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Mediation Blog

September 13, 2016 - {3:54 minutes to read} When I litigated, there were two times of year when I would receive quite a few calls from parents questioning a current or proposed parenting plan. The first was in December and centered around sharing the children during the holidays. The other, as the topic of this post indicates, was in September and centered around issues raised by the return to school. Just like those unhappy children who have to leave the freedom of summer for the restricti [...]

August 30, 2016 - {2:36 minutes to read} I am one of those people who enjoys the changing of the seasons, even when it means that summer is over. However, I’m not one of those people who feel that summer is over on the 5th of July. Even if we measure summer as Memorial Day to Labor Day, there are still two full months of summer to enjoy after the 4th of July. Why not savor these two months when it’s still 90 degrees in the shade instead of focusing on winter coming? Converse [...]

August 16, 2016 - {3:30 minutes to read} When I began practicing family law, one of the first lessons I learned was that clients do not consider all assets the same. The one asset that consistently holds a very special place in the heart of a client is a pension. Clients express feeling a different sense of entitlement to their pension because: They performed at a job where their lives, health and safety were placed in jeopardy; They may have taken less in salary for the assurance of [...]

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 [...]

July 19, 2016 - {3:24 minutes to read} As with most people, there are some challenges that I welcome, and some that I dread. This goes for mediation as well. A challenging mediation isn’t necessarily challenging because one or both clients are difficult; for me, it’s often because the clients are so diametrically opposed that, no matter how many techniques and skills I use to help them resolve difficult situations, nothing seems to help. I’m talking about extreme situ [...]

July 5, 2016 - {3:36 minutes to read} I would have answered this question as “abundance,” which I suspect might be a common response. Not according to Brené Brown, however, in her book Daring Greatly. This amazing book is about allowing yourself to be vulnerable so you can achieve great things. Brené Brown believes that the opposite of scarcity is “enough.” In other words, you are: Good enough; Smart enough; Attractive enough; Perfect enough [...]

June 21, 2016 - {3:12 minutes to read} Having been raised by a mother who once heard an ambulance and acted upon the belief that it carried my aunt, who, being 15 minutes late in picking her up, had, of course, been in a car accident, I’m a worrier. If I allow myself to go there, I can easily obsess about a car accident or a plane crash, things that can happen in an instant without warning and could drastically change my life. Then there are the things that are equally devastatin [...]

June 7, 2016 - {4:18 minutes to read} As Lesley Stahl was making the rounds on various talk shows, promoting her new book, Becoming Grandma, the Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting, I learned that the omnipresent Boomer generation has once again made its presence known and adopted its own version of being a grandparent. I was then inspired to do a little research—admittedly over the internet, so I am not attesting to complete accuracy. From my experience, though, what I f [...]

May 24, 2016 - {3:48 minutes to read} Courts are now required to consider the following factor, among many others, in making a maintenance award or determining if the statutory amount was unjust: “. . . the existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or a pre-divorce separate household.” In English, this means that it is relevant to the Court if a couple lived together before they were married, or if they lived apart for a period of time before starting a divor [...]

May 10, 2016 - {3:24 minutes to read} I attended a mediation workshop that focused on the various ways that a mediator can address an impasse in mediation, and help clients get beyond it. Of the many tools, one that struck me profoundly was asking the clients how they think this would make them look in the eyes of their children. Not necessarily now, but when they are adults and may have a keener awareness of what happened in the aftermath of their parents’ divorce. Manipulativ [...]

May 2, 2016 - {3:48 minutes to read} As someone who is making a sincere effort to be mindful and present, and also as someone to whom these qualities do not come naturally, I understand how difficult it is to be patient. When you are in the midst of a divorce and want it to all be over yesterday, it’s even more of a challenge to let things work out in their own time. If you want to mediate, I urge you to undertake this challenge with as much forbearance as you are able to muste [...]

April 12, 2016 - {3:12 minutes to read} After watching the umpteenth presidential debate, you can imagine why I started to think about civility in personal and professional settings. For most of us, civility in personal situations is automatic. We’re polite to strangers, say good morning, hold open a door and say you’re fine even if you’re not. On the other hand, for those with whom we’re most comfortable, sometimes that automatic default to civility is lost. An [...]

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