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Mediation Blog

Topic: Parents | 31 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 30, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} I know that it has been a constant refrain of mine that budgets are vital in mediation, but I learned how truly indispensable they can be during a recent one. The couple were both high-wage earners, and one parent was agreed upon to be the primary residential parent. The non-residential parent proposed a different type of child support payment in which, rather than payment of the standard child support that would be calculated under NYs Child Support [...]

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 [...]

June 30, 2020 -   Though the end of year holidays may be long over when this video is published, those holidays prompted my discussion of this topic for divorced couples. Sharing the kids during all of the holidays throughout the year is often a difficult subject to tackle, but there are some practical ways to work out the logistics so that your kids will have good memories of spending holiday time with their parents.  [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

February 15, 2018 - {1:00 minute to read} My colleagues, Dr. Jeff Zimmerman and Dr. Lauren Behrman, posted an article on how your children may pick up on the negative communication between you and your spouse/ex-spouse, even if you do not. The article reminds us that all communication in front of children, both verbal and nonverbal, has an impact on them. I’m also heartened that Jeff and Lauren propose practicing mindfulness to help parents transform unhealthy practices into healthy [...]

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 [...]

August 2, 2017 - {4:24 minutes to read} Nesting is a shared parenting concept that allows the children to stay in the marital home while the parents go back and forth. The idea is that the children will be able to remain in one familiar place, have no concerns about where they are on what day or what they need to take with them. Typically, parents who choose this will be sharing time in the home with the children on an equal basis. To see if this might work for you, consider the followi [...]

July 6, 2017 - {3:06 minutes to read} In the previous part of this series, we looked at parental considerations in relation to a child’s college education. In this final post, we will discuss the child’s role with regard to their college education and any credits against child support. Should there be a contribution from the child? Do you believe that the child should be responsible to pay for part of college, through loans or otherwise? This has both philosophical (shou [...]

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