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Mediation Blog

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 [...]

January 5, 2015 - [Time to Read: 4.1 mins] At the initial consultation, clients often express concern that within the process of mediation they may not “get a good deal.” They wonder if they will be 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 savvy. Whether these feelings are real or perceived, they can be a barrier to the clients’ ability to feel comfortable w [...]

December 22, 2014 - In my last blog, 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 continually expresses blame and fault against the other party. They may say things like “I didn’t want this, so why [...]

December 10, 2014 - 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, while the other party may not even have come to terms with the concept that the marriage will come to an end. When I used to litigate, you needed grounds for divorce. If only one person wanted the divorce but had no grounds, then he or she would either have to stay married or be prepared to m [...]

November 26, 2014 - As much as I try, it’s almost impossible to simply enjoy a holiday for itself. We are bombarded around the clock with holiday movies and television commercials showing elaborate and bountiful meals around a table full of happy family and friends.  All of the homes have decorations that could rival those found in major department stores. It’s hard not to expect that picture perfect holiday. If you’re going through a divorce and this is your first h [...]

November 11, 2014 - 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, yet beginning mediation can actually be a positive step toward gaining control of your changing circumstances because the timetable, the agenda and of course, the outcome, are completely up to the two of you. There are concrete issues that need to be addr [...]

October 28, 2014 - I love Halloween, and I love being scared. Scary can be fun when it’s within your control, like I am with my Halloween decorations. A five-foot replica of Frankenstein’s monster, which dances to the Monster Mash A fake graveyard in front of my house, with silly inscriptions on the stones Zombie garden gnomes A full-size skeleton sitting in a chair on the porch, wearing a baseball cap backwards, a college sweatshirt and sweat pants It's all more ridic [...]

October 14, 2014 - 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. They may be similar, but to me, they are worlds apart. I see anger as something that is of relatively short duration; a totally human and appropriate response to someone hurting you, or someone you love. Something happens, you get angry, you hopefully express that anger constr [...]

October 1, 2014 - How does the Child Support Standards Act (“CSSA”) work in mediation? First, you will need to discuss whether or not you are going to apply or opt out of the CSSA. To do that, you need to know what the child support figure would be if the statute were applied. Your mediator can explain the computation based upon the combined income of you and your spouse. What income figure should be used? If one of you is unemployed or underemployed by choice, or the incom [...]

September 16, 2014 - I remember when the Child Support Standards Act (“CSSA”) was adopted in New York in 1989. It was a radical departure from how child support had been determined in the past, and not all matrimonial attorneys welcomed it with open arms. There were many predictions of disastrous results, but the statute soon came to be accepted. How Does It Work? Combine both parents’ incomes up to the statutory “cap,” which in 2014 is $141,000. Apply the [...]

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