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Mediation Blog

June 23, 2015 - {3:36 minutes to read} I have to say that some variation on that question is often asked of me by my mediation clients. Almost uniformly, the clients who ask that question are never my most difficult. I suspect they may feel they are being difficult because they may have: Had a protracted disagreement over an issue that didn’t get resolved by the end of the meeting; Voiced resentment or frustration with their spouse; or Raised their voices as part o [...]

June 9, 2015 - {3:36 minutes to read}  New York enacted a statute several years ago to put some clarity into the process of modifying child support. The statute provides that there are three bases for a party to ask a Court to modify support: (1) a substantial change in circumstances; (2) the passage of three years since the last order or modification; or (3) that a party’s income has changed by 15% or more since the last order or modification. In a separation agreement, [...]

May 26, 2015 - {3:42 minutes to read} Imagine that you’ve been living separately under your agreement for a few years and are co-parenting with your former spouse. Things are going better than you ever imagined, your children are happy, and then your former spouse informs you that she will be losing her job unless she accepts a transfer to Florida. Because that job results in a significant increase in salary, and because she then will be able to be close to where her parents and [...]

May 12, 2015 - {3:48 minutes to read}   We often use and hear the term “best interests of the children.” You would imagine that if applied consistently, the results would also be consistent, but that is not necessarily true. It all depends on the process used and who is making that determination. Litigation If you are in litigation, you might think it is the judge who makes the determination, presumably based upon applying case law to the facts before him or her. Ho [...]

April 28, 2015 - {3:30 minutes to read} To some, including me, the equity in a house is just like any other asset. I have never been attached to a home in the sense that I felt sad when it was sold. I recognize, though, that it was always my choice to move on. I’m not sure how I would feel if the choice wasn’t mine to make, or if it came at the same time as getting a divorce. It is that sense of continuity and wanting something that is familiar to remain the same after the d [...]

April 14, 2015 - “I don't care; I just want to get this over with.” {3:45 minutes to read} When those words are spoken by a client in mediation, I always get a little twinge of dread. To the client, this makes perfect sense. Clients choose mediation to reduce cost, reduce turmoil and proceed as quickly as possible to a separation agreement. So, why not just give in so your matter can be resolved? If it’s a relatively minor point that is in contention, then, sure, giv [...]

March 31, 2015 - {2:50 minutes to read} I am fortunate enough to say that I am not a child of divorce. Since I don’t have that first-hand experience, I have strived, as most mediators do, to learn about the impact of divorce on children and how that can be ameliorated. In mediation, the best interest of the children is paramount. The Children Even when the parents are well intentioned and have the admittedly oxymoronic “good divorce,” there is still a devastating affe [...]

March 17, 2015 - {3:30 minutes to read} . Do we choose our profession because of our basic personality, or does our profession cause us to form a certain personality trait? I've always had a “never say die” kind of attitude. I would always think that I could fix it or make it better, be it a relationship or a friend who was upset. I could fix just about anything that had gone awry. A basic problem solver. This attitude wasn't always to my advantage when it came to personal [...]

March 4, 2015 - {2:50 minutes to read}  We all approach situations differently. Some, when confronted with a problem will attack it in a logical, methodical fashion, with the goal of getting it resolved in the quickest and most economical way. Others will see even a minor crisis as an impossible situation that can only be remedied by spending a lot of time complaining about it, and a lot of money needlessly. Often, these same people are married to one another. In a real emergency, [...]

February 18, 2015 - {2:50 minutes to read} Clients can become exasperated by all of my “what if” questions as I try to provide for future changes of circumstance. I do this with the hope that their agreement can address these changes so they never need to return to mediation. However, there are some things that can never be anticipated, and other circumstances that, while they might happen, are not worth the time and effort to explore at the time the couple is separating. So, [...]

February 2, 2015 - Though mediation is a less contentious way to divorce, there are still some myths that keep people from taking advantage of the process. Here are 5 of the most common ones: 1.  Only people who agree on terms of settlement can mediate.   If that were true, there would be no need to mediate, and they could just enter into a settlement agreement. Of course, people who disagree can mediate, just like people who are angry can mediate and people who don’t re [...]

January 19, 2015 - [Time to Read: 3.9 mins]While it’s hard for most people going through a divorce to imagine dating again, it’s more likely than not that you will, and that you will be introducing this new person in your life to your children. Having been that new person who was introduced to two stepchildren, I’m happy to share what worked for us. First and foremost: Do Not introduce the person to your children unless you know it is a serious relationship, no matter h [...]

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