Divorcing Couples Are Not Lawyers – Give Them a Break!

Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov

Often divorcing couples come to mediation having done some research or gotten advice from friends. Since this is usually their first divorce, they try to get as much information as they can, so they can be informed as they go through the mediation/divorce process. But this is very much like trying to study the night before the test.

Mediators and attorneys have to understand that clients don’t know this stuff, and we have to be patient in stepping them through the information. Read the rest of Don’s article to learn how mediators help couples get the information they need to make their own decisions.

Annual Downstate Symposium

Save The Date

The New York State Council on Divorce MediationNYSCDM_logo_for_header is pleased to announce our

Annual Downstate Symposium:

“Calm the Chaos: Navigating the Emotional, Financial and Ethical Complexities of Divorce Mediation”

Co-sponsored by the CUNY Dispute Resolution Program of John Jay College 

Saturday, December 5th, 2015     8:30 – 4:30

John Jay College, 524 West 59th Street, New York, NY 

Please join us for an informative and inspiring day of presentations and panel discussions focusing on some of the most difficult issues that mediation professionals face.

Highlights include:

  • Lessons on Conflict Resolution from an NYPD Hostage Negotiator                                           Presenter: Lt. Jack Cambria
  • Defusing the Emotional Couple: Strategies for Mediators to Work With Emotions in the Room   Presenter: Judith Siegel, Ph.D.
  • Update on the New Maintenance Law in New York State                                                               Presenter: Steven L. Abel, Esq.
  • Panel Discussion on Complex Financial Situations
  • Cases That Keep Us Up at Night


Home is Where the Children Are: Tips for Creating a Comfortable Second Home for Your Child

Deborah Hope Wayne

Deborah Hope Wayne

The importance of keeping the children’s interests at heart and the best ways to handle communication with children is often emphasized through the divorce process. No matter how old the children may be, they react to their parents’ divorce in different ways. What happens to the children after the divorce process is completed? One parent may be moving out of the family home and starting new in a different place and, in some cases, the family home may be sold and everyone will move. While it is a new beginning for that parent, it is also a brand new home for the children. What can you do to help make your new residence a comfortable second home for your children?

Read the rest of Deborah’s article for tips on how to create a comfortable second home for your child.

Hitting the Pause Button in Divorce Mediation

Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram

Most divorce mediations can be resolved within a matter of months. By ‘resolved’ I mean that, within that timeframe, the couple will have:

– participated in a number of sessions to discuss their issues,
– come to an understanding on these issues, and
– reviewed and executed a legal document (a settlement agreement) that sets out everything they’ve agreed upon.

Sounds like a pretty quick and efficient process, especially given the seriousness and importance of the subject matter. And many times the mediation process can be completed within a 4-8 month timeframe. Yet, in my mediations with divorcing couples, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon that I refer to as “Hitting the Pause Button,” or just “The Pause.”

Read the rest of Susan’s article to learn what “The Pause” is and how it can benefit the mediation process.

How Can a Child Specialist Help?

Clare Piro

Clare Piro

We often use and hear the term “best interests of the children.” You would imagine that if applied consistently, the results would also be consistent, but that is not necessarily true. It all depends on the process used and who is making that determination.

Read the rest of Clare’s article to learn how outcomes can differ depending on if you use:
– Litigation
– Attorney Negotiation or
– Mediation with a Child Specialist or Co-parent Counselor.

Can Conflict Be Good?

Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” – Karen Kaiser Clark

Many people, when in conflict, see it as something bad and unsettling, and indeed, it can be. Alternatively, conflict can often be good. How can this be so?

There are 2 sides to conflict – one is productive and the other is unproductive. As to which of these approaches will prevail, that very much depends upon the attitude and approach of the participants. Read the rest of Susan’s article to learn how to shift your approach to conflict so that you have better outcomes.