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Mediation Blog

Topic: Children | 77 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 [...]

March 24, 2021 - My previous two videos on Child Inclusive Mediation discussed the child interview and the parent meeting. In this video, we look at the parenting plan that can be created as a result of the issues and concerns raised by the child consultant’s interview of the children. This plan is not a legal document, but an agreement between the parents in their own language which they can start to use immediately.   [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

May 20, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} As a divorce mediator, it’s not surprising that I work with many couples who experience a lack of communication. Since that lack of communication is now being coupled with spending an inordinate amount of time with your spouse during the pandemic, you may consider this an opportunity to improve your communication. In Listening During a Pandemic, Kate Murphy writes that while a pandemic has the likelihood of causing an increase in divorce, it ca [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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