Attorneys at the Mediation Table?

Like Rachel Alexander, generally, in my practice, divorce mediations are intimate, including only the parties and the mediator. This often adds to the sense of confidentiality and privacy. It works well for many clients who want to speak candidly about difficult issues in a safe, unbiased environment. Sometimes, however, for a multitude of reasons, clients wish to include their attorneys in sessions. A client may feel that by having his attorney present, his rights are better protected or that a power imbalance between the parties is being equalized. While there are indisputable benefits to including attorneys throughout the process, there are some downsides of which clients should be mindfu

4 Important Things to Do Before You Say ‘I Don’t’

I find there is an interesting dynamic to being a divorce mediator. While, as a businessman, I want new clients, I am always sorry a couple has found themselves in my office as it usually represents the end of a dream they shared together. In this blog posting, Vicki Shemin offers, even if you have been long feeling that your marriage is a hopeless and lost cause, several worthwhile options to explore before divorcing. MEDIATION TO STAY MARRIED “Mediation to Stay Married” is a fantastic, albeit underused, option for those at the crossroads of remaining married/getting divorced. The process involves engaging the services of a skilled neutral to identify each spouse’s goals and to drill down

"We Disagree About EVERYTHING!"

Like Jennifer Safian, on more than a few occasions I've had couples say to me during their free consultation, "We disagree about everything!" However, as the mediation process evolved, they let their defenses down and somehow were able to come to decisions together without too much apparent conflict. Did they have to compromise? Of course they did, as many people often do when they have divergent opinions but want to find a solution. In the end, they were quite surprised and admitted that they never thought they would agree on so many issues. The mediation process sometimes does wonders for people. It helps them find common ground upon which to start building an agreement. If both parties co

Discussing Divorce with Your Spouse

Like Susan Ingram, often, when someone first calls me to discuss the possibility of divorce mediation, they will mention that they have not yet brought up the subject with their spouse. The caller (the initiating spouse) typically describes a marriage that has not been good for some time; the marriage no longer works for him or her and it needs to come to an end. As Susan writes, even though the non-initiating spouse may be just as miserable in the marriage, he or she may not have thought through the next step (divorce) to the same extent as the initiating spouse. Thus, they may well be at different stages in coming to terms with their failed marriage. Obviously, this is a difficult situatio

Instead of Litigating, Mediate

You are in conflict with your former partner. You see a family lawyer who tells you s/he can be of assistance. The lawyer offers to send a letter of introduction to your former partner or their lawyer and in so doing, sets the tone for the process of settlement. Before you know it, the parties are at an impasse and the matter is brought to court for resolution. You are in litigation. As Gary Direnfeld writes, this is the predictable path when hiring a lawyer whose primary training is in litigation. This is what they are trained to do. With litigation, while you may seem satisfied with the outcome, it runs the risk of coming at great expense financially and socially. Mediation will require

How to Prepare for Divorce Mediation

If you are preparing for divorce mediation, on some levels you have already won when it comes to your divorce. You both have won, especially if you have children, because while you and your spouse may not agree on many things and may be facing one of the most challenging times in your lives, you both have made the proactive choice to avoid the unnecessary devastation of a court battle in litigation. And, if you are reading this, it means that you are approaching divorce mediation thoughtfully and seriously. In this blog posting, Michael Aurit offers a few tips about how to prepare for divorce mediation Find the best divorce mediator Organize your financial information Think about your intere

Five Lessons for a Successful Mediation

In this blog posting, Ada Hasloecher offers five lessons that have held her clients in good stead during their mediations: Don’t denigrate your opponent Take responsibility and ownership of your actions Pick your battles Not every battle is a war Compromise is NOT a dirty word #BenefitsofMediation #Divorce

Untangling Lives: The Divorce Mediation Process

Divorce mediation, as opposed to a contested divorce (in which each spouse hires an attorney and fights it out through the court system), is often a better choice for couples. When a couple decides to divorce, they need to begin the process of “disentangling” from each other. They can either approach this task in a humane and constructive way (which mediation supports), or they can let it degenerate into increased anger and animosity (which litigation often results in). In this blog posting, Susan Ingram writes that mediation provides an approach and structure that supports this untangling of the couple’s life in a “kinder” and more efficacious manner. Ultimately, the results are much better

7 Practical Steps to a Strong Financial Future After Divorce

In this blog posting Sandra Banks offers seven practical steps to a strong financial future after divorce. These include: Consult a certified financial planner. Consult a Certified Public Accountant/Enrolled Agent. Separate your accounts. Manage your credit score. Update your will and beneficiaries. Review you retirement accounts and life insurance policies. Review and change your insurance coverage. Save. #Divorce #Finances

Reverse Mortgages and "Grey Divorce"

While divorces at any age create financial issues, older folks face unique challenges stemming from their shorter timelines. That’s especially true in the case of home ownership. In a typical divorce spouses generally have three options for dealing with the former marital house: sell it, own it jointly, or buy out the other spouse. The second option, though, generally only works for younger couples with school-aged children; older people with grown kids have no reason to own a house together if they don’t even want to live together anymore. A reverse mortgage, then, can help one spouse buy the other out — and, in the case of the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program, allow the departing

3 Signs You’re Ready For A Divorce

Is it ever right to consider divorce, especially if you’re a parent? Of course, divorce should be avoided whenever possible. It’s not a solution to marital problems. More like an escape hatch – with no guarantee of a happy ending. In this blog posting Rosalind Sedacca offers three signs that divorce might be the best option for a couple, especially if they are parents. These include: Irreconcilable Disrespect Dramatic Parenting Conflicts Emotional, Verbal or Physical Abuse You owe it to yourself and your spouse to do everything you can to resolve marital conflict before deciding to divorce. Once you’ve explored all avenues, then you can close the door on your marriage knowing there is no unf

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