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Mediation Blog

Topic: Budget | 30 post(s).

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 [...]

January 31, 2018 - {3:48 minutes to read} While the New York Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) is not perfect, it does provide a sensible framework for addressing the indirect expenses that a parent experiences. These indirect expenses are the most difficult to calculate and the most difficult for the child support payor to understand. “I’m willing to pay 100% of my children's expenses for clothing, activities, medical insurance and expenses — why should I have to pay c [...]

January 3, 2018 - {4:06 minutes to read} “We don’t need to mediate–we agreed to everything already and just want you to write it up.” “We don’t have any assets, so we don’t have anything to talk about.” “We don’t need a separation agreement, we just want to get divorced.” Undoubtedly, as all mediators do, I’ve heard these statements, or variations on them, more often than I can count. It’s understandable, bu [...]

November 1, 2017 - {4:12 minutes to read} As I described in Part I of this post, it’s not unusual to feel completely overwhelmed upon hearing that your spouse wants a divorce. You think the last thing you are capable of doing is making good decisions about your children and your finances. But then you keep getting pushed by your spouse to start the divorce ASAP. You can tell your spouse that you need some time to process everything and get the support that you may need to move forwa [...]

October 4, 2017 - {3:18 minutes to read} In my past life advocating for clients in an adversarial process, getting to the point of splitting the difference was the last settlement proposal, and timing was everything. If your first offer is close to what you really want, there will be little room left to split the difference if your adversary low-balls their demand. For example, if you are looking for $5000 and ask for $5000 in support and your spouse offers $2000, you are going to lose in [...]

September 20, 2017 - {4:18 minutes to read} I’ve heard many complaints regarding divorce mediation: “It might be okay for simple matters but not for anything complicated.” “It’s too touchy-feely.” “You give up all of your rights when you mediate.” These types of complaints are easily dismissed as biased and uninformed; however, there are some complaints I’ve heard which I agree should be taken seriously. Mediator Lacking Relevant [...]

January 4, 2017 - {4:00 minutes to read} In New York, case law provides that when parents share equal physical custody of the children, the parent who earns more pays child support to the parent who earns less, based on the Child Support Standards Act.If there is a great disparity between their incomes, that might make sense. But if there is less than a substantial difference and both parents need to maintain a household for the children, applying the statute can put one parent in financi [...]

November 22, 2016 - {3:54 minutes to read} Since I write so often about the benefits of mediation, I think it’s time that I acknowledge something I often share with clients at the initial consultation. After I have explained the basics of mediation, I say that I think mediation can be a hard thing to do and commend them for making that choice. And while I firmly believe that it is the best option to resolve conflict, I’ll admit it’s still not an easy process. What makes [...]

November 9, 2016 - {3.36 minutes to read} I try to avoid jargon when working with clients. When I’m not successful, it’s easy to spot by the looks on clients’ faces when they have no idea what I’m talking about. One of these is the phrase “add-ons to child support,” which I tend to use before offering an explanation. This is a very common phrase to professionals who work with separating parents. For the parents themselves, not so much. The basic child [...]

August 2, 2016 - {3:48 minutes to read} Even before the enactment of New York’s post-divorce maintenance statute, most mediators and attorneys worked with an informal but commonly accepted formula for determining the duration of maintenance based upon the length of the marriage. The longer the marriage, the longer the term of maintenance. The new statute now provides an advisory schedule, also based on the length of the marriage, for the court to consider in determining the term o [...]

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 [...]

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