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Mediation Blog

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 [...]

December 8, 2015 - {2:42 minutes to read} Around this time of year, most people are considering resolutions for the new year. I never did that because I feel if you want to change something to be more positive, why wait? I prefer to reinvent myself or incorporate changes as they come to mind and when I can commit to them, be it on a Tuesday in March or the last week in December. I’m not without end of the year rituals though. Mine are just in terms of the past rather than the future [...]

November 24, 2015 - {3:00 minutes to read}    Previously, I wrote about the benefit to parents in using a child specialist.  In this post, I am writing about the benefits to clients in using a divorce coach in certain situations. It does sound odd to think that someone needs a coach to get a divorce.  At first blush it can bring up the wholly inappropriate picture of someone on the sidelines cheering you on as you prepare to end your marriage. That is most definitely n [...]

November 10, 2015 - {3:18 minutes to read} I am attending a series of workshops for mediators who are interested in practicing mindfulness tools to help alleviate stress, impart focus and extend compassion not just to others but also to ourselves. To start in a small way, our trainer suggested as an exercise, to practice mindfulness while brushing your teeth–to really think about how the toothpaste tastes, how it feels against each tooth, the sounds.  I had to laugh because as t [...]

October 27, 2015 - {3:55 minutes to read} We all tend to adapt a story in retelling it.  It’s mostly small points, but sometimes people who may have lived through the event with us will notice that some liberties have been taken. It doesn’t mean that the embellishment is done to purposely avoid the truth.  It could be: How we actually recall the event; Our “version” makes an amusing story more amusing; or, It puts us in a more flattering li [...]

October 13, 2015 - {4:00 minutes to read} Recently I received a notice of a Continuing Legal Education course sponsored by a bar association on the topic of child custody. Ever the optimist, I took a look at the description and agenda hoping to find an offering on resolving custody through a non-adversarial approach. However, there was nothing offered regarding mediation or collaborative practice, both of which can be found on the website of the New York State Unified Court Syst [...]

September 29, 2015 - {3:36 minutes to read} In a previous post, I discussed the difficulty faced by a mediator when he or she needs to consider whether or not the client’s right to self-determination should be controlling in the face of an agreement that could be considered unconscionable. In my initial consultation with clients, I try to draw the distinction for them between someone who: Is unable to fully participate in the mediation; Does not have the capacity to mediate [...]

September 15, 2015 - {3:24 minutes to read} When I mentioned to a friend that I loved the balance poses in yoga the best, her reply was that she wasn’t surprised because she thought I was the most balanced person she knows. I laughed at the connection, but then when I thought about it, I do have a very strong sense of balance that plays out in many different ways. I would hate living in a place that was sunny all the time. After a string of sunny days, I long for rain, or at the [...]

September 1, 2015 - {3:30 minutes to read} I always stress the importance of the client's right of control in a mediated matter versus the loss of control clients experience in a litigation or in an attorney negotiated matter. My recent, 2nd personal brush with the legal system reminded me of the 1st, and brought the concept of client control in mediation to an ever greater importance for me. A few years before I became a mediator, and still litigated matters, I retained an attorney [...]

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