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Mediation Blog

Topic: Parenting Plan | 21 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 [...]

August 26, 2020 -   When divorcing, some couples become somewhat obsessed about splitting everything evenly. When it comes to the kids, a 50/50 parenting plan without some flexibility can potentially do more harm than good. Focusing on how much time your kids are spending with the other parent can be self-defeating when it comes to your relationship with the children.  [...]

August 12, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} Now that you have decided on the access schedule you will use in your equal parenting plan, there are some other terms that you might want to include in your agreement. Tweaks to the On-Duty Parent Responsibilities Typically, the on-duty parent is responsible for everything having to do with the children during their access time. But, you may want to modify that in some circumstances:  If you have children with different extracurricular acti [...]

July 30, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} Reaching the agreement that you both want to share substantially equal time with your children is clearly a very meaningful decision, but it isn’t the only decision you will need to agree upon in terms of your parenting plan. There are many options in terms of parenting schedules that you will need to consider, and that can be a source of conflict. There is no “right” schedule, as it all depends on your children, their developmental [...]

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 [...]

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 25, 2018 - {4:00 minutes to read} The mutual goal to reduce the financial costs of a separation is a primary motivation for most of my clients, second only to the desire to reach an agreement with as little rancor as possible. Regarding the financial costs, however, there are steps that clients can take to ensure that mediation fees remain reasonable by limiting the number of sessions that are needed. Complete Your Work Between Meetings At the end of my summary of the meeting, I [...]

March 14, 2018 - {3:42 minutes to read} Interim agreements are agreements that determine certain terms before the parties sign a comprehensive separation agreement. Some of the topics that may be covered by these kinds of agreements could be:  How to handle the sale of a house; Support and parenting plans; A provision that marital assets stop accumulating as of a certain date; and Arranging for the disposition or purchase of a particular asset. Typically, in my practice, cl [...]

November 1, 2017 - {4:12 minutes to read} As I described in Part I of this post, it’s not unusual to feel completely overwhelmed upon hearing that your spouse wants a divorce. You think the last thing you are capable of doing is making good decisions about your children and your finances. But then you keep getting pushed by your spouse to start the divorce ASAP. You can tell your spouse that you need some time to process everything and get the support that you may need to move forwa [...]

May 19, 2017 - {4:00 minutes to read} I often caution clients against including language in their agreement which is basically just an agreement to agree: anything that begins with “The parties will agree upon...” or “The parties agree to review...” But it depends on the issue and on the couple. Sometimes it makes sense not to spend an enormous amount of time either on something that is not all that contentious or something not likely to happen. Other times, th [...]

January 4, 2017 - {4:00 minutes to read} In New York, case law provides that when parents share equal physical custody of the children, the parent who earns more pays child support to the parent who earns less, based on the Child Support Standards Act.If there is a great disparity between their incomes, that might make sense. But if there is less than a substantial difference and both parents need to maintain a household for the children, applying the statute can put one parent in financi [...]

September 13, 2016 - {3:54 minutes to read} When I litigated, there were two times of year when I would receive quite a few calls from parents questioning a current or proposed parenting plan. The first was in December and centered around sharing the children during the holidays. The other, as the topic of this post indicates, was in September and centered around issues raised by the return to school. Just like those unhappy children who have to leave the freedom of summer for the restricti [...]

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