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Empty Nest Divorces

Happy New Year.  We’ve been away from our blog for some months, owing to a really wonderful experience teaching Mediation Theory and Skills at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Now we are “back in the saddle” full time. We’ve had the chance to reflect on several issues in our practice, which we will address

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College Savings for Divorcing Couples

Nearly every couple entering a divorce mediation negotiation needs to consider how they will provide for their children’s college education. While many have already established 529 college savings plans, questions often arise.  The Wall Street Journal’s  Chana Schoenberger covers many details in an excellent Q&A on college financing in the June 6, 2016 issue.  http://www.wsj.com/articles/what-to-do-with-leftover-529-money-1465178400

The Upside of Conflict

A beautiful piece in the New York Times, Modern Love Column this weekend: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/22/fashion/marriage-breakups-separation.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fmodern-love&action=click&contentCollection=fashion®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0   For divorce mediators, some important lessons for us (personally and professionally) and for our clients:  giving voice to anger and difficulties in the relationship, fighting for a relationship and being willing to have hard conversations.  The failure to do so

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Divorce Mediation 101

http://betterafter50.com/2016/05/divorce-mediation-demystfied/   What is mediation and how do I know if it is right for me? Mediation is a voluntary and autonomous negotiation process. In mediation, you and your spouse negotiate directly, with the support of a mediator whose role is to facilitate and guide the negotiations.  All the discussions proceed by mutual agreement only. If

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Adult Children of Divorce

Jane Gordon Julien writes, in the New York Times of the significant impact of divorce on adult children of the marriage.  In other words, while there are many studies about the impact of divorce on growing children, from early childhood through adolescence, there’s a dearth of understanding of how a parental split affects adults —

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Mediation Before Living Together

http://www.npr.org/2016/04/17/473498335/for-couples-skipping-the-ring-it-pays-to-plot-out-finances Regardless of whether you move in together planning on a long term relationship, you have entered into a financial partnership.  You and your partner may have figured out how to pay the rent and even the groceries — pro rata according to each of your earnings or perhaps you rely on the latest app to

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Dividing Assets in Divorce Mediation

  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/16/your-money/when-dividing-assets-the-little-things-matter.html?_r=0     In the Wealth Matters column, Paul Sullivan writes about how family members can divide assets, particularly when the relationships may be strained and it is too difficult to sit down and figure out who gets what. While the article focuses mainly on distribution of items among siblings, we find wisdom in

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Postnuptial Agreements and Mediation

The Wall Street Journal reports that postnuptial agreements are becoming increasingly popular.  This is consistent with our experience in our family and divorce mediation practice. The reasons, in New York State, vary from case to case.  Spouses may be contemplating a divorce down the road after a rough patch in the marriage, for example.  And,

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Same-Sex Parenting Rights at the Supreme Court

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/08/us/politics/supreme-court-lesbian-adoption-alabama.html?&hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news   http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/03/07/supreme_court_issues_order_upholding_a_same_sex_adoption.html   Today the Supreme Court protected the rights of an adoptive lesbian parent.  The partners, one of whom was the birth mother, the other the adoptive parent, split and disputed how to spend time with their children.  While the adoptions of the couples’ three children had taken place in Georgia, the partners resided in

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