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Mediation Blog

June 7, 2016 - {4:18 minutes to read} As Lesley Stahl was making the rounds on various talk shows, promoting her new book, Becoming Grandma, the Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting, I learned that the omnipresent Boomer generation has once again made its presence known and adopted its own version of being a grandparent. I was then inspired to do a little research—admittedly over the internet, so I am not attesting to complete accuracy. From my experience, though, what I f [...]

May 24, 2016 - {3:48 minutes to read} Courts are now required to consider the following factor, among many others, in making a maintenance award or determining if the statutory amount was unjust: “. . . the existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or a pre-divorce separate household.” In English, this means that it is relevant to the Court if a couple lived together before they were married, or if they lived apart for a period of time before starting a divor [...]

May 10, 2016 - {3:24 minutes to read} I attended a mediation workshop that focused on the various ways that a mediator can address an impasse in mediation, and help clients get beyond it. Of the many tools, one that struck me profoundly was asking the clients how they think this would make them look in the eyes of their children. Not necessarily now, but when they are adults and may have a keener awareness of what happened in the aftermath of their parents’ divorce. Manipulativ [...]

May 2, 2016 - {3:48 minutes to read} As someone who is making a sincere effort to be mindful and present, and also as someone to whom these qualities do not come naturally, I understand how difficult it is to be patient. When you are in the midst of a divorce and want it to all be over yesterday, it’s even more of a challenge to let things work out in their own time. If you want to mediate, I urge you to undertake this challenge with as much forbearance as you are able to muste [...]

April 12, 2016 - {3:12 minutes to read} After watching the umpteenth presidential debate, you can imagine why I started to think about civility in personal and professional settings. For most of us, civility in personal situations is automatic. We’re polite to strangers, say good morning, hold open a door and say you’re fine even if you’re not. On the other hand, for those with whom we’re most comfortable, sometimes that automatic default to civility is lost. An [...]

March 29, 2016 - A departure from my other posts, and one that I hope will resonate with you. Most people wanting to adopt a pet will typically look for a puppy or at least one under a year of age. But since we adopted Max, a miniature dachshund who was then between 10 and 12 years old, I consistently try to persuade anyone who is adopting a pet to consider adopting an older, or as they say in the world of pet adoption, a senior pet. Admittedly, I was reluctant to adopt Max. But when w [...]

March 15, 2016 - {3:54 minutes to read} Clients in initial consultations are sometimes hesitant to begin mediation because of: Fear the other will take advantage of them and the process; Friends and family saying they should have a lawyer fight for them; The other person having a greater advantage in bargaining power. In previous posts, I’ve written how those kinds of concerns can be overcome in the process of mediation. You can have the support of legal, financial and ment [...]

March 1, 2016 - {3:48 minutes to read} When comparing mediated and litigated agreements, the first thought that comes to mind is that a mediated agreement would have terms that are balanced, would be more creative and would more accurately reflect exactly what the parties believe is best for their families. The LanguageAnother important difference is in the language itself. Without considering the actual terms, one can see a difference in the terminology used in an agreement drafted af [...]

February 16, 2016 - {2:48 minutes to read} Budgets are not fun – composing them, living on them and even just having to think about them. So, I understand the look in clients’ eyes when I first talk to them about completing their budgets. Here are 4 reasons why I think it’s vital to have accurate and complete budgets for each party in mediation. Budgets are a reality checkNo matter the level of income, a good percentage of my clients are living above their means. Seeing [...]

February 2, 2016 - {3:12 minutes to read} In the summer of 2015, the New York legislature passed a statute providing for post-divorce maintenance. The statute was then signed by the governor and is effective for all matters filed in Court after January 23, 2016. The statute provides a formula for computing maintenance based upon the respective incomes of the parties with a cap of $175,000 for the income of the person paying support. For a person paying support with income over $175,000, t [...]

January 19, 2016 - {3:36 minutes to read} If you were to ask any parent if, under any circumstance, he or she would want to punish their children for something they had nothing to do with, they would think you were out of your mind. However, I’ve seen people do just that, though I doubt they are aware of it. I’ve seen it happen most often in these situations: The other parent had an affair The other parent worked night and day The other parent ceded any responsibility for [...]

January 5, 2016 - {3:30 minutes to read} After hearing Katty Kay speak about the book written by her and Claire Shipman, The Confidence Code, I immediately downloaded it and am very glad I did. They performed an exhaustive study on the highly sought after quality of confidence: Is it something that we are born with? Is it something that can be taught? Is it more important to be confident than competent? and most significantly, why is it that so many women are hampered by [...]

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