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Mediation Blog

June 9, 2021 -   Since I recorded this video two weeks ago and now at posting, NY is opening up! Despite this great news towards normalcy, I think many people are still feeling unsettled. In his article in the New York Times, Adam Grant describes these feelings as “languishing.” You aren’t clinically depressed but you are still not thriving. It’s hard to focus and you just don't feel like working. Sound familiar? [...]

May 18, 2021 - {3 minutes to read} The idea of a prenuptial agreement is familiar to most people — an agreement that a couple can enter into before their marriage that can provide how property and debt will be distributed in the event of death or a divorce. It can also provide for paying or waiving spousal support. But what exactly is a postnuptial agreement, and why would anyone want one? A postnuptial agreement is an agreement that a married couple can create to do the very th [...]

April 30, 2021 - {4 minutes to read} I often receive phone calls from potential clients telling me that they have settled everything and just want me to write up their agreement. When faced with this request, I explain that this is not what I do and why mediation would still be important even if they have discussed and agreed upon terms.  Terms that were Not Addressed Even if there are no minor children, it’s difficult to navigate through all of the terms that need to be con [...]

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 [...]

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