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July 18, 2013 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-07-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

family focus

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Hefps Israe!

Cooperative Divorce

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SRAEL IN A FEW YEARS.

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impacted communities about feral and stray cats, our
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ADVOCATE for community-based Trap / Neuter / Vaccinate /
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DONATE ONLINE

HOW YOU CAN HELP!

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)ONATE RY MAIL

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40 July 18 • 2013

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Lawyer specializes in helping clients
through life transitions with dignity.

N

I

Lynne Meredith Golodner

Special to the Jewish News

of many people go to law

school thinking they want
to specialize in divorce. But
growing up, Alisa Peskin-Shepherd
saw divorce firsthand and was inspired
by a neighbor whose compassionate
approach to family law spurred her
toward carving out a career in this
niche.
Now, the Congregation B'nai Moshe
member, who regularly reads Torah on
Shabbat and serves on the synagogue's
board of directors, has branded her
own Bloomfield Hills law practice as
Transitions Legal because she spe-
cializes in helping
people through life
transitions with dig-
nity, compassion and
strategic guidance.
"My life and aca-
demic experiences
brought me to where
I am right now:' says
Alisa Peskin-
Peskin-Shepherd
Shepherd
of Birmingham.
"Ultimately, I real-
ized that I could help people going
through a very difficult, challenging,
but empowering time in their lives if I
chose this niche:'
Peskin-Shepherd specializes in what
she calls "mediative" divorce, where
the first goal is to collaborate and work
with the other side cooperatively. "You
can't always do it:' says the mother of
two grown daughters, "but you should
always try:'
For families, she says, this approach
maintains "a sense of respect for the
other person — especially if you have
children. No matter the age, children
of divorce feel the effects throughout
their lives. I believe it is essential to
reduce stress and tension whenever
possible so everyone can heal and
build a satisfying life post-divorce:'
Peskin-Shepherd is particularly sen-
sitive to the nuances of Jewish divorce.
Her understanding of Jewish law helps
her remain aware of things like stipu-
lating in a civil divorce that the parties
will grant a kosher get (divorce decree)
as required by Jewish law. She also
guides Jewish clients toward including
whatever may be meaningful in the
Jewish family lifecycle.
"Divorce is a legal proceeding, yes,
but it is a very emotional time for

people going through it:' she says.
"Imagine hammering out the details
of a divorce decree and forgetting to
include something as important as a
get — the lack of a get means you can-
not technically remarry under Jewish
law. That could be devastating and, in
the heat of the moment, surely isn't the
first thing on a person's mind. But it
matters down the road!"
That's a divorce attorney's job, says
Peskin-Shepherd: To see the big pic-
ture for clients, and present all possible
options so clients are informed and
empowered.
To be successful in business, Peskin-
Shepherd keeps her eye on her busi-
ness values. "That's how I determine
if a client is a good fit or if I should
refer them to someone else. In any
business, it helps to articulate — and
to write it down — what your vision,
goal and values are. Once you put
them out there, they become real, the
driving force propelling your business
forward:'
She tells her clients the same thing.
"The first step in any divorce is to
articulate your basic values — what's
important to you? Then make your
choices on that basis. If you know your
priorities, it is easier to decide which
fights are worth having and which you
can set aside!"
An approved mediator statewide,
Peskin-Shepherd has acted as a guard-
ian-ad-litem, protecting the interests
of children within the legal system,
and has special training in domestic
violence through the State Bar of
Michigan Open Justice Commission.
She speaks widely and leads work-
shops on topics related to divorce,
counseling and mediation, and was
a member of the Family Mediation
Council board for many years.
"When people ask me if I like my
work, I say, 'Of course, I love what
I do — otherwise I really couldn't
practice this type of law:" she says. "I
have the gift of helping people through
difficult times in their lives toward a
manageable outcome. I am so honored
to guide people through emotionally
challenging times; it requires bravery
to leave a marriage that isn't working
and build an entirely new, independent
life. My clients are my inspiration" ❑

Lynne Meredith Golodner is owner/chief

creative officer of Your People LLC, a

Southfield public relations firm.

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