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Mediation Blog

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 [...]

December 19, 2018 - {3:30 minutes to read} I had a meeting recently with a couple, and when they left, I felt sure they would not be returning for another meeting. The husband didn’t want to separate, didn’t want to leave their home, and couldn’t imagine not having the children with him at least half of the time. The wife was insistent on separating, be it through mediation or through attorneys, wanted to be the primary custodial parent, and insisted on the sale of the h [...]

November 30, 2018 - {3:00 minutes to read} It’s an admonition that many a Hallmark holiday movie has been based upon  ---    "Be Careful What You Wish For." The usual plot is that someone wakes up in the life she always dreamed about, only to find out that the life she had was so much better. In the end, she gets to go back to that wonderful life she never fully appreciated and everything is grand after all. It would be nice if we got those chances in real life, [...]

November 20, 2018 - {3:00 minutes to read} In the last post, I addressed the designation of beneficiaries of your life insurance in order to ensure the continuation of child or spousal support. While the continuation of support is important, there are some other issues about life insurance coverage that may need to be discussed in mediation. Employer-Provided Life Insurance Individual life insurance policies owned and paid for by the parties provide the most control and flexibility in ter [...]

October 26, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read} Life insurance is not a topic most people are eager to speak about, let alone if you are separating. But life insurance is a topic you should be prepared to discuss in your mediation. Under New York law, a judge may order a party to obtain and maintain life insurance coverage naming as beneficiaries either the children (for child support) or the spouse (for maintenance) for so long as the party is obligated to pay child support and/or maintenance. [...]

September 28, 2018 - {3:40 minutes to read} There is a mindfulness meditation that I enjoy doing that focuses on the inner critic we all have — that voice in your head that tells you that you messed up, made a fool of yourself or just don’t know what you’re doing. The suggestion is to create a picture in your mind of the critic to aid in recognizing that it is your inner critic speaking so you are not derailed. (My favorite is of a stern judge in dark robes frowning from a [...]

September 20, 2018 - {3:30 minutes to read} I tend not to use the word “settle” with clients in mediation. Although to settle is defined as “to reach agreement or decision...,” I prefer to use the phrase “to agree upon terms.” To me, to agree upon terms in mediation is quite different from settling on terms which have been hashed out by attorneys in an adversarial setting. In an adversarial setting:  Each attorney’s role is to advocate for t [...]

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 [...]

July 27, 2018 - {3:00 minutes to read}  I’ve had clients who completed their mediation and signed an agreement in a few months and others who take years to complete a mediation. While complexity and the amount of conflict surely play a role, there are clearly other factors in play. Not ready for the process yet. It’s unusual for both parties to be in the same place in terms of accepting the end of the relationship. That said, both may agree to move forward with the se [...]

June 22, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read}  After a divorce, many somewhat routine aspects of your life will be changing. It may be hard, but as you move forward with your life, you will have to adapt to these changed situations. In some cases, you may be able to anticipate those situations, and include provisions in your settlement agreement. During the mediation, being asked about what types of vacation provisions you want in your agreement may come as a surprise. The idea of going [...]

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 [...]

May 23, 2018 - {2:42 minutes to read}  As a divorce mediator, I certainly expect to have clients express strong emotions, including anger. But I’ve encountered a few clients recently who made me recall my earlier post on the difference between anger and bitterness. 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. The definit [...]

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