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Mediation Blog

Topic: Settlement | 34 post(s).

December 16, 2021 - {4 minutes to read} The most typical way a pension is divided would be through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). A QDRO provides that, at retirement, the marital portion of the pension will be divided in the way that you have agreed upon in your Separation Agreement, usually 50%. The marital portion is the part that accumulated during the marriage. But you’re in mediation, so you don’t have to do what is typically done. Especially if the QDRO does [...]

July 16, 2021 -   Strong emotions can arise when you are talking about distributing a pension. By explaining why each of you feels entitled to the pension, you can open the door to a productive discussion and start talking about options in a way that recognizes what you both need and what your expectations are. Through that discussion, you may be able to reach a settlement that's going to meet those needs and expectations.     [...]

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 [...]

June 3, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} I recently read an article in the New York Times by Dhruv Khullar, MD, in which he wrote about the possible detrimental health effects of feeling regret. Dr. Khullar believes that doctors often ignore the toll that regret can have on someone: “We often don’t explore the role regret might be playing in the distress many patients and families experience, or acknowledge it when it’s clear that it is contributing to their pain.” [...]

May 20, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} As a divorce mediator, it’s not surprising that I work with many couples who experience a lack of communication. Since that lack of communication is now being coupled with spending an inordinate amount of time with your spouse during the pandemic, you may consider this an opportunity to improve your communication. In Listening During a Pandemic, Kate Murphy writes that while a pandemic has the likelihood of causing an increase in divorce, it ca [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

April 3, 2019 - {3:30 minutes to read} There are two diametrically opposed views as to the value of an attorney versus a mediator. In terms of settling a matrimonial matter, each believes the other is not necessary. “There is no need for a mediator.” Some matrimonial attorneys believe that two attorneys can negotiate for the parties and reach a settlement — why the need for a third party? After all, attorneys have been settling cases forever, and it works.   M [...]

February 19, 2019 - {3:00 minutes to read} In many cases, clients decide to separate as a mutual decision and come to mediation without assessing any blame or fault on the other. In many other cases, though, one party feels either that the other party is to blame (i.e., if the other person had an affair) or that the other person is at fault because he or she is the one who wants the divorce against the wish of the other to stay married. In those cases, a pervasive attitude of blame or fault [...]

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 [...]

September 28, 2018 - {3:40 minutes to read} There is a mindfulness meditation that I enjoy doing that focuses on the inner critic we all have — that voice in your head that tells you that you messed up, made a fool of yourself or just don’t know what you’re doing. The suggestion is to create a picture in your mind of the critic to aid in recognizing that it is your inner critic speaking so you are not derailed. (My favorite is of a stern judge in dark robes frowning from a [...]

September 20, 2018 - {3:30 minutes to read} I tend not to use the word “settle” with clients in mediation. Although to settle is defined as “to reach agreement or decision...,” I prefer to use the phrase “to agree upon terms.” To me, to agree upon terms in mediation is quite different from settling on terms which have been hashed out by attorneys in an adversarial setting. In an adversarial setting:  Each attorney’s role is to advocate for t [...]

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