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Mediation Blog

Topic: Mediate | 51 post(s).

October 14, 2020 - {4 minutes to read} When I’m working with parents and we are discussing what each proposes for a parenting plan, I ask them to phrase their proposal in terms of what is in the child’s best interests, and not necessarily what’s best for them. What does “best interests of the child” actually mean though? If we use the standard of what a judge would consider when making a custody determination in an adversarial proceeding, these are some of th [...]

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 [...]

July 16, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} Since New York on PAUSE went into effect, parties have been mediating virtually — either online or by phone, and this may even continue as businesses begin to reopen. I would like to share with you some of the differences that I’ve noticed in my mediation meetings via Zoom. Technical Difficulties We all may be subject to an unstable internet connection and noisy distractions from dogs or others in your household. Your mediator should let [...]

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 [...]

November 26, 2019 - {4 minutes to read}  You and your fiancé have discussed the terms that you would want in your prenuptial agreement. You seem to be in agreement, so you feel that there is nothing to mediate and don’t see the need for a mediator when you could just have your lawyer draft the agreement and your fiancé can have an attorney review it. So, why involve a third professional and incur an additional fee when nothing is really in dispute? You May Not Have [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

December 19, 2018 - {3:30 minutes to read} I had a meeting recently with a couple, and when they left, I felt sure they would not be returning for another meeting. The husband didn’t want to separate, didn’t want to leave their home, and couldn’t imagine not having the children with him at least half of the time. The wife was insistent on separating, be it through mediation or through attorneys, wanted to be the primary custodial parent, and insisted on the sale of the h [...]

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 [...]

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