2015 Annual Conference

Registration is now open for the 2015 Annual Conference, April 30-May 2, 2015 in West Harrison, NY. We have a fantastic program lined up this year! Follow the links below for more information.

2015 Annual Conference Brochure

2015 Annual Conference Registration Form

The Best Interest of the Pet: Custody of the Pet is Real!

Deborah Hope Wayne

Deborah Hope Wayne

It happens all the time: a couple starts getting serious and may start making major purchases together. For some couples it may be furniture or a car, but many couples also choose to purchase or adopt a pet. While the relationship is going smoothly, everything is fine; but what happens when the couple breaks up? A big problem that arises in a breakup or divorce is where the pet will go.

According to recent stories in the news, custody cases involving pets are on the rise in the United States. You might know of someone who went through this issue after a breakup – the former couple ends up disagreeing on whom the pet actually belongs to and who should get to keep it.

Read the rest of Deborah’s article to learn how you can prevent hostile and potentially costly disagreements over pets in the event of a breakup.

Putting Your Past to Work

Jennifer Safian

Jennifer Safian

How many of us think about our past mistakes when trying to create a better future?

We have all heard about people:
– Losing everything when their uninsured home burns down
– Insuring newly acquired personal valuables after the older, uninsured ones disappeared
– Taking out long-term care insurance later in life, when it’s more costly, after watching a family go through much of their resources while taking care of a sick relative

We cannot take out insurance on our marriage. However, we can take a closer look at ourselves, get a better understanding of why we chose that particular partner and why it did not turn out as we would have wished. Read the rest of Jennifer’s article to learn how learning from past mistakes can help improve future relationships.

The Big Freeze: Overcoming Inertia – What to do when you can’t do a thing

Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander

Everyone’s heard of fight or flight, but what about freeze? One of our responses to fear is freezing which is an inability to take any action whatsoever. Part of divorce and marital separation is overcoming a sense of overwhelm in order to face multiple daunting tasks.

As a primitive coping response, freezing may have served us at a time when non-movement and a slowing of all our bodily functions meant evading a stalking saber tooth tiger. In our current environs, freezing is somewhat less useful. Nonetheless, old habits, particularly biologically based ones, die hard. With important matters requiring deliberate and informed action, such as divorce and separation, it’s important we manage our “freeze” response. Read the rest of Rachel’s article to learn how.

Should I leave my life insurance to my kids? NO!

Bobbie Dillon

Bobbie Dillon

Many of my divorcing clients think the easiest thing to do is to simply change their beneficiary designation from their spouse to their children, but leaving money directly to minors means they may be left without the funds needed for their care, which is the whole point of life insurance in the first place, right?

So what should you do? Read the rest of Bobbie’s article.



My Sign Says Don Sinkov, Mediator, Not Merlin the Magician

Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov

“The lawyers want more money. We’re broke. Let’s try mediation!” News Flash!! Mediation should be your first choice, not your last!

After being in litigation for 1, 2, 3 or more years, the couple is firmly rooted in their bargaining positions, encouraged by the litigation attorneys. And the attorneys have pounded into their heads how important it is to get exactly what they want with no compromise whatsoever, and if they don’t get what they want, they should walk away from the table and go back to court.

When I get these cases, I have to be honest with them.

“This is going to be very difficult. Mediation works beautifully when you first come to a mediator before all the involvement in litigation takes place. The mediator will go over everything with you, discuss the options, and how you both might compromise – – not in everything, but in certain areas, so you can create an agreement you both can live with.”

This doesn’t mean that you have to give up everything. It doesn’t mean you have to give up what’s most important to you. What it does mean is you have to be realistic. Even in a litigation, you’re not going to get everything. To learn more about mediation, read the rest of Don’s article.