When We Left Your Office, Everything Fell Into Place

Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov

It was a very complicated situation: The couple had been to lawyers and court. There were still issues of custody and visitation. One of the spouses had been very ill and was undergoing treatments. The other spouse had been in psychotherapy for a number of years. It was a very complicated situation.

The lawyers couldn’t come up with anything other than a standard agreement, but the agreement really didn’t address what was underlying the custody issues—and how these folks, who had very different ideas about parenting, could co-parent a child.

Read the rest of Don’s article to learn how divorce mediation helped this couple bring finality to their complicated issues.

Informed Decision Making

Daniel Burns

Daniel Burns

As I mentioned in my prior post, The Initial Consultation, I meet with all of my prospective clients before I begin the mediation. During this first meeting, one of the things I tell them is that I require full financial disclosure. I don’t allow them to waive this requirement, even if they say that they’ve “got everything worked out and don’t need to make financial disclosure.

Part of the reason I do this is to make sure each of them is fully aware of what is available for discussion. Most importantly, I want to satisfy myself that each of them is making an informed decision.

Read the rest of Dan’s article to learn more about why this is so important.

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Walking the Razor’s Edge

Ada Hasloecher

Ada Hasloecher

We mediators often do walk a very fine line indeed. We work with couples who have either waited for the mediation to start before bringing up past grievances with each other, or who are triggered when a particular topic ignites a buried and/or unexpressed anger. When that happens, the mediator must almost immediately make the call on how far to allow the situation to play out before stepping in either to stop it or to guide it to its necessary (or unnecessary) conclusion. Not so easy.

No matter how much training, schooling, and education a mediator has had, this is one arena where experience really matters. And I believe that experience matters because when it comes up, it is visceral, explosive, and catastrophic. If the mediator doesn’t get a handle on it and know what to do about it, it can totally derail the mediation.

Read the rest of Ada’s article to learn how divorce mediators control the process while allowing couples to control the content of their sessions.

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The Power of Reframing

Jennifer Safian

Jennifer Safian

Coming from an artistic background, reframing for me meant putting a new frame around a painting, usually to enhance the painted image.

So how does that apply to our work as facilitators of a conversation?

Reframing refers to expressing what someone says in different words while being careful to maintain the content and spirit of what they were saying.

Read the rest of Jennifer’s article to learn how the technique of reframing helped a couple in divorce mediation.

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Whatever Happened to Civility?

Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about Civility, especially with everything that’s been going on in the U.S. political arena and the stark difference between the two presidential candidates. I suspect that young people today may not even recognize the word or know what being “civil” actually means. It has fallen out of use in today’s world.

Call me old-fashioned or whatever, but I’ve always believed in the necessity for a basic code of conduct that should govern how we relate to others one-on-one, in our communities, and even globally. That code would foster positive and constructive relationships between peoples and not divide them into self-centered interest groups.

Read the rest of Susan’s article to learn about the Twenty-five Rules of Considerate Conduct.

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Mark Josephson on LookTV

Mark Josephson on LookTV

Mark Josephson on LookTV

Watch NYSCDM President Mark Josephson explain how divorce mediation can help couples communicate better, work through challenging financial issues and enable them to develop equitable divorce agreements while maintaining greater control over their futures.  Click here to watch Mark’s interview with Jesse Jackson on LookTV.

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