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Mediation Blog

March 29, 2016 - A departure from my other posts, and one that I hope will resonate with you. Most people wanting to adopt a pet will typically look for a puppy or at least one under a year of age. But since we adopted Max, a miniature dachshund who was then between 10 and 12 years old, I consistently try to persuade anyone who is adopting a pet to consider adopting an older, or as they say in the world of pet adoption, a senior pet. Admittedly, I was reluctant to adopt Max. But when w [...]

March 15, 2016 - {3:54 minutes to read} Clients in initial consultations are sometimes hesitant to begin mediation because of: Fear the other will take advantage of them and the process; Friends and family saying they should have a lawyer fight for them; The other person having a greater advantage in bargaining power. In previous posts, I’ve written how those kinds of concerns can be overcome in the process of mediation. You can have the support of legal, financial and ment [...]

March 1, 2016 - {3:48 minutes to read} When comparing mediated and litigated agreements, the first thought that comes to mind is that a mediated agreement would have terms that are balanced, would be more creative and would more accurately reflect exactly what the parties believe is best for their families. The LanguageAnother important difference is in the language itself. Without considering the actual terms, one can see a difference in the terminology used in an agreement drafted af [...]

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 [...]

February 2, 2016 - {3:12 minutes to read} In the summer of 2015, the New York legislature passed a statute providing for post-divorce maintenance. The statute was then signed by the governor and is effective for all matters filed in Court after January 23, 2016. The statute provides a formula for computing maintenance based upon the respective incomes of the parties with a cap of $175,000 for the income of the person paying support. For a person paying support with income over $175,000, t [...]

January 19, 2016 - {3:36 minutes to read} If you were to ask any parent if, under any circumstance, he or she would want to punish their children for something they had nothing to do with, they would think you were out of your mind. However, I’ve seen people do just that, though I doubt they are aware of it. I’ve seen it happen most often in these situations: The other parent had an affair The other parent worked night and day The other parent ceded any responsibility for [...]

January 5, 2016 - {3:30 minutes to read} After hearing Katty Kay speak about the book written by her and Claire Shipman, The Confidence Code, I immediately downloaded it and am very glad I did. They performed an exhaustive study on the highly sought after quality of confidence: Is it something that we are born with? Is it something that can be taught? Is it more important to be confident than competent? and most significantly, why is it that so many women are hampered by [...]

December 8, 2015 - {2:42 minutes to read} Around this time of year, most people are considering resolutions for the new year. I never did that because I feel if you want to change something to be more positive, why wait? I prefer to reinvent myself or incorporate changes as they come to mind and when I can commit to them, be it on a Tuesday in March or the last week in December. I’m not without end of the year rituals though. Mine are just in terms of the past rather than the future [...]

November 24, 2015 - {3:00 minutes to read}    Previously, I wrote about the benefit to parents in using a child specialist.  In this post, I am writing about the benefits to clients in using a divorce coach in certain situations. It does sound odd to think that someone needs a coach to get a divorce.  At first blush it can bring up the wholly inappropriate picture of someone on the sidelines cheering you on as you prepare to end your marriage. That is most definitely n [...]

November 10, 2015 - {3:18 minutes to read} I am attending a series of workshops for mediators who are interested in practicing mindfulness tools to help alleviate stress, impart focus and extend compassion not just to others but also to ourselves. To start in a small way, our trainer suggested as an exercise, to practice mindfulness while brushing your teeth–to really think about how the toothpaste tastes, how it feels against each tooth, the sounds.  I had to laugh because as t [...]

October 27, 2015 - {3:55 minutes to read} We all tend to adapt a story in retelling it.  It’s mostly small points, but sometimes people who may have lived through the event with us will notice that some liberties have been taken. It doesn’t mean that the embellishment is done to purposely avoid the truth.  It could be: How we actually recall the event; Our “version” makes an amusing story more amusing; or, It puts us in a more flattering li [...]

October 13, 2015 - {4:00 minutes to read} Recently I received a notice of a Continuing Legal Education course sponsored by a bar association on the topic of child custody. Ever the optimist, I took a look at the description and agenda hoping to find an offering on resolving custody through a non-adversarial approach. However, there was nothing offered regarding mediation or collaborative practice, both of which can be found on the website of the New York State Unified Court Syst [...]

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