to a child’s future. The two parents involved in this situation are the “moving” and “non-moving” parent. It’s not uncommon for a child to be uprooted very suddenly in California. The law dictates that when the moving parent already has full custody of the child, the child can be relocated for any reason. In contrast, when a joint custody arrangement has been agreed upon and the divorce decree finalized, the courts will check off certain considerations, some of the main ones being that the “international relo” is in the child’s best interests and that there is a reason for it, ie a job, marriage, and, that the non-moving parent’s relationship with the child will not be impaired by the move. The latter consideration needs to be stressed, as not only must the change not be detrimental to the child’s wellbeing, the child’s relationship with the non-moving parent must be maintained and even strengthened.

This could mean that regular skype meetings and travel could be the responsibility of the moving parent so as to maintain the child’s relationship with the distant, non-moving parent. Who pays for travel and how the parenting schedule is worked out (especially when time-zones are involved) introduces complexity to the issue. Thus good parenting plans are the cornerstones of healthy relationships between children and parents going forward. California recognizes that people are increasingly mobile, but the law surrounding international child location is complex and evolving. In developing a robust international parenting plan, it’s important to make time to carefully review and understand the law in relation to your case.

How We Can Help

At Boileau Conflict Solutions we have successfully mediated international parenting plans when one parent wants to go abroad. Sometimes a parent wants to return home or seek other opportunities abroad directly after divorce. We have also handled situations where international relocation is petitioned years after divorce. As well as international parenting plans, we can also assist with interstate parenting plans. Whatever your situation, we understand the demands and complexities of parenting arrangements, and specialize in helping both parents find their optimum agreement for themselves and their child.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced family law professional.


Radio Conversations Now Available as Mediation and Psychoanalysis Book

August 5, 2016

Dr. Kevin Boileau follows up his previous two books on mediation, The Myth of Mediation Neutrality: The Psychoanalytic, Phenomenological, and Linguistic-Structural Approach to Mediation and A Game Theory Approach to Mediation: Overcoming the Prisoner’s Dilemma with a new compilation of weekly radio shows, Radio Conversations Concerning Mediation and Psychoanalysis, co-edited and co-authored by radio co-participant Nazarita Goldhammer. This is an accessible introduction to an ontological alternative to the humanist self of the Western Enlightenment. For psychologists, philosophers, writers and thinkers of all stripes who are interested in the historical and theoretical understanding of the self, Volume 3 in the mediation series consists of conversations on mediation and psychoanalysis. The weekly radio show covers these topics in a casual straightforward style. Episodes are available to listen to at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/epis-radio. Please visit Amazon.com to read more about the mediation series and other books by Dr. Kevin Boileau.


Child Support and Income Considerations for Business Executives

July 18, 2016

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced family law professional.

How do you know what parts of your living are defined as income for child support? The first thing that needs to be understood is that California distinguishes between income based on need, such as public assistance programs or child support payments and earned or other income. But it gets more complex: some appellate courts have also ruled that spousal support payments between the same parents must also be excluded, and there are other exceptions.

As a rule of thumb, the income of a business owner or executive going through a divorce is the gross revenues of the business minus business expenses. These calculations can often be complicated and the advice of divorce professionals who are adept in the financial aspects of divorce can be necessary when making an assessment.

There are many sources that are considered income for child support purposes in California, including rent, salaries and wages, commissions, bonuses dividends and pensions. Disability benefits (such that is designed to replace income) are also considered.

Business owners and executives in particular will want to know what their income constitutes, as this might not be immediately clear for people involved in new ventures, or people receiving benefits or stock options through their work.

Another thing to be aware of is benefits as income, through employment or self-employment, which reduce living expenses. This might include rent-free housing, meal allowances and benefits that would normally have to be paid for. It is up to the courts to decide to include these, at their discretion.

Stock that is received during the sale of the business or that cannot be liquidated is not considered income for child support purposes. Sometimes however the courts have looked at stock’s marketability, so it’s advisable be aware of individual cases, and go by guidelines rather than hard and fast rules. In some cases, unexercised stock options have been considered income. Future, speculative income can’t be used to calculate income for child support purposes.

In short, California works out income for child support purposes based on certain principles, but there are many exceptions. As a business owner or executive working in an evolving business, income calculations for child support may be complex. Once these have been worked out with an attorney, you will have a better view of how to proceed when coming to the optimum divorce agreement for you and your divorcing spouse.

How We Can Help

At Boileau Conflict Solutions we specialize in providing expert financial analysis in divorce and business mediations. Currently we are California’s only mediation firm offering full in-house business appraisals. We work with your CPA to assist you in getting a handle on your mutual assets and coming to the best agreement for both of you. Please contact us today to see how we can help.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced family law professional.


Divorce and the Grieving Process

April 26, 2016

It’s accepted that moving on from a death of a loved one means dealing with the stages of grief. We are encouraged to reach out for support, to be patient and to expect not only stages of mourning, but anger, confusion, depression and loss of direction.

While it’s understood that divorce is a traumatic event, buried beneath the drama and conflict there is a deep loss that may go unacknowledged. Even if the divorce is ultimately beneficial for both partners, grief is still a factor. Divorce can also be about grieving a role you once played – wife and mother, husband and father – or a home you worked together to build. To deny the grieving process during divorce is to bury an essential psychological process, which may be painful, but is the only way to move on.

The grief of a divorce is complicated by the fact that the other spouse may be experiencing the grieving process at a different stage. If one spouse is the initiator, by the time the divorce is announced, they may have already gone through earlier stages of grief, such as blaming the other partner or mourning the relationship, leaving the other spouse feeling blindsided and left behind. It is for this reason that divorce mediation is extremely beneficial, in order to work through the necessary emotions of grief with both partners, to co-ordinate interests on both sides, and to make plans together to move on to a better future.

At Boileau Conflict Solutions, we understand and empathize with feelings of grief, blame, depression and anger during divorce. We believe that grief is a difficult but necessary process, and we have the tools to work through the stages of grief with our clients during divorce. We believe it is possible and necessary to work through complex emotions, while still making practical plans for the future. We see mediation as a space where real emotions can be acknowledged, and we understand that while there is no way to compensate for the bereavement of a divorce, there are steps you can both take to build a better future. Please contact us for more information.


Elon Musk, an Expert in International Divorce

March 29, 2016

Elon Musk is one of the world’s richest people. He has an estimated net worth of $13.7 billion—according to Forbes magazine. In fact in 2012 alone, Musk earned a jaw-dropping $78 million for the entire year. Musk founded companies such as Tesla and PayPal; he is the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, a space exploration company. He sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion in stock. He designed the rocket named Falcon 9, which NASA subcontracted. And now, he is reportedly getting divorced for the third

The interesting part is this is Musk’s second divorce from the same wife. He wed a virtually unknown actress, Talulah Riley, in 2012. They divorced and then remarried again in 2013. Back in 2008, Musk divorced his first wife, Justine Musk; the former couple has five children. However, Musk and Riley never had children together. The public does not know the details of Musk’s prenuptial agreement, but he may come out of his marriage quite unscathed. Divorce Saloon stated in 2012: “What is remarkable about Musk, in addition to his sheer genius at picking winning business models […] is his ability to get
out of these marital unions with minimal financial scratches.”

It was Riley who filed for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court on March 21, 2016. This is known by a joint statement from the couple. Musk filed for divorce from Riley in 2014 but withdrew the petition months later. The joint statement says Musk and Riley have been living apart for six months, that they amicably separated and they had plans to see each other on occasion as “friends.”

Riley comes from a privileged background. She attended two excellent private schools and then pursued a career as an actress. She is most known for her role as Mary Bennet in the 2005 movie version of “Pride and Prejudice” starring Kiera Knightley. Riley is now 30 years old. As an only child from Hertfordshire, England, her parents are Doug Milburn, former head of the UK National Crime Squad, and Una Riley, a businesswoman. Milburn is also a screenwriter for the likes of “Silent Witness,” “Prime Suspect” and “The Bill.”

This divorce will be one to watch because of Musk’s net worth. The state of his prenup with Riley will soon tell whether he is prepared for a successful financial future…alone.

Contact us for Advice on Your High Net Worth Divorce

If you and your spouse are high-net-worth individuals who are considering divorce, BCS Mediation focuses on divorce mediation in the Santa Clara area. We are skilled Santa Clara Divorce Mediators who can find the best solutions for a divorcing couple. Oftentimes, divorce mediation is an under-looked, yet right step for a divorcing couple, and we’re happy to guide you through the process. Please contact Kevin today at 415.830.0065, or Nazarita on 408.499.5062.


Game Theory in Divorce Mediation

March 10, 2016

Can game theory be used in divorce mediation?

A recent article in the New York Times, using the current 2016 presidential race, discusses the idea of Game Theory and how it can be applied to Politics. The article involves the two Republican candidates Marco Rubio and John Kasich, and discusses how the principles of game theory can keep Kasich in the race. These principles of Game Theory apply to divorce mediation in a myriad of ways.


Candidates much like a divorcing couple, play a game of “chicken.” It is dangerous and could end in tragedy. Each party drives straight toward the other one, thus leaves the divorcing couple at odds.


The NYT article cites that “side deals, bargains or promises are the way negotiations actually get done.” But promises simply lead to brinkmanship, which is defined as “the art or practice of pursuing a dangerous policy to the limits of safety before stopping.” Brinkmanship was a tactic used in the Cold War, and this can still put the couple on opposite sides of the table.


Threats in order to force a concession. Though this strategy would not serve the best interests of the couple, it could be a very useful bargaining chip. Basically being “crazy” only works if one’s opponent believes it. With divorce, threats are threats and can lead to ugly consequences.

So what is the best strategy of all?


According to the article: “Once in a while, Mr. Kasich might try to win the contest outright against long odds, but, on average, he would probably agree that cooperating, including alternating victories, was the best way to serve his and Mr. Rubio’s shared interests.” Therefore, game theory demonstrates that with constant issues or problems, that persist, cooperation is the most stable strategy. For divorcing couples, this strategy often wins in divorce mediation, especially with a written agreement that clearly outlines the new boundaries and relationship.

Parties in a divorce are in the famous “Prisoner’s Dilemma” situation, in which it looks like it is better to compete for money, property, and parenting time.  However, when both parties empty this strategy, they each end up win a worse case scenario.  We must realize that going through divorce causes great anxiety, and this often propels parties to engage in a number of competitive game strategies, which include Chicken, the Monster and the Princess, the Bully, and the Victim.  A sophisticated mediator can help both parties transform these futile competitive games into mutual and reciprocal, cooperation, thereby getting both parties most of what they want and, in some cases, more than that.

If you are thinking about divorce mediation with your spouse, BCS Mediation focuses on mediation for high-net worth individuals and technology executives in Silicon Valley and the Santa Clara area. Oftentimes, mediation is the right step for a divorcing couple, and we’re happy to guide you through the process. Please contact us today at 415.830.0065.


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