[Editor’s Note: It has been three years since we profiled Financial Poise Columnist Carrie Rosenbloom, who is also an attorney, educator, mediator and therapist. She has since opened her own firm, Evolve Family Business, and she kindly provided us with an update.]
Since we last talked, I moved away from Connecticut in June 2017 and started over in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have merged my mediation and therapeutic practice utilizing both backgrounds to focus on people and couples contemplating or navigating divorce.
One of the recurrent situations in divorce is the impact on a family owned business. As I dove deeper into the dynamics of family-owned businesses, I became aware of the many complexities that are separate from other businesses. These complexities often present situations that are challenging and sometimes debilitating for families to endure without assistance. Given my background, and the background of my partner, we feel well equipped to be helpful to families in business that need consultation and guidance. Hence the birth of Evolve Family Business!
When I’m not focusing on the importance of family relationships and families in business, I am hiking, cooking and spending time with family. I have spent years living in the Midwest, West, East and Southeast and love to explore new cities and regional culture. Travel is a passion and good food is an obsession. There is no location that isn’t worthy of a visit and all food deserves a taste.
I place great emphasis on carefully chosen language and pride myself on my well-developed vocabulary–from the profane to the profound. I begin and end life’s challenges the same way: Start with intention and end with a toast.
[Editor’s Note: You may be interested in the webinar Common Issues and Strategies in Business Breakups. Our original profile piece from 2016 is below.]
By Financial Poise Editors
Carrie Rosenbloom is co-founder and partner in the Family Mediation Group, LLC, and co-founder and partner in CT Relational Therapy, LLC. She has a background in the law and a deep interest in human relationships. Rosenbloom’s belief that the two fields are intertwined led her to develop both practice groups. She began her career as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Cook County, IL. primarily serving the narcotics bureau, Chicago’s busiest department. She went on to development work in the non-profit sector, raising money and developing programming for underserved Latino youth in one of Chicago’s near north neighborhoods. Motherhood became Rosenbloom’s next passion, raising children in the mountains of Ojai, CA., where she and her husband, four children and five dogs took a different path in life. It was there that Rosenbloom combined her love of learning with her interest in human relationships and took on the role of content editor at the now defunct Emommy.com. Connecting with other mothers, she and her team sought to shift the dialogue between moms from raising children, to one of raising adults, childhood being the stepping stone. In 2009, she and her family moved East to Connecticut, and she co founded the two practice groups. Soon, Rosenbloom will share much of what she’s learned about how succeeding in business is related to success at home. Her Financial Poise column, “Lifecycle Management for Business Success,” debuts next week.
Carrie, can you explain more about each of your practices?
The Family Mediation Group, LLC is devoted to divorce mediation. My partner and I work as a team, recognizing that her background in divorce law, and my attention to the needs of the family, offers the necessary 360 degree view that allows couples to reach a sustainable and fair divorce settlement that takes into account the needs of the whole family. CT Relational Therapy, LLC is dedicated to offering support to families, couples and individuals who are somehow not able to realize their desired level of satisfaction and joy from life. In both practices, I look at the way people interact and function in relationship to others in order to understand best how to work within their system, or seek to interrupt and make changes in the system so that it can function more effectively.
What is your training with respect to each?
I graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1990, and practiced in Illinois and Michigan, until moving to California in 2000. After a pause in my legal career, I took the Connecticut Bar in 2010, and was subsequently admitted to practice. In 2011, during the beginning stages of The Family Mediation Group, LLC, I learned of the Marriage and Family Therapy Master’s program at Fairfield University and began my work on my Master’s, which I completed in May, 2015.
Can you tell us about the column that you’re writing?
This column is where it all comes together for me. People move in predictable stages of development. These stages are viewed with respect to their family and each stage has discernible tasks that need be accomplished and mastered before moving to the next stage. When people experience problems in their lives, either with their own level of satisfaction and health, or within relationships, it usually can be traced back to a missed milestone or a failure to master one of the life cycle stages. My column explores the life cycle stages both during normative events such as birth, marriage, most deaths; and through non-normative events, such as divorce, loss of income, illness and tragedy. In each of these, the development of the family may be affected in some way. My column helps to educate about the predictable life cycle stages, and assist people in understanding both how to conquer them, or recognize when they might need help navigating them. The theory being that success in business is predicated by success at home that comes from mastery of life cycle stages.
Much of what you talk about focuses more on your Master’s degree than your legal background. Can you talk about the value of your law degree?
As a divorce mediator, my understanding of the law and its many applications is essential. When drafting separation agreements and parenting plans, my knowledge of the nuances as well as the direct mandates of the law are what make an agreement from The Family Mediation Group enduring and thorough.
How do you separate what seems like two very distinct practices?
Most law students are taught to think from both sides on an argument, ultimately adopting one, with an eye toward defending against the others. As a mediator, I have had to suppress that methodology, and lean toward a belief in both points of view, without favoring or accepting one over the other. My training in Marriage and Family Therapy has allowed me to move aside my need for truth, in order to make room for perspective, and therefore manage two points of view at once, without taking ownership or needing to favor one over the other. I never take off either hat, but I do tailor my language and my posture in ways that are most suitable to the different environments in which I practice. In every aspect of my life I look for the most effective way to relate to people. The combination of law and therapy provides me with the ability to do so in each of my practices.
What is the typical demographic makeup of your client base?
The very nature of what I do requires an understanding that human development is consistent among all people, in all walks of life. Though my price point tends to attract an affluent clientele, my personal philosophy is one of inclusion. Therefore, a generous percentage of my client base is made up of people in need of my services at a discounted rate. Whether the divorcing couple is asset heavy or drowning in debt, the need to create a clear, comprehensive and manageable financial life afterward, making the most of every dollar, as well as maintaining or creating a stable family, does not change. People in divorce are often confused, angry, and in pain. This dynamic defies demographics.
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Carrie Miller is an award-winning journalist who writes about financial topics and also food, wine and travel. Her blog www.expatcook.com is about bringing the food of the American South to new audiences in other countries.
Catching Up With Carrie Rosenbloom: Co-Founder and Senior Consultant at Evolve Family Business
The 4 Stages of the Divorce Process
Family-Owned Business Transitions: The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly
Protect Your Family Business with Smart Succession Planning
Your Family Office Wants to Invest in Opportunity Zones?: Think LIHTC
The Importance of a Family Charter in Family-Controlled Businesses
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