1 in 17:  Antisocial Personality Disorder  (ASPD) in Family Court

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By Eddie Stephens, Esquire and Dr. Michael O’Hara Jr., Psy.D. Originally published in the Family Law Section’s, The Commentator (Fall, 2016). Stephens: Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a personality disorder defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a pervasive pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. An impoverished moral sense or conscience is often apparent, as well as a history of crime, legal problems, and/or impulsive and aggressive behavior. Approximately 3% of males and 1% of females in the United States suffer from this disorder.  As with any psychological disorder, the stress of a divorce often magnifies harmful consequences that accompany the behaviors associated with this disorder. For every 17* divorce cases an attorney handles, 1 of the parties will be affected by this disorder. When an attorney comes across 1 of the 17, it is important for that attorney to have an understanding of the psychopathy … [Read more...]

Stephens’ Squibs – November 2016

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER. READ OUR NEWEST ARTICLE: 1 in 17 - Antisocial Personality Disorder in Family Court NOVEMBER SQUIBS Alimony: Keyser v. Keyser, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2619 (Fla. 1st DCA 2016).  Trial court erred denying permanent alimony based on adultery when there is no showing of a related depletion of marital assets.  Despite evidence of adultery, need and ability remain primary consideration. Appeals: Haddan v. Jenks, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2458 (Fla. 3ed DCA 2016). Appellate court was required to accept appellant’s “one-sided” statement of evidence because it was approved by trial court and appellee never objected nor submitted one of her own.  Therefore, judgment reversed. Child Support: Murphy v. Murphy, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2618 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Error not to allocate expense of uncovered health expense. Enforcement: Baldwin v. Baldwin, 41 Fla. L. Weekly D2611 (Fla. 5th DCA 2016).  Trial court erred holding husband in contempt and immediately … [Read more...]

What Therapists Don’t Tell You About Divorcing a High-Conflict Personality

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by Virginia Gilbert, MFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Originally printed, in Huffington Post.  Reprinted with permission of author. Therapists are trained to help clients become self-aware and authentic. For people who grew up in invalidating environments, where they learned to suppress their feelings and needs in order to be accepted, therapy can be life-altering. Competent therapists who provide a corrective emotional experience can make it possible for people who never had a voice to find one. Once self-actualized, people generally find the quality of their lives improve: they find the right career, attract the right mate and extricate themselves from toxic relationships. Unfortunately, this type of personal growth can be disastrous when divorcing a high-conflict personality. When working with a client who is married to, or separating from a narcissist, therapists need to invert the goal of traditional therapy. Instead of encouraging people to be authentic, they need … [Read more...]

‘No Shave’ December Happy Hour Tonight at 5:30pm!

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Stephens' Squibs Subscribers: Eddie is headlining the Young Lawyers Section "No Shave December Happy Hour" tonight at 5:30pm at E.R. Bradley's Salon in West Palm Beach, FL to benefit the Cancer Alliance of Help and Hope and the Legal Aid Society. Two ways to support these causes: Come to the Happy Hour - CLICK HERE TO REGISTER         or... Make a donation - CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION Many thanks to those who have already donated to this cause: David Ackerman Michael Bacigalupi Rebecca Basil Jerry Beer Donna Bell George Bengston Robert Bertisch Denise Bleau Susan & Peter Brockway Chris Burrows Richard Chaves Lincoln Connolly Sarah Cortvriend Amy Cosentino Cindy Crawford Stephanie Dagher John D'Arco Jennifer DeLuca Charles Diamond Santo DiGangi Kalinthia Dillard Susan Ferguson Kirk Grantham Cary High Benjamin Hodas Jessica Ivers Janet Jacobs Karen Joly Chip Jones Jonathan Kassouf David Kerner Jenn King Jane Kreusler- Walsh Ellen Leibovitch Dane … [Read more...]

Eddie Stephens is a Trained Collaborative Lawyer

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Spent the past 16 hours learning about the Collaborative Law Process at the Introductory Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice Training put on by the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals and it was a very positive experience. I met some great new friends and reconnected with some I have not seen lately. The training was conducted my Robert Merlin, Esquire, Rosemary Roth Esquire, Paul Garcia CPA/CFF CVA and Lana M. Stern, Ph.D. While it is very hard to keep a person's attention for 16 hours being in 1 room for 2 days, it was definitely worth it! On my way back from Miami, I dictated some thoughts: https://youtu.be/dgyLyTuuBFY Click here for more information about the South Palm Beach County Collaborative Law Practice Group. Florida Collaborative Trainers: Robert Merlin, Esquire, Paul Garcia CPA/CFF CVA, Lana M. Stern, Ph.D. and Rosemary Roth Esquire … [Read more...]

Today’s Assignment: Do a Random Act of Kindness

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I have never shared my political views with you.  It is not germane to the discussion. I do not like people pushing their beliefs on me.  I return the same courtesy. I will point out the obvious that it has been a crazy negative week. Those who got their way are treating others poorly, those who didn't must realize, in life, you don't always get what you want. Maybe there is a reason/purpose for this that has not been revealed. That is usually the case as your path is not always a straight line. So today I challenge you to do a random act of kindness. Not only will it make you feel better (I promise), it will make the world be a gentler place. https://youtu.be/q8pv6Dqn7Jo **In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions in which a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. FLY BUTTERFLIES.... FLY!   … [Read more...]

Line in the Sand: Iranian Divorce from the Perspective of the Trial Attorneys Involved

Attorneys Eddie Stephens and Cindy Crawford argue before the Honorable Charles Burton.

Line in the Sand: Iranian Divorce from the Perspective of the Trial Attorneys Involved By Cindy Crawford, Esquire, West Palm Beach and Eddie Stephens, Esquire, West Palm Beach Originally published in the Family law Section's, The Commentator (Spring, 2015). Stephens:  In my 18 years of practicing law, I have never tried an "at fault" divorce.  I did not truly appreciate the cultural differences between our culture and the Islamic way of life.   I certainly did not know what a "Mahr" was. Crawford:  Aside from taking some International Law courses in law school at George Washington University and occasionally indulging at restaurants featuring Middle Eastern fare, I had little to no knowledge of the legal system in Iran or the true meaning of “Sharia Law”. Stephens:  The Wife was a 20 something year old young woman from Iran.   At the beginning of their short term marriage, the Husband moved her to the United States away from her home.  The Wife was very self-motivated, taught … [Read more...]