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Mediation Blog

April 7, 2021 - {3 minutes to read} I understand that there are some mediators in favor of mediation via email. Those that I have encountered are conducting commercial or other multi-party mediations. The positive aspects include:  easier scheduling; parties from other states, or even countries, can participate without travel or time zone constraints; parties can take time to draft an appropriate and more reasoned response; and parties can easily find information from prior & [...]

March 24, 2021 - My previous two videos on Child Inclusive Mediation discussed the child interview and the parent meeting. In this video, we look at the parenting plan that can be created as a result of the issues and concerns raised by the child consultant’s interview of the children. This plan is not a legal document, but an agreement between the parents in their own language which they can start to use immediately.   [...]

February 19, 2021 -   In this video, we discuss the step when the child consultant comes into the mediation, and speaks to the parents about their interview with the child. Parents don't have to be afraid that they are going to be judged in the meeting, or that anybody is going to be accusing them of being bad parents because they are having a conflict with their co-parent. The mediator and the child consultant will work together to make sure that the parents feel comfortable in the [...]

February 2, 2021 -   You probably haven't heard about Child Inclusive Mediation because it's not that prevalent in the United States. In Australia, where the process was developed, it is used in both mediations and high-conflict litigated cases and has proven to be very successful.  [...]

January 15, 2021 - {2 minutes to read} Like everyone else in the world, I looked forward to 2021 and the opportunity to put 2020 behind me. While we all hoped that the new year would bring something better — in health, in politics, and in regaining in-person connections to friends and family — of course, nothing changed at the stroke of midnight. And then I thought about expectations. The meditation teacher, Joseph Goldstein, speaks about “the next pleasant thing.&rdquo [...]

December 3, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} The other day a friend told me about a conflict she was having with another person and how that person behaved towards her. While the other person’s actions were pretty awful, there was something in the back story she described that made me think there was a misunderstanding and possibly an incorrect assumption of the other person’s motives. To my friend, the other person was acting spitefully and just being mean spirited. I gingerly brou [...]

November 11, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} I recently attended a virtual lecture presented by Maryellen Dance, LMHC from Rochester, NY, focusing on fact versus fiction in terms of anxiety. She had some very interesting suggestions to deal with anxiety that may be helpful, especially when you’re in a particularly anxious time of your life like separating from your spouse. Your fears of the future, or focus on the past, can hinder your progress in a mediation if they hijack your ability t [...]

October 30, 2020 - If you find yourself in the situation with your parent needing to leave their home because you think it's not safe anymore, consider mediation as a first option. In Elder Mediation, everyone will have a seat at the table. The idea is that everyone will get to express their concerns, their interests, their desires, and most importantly, listen to the other person's concerns and interests, and desires.  [...]

October 14, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} When I’m working with parents and we are discussing what each proposes for a parenting plan, I ask them to phrase their proposal in terms of what is in the child’s best interests, and not necessarily what’s best for them. What does “best interests of the child” actually mean though? If we use the standard of what a judge would consider when making a custody determination in an adversarial proceeding, these are some of th [...]

September 30, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} I know that it has been a constant refrain of mine that budgets are vital in mediation, but I learned how truly indispensable they can be during a recent one. The couple were both high-wage earners, and one parent was agreed upon to be the primary residential parent. The non-residential parent proposed a different type of child support payment in which, rather than payment of the standard child support that would be calculated under NYs Child Support [...]

September 16, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} In an earlier post, I described the benefits of using a financial professional who acts as a neutral in mediation, but sometimes that may not work for you. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which will be best in your case. An Advocate If you choose to have the financial person be an advocate, they would be acting in the same way that an attorney would act on your behalf — looking out for your interests and how to achieve the bes [...]

August 26, 2020 -   When divorcing, some couples become somewhat obsessed about splitting everything evenly. When it comes to the kids, a 50/50 parenting plan without some flexibility can potentially do more harm than good. Focusing on how much time your kids are spending with the other parent can be self-defeating when it comes to your relationship with the children.  [...]

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