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Mediation Blog

Topic: Change | 43 post(s).

April 30, 2021 - {4 minutes to read} I often receive phone calls from potential clients telling me that they have settled everything and just want me to write up their agreement. When faced with this request, I explain that this is not what I do and why mediation would still be important even if they have discussed and agreed upon terms.  Terms that were Not Addressed Even if there are no minor children, it’s difficult to navigate through all of the terms that need to be con [...]

January 15, 2021 - {2 minutes to read} Like everyone else in the world, I looked forward to 2021 and the opportunity to put 2020 behind me. While we all hoped that the new year would bring something better — in health, in politics, and in regaining in-person connections to friends and family — of course, nothing changed at the stroke of midnight. And then I thought about expectations. The meditation teacher, Joseph Goldstein, speaks about “the next pleasant thing.&rdquo [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

September 11, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} Both the clients and the mediator want to be sure that the first meeting is productive, both because of the cost involved and because everyone wants to feel that something was accomplished and momentum is building. That’s why at the initial consultation I suggest clients to do the following before scheduling the first meeting: Review the checklist I provide. To the extent that it’s productive for them to do so, I suggest that clients [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

November 30, 2018 - {3:00 minutes to read} It’s an admonition that many a Hallmark holiday movie has been based upon  ---    "Be Careful What You Wish For." The usual plot is that someone wakes up in the life she always dreamed about, only to find out that the life she had was so much better. In the end, she gets to go back to that wonderful life she never fully appreciated and everything is grand after all. It would be nice if we got those chances in real life, [...]

June 22, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read}  After a divorce, many somewhat routine aspects of your life will be changing. It may be hard, but as you move forward with your life, you will have to adapt to these changed situations. In some cases, you may be able to anticipate those situations, and include provisions in your settlement agreement. During the mediation, being asked about what types of vacation provisions you want in your agreement may come as a surprise. The idea of going [...]

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