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Mediation Blog

Topic: Family | 57 post(s).

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 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. [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

September 28, 2018 - {3:40 minutes to read} There is a mindfulness meditation that I enjoy doing that focuses on the inner critic we all have — that voice in your head that tells you that you messed up, made a fool of yourself or just don’t know what you’re doing. The suggestion is to create a picture in your mind of the critic to aid in recognizing that it is your inner critic speaking so you are not derailed. (My favorite is of a stern judge in dark robes frowning from a [...]

August 17, 2018 - {3:42 minutes to read}  One of the major benefits of mediation is that parties make the decisions about their lives and the lives of their children. Self-determination is an awesome responsibility in that regard, and couples should be prepared to accept that responsibility when choosing to mediate. To me, this would mean that parties should make sure that they have all of the resources they may need in order to make the best decisions they can. Choosing the Mediat [...]

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 [...]

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