Navigating family crisis and conflict often comes with a lot of trauma, and we want to help you manage it. On Untying the Knots, family law attorneys Dawn Smith and Kristen Files explore what it means to be a modern family, redefine “normal”, and invite you to learn from their personal experiences with divorce, break-ups, and coparenting. Dawn and Kristen add levity to these deeply important topics through their close-knit relationship and invite expert guests to join their raw, insightful, and surprising conversations. Expect these informative, and often humorous, discussions to leave you with necessary tools to survive the tangles of relationship dissolution while strengthening family ties.
What Can A Blended Family Sound Like?
What does a happy blended family sound like? And how can family holidays and gatherings stay special when they no longer resemble the occasions of years past? In this episode of Untying the Knots, Kristen and Dawn bring on two very special guests to demonstrate that a complex, divorced family can be healthy and happy--their exes! Dawn, Kristen, Wendel, and Frank relive some of the painful and cringe-worthy memories from untangling their own knots, offering listeners a glimpse into how they ultimately healed through the trauma of divorce and created new normals for their family. And while both pairs co-parent lovingly today, this is only after over a decade of hard work, hard work that Dawn considers one of the greatest accomplishments of her life. Listen to this episode to hear why Dawn and Kristen believe that family finds a way. And if you’re not there in your journey yet, hold out the hope as this conversation proves how the impossible can one day become reality.
Creating Financial Safety
What is financial safety? And how can financial literacy serve as tools of empowerment when navigating divorce? In this episode of Untying the Knots, Dawn and Kristen discuss the psychological relationship often had with money and how generational wealth, poverty mindset, and debt shaming can serve as obstacles in finding financial freedom. Dawn shares her own relationship with money, imparting the lessons she has learned along the way. They speak with financial planner, Michael Robinson, about helpful strategies and mindsets when it comes to managing money, and Michael shares how financial planners also serve as educators. Listen to this episode to hear Dawn share the financial wisdom passed down from her own mother.
Anti-Racism and the Trauma of White Supremacy
How does systemic racism affect personal trauma, the health of a family, and the role of parenthood? And what does it take to be actively anti-racist? In this episode of Untying the Knots, Kristen and Dawn explore their own relationship as a Black millennial woman and a white middle-aged woman, answering tough questions with both honesty and compassion. Kristen shares what it was like to spend her life operating within white spaces, and Dawn explains the ways white privilege has benefited her own life and career. Kristen and Dawn share resources on how to begin the journey in active anti-racism, and explain why guilt and empathy alone are not enough. Listen to this episode to hear why Kristen depicts white supremacy as a constant hum.
Intimate Partner Violence, Part 2
How does intimate partner violence escalate over time? And what makes it difficult for a survivor to leave an abusive relationship? In this second episode of a series on Intimate Partner Violence, Dawn and Kristen share examples of abuse they have witnessed in their clients’ cases and how temporary protective orders can become an important tool for safety. And while it takes survivors an average of 7 times to leave an abusive relationship before it becomes final, there are helpful resources for every step along that journey. Listen to this episode of Untying the Knots to hear why there is hope for healing and future love, regardless of the fear and trauma now.
Intimate Partner Violence, Part 1
What does intimate partner violence entail? What are some of the warning signs and patterns that indicate abuse? In this episode of Untying the Knots, Dawn and Kristen break down the red flags associated with intimate partner violence and share ways to make the home a safe space. In this first part of a two-part series, they speak with Jennifer Stolarski, Chief Assistant District Attorney for DeKalb County, Georgia, about teaching children to have healthy relationships, the root of intimate partner violence, and how COVID-19 is affecting outreach to survivors. Listen to this episode to hear how an abuse victim is already a survivor far before they leave their abuser.
Is amicable co-parenting possible? How can two parents in family conflict get on the same page about their kids? In this episode of Untying the Knots, Dawn and Kristen dive into the best practices of holistic co-parenting, shedding light on their own struggles as co-parents themselves. They discuss what co-parenting can be when consistency and compromise are at the forefront, and how important it is to give your children permission to love their other parent--even in front of you. They speak with clinical psychologist and Cognitive Behavioral therapist, Dr. Kristen Carothers, about the importance of addressing your own trauma before working on your children’s and how validation is essential to healing. Listen to this episode to hear why fighting your instincts can work to your family’s advantage in the long term. For more information, please visit smithfileslaw.com.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Navigating parenthood without judgement
Stumbled across this gem of a podcast at just the right time in my life. It is so wonderful to hear two strong positive women talk about life as a parent navigating divorce successfully, through mistakes and all. You don’t have to be divorced, contemplating divorce or have come from a family of divorce to find value, laughter and strength from this podcast. Well done!
Excellent Advice and well thought out content!
While I am not considering a divorce, I find this content helps me gain perspective in my own marriage and dealings with our children. I recommend to all types of audiences!
As a divorced person, a child of divorce, and a divorce lawyer, this podcast is exactly what I need! They have it all: good sound quality, great rapport between the hosts, lots of expertise, and a big dose of empathy. A+