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Mediation Blog

Topic: Family | 64 post(s).

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 [...]

December 3, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} The other day a friend told me about a conflict she was having with another person and how that person behaved towards her. While the other person’s actions were pretty awful, there was something in the back story she described that made me think there was a misunderstanding and possibly an incorrect assumption of the other person’s motives. To my friend, the other person was acting spitefully and just being mean spirited. I gingerly brou [...]

June 3, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} I recently read an article in the New York Times by Dhruv Khullar, MD, in which he wrote about the possible detrimental health effects of feeling regret. Dr. Khullar believes that doctors often ignore the toll that regret can have on someone: “We often don’t explore the role regret might be playing in the distress many patients and families experience, or acknowledge it when it’s clear that it is contributing to their pain.” [...]

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 [...]

December 10, 2019 - {4 minutes to read}  In other posts, I’ve often touted the benefits of working with a financial professional, either together or separately, during a couple’s divorce mediation. In this post, I want to summarize the circumstances under which I think a mediation would progress most easily, and that is if both spouses worked with a financial professional who acts as a neutral. While the training and expertise of the financial professionals would be the sa [...]

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 [...]

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