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Knowing about the toll that divorce takes on couples and how to deal with them can be helpful to those who are contemplating divorce.
People who are going through a divorce usually have many emotions in common – anger, depression, denial, confusion, sadness, fear, apathy, guilt, pain, and a loss of self-confidence, all making for this being a “crazy time”. They also have some behaviors in common. One of them, I call the “Aunt Lucy’s Quilt” syndrome.
This chart outlines the major differences between getting your divorce by going the mediation route and going the adversarial route.
Divorce mediation is an enlightened way to resolve financial and parenting issues when couples make the difficult wrenching decision to separate and divorce.
It is said that Mediation is like a jig saw puzzle – you have a lot of little pieces that don’t look like they will ever fit together. So you go to work on them – one piece at a time, paying very close attention to the little piece in your hand, but always looking at the entire puzzle to be sure it fits in properly.
People don’t get married to get divorced. When they come to me, their dreams and plans for their lives have hit a wall. I encourage them to identify the best available choices, given the reality of their situation.
Some people think that having a ’good divorce’ is an oxymoron. In her October 28th New York Times article entitled "The Good Divorce", Susan Gregory Thomas admits that ’. . . there is precious little upside to divorce.’ She goes on to talk about how she and her husband were able to focus on their children rather than focusing on their pain, hostility and feelings of betrayal as they were going through the process.
For Mediators, include this language in your retainer agreements. For Parties, make sure you understand the consequences of contracting with the mediator to keep him/her out of court.
People who are going through a separation or a divorce are often frustrated with the emotional and financial cost of the divorce process.
People who are going through a separation or a divorce are often frustrated with the emotional and financial cost of the divorce process.
I think that due to the fact that I was a therapist as well as an attorney, clients often ask me the same question or make the same comment at their first session.
Only people who agree can mediate. If that were true, there would be no need to mediate. Of course people who disagree can mediate, just like people who are angry can mediate and people who don’t really like each other can mediate.
If you and your spouse have decided that you need to separate, it would seem that the last thing you would want to do is to engage in a process that would be costly, inefficient and likely to increase the rancor between you. Yet, that is sadly what most couples unknowingly do if they believe that they have no option other than to litigate their divorce.
If you are considering mediation to work out the terms of your separation and possible divorce, because you both want to be fair and equitable with each other, now is the time to take some preliminary steps that will make the process smoother for you and the entire family.
Like it or not, the state of our economy is often a barometer for many of the daily emotions we experience. The markets are up and we are happy. The markets are down and so are we. Our country’s current economic turmoil has so many of us on an emotional roller coaster. It is hard enough for intact families and even harder for those facing marital separation and divorce.
In our society, classically the legal way to resolve conflict is based in an adversarial system. The adversarial jargon tells a great deal of the story. Two "sides" plead their case before a neutral fact-finder, be it judge or jury.
In response to our clients requests and in our continuing efforts to keep our existing clients as well as our potential clients apprised of issues in matrimonial and family law as well as our own thoughts and conclusions based on several years of mediation and litigation experience, here is our Mediation Associates’ Newsletter Notes from August 2005.
When we hear the word splitting in the context of a separation or divorce, most of us probably think of splitting up. Id like to take this opportunity to introduce another use of the word that is particularly pertinent to people who are going through a separation or divorce.
How could a mediator be neutral about your situation when you are getting divorced? Surely one of you is right and the other is wrong! If you know in your bones - and all of your friends agree - that you are right, you may think that mediation would not make sense for you, because you don’t want to compromise.
Anger is a normal feeling to have during a divorce. In fact, if you didn’t feel angry there would probably be something very wrong. Usually, one person has been unhappy for a period of time preceding the divorce, and was angry during this time.
Mediation is a process where you and your spouse will sit down with a neutral person who will help you, sometimes with and most often without attorneys present, to negotiate the terms of your divorce.
Mediation provides a confidential, non-adversarial process where divorcing spouses can negotiate their own settlement with the aid of an impartial third party mediator.
Mediation allows separating and divorcing couples to take control of planning their own futures. It is especially beneficial for parents, who though separating, will need to continue making joint decisions about their children well into the future.
Arbitration and mediation are allied processes that have expectable similarities, but also distinct differences. Unexpected parallels emerge when both are compared to psychoanalysis.
Finding and selecting a mediator can be easier if you follow some simple steps. In the best of circumstances, divorce is an uncomfortable process.
DISCOURAGE Litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often really a loser - in fees, expenses and waste of time. As a peacemaker, the lawyer has a superior opportunity at being a good man. There will still be business enough. - Abraham Lincoln, 1850.
Mediation is a tested, sensitive, intelligent approach to the resolution of separation, divorce and custody disputes. It offers divorcing couples a more effective and humane alternative to the traditional adversarial process. With the help of a trained professional mediator, couples in mediation work out their settlement based solely on the needs of the couple and their children; NOT on blame or fault.
I sat on the floor recently at a birthday party for a friend of my three-year-old, chatting with a group of four other morns. When it came to light that all four were divorced single mothers, the conversation quickly turned to the colorful descriptions of the fathers of their respective children.
If divorce is the proper alternative for two individuals, they should be spared as much pain as possible. This can be done through the process of divorce mediation, in which one or two mediators help a husband and wife prepare their own separation agreement.

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The New York court awards alimony after considering the spouses' financial situation, earning capacity, income, and the circumstances of the marriage. For example, if one spouse stayed home to care for the household while the other spouse supported the household, then the court generally requires the working spouse to continue supporting the other spouse. Alimony ends when the spouses agree, one spouse dies, or the receiving spouse remarries.

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