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Mediation Blog

Topic: Attorney | 55 post(s).

April 21, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} As I’m writing this on March 30, 2020, the Courts in New York State are open only for emergency relief, such as family offenses/orders of protection and child protective matters. Parents who are having non-emergency custody disputes are unable to access courts at this time to resolve their dispute. In an article in the New York Law Journal, Judge Jeffrey Sunshine, the Statewide Coordinating Judge for Matrimonial Cases, was praised on two divers [...]

March 13, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} Are all family disputes the same? Of course not. Divorce mediation is different from mediation involving the contest or interpretation of the provisions of a Will or Trust Agreement. But clearly, they have similarities: Ongoing Relationships While some familial relationships may have always been troubled, it’s likely that at some time, the parties probably got along well. And they may need to continue to get along for the sake of attending ext [...]

January 22, 2020 - There are 14 factors that are used by courts and attorneys to determine an equitable distribution of marital assets. In mediation, the couple makes these determinations together. Taking the time to review the factors, however, you may find one that resonates with you, and allows you to make a proposal to your spouse that will take into consideration its relevance to you and explain why you think you should get the property distribution that you are proposing in your me [...]

December 10, 2019 - {4 minutes to read}  In other posts, I’ve often touted the benefits of working with a financial professional, either together or separately, during a couple’s divorce mediation. In this post, I want to summarize the circumstances under which I think a mediation would progress most easily, and that is if both spouses worked with a financial professional who acts as a neutral. While the training and expertise of the financial professionals would be the sa [...]

November 26, 2019 - {4 minutes to read}  You and your fiancé have discussed the terms that you would want in your prenuptial agreement. You seem to be in agreement, so you feel that there is nothing to mediate and don’t see the need for a mediator when you could just have your lawyer draft the agreement and your fiancé can have an attorney review it. So, why involve a third professional and incur an additional fee when nothing is really in dispute? You May Not Have [...]

September 25, 2019 - {4 minutes to read}  At a recent conference for divorce and family mediators that I attended, I heard a panel consisting of judges, hearing officers and law clerks speak to the reality of the court process. Here are some of the negative consequences they raised: Timeframe Although there are rules that say the entire process in New York County would be “trial ready” in less than a year after filing, the reality is that it could be two years or more to g [...]

August 7, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} Separating from someone you’ve loved, trusted, and who, most likely, was your best friend, is an incredibly scary concept on a deeply personal level. On top of that, you are also likely worrying about how this will affect your children, as well as how you will afford to pay your bills. It’s completely understandable that you’re concerned and frightened by both the process and the future. Add to that, how hard it would be to expre [...]

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 [...]

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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