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Mediation Blog

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 [...]

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 18, 2017 - {3:24 minutes to read} So, you just learned that your spouse had an affair, or you receive an unexpected request for a divorce. How do you react when someone you thought you knew, and your life with that person, is turned on its head? If you’re a really remarkable person, your first reaction would be to exhibit strength and grace in the face of this event that upends your world. If you’re like most of us, though, the first reaction would be a combination of [...]

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 [...]

September 7, 2017 - {4:00 minutes to read} I recently heard an interview of Connie Shultz, the spouse of Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. She shared that since 2007, the motto of her life has been "no whining on the yacht." It began after her husband had just been elected Senator. She was publishing her second book, and life was good. At one point, she complained to her editor about the deletion of a litany of stories detailing the wrongs she felt occurred in the senate race. Her editor insiste [...]

August 16, 2017 - {3:54 minutes to read} After working with a couple who had particularly good communication skills and consequently had achieved an agreement with relative ease, I gave some thought as to how this couple was different from some of my other clients. And then I remembered that, following the first 100 days of the new administration, my friend and fellow mediator, Ada Hasloecher, posted five lessons for parties in mediation. I decided I couldn’t do it any better mysel [...]

August 2, 2017 - {4:24 minutes to read} Nesting is a shared parenting concept that allows the children to stay in the marital home while the parents go back and forth. The idea is that the children will be able to remain in one familiar place, have no concerns about where they are on what day or what they need to take with them. Typically, parents who choose this will be sharing time in the home with the children on an equal basis. To see if this might work for you, consider the followi [...]

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 [...]

July 6, 2017 - {3:06 minutes to read} In the previous part of this series, we looked at parental considerations in relation to a child’s college education. In this final post, we will discuss the child’s role with regard to their college education and any credits against child support. Should there be a contribution from the child? Do you believe that the child should be responsible to pay for part of college, through loans or otherwise? This has both philosophical (shou [...]

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