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Mediation Blog

Topic: Control | 18 post(s).

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 [...]

November 20, 2018 - {3:00 minutes to read} In the last post, I addressed the designation of beneficiaries of your life insurance in order to ensure the continuation of child or spousal support. While the continuation of support is important, there are some other issues about life insurance coverage that may need to be discussed in mediation. Employer-Provided Life Insurance Individual life insurance policies owned and paid for by the parties provide the most control and flexibility in ter [...]

October 26, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read} Life insurance is not a topic most people are eager to speak about, let alone if you are separating. But life insurance is a topic you should be prepared to discuss in your mediation. Under New York law, a judge may order a party to obtain and maintain life insurance coverage naming as beneficiaries either the children (for child support) or the spouse (for maintenance) for so long as the party is obligated to pay child support and/or maintenance. [...]

April 12, 2018 - {4:30 minutes to read}  Over the years I’ve been mediating, I’ve been asked by potential clients if the following concerns would mean that they could not mediate their separation. Here are some of their questions and my responses:We disagree on everything.  Disagreement in mediation is to be expected. Since mediation is a process which aims to resolve conflict, a mediator is trained to help the two of you do just that. I am very angry at my spouse [...]

December 6, 2016 - {3:18 minutes to read} After my initial mediation training, I developed a sense of why I thought clients would choose to mediate their divorce. Since I was so invigorated by the knowledge of this amazing process, I assumed they would choose to mediate because they wanted to engage in a process in which they could learn how to communicate their interests to each other and then brainstorm creative resolutions to meet those interests in a collaborative and non-adversarial s [...]

June 21, 2016 - {3:12 minutes to read} Having been raised by a mother who once heard an ambulance and acted upon the belief that it carried my aunt, who, being 15 minutes late in picking her up, had, of course, been in a car accident, I’m a worrier. If I allow myself to go there, I can easily obsess about a car accident or a plane crash, things that can happen in an instant without warning and could drastically change my life. Then there are the things that are equally devastatin [...]

June 7, 2016 - {4:18 minutes to read} As Lesley Stahl was making the rounds on various talk shows, promoting her new book, Becoming Grandma, the Joys and Science of the New Grandparenting, I learned that the omnipresent Boomer generation has once again made its presence known and adopted its own version of being a grandparent. I was then inspired to do a little research—admittedly over the internet, so I am not attesting to complete accuracy. From my experience, though, what I f [...]

September 29, 2015 - {3:36 minutes to read} In a previous post, I discussed the difficulty faced by a mediator when he or she needs to consider whether or not the client’s right to self-determination should be controlling in the face of an agreement that could be considered unconscionable. In my initial consultation with clients, I try to draw the distinction for them between someone who: Is unable to fully participate in the mediation; Does not have the capacity to mediate [...]

September 1, 2015 - {3:30 minutes to read} I always stress the importance of the client's right of control in a mediated matter versus the loss of control clients experience in a litigation or in an attorney negotiated matter. My recent, 2nd personal brush with the legal system reminded me of the 1st, and brought the concept of client control in mediation to an ever greater importance for me. A few years before I became a mediator, and still litigated matters, I retained an attorney [...]

July 21, 2015 - {3:36 minutes to read}   When I practiced family law in an adversarial setting, I always felt a little guilty when I said that I enjoyed it, given that I was working with people who were going through one of the worst times of their lives. But in contrast to the other parts of my practice (real estate and estate matters), family law was interesting, dynamic, and challenging. Presenting and opposing arguments was intellectually stimulating based upon the substantial [...]

March 17, 2015 - {3:30 minutes to read} . Do we choose our profession because of our basic personality, or does our profession cause us to form a certain personality trait? I've always had a “never say die” kind of attitude. I would always think that I could fix it or make it better, be it a relationship or a friend who was upset. I could fix just about anything that had gone awry. A basic problem solver. This attitude wasn't always to my advantage when it came to personal [...]

February 18, 2015 - {2:50 minutes to read} Clients can become exasperated by all of my “what if” questions as I try to provide for future changes of circumstance. I do this with the hope that their agreement can address these changes so they never need to return to mediation. However, there are some things that can never be anticipated, and other circumstances that, while they might happen, are not worth the time and effort to explore at the time the couple is separating. So, [...]

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