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Mediation Blog

December 17, 2013 - Admittedly, it is uncomfortable to raise the idea of signing a pre-nuptial agreement with the person with whom you have just agreed to spend the rest of your life. And it’s unlikely to get any more comfortable for you when you actually start discussing the terms of the agreement. That said, it is a discussion that I recommend anyone planning a marriage have if one of you has accumulated more assets than the other, expect a major inheritance, have children from a p [...]

October 30, 2013 - Previously, I wrote about how a mediation can begin if one spouse isn’t quite as prepared to divorce as the other party. Now, I would like to address what happens when those feelings do not diminish as the mediation progresses. The practical effect in a mediation when one party is reluctant to divorce can be that the reluctant party expresses blame and fault against the other party continually or says things like “I didn’t want this, so why should I ha [...]

September 5, 2013 - It’s rare in my practice for both parties to be in the same frame of mind about getting a divorce. Most often, one person is more prepared for the process and the separation, and the other party may not even have come to terms with the concept that the marriage will come to an end. What can each of them do? When I used to litigate, you needed grounds for divorce, and if the person who wanted the divorce had no grounds and the other person was hesitant to divorce, [...]

July 24, 2013 - One of the most fascinating aspects of mediation is how the process can transform someone who feels reticent or insecure in decision making. At the initial consultation, clients often say that they are concerned that within the process of mediation they may not “get a good deal” and question if they are able to mediate because they do not have the same financial expertise as the other party, or perhaps the other party is more educated or has more business sa [...]

May 20, 2013 - There are so many issues that a divorcing couple must face–how to tell the children, where will each live, whether or not they can afford to live separately–starting mediation can easily add to the apprehension. I believe, however, that beginning mediation can actually be a positive step toward gaining control of your changing circumstances. The two of you set the timetable, the agenda and, of course, the outcome. There are concrete issues that need to be a [...]

January 4, 2012 - Even though mediation is a process in which the parties themselves make an agreement that works best for them and their family, I have yet to meet clients who are not interested in or choose not to be informed as to what the law provides. As a mediator, I think it is important for clients to know what the law provides and what might happen if a court were to determine the outcome of their divorce because I feel it is impossible for them to waive a right without knowing [...]

July 6, 2011 - As a mediator, I do not insist that my clients use review or consulting attorneys as a matter of course. I feel that the self-determination of the clients in mediation is paramount and that this extends to the decision of whether or not he or she retains an attorney. However, I do recommend that clients seek the advice of an attorney at the very least before signing a Separation Agreement because I think that it is important for clients to get the kind of legal advice th [...]

May 16, 2011 - With the drastic cuts in funding to the Courts in New York State, what had been a long, expensive and painful process in divorce litigation is likely to be even longer, more expensive and more painful with the budget cuts. These cuts will result in lesser hours for the Courts so the resources will stretched even further, likely with less Court personnel as well. Now, more than ever, the progress of a divorce will not be within your control should you decide to go to Cou [...]

February 15, 2011 - You may be aware that New York State adopted a statute in October regarding the calculation of temporary maintenance at the same time that the State enacted the no-fault ground for divorce. The statute provides a formula for calculating an award of temporary maintenance in the event that a litigant in a divorce action brings a motion seeking an award of support during the pendency of the action (temporary maintenance). So, what does this mean in mediation? That is up fo [...]

January 7, 2011 - It is very difficult in New York State to be successful in a Court action to set aside an agreement for the reason that if it was easy to change separation agreements, people would not spend the time and the money to enter into them. This would then result in more litigation, which is not what the Courts want. Among factors that a Court will consider is whether or not an agreement is unconscionable or if one of the parties was unduly influenced. The standards are the sam [...]

October 20, 2010 - Some people are afraid that if they do not hire a lawyer, they will not receive everything to which they are entitled or that they will end up with an unfair agreement. That need not be a concern. In addition to using an attorney to review your agreement at the end of the mediation, parties in mediation may see an attorney both before and during mediation, and in some cases it is beneficial for a party to come to mediation with an attorney. In my mediations, I always tel [...]

September 16, 2010 - If that were true, there would be no need to mediate. Of course people who disagree can mediate, just like people who are angry can mediate and people who don’t really like each other can mediate. All they have to do is agree to mediate, not agree upon every issue between them. Mediators do not expect their clients to talk quietly and never raise their voices, and a mediator truly has to feel comfortable being in the middle of people expressing anger and frustratio [...]

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