Since my early days as a divorce lawyer, I learned that emotional hurt and pain and trauma produced some of the craziest behaviors I had ever seen in otherwise very reasonable, level-headed people. Now, almost two decades into this career and now having some significant traumatic personal experiences under my own belt I have come to the conclusion that so many of us are walking around with a lot of pain, and you don’t escape that. Your body never forgets. You must do intentional deep healing work to release that. Trauma literally re-wires our brains, and can change the way we behave; our body re-acts and the way we think.

Watching and observing human behavior is quite fascinating. (Don’t you think this when you see people pushing and shoving in the lines at Disneyland or people trying to park in the Trader Joe’s parking lot!?) To observe people’s behavior in pain is not just fascinating, it’s painful for the observer. In my most recent read, “The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma,” Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. writes “being able to feel safe with other people is probably the single most important aspect of mental health. Safe connections are fundamental to meaningful satisfying lives. Numerous studies of disaster response around the globe have shown that social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress and trauma. Social support is NOT the same as merely being in the presence of others. The critical issue is reciprocity: being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone else’s mind and heart.”

So many times, when we speak to people who are dissolving their marriage this is at the core of the issues. They don’t feel seen and heard. We have all experienced some type of emotional pain and trauma by the time we hit adulthood. This shows up in so many ways: money issues, infidelity, arguing, control, using the kids to manipulate or punish the other parent, jealousy, insecurity, and the list goes on and on.

The question is, have we ourselves become aware of it, tried to heal it, or at the very least gained an understanding of how it affects the way we behave in relationships? Most of us have not. That’s partially why the divorce rate is so high.

Secondly, if you have experienced or are currently experiencing emotional pain or trauma, who can you go to for safety and comfort? Since studies have shown that social support is the most powerful protection against becoming overwhelmed by stress and trauma, who in your life provides this connection for you? If you feel you need more social support, please contact us about our Blue Binder Project. We are always striving not to just win your legal case but to help you win at your life. (951) 463-5594.

Now that kids are back into the swing of things with school and sports, families will once again be busy all week and looking for things to do in their free time or on the weekends. If you are sharing custody of the kiddos, the time with your little ones is much more valuable and quality bonding is much more important. As you prepare and enter the new school year and exchange kids regularly, families can have a quick weekend getaway when they are together to have fun or relax and just bond. For California families, here are some popular activities and places to go in Southern California

If you are reminiscent of the year 2000, that is because one of the hottest couples in Hollywood are seemingly back together. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, famously known as “Bennifer,” are making headlines once again after ending their relationship nearly two decades ago. Before we get the warm and fuzzies over the hot couple, let’s first take a look at their past relationships leading to the sizzling reunion.

Ben and Jen G first met in 2000 while filming a movie. At that time Garner was married to Scott Foley while Affleck was engaged to Lopez. The engagement ended due to publicity and a lot of pressure per JLo. The hunky actor/director went on to marry sweetheart actress, Garner, in 2005. It was in 2015 when the couple called it quits, finalizing their divorce in 2018. Affleck said that his divorce from Garner was the “biggest regret” of his life. In November of 2018, the two actors met at Garner’s house with lawyers and a private judge to handle the final details of the divorce, according to documents obtained by PEOPLE.

The couple share both legal and physical custody of their three children, Violet, Serafina, and Samuel. The custody papers say that “each party is restrained from arguing, yelling, or using profanity directed at the other party in the presence or within hearing distance of any of the minor children.” It also states, “Neither party shall make derogatory or insulting remarks about the other.” Although this makes the relationship seem tumultuous, this phrase is standard child custody language.

Sources also connected to the couple reported that both have reached a property settlement. The couple did not have a prenup agreement so all their earnings during their 12-year marriage went into a community pot.

Under California Law, joint legal custody means that both parents share the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to health, education, and the welfare of a child. A peaceful divorce has long-term benefits when young children are involved.

Regarding California law on property, the parties are entitled to one-half of the community property, which is anything acquired from date of marriage to date of separation. California law also provides that property acquired before marriage and after date of separation is separate property. It’s recommended that any couple explore pre-nuptial agreements to avoid the potential of a future conflict arising.

Garner has accepted Ben moving back into a romance with “Jenny from the Block.” In fact, he moved on a few times after their divorce. He dated several ladies between 2017 and 2021 before finally renewing the flame with JLo in May. Jen G, who is quite the catch, has been involved in a relationship or two herself. She was rumored to have dated Bradley Cooper (which she’s denied) but is now in the romance scene as she’s currently in a relationship with her old flame, businessman John Miller.

Rekindled flames or not, healthy co-parenting seems to be Ben and Jen G’s top priority, making sure the kids remain happily ever after even though they did not.

The Love Don’t Cost a Thing singer has been involved in several high-profile romances. She’s dated some of Hollywood’s biggest names and was married to waiter Ojani Noa from 1997-1998, dancer Chris Judd from 2001 to 2003, and fellow Latino singer, Marc Anthony, whom she shares twins Max and Emme, from 2004-2014. Lopez also had short flings with back-up dancer Casper Smart, singer Drake, and PDiddy who she was infamously involved in a shooting sending her to lock-up for a few hours. In 2017, Jen got engaged for the fourth or fifth time (who’s counting?) with Yankee superstar, Alex Rodriguez. Lopez and Rodriguez postponed their wedding multiple times amid the COVID pandemic. In March 2021, the couple officially broke up.

Love is sweeter the second time around for Affleck and Lopez who, after 20 years, are back in each other’s arms enjoying their time together. Will Bennifer 2.0. recycle the engagement ring, or will love cost Ben a thing or two?

MFLG’s New Rock Star

Welcome Wendy Fox, our new Senior Paralegal!

Wendy graduated with Honors in 1996 earning an Associate’s degree in Paralegal Studies. She spent four years as a Child Support Officer with the Department of Child Support Services. She has devoted 20 years to family law. When not working, Wendy enjoys spending time with her kids and husband going fishing, shooting, and other family activities. MFLG is thrilled to have gained an asset in Wendy.

Happy Birthday!

MFLGs three Leos celebrated another year around the sun!

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Holly has an illustrious resume, filled with an impressive number of awards and professional recognition in the field of family law. Holly has appeared at thousands of family law hearings and trials and has represented over 500 clients in divorce and custody matters; but that is not the distinguishing characteristic that makes her unique or a great attorney.

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