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Mediation Blog

August 17, 2018 - {3:42 minutes to read}  One of the major benefits of mediation is that parties make the decisions about their lives and the lives of their children. Self-determination is an awesome responsibility in that regard, and couples should be prepared to accept that responsibility when choosing to mediate. To me, this would mean that parties should make sure that they have all of the resources they may need in order to make the best decisions they can. Choosing the Mediat [...]

July 27, 2018 - {3:00 minutes to read}  I’ve had clients who completed their mediation and signed an agreement in a few months and others who take years to complete a mediation. While complexity and the amount of conflict surely play a role, there are clearly other factors in play. Not ready for the process yet. It’s unusual for both parties to be in the same place in terms of accepting the end of the relationship. That said, both may agree to move forward with the se [...]

June 22, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read}  After a divorce, many somewhat routine aspects of your life will be changing. It may be hard, but as you move forward with your life, you will have to adapt to these changed situations. In some cases, you may be able to anticipate those situations, and include provisions in your settlement agreement. During the mediation, being asked about what types of vacation provisions you want in your agreement may come as a surprise. The idea of going [...]

June 6, 2018 - {3:00 minutes to read}  Why would you want to continue living together with your ex after you sign a separation agreement? Many couples feel that financially, they have no choice but to live together. It could be because they are waiting for the closing on the sale of the home before they can both move out or that they agreed that they could both save money for a period of time if they lived together. Living together for any period of time can lead to unintended si [...]

May 23, 2018 - {2:42 minutes to read}  As a divorce mediator, I certainly expect to have clients express strong emotions, including anger. But I’ve encountered a few clients recently who made me recall my earlier post on the difference between anger and bitterness. The definitions of anger and bitterness are similar: Anger: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Bitterness: anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment. The definit [...]

May 9, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read}  Separating is a painful and emotionally draining process. Needlessly prolonging the process will only add to that, however, it is within your power to insure that time in the meetings is not wasted. Here are some additional steps that you can take to insure that mediation fees remain reasonable by limiting the number of sessions that are needed. Know what mediation is all about and why you’re doing it. When I ask clients why they have [...]

April 25, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read} The mutual goal to reduce the financial costs of a separation is a primary motivation for most of my clients, second only to the desire to reach an agreement with as little rancor as possible. Regarding the financial costs, however, there are steps that clients can take to ensure that mediation fees remain reasonable by limiting the number of sessions that are needed. Complete Your Work Between Meetings At the end of my summary of the meeting, I [...]

April 12, 2018 - {4:30 minutes to read}  Over the years I’ve been mediating, I’ve been asked by potential clients if the following concerns would mean that they could not mediate their separation. Here are some of their questions and my responses:We disagree on everything.  Disagreement in mediation is to be expected. Since mediation is a process which aims to resolve conflict, a mediator is trained to help the two of you do just that. I am very angry at my spouse [...]

March 29, 2018 - {3:42 minutes to read} It’s clear that until an agreement is signed, the tentative agreements you make along the way are not legally enforceable. But, those tentative agreements are vital as you progress from meeting-to-meeting in order to reach an overall settlement. While you are free to change your mind up until the time you sign your name on the agreement, there can be consequences to making changes to something you previously agreed to: Other Terms Can Chang [...]

March 14, 2018 - {3:42 minutes to read} Interim agreements are agreements that determine certain terms before the parties sign a comprehensive separation agreement. Some of the topics that may be covered by these kinds of agreements could be:  How to handle the sale of a house; Support and parenting plans; A provision that marital assets stop accumulating as of a certain date; and Arranging for the disposition or purchase of a particular asset. Typically, in my practice, cl [...]

February 27, 2018 - {3:48 minutes to read} In New York, we refer to “joint legal custody” as joint decision making in which neither parent has a superior right to make decisions for the children. It sounds reasonable, and most parents agree to joint decision making without much thought. But then I ask “What do you think will happen if you can’t agree upon a major decision?” A large percentage of my clients believe that they will not have any substantial confl [...]

February 15, 2018 - {1:00 minute to read} My colleagues, Dr. Jeff Zimmerman and Dr. Lauren Behrman, posted an article on how your children may pick up on the negative communication between you and your spouse/ex-spouse, even if you do not. The article reminds us that all communication in front of children, both verbal and nonverbal, has an impact on them. I’m also heartened that Jeff and Lauren propose practicing mindfulness to help parents transform unhealthy practices into healthy [...]

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