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Listening Skills for a Volatile Age

The Wall Street Journal, March 15th published a piece by Clare Ansberry  about retreat centers during this current age of high anxiety.  Attendance at various centers, including the Garrison Institute in NY State is up by 20% since the November election.  The goal of these retreat experiences, in general is to help people establish ” a sense of

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Talking Stick in Mediation

We work with some beloved colleagues in a peer support group on a monthly basis.  Several months ago, a fellow mediator shared with us that she uses a TALKING STICK in some mediations.  We were all intrigued as she described the hold this simple ritual object had over a high conflict couple’s communication.  They made real

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Meditation and Lawyering

We recently had a meditation professional share the following article with us about a pioneer in legal education.  Charles Halpern, currently UCBerkeley Law School began meditating himself when he was the Dean of CUNY Law School.  He has since then gone on to develop a course in meditation for law students and for lawyers.  Each

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Mediating during and post-divorce

We recommend, when couples are exploring the best process for negotiating their divorce or separation that they begin with the least contentious and expensive process: mediation.  In other words, it is easier to “ramp-up” than to deescalate.  However, we have recently had the opportunity to mediate with a variety of couples who have been through

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Joint Decision-Making in Divorce

Today, the New York Law Journal reported D.V. v. A.K., a Nassau County Supreme Court decision about parenting decision-making post-divorce. The Father–who is Jewish–brought an emergency petition, seeking to prevent the Mother–who is Catholic– from baptizing the children.  The parties had mediated their divorce, and had come to a full and thorough agreement last year.

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Family conflict and mediation podcast

This podcast episode appeared on This American Life and also on a terrific new podcast,   This episode, explores the history and dynamics of two brothers, now in their 80s.  The interviewer is the son/nephew and serves as a mediator of sorts, helping each brother express his perspective on their conflict-filled family history.  It is a

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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.

The Upside of Conflict

A beautiful piece in the New York Times, Modern Love Column this weekend:®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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