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Mediation Blog

Topic: Family | 54 post(s).

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 [...]

February 27, 2018 - {3:48 minutes to read} In New York, we refer to “joint legal custody” as joint decision making in which neither parent has a superior right to make decisions for the children. It sounds reasonable, and most parents agree to joint decision making without much thought. But then I ask “What do you think will happen if you can’t agree upon a major decision?” A large percentage of my clients believe that they will not have any substantial confl [...]

January 31, 2018 - {3:48 minutes to read} While the New York Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) is not perfect, it does provide a sensible framework for addressing the indirect expenses that a parent experiences. These indirect expenses are the most difficult to calculate and the most difficult for the child support payor to understand. “I’m willing to pay 100% of my children's expenses for clothing, activities, medical insurance and expenses — why should I have to pay c [...]

October 18, 2017 - {3:24 minutes to read} So, you just learned that your spouse had an affair, or you receive an unexpected request for a divorce. How do you react when someone you thought you knew, and your life with that person, is turned on its head? If you’re a really remarkable person, your first reaction would be to exhibit strength and grace in the face of this event that upends your world. If you’re like most of us, though, the first reaction would be a combination of [...]

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