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Mediation Blog

Topic: New York | 28 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 [...]

June 19, 2019 -   If you're going through a divorce and you own your home, that home is going to be looked at as an asset to be divided according to the laws of New York. To one or both parties, the marital home often means something more than just a place to live. It represents a sense of continuity and something that is familiar which can lead one or both of them to want to keep it. Would you want a court making this decision for you, or would you prefer an interest-based di [...]

May 1, 2019 - {3:00 minutes to read} One of the things you will be asked to address in mediation is what, if any, changes will be made to child support. In a previous post, I wrote about New York’s statute that would permit parties to file for a modification for support under certain circumstances. But, if you’re mediating now, you certainly would want to avoid having to go to court to modify child support in the future. It’s best to include the changes to support t [...]

October 26, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read} Life insurance is not a topic most people are eager to speak about, let alone if you are separating. But life insurance is a topic you should be prepared to discuss in your mediation. Under New York law, a judge may order a party to obtain and maintain life insurance coverage naming as beneficiaries either the children (for child support) or the spouse (for maintenance) for so long as the party is obligated to pay child support and/or maintenance. [...]

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 [...]

January 3, 2018 - {4:06 minutes to read} “We don’t need to mediate–we agreed to everything already and just want you to write it up.” “We don’t have any assets, so we don’t have anything to talk about.” “We don’t need a separation agreement, we just want to get divorced.” Undoubtedly, as all mediators do, I’ve heard these statements, or variations on them, more often than I can count. It’s understandable, bu [...]

November 15, 2017 - {3:42 minutes to read} It’s perfectly normal for most married couples to live their lives without knowledge of the intricacies of separate and marital property in New York matrimonial law. Unfortunately, though, that lack of knowledge can lead to common and innocent “mistakes” and have unintended consequences under the law.Our Typical CouplesA couple maintains only joint accounts and holds all property with the other named on all assets. This has been w [...]

September 20, 2017 - {4:18 minutes to read} I’ve heard many complaints regarding divorce mediation: “It might be okay for simple matters but not for anything complicated.” “It’s too touchy-feely.” “You give up all of your rights when you mediate.” These types of complaints are easily dismissed as biased and uninformed; however, there are some complaints I’ve heard which I agree should be taken seriously. Mediator Lacking Relevant [...]

June 21, 2017 - {3:18 minutes to read} In Part 1 of this series, we looked at parental considerations in relation to a child’s college education. In Part 2, we will define typical college expenses and look at limits on what a parent will contribute. How do you define “college expenses? Is it just tuition, room and board, or do you want to consider other typical expenses that will be due? In addition to tuition and room and board, most parents include a provision to share: [...]

April 3, 2017 - {3:24 minutes to read} I thought it was interesting that the Personal Health columnist for the New York Times, Dr. Jane Brody, wrote a column entitled “The Right Way to Say I’m Sorry.” She posits that taking responsibility for your actions and offering a true apology to someone you’ve hurt actually is a matter of your own health and well being. Dr. Brody refers to these words from Harriet Lerner’s Why Won’t You Apologize? as to why an [...]

February 1, 2017 - {3:12 minutes to read} There are so many sources of information available to someone in the process of divorce: Attorney consultation; Financial divorce professional consultation; The internet; Their friend, hairdresser, cousin, sister or co-worker . Some are clearly less reliable than others. In fact, it’s rare for me to see clients who haven’t received some version of what they believe their rights and obligations under the law to be. This informa [...]

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