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Mediation Blog

June 19, 2019 -   If you're going through a divorce and you own your home, that home is going to be looked at as an asset to be divided according to the laws of New York. To one or both parties, the marital home often means something more than just a place to live. It represents a sense of continuity and something that is familiar which can lead one or both of them to want to keep it. Would you want a court making this decision for you, or would you prefer an interest-based di [...]

June 5, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} In a previous post, I wrote about the enormous impact that a sincere apology could have on another person. There is, though, a very significant step that must come first. Taking Responsibility for Our Actions Sometimes, the intentions behind the words said or the actions taken are crystal clear, and it is impossible to say with any semblance of credibility — “I didn’t mean to do that.”   More often, though, it&rsquo [...]

May 14, 2019 -   One of the aspects of divorce is the creation of “blended families” when there is remarriage afterwards that includes step-mothers, step-fathers, step-children, step-siblings, step-grandparents, etc. Navigating these new relationships can be awkward, but the lives of you and your children can be enriched by keeping an open mind with regard to new significant others as this video attests. [...]

May 1, 2019 - {3:00 minutes to read} One of the things you will be asked to address in mediation is what, if any, changes will be made to child support. In a previous post, I wrote about New York’s statute that would permit parties to file for a modification for support under certain circumstances. But, if you’re mediating now, you certainly would want to avoid having to go to court to modify child support in the future. It’s best to include the changes to support t [...]

April 23, 2019 -   In the past, as a lawyer it was very uncommon for me to either attend a mediation with a client or have clients bring their attorneys to a mediation with me. That was something that I always felt was a rarity in family mediation. Since I’ve become a divorce mediator, I’m not sure why, but that dynamic seems to be changing. I’m finding these meetings to be productive, and the attorneys’ presence to be helpful. [...]

April 3, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} There are two diametrically opposed views as to the value of an attorney versus a mediator. In terms of settling a matrimonial matter, each believes the other is not necessary. “There is no need for a mediator.” Some matrimonial attorneys believe that two attorneys can negotiate for the parties and reach a settlement — why the need for a third party? After all, attorneys have been settling cases forever, and it works.   M [...]

March 20, 2019 - {3:00 minutes to read} I’m writing this after a particularly stressful December. I anticipated that the rush to complete separation agreements by the end of the year would make for an unusual amount of stress. What I didn’t count on was the perfect storm in terms of anxiety when that unusual work stress combined with all that I needed to do in preparation for the holidays. No one, including myself, wanted to be around me for any length of time. Clearly, the [...]

March 12, 2019 - {4:00 minutes to read} In his book Lying, Sam Harris explains how a seminar he took as an undergraduate led him on a path to believe that any lying, even what most may deem “a little white lie,” is harmful. The seminar was called The Ethical Analyst, and it focused on the question “Is it wrong to lie?” In the course, he learned that lies damage personal relationships and violate the public trust, whether they are big or small. The book caused me [...]

February 19, 2019 - {3:00 minutes to read} In many cases, clients decide to separate as a mutual decision and come to mediation without assessing any blame or fault on the other. In many other cases, though, one party feels either that the other party is to blame (i.e., if the other person had an affair) or that the other person is at fault because he or she is the one who wants the divorce against the wish of the other to stay married. In those cases, a pervasive attitude of blame or fault [...]

February 5, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} My knowledge of bankruptcy law is based upon what I learned in law school a very long time ago, and several Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars I’ve attended. I know enough to recognize what I don’t know, and when to suggest that clients consult with an experienced professional before we get involved in the mediation.   If they decide to go forward with the bankruptcy first, they will have the benefits of: Less expen [...]

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 [...]

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