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Mediation Blog

Topic: Litigation | 29 post(s).

April 6, 2022 -   I remember when I used to represent clients in adversarial settings long ago, I would have some clients who would win in the sense that they got what they wanted but they weren't happy. I also had some clients who settled, and they weren't too happy, either. Now, I am definitely not saying that all mediation clients are happy. Happiness is a tough concept when you're talking about the end of a relationship but I often see a level of contentment in mediation cli [...]

February 2, 2022 - No one can tell you how long your divorce will take. If you are litigating, you are at the mercy of your attorney’s schedule, your spouse’s attorney’s schedule, the judge’s timetable and the court’s agenda. This can increase the level of anxiety and uncertainty that you feel. In mediation, the timetable is up to you and your spouse. [...]

September 16, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} In an earlier post, I described the benefits of using a financial professional who acts as a neutral in mediation, but sometimes that may not work for you. Here are some factors to consider when deciding which will be best in your case. An Advocate If you choose to have the financial person be an advocate, they would be acting in the same way that an attorney would act on your behalf — looking out for your interests and how to achieve the bes [...]

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 [...]

October 29, 2019 -   To find out what you’re entitled to, you need to go to court. But going to court does not guarantee you will get what you want. When someone focuses on entitlement, there are usually some underlying emotions that need to be addressed. If those underlying emotions haven't been dealt with in a productive way, you're not going to be able to move forward in the positive way that you're looking for. [...]

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 [...]

May 23, 2018 - {2:42 minutes to read}  As a divorce mediator, I certainly expect to have clients express strong emotions, including anger. But I’ve encountered a few clients recently who made me recall my earlier post on the difference between anger and bitterness. The definitions of anger and bitterness are similar: Anger: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Bitterness: anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment. The definit [...]

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 [...]

October 4, 2017 - {3:18 minutes to read} In my past life advocating for clients in an adversarial process, getting to the point of splitting the difference was the last settlement proposal, and timing was everything. If your first offer is close to what you really want, there will be little room left to split the difference if your adversary low-balls their demand. For example, if you are looking for $5000 and ask for $5000 in support and your spouse offers $2000, you are going to lose in [...]

July 19, 2017 - {3:54 minutes to read} I just returned from the annual gathering of the NYS Conference on Divorce Mediation. This is my 12th conference, and I was as excited to go to this one as I was to my first. While the focus is on education with plenaries and workshops on various aspects of family law and mediation theory, there is undeniably another element that plays a very big part. Whether we do it full time or not, are experienced mediators or just starting out, we all feel t [...]

May 3, 2017 - {3:36 minutes to read} I recently attended a panel discussion on how to determine income in a matrimonial mediation. The panel consisted of a litigator, a mediator and a financial professional. The idea was to show the different approaches each would take in cases where income was hard to determine, such as self-employed parties, cash income, other complicated financial situations, or when a party just refuses to disclose relevant information. That got me to thinking abo [...]

April 19, 2017 - {3:48 minutes to read} While the history of a client’s relationship is obviously relevant to them, its relevance to the mediation is not necessarily the same. If there is a dispute as to whether or not an event occurred, my role is not to determine the truth. That would be in the realm of litigation. In mediation, its relevance has to do with the effect that those beliefs about past events have on each party’s ability to work with the other in the process an [...]

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