December 23, 2013

Once Upon A Time . . .

“It’s a little girl,” my friend Rick said, his voice shaking with excitement. “Everybody’s fine!” A little later he said, “You know what the best part of this is? I didn’t hear about it. I was there for it!” It was an especially poignant thing to say, because the new mother–his daughter–was just starting grade school when Rick and his wife divorced, and she and their little girl moved to the East Coast from the West Coast.

“I read to her,” he told me not long after we met. “I read to her every Tuesday night at seven. I give her Mom a lot of credit for that. Every Tuesday night at seven o’clock, I’d call her and I’d read books to her over the phone for an hour so she wouldn’t forget the sound of my voice. I worked it out with my boss, and I’d come in an hour early on Tuesday.”

“What did that do to your phone bill?”

“Are you kidding?” he said. “It’s the best money I’ve ever spent. The Summer she got married, I walked down the aisle with her, and then I went and sat next to her mother. And we were both crying!”

It made me wonder about some of the kids in the thousands of families that divorce each year in Minnesota who spend years waiting for the sound of a parent’s voice, or a card, or a hug. And I remember what Rick said when I asked him why he did it.

“I wanted her to know who she was, where she came from. I didn’t want her to wonder who she is. I never put a price on that!”

Apparently, it worked.

Steve Yasgur

Stevan Yasgur is a Collaborative Family Law attorney practicing in Edina, MN. A 1980 graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law, he was active in the organized bar early in his career and drafted legislation amending the child support law. He has tried numerous dissolution cases and resolved hundreds of others without trial. For the last decade, his practice has emphasized assisting clients in the Collaborative process. He is also a qualified Rule 114 neutral on the Supreme Court's roster of qualified neutrals. He is a member and past-president of the Collaborative Law Institute of Minnesota, and a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

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