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Mediation Blog

Topic: Couples | 43 post(s).

January 23, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} It is likely that mediation can result in a negotiated agreement even if you mediate after you have entered litigation or tried negotiating through attorneys. But after having worked with couples who have first engaged in an adversarial process, I encountered distinctive behaviors that arose in the mediation which, while not unsurmountable, needed to be addressed. Of course, I can’t definitively state that it was the initial adversarial proc [...]

August 17, 2018 - {3:42 minutes to read}  One of the major benefits of mediation is that parties make the decisions about their lives and the lives of their children. Self-determination is an awesome responsibility in that regard, and couples should be prepared to accept that responsibility when choosing to mediate. To me, this would mean that parties should make sure that they have all of the resources they may need in order to make the best decisions they can. Choosing the Mediat [...]

June 6, 2018 - {3:00 minutes to read}  Why would you want to continue living together with your ex after you sign a separation agreement? Many couples feel that financially, they have no choice but to live together. It could be because they are waiting for the closing on the sale of the home before they can both move out or that they agreed that they could both save money for a period of time if they lived together. Living together for any period of time can lead to unintended si [...]

February 27, 2018 - {3:48 minutes to read} In New York, we refer to “joint legal custody” as joint decision making in which neither parent has a superior right to make decisions for the children. It sounds reasonable, and most parents agree to joint decision making without much thought. But then I ask “What do you think will happen if you can’t agree upon a major decision?” A large percentage of my clients believe that they will not have any substantial confl [...]

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 [...]

December 5, 2017 - {3:42 minutes to read} I was talking to a colleague recently about a mediation. She was surprised that it took as many meetings as it did to reach a resolution and that the couple almost terminated the process. It was a relatively short-term marriage of a few years, and they had no children, so she had not expected that it would be difficult. I agree that expectations of difficulty are often misleading. At an initial consultation, I can only judge a mediation’s di [...]

November 15, 2017 - {3:42 minutes to read} It’s perfectly normal for most married couples to live their lives without knowledge of the intricacies of separate and marital property in New York matrimonial law. Unfortunately, though, that lack of knowledge can lead to common and innocent “mistakes” and have unintended consequences under the law.Our Typical CouplesA couple maintains only joint accounts and holds all property with the other named on all assets. This has been w [...]

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 [...]

July 19, 2017 - {3:54 minutes to read} I just returned from the annual gathering of the NYS Conference on Divorce Mediation. This is my 12th conference, and I was as excited to go to this one as I was to my first. While the focus is on education with plenaries and workshops on various aspects of family law and mediation theory, there is undeniably another element that plays a very big part. Whether we do it full time or not, are experienced mediators or just starting out, we all feel t [...]

May 19, 2017 - {4:00 minutes to read} I often caution clients against including language in their agreement which is basically just an agreement to agree: anything that begins with “The parties will agree upon...” or “The parties agree to review...” But it depends on the issue and on the couple. Sometimes it makes sense not to spend an enormous amount of time either on something that is not all that contentious or something not likely to happen. Other times, th [...]

March 1, 2017 - {3:48 minutes to read} Unfortunately, people who are getting divorced are not exempt from downsizing, market fluctuations, facility closings, etc. which can lead to a period of unemployment. How can divorcing couples factor in this development as they work through separating their households and assets? How do they cope with this monumental change in their lives, on top of this monumental change in their lifestyle? If one of you is unemployed, it may not be entirely wit [...]

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