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Mediation Blog

December 3, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} The other day a friend told me about a conflict she was having with another person and how that person behaved towards her. While the other person’s actions were pretty awful, there was something in the back story she described that made me think there was a misunderstanding and possibly an incorrect assumption of the other person’s motives. To my friend, the other person was acting spitefully and just being mean spirited. I gingerly brou [...]

November 11, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} I recently attended a virtual lecture presented by Maryellen Dance, LMHC from Rochester, NY, focusing on fact versus fiction in terms of anxiety. She had some very interesting suggestions to deal with anxiety that may be helpful, especially when you’re in a particularly anxious time of your life like separating from your spouse. Your fears of the future, or focus on the past, can hinder your progress in a mediation if they hijack your ability t [...]

October 30, 2020 - If you find yourself in the situation with your parent needing to leave their home because you think it's not safe anymore, consider mediation as a first option. In Elder Mediation, everyone will have a seat at the table. The idea is that everyone will get to express their concerns, their interests, their desires, and most importantly, listen to the other person's concerns and interests, and desires.  [...]

October 14, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} When I’m working with parents and we are discussing what each proposes for a parenting plan, I ask them to phrase their proposal in terms of what is in the child’s best interests, and not necessarily what’s best for them. What does “best interests of the child” actually mean though? If we use the standard of what a judge would consider when making a custody determination in an adversarial proceeding, these are some of th [...]

September 30, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} I know that it has been a constant refrain of mine that budgets are vital in mediation, but I learned how truly indispensable they can be during a recent one. The couple were both high-wage earners, and one parent was agreed upon to be the primary residential parent. The non-residential parent proposed a different type of child support payment in which, rather than payment of the standard child support that would be calculated under NYs Child Support [...]

September 16, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} In an earlier post, I described the benefits of using a financial professional who acts as a neutral in mediation, but sometimes that may not work for you. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which will be best in your case. An Advocate If you choose to have the financial person be an advocate, they would be acting in the same way that an attorney would act on your behalf — looking out for your interests and how to achieve the bes [...]

August 26, 2020 -   When divorcing, some couples become somewhat obsessed about splitting everything evenly. When it comes to the kids, a 50/50 parenting plan without some flexibility can potentially do more harm than good. Focusing on how much time your kids are spending with the other parent can be self-defeating when it comes to your relationship with the children.  [...]

August 12, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} Now that you have decided on the access schedule you will use in your equal parenting plan, there are some other terms that you might want to include in your agreement. Tweaks to the On-Duty Parent Responsibilities Typically, the on-duty parent is responsible for everything having to do with the children during their access time. But, you may want to modify that in some circumstances:  If you have children with different extracurricular acti [...]

July 30, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} Reaching the agreement that you both want to share substantially equal time with your children is clearly a very meaningful decision, but it isn’t the only decision you will need to agree upon in terms of your parenting plan. There are many options in terms of parenting schedules that you will need to consider, and that can be a source of conflict. There is no “right” schedule, as it all depends on your children, their developmental [...]

July 16, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} Since New York on PAUSE went into effect, parties have been mediating virtually — either online or by phone, and this may even continue as businesses begin to reopen. I would like to share with you some of the differences that I’ve noticed in my mediation meetings via Zoom. Technical Difficulties We all may be subject to an unstable internet connection and noisy distractions from dogs or others in your household. Your mediator should let [...]

June 30, 2020 -   Though the end of year holidays may be long over when this video is published, those holidays prompted my discussion of this topic for divorced couples. Sharing the kids during all of the holidays throughout the year is often a difficult subject to tackle, but there are some practical ways to work out the logistics so that your kids will have good memories of spending holiday time with their parents.  [...]

June 3, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} I recently read an article in the New York Times by Dhruv Khullar, MD, in which he wrote about the possible detrimental health effects of feeling regret. Dr. Khullar believes that doctors often ignore the toll that regret can have on someone: “We often don’t explore the role regret might be playing in the distress many patients and families experience, or acknowledge it when it’s clear that it is contributing to their pain.” [...]

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