Divorce Mediator

The Most Affordable Divorce

Unbeknownst to many divorcing couples, it is possible to have a one-attorney no-court divorce, which is the most affordable divorce.

If done properly, such one-attorney divorces are also fair and reasonable, and enforceable.

Kitchen Table Divorce Utilizing a Neutral Mediator
A “kitchen table divorce,” or “Starbucks divorce,” happens when a couple negotiates their own settlement terms for divorce (over the kitchen table or at Starbucks) without any attorney involved, and then an attorney is retained to draft the separation agreement or marital settlement agreement.

In my opinion, the best way to do such a kitchen table divorce is for the couple, after their private negotiations, to go together and retain a divorce attorney to serve as a neutral mediator, who will then draft the settlement agreement. Each spouse is likely to trust the attorney if they meet and retain the attorney together, and then discuss with the attorney the agreed upon settlement terms.

When the attorney serves as a neutral mediator, he/she represents neither party, but rather remains neutral to facilitate a dialogue between the couple to help them finalize a settlement. The neutral mediator is in a position to share his/her thoughts about the settlement terms, so as to best meet the […]

Divorce Mediation and Saving the Marriage

Within the past year I served as the divorce mediator for a couple in which the wife was broken-hearted. Her husband had cheated on her and she confronted him with her proof: a shareholder certificate showing that the husband jointly owned a co-operative apartment with another woman who was unrelated to him.
The husband denied having any romantic relationship with the other woman. His explanation for the shareholder’s certificate, which he had tried to conceal from the wife, was the following:

1. he needed to make more money than he earned at his salaried job in order to pay for college for the couple’s two children and maintain the family’s middle-class lifestyle;
2. the other woman was a real estate broker who showed him the co-operative apartment, they jointly invested in it because it was such a golden opportunity, they never had sex or lived together, and she now lives in the mid-west;
3. the husband never told the wife about the broker and the co-operative apartment because he knew the wife would object to him making such an investment;

The Husband’s above explanation made the wife furious. She believed it was a total lie, and that […]

Support Guidelines: New York Divorce Mediator’s Best Friend

Why are the New York maintenance (alimony) and child support guidelines of the State of New York a divorce mediator’s best friend?

The New York State legislature created the maintenance and child support guidelines in order to make the amounts of support more uniform throughout New York State. This is a very good thing for a divorcing couple, their children, and society.

Many of my divorce lawyer colleagues are critical of these support guidelines. At a cocktail party they might tell me that such guidelines result in simple minded calculations that are unjust or unfair to one or both parties. The real reason they are so critical is that the guidelines help reduce divorce litigation and attorneys’ fees.

Another very good thing about the support guidelines is that in order to make a binding maintenance and child support agreement in New York, the guidelines calculations must be set forth in the agreement. Then the parties agree to either follow the guidelines calculations, or deviate from them, and if so, state the reasons for such deviation. This makes the divorcing couple think twice about agreeing to such a deviation.

My goal as a New York divorce mediator or collaborative divorce lawyer is to help […]