Author Archives: Susan Ingram

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About Susan Ingram

Susan Ingram is a Divorce Mediator and Attorney at her own firm: Susan Ingram Mediation & Coaching in New York, New York.

EMAIL: ingram@susan-ingram.com

BIO: About Susan

Chinese Insights on the Art of Listening
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
Chinese Insights on the Art of Listening | Susan Ingram

{3:24 minutes to read}  During the holidays especially, we all seem to be doing more while at the same time finding less time and patience to accomplish what needs to be done. Our interactions and conversations with family, friends and others can end up being strained and less productive than usual. So I thought this was a good opportunity to re-introduce some concepts I’ve written about before on the subject of Active Listening.

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How Long Does Mediation Take?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
How Long Does Mediation Take? | Susan Ingram

{3:18 minutes to read} When I first meet with my clients, they often ask me how long the divorce mediation process will take. My answer is: it depends. In reality, it depends on any number of different factors, such as:

  • How complex their issues are;
  • Whether they have children or not;
  • Whether they’re both “on the same page” as to the end of their relationship; and/or
  • Whether they’re waiting for certain events to occur (such as the sale of a home) before finalizing their arrangements.

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What is the Difference Between Co-Parenting and Parallel Parenting?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
What is the Difference Between Co-Parenting and Parallel Parenting? | Susan Ingram

{3:12 minutes to read} There are two basic concepts that describe the way in which parents raise their children following a divorce. These approaches are significantly different, and in fact, are at opposite ends of the parenting spectrum. One approach is referred to as Cooperative Parenting and the other as Parallel Parenting.

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How Should Divorcing Couples Approach Their Parenting Plan Discussions?
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Authored by , re: Miscellaneous, on .
How Should Divorcing Couples Approach Their Parenting Plan Discussions? | Susan Ingram

{3:06 minutes to read} For couples who have children and are divorcing, there’s no more important subject to discuss than their parenting arrangements post-divorce. As we are working in mediation, my couples sometimes ask if there is a best parenting plan that they should adopt and follow. The short answer to that question is no. The slightly longer answer is – no, because so much depends on the unique circumstances and needs of your specific family and its members.

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What are the Foundational Requirements for Mediation?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
 What are the Foundational Requirements for Mediation? | Susan Ingram

{2:48 minutes to read} When you take it down to the bare bones, there are really only two essential elements that must be present in order for a mediation to be viable and ultimately productive: Willingness to Dialogue and Full Disclosure. Willingness to Dialogue First, there needs to be a basic willingness to come together and talk to each other.

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5 Key Elements of the Mediation Process
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
5 Key Elements of the Mediation Process | Susan Ingram

{2:48 minutes to read} There are two principal aspects to the role a mediator plays when helping couples going through divorce mediation. One has to do with the process and the other has to do with the substance.

Process relates to the framework and ground rules that are established by the mediator so that the necessary conversations can take place and move along, ultimately to resolution.

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Mediation and the Japanese Art of Kintsugi
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
Mediation and the Japanese Art of Kintsugi | Susan Ingram

{2:30 minutes to read}  Kintsugi is a centuries-old Japanese master craft for repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold. If you’ve ever been to a museum exhibit of old Japanese ceramics, you may have noticed the patterns of gold veins that run through some of the pieces. These pieces had been broken at some point, and the gold clearly shows where the repairs had been made as the master craftsman put the piece back together again.

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How is Mediation Like Solving a Puzzle?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
How is Mediation Like Solving a Puzzle? | Susan Ingram

{2:52 minutes to read} When I’m first meeting with couples in divorce mediation, I find most people have little knowledge as to how mediation actually works. The metaphor of putting together a jigsaw puzzle, an activity most people are familiar with, is very helpful in illustrating the process. Mediation typically takes much less time than litigating a divorce – often a matter of months as opposed to a year or more with a contested divorce. But that doesn’t mean mediators “cut corners” as we move through the process with our clients.

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How Do I Tell My Spouse I Want a Divorce?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
 How Do I Tell My Spouse I Want a Divorce? | Susan Ingram

{4:24 minutes to read} Not infrequently, when someone first calls me to discuss the possibility of divorce mediation, they will mention that they have not yet brought up the subject with their spouse. The caller (the initiating spouse) typically describes a marriage that has not been good for some time; the marriage no longer works for him or her and it needs to come to an end.

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Mediation Helps Couples Successfully Untangle Their Lives
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
Mediation Helps Couples Successfully Untangle Their Lives | Susan Ingram

{1:42 minutes to read}

“Never cut what you can untie.”

Joseph Joubert, French essayist

This aphorism came to my attention recently when one of my colleagues was giving a presentation at our annual conference for the NYS Council on Divorce Mediation. I was immediately struck by the wisdom contained in its 6 simple words. I’m sure the writer wasn’t thinking of mediation when he wrote these words (he lived in the mid 18th through early 19th centuries), yet I find that it fits perfectly with the concept and process of my work as a mediator.

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How Is Mediation Different From Therapy?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
How Is Mediation Different From Therapy? | Susan Ingram

{3:24 minutes to read} Both mediators and therapists play important roles in helping couples who are experiencing difficulties in their marriage. When couples come to me for divorce mediation, I find that at least half of them have spent time, recently or in the past, working together with a therapist to try to save their marriage. I certainly view this as a positive sign. At least the couple has tried to work through the issues in their marriage, even if it didn’t ultimately work out.

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Can a Mediator be Omnipartial?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
Can a Mediator be Omnipartial? | Susan Ingram

{1:00 minute to read} I explained in my last article that I would be reposting two earlier blogs on the subject of mediator impartiality, since this topic is of great interest to clients and professionals alike. The second blog was entitled “Can Mediators be Impartial and Address an Imbalance of Power?I describe my role of mediator as being omnipartial toward all of the parties.

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Mediator Impartiality: Is It Possible?
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Authored by , re: MEDIATION, on .
Mediator Impartiality: Is It Possible? | Susan Ingram

{3:24 minutes to read}  Two of the most frequently read articles I’ve posted on my blog have addressed the subject of mediator impartiality or neutrality. While both articles were published nearly three years ago, this subject is as relevant and important today as it was then. And after re-reading these articles, I don’t think I could say it any better now. So, without further ado, here’s a link to the first article entitled “Can a Mediator Really be Neutral or Impartial”?

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Divorce Financial Considerations with a Special Needs Child
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Divorce Financial Considerations with a Special Needs Child | Susan Ingram

{4:18 minutes to read} In my last blog, I discussed the governmental benefits that are available to a child or young adult with special needs. When I meet with my couples in divorce mediation, I need to first make sure they understand the public benefits their child is entitled to and then also discuss how these benefits relate to the many expenses (some covered by governmental benefits, some not) that arise when parents are raising a special needs child.

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Governmental Benefits and the Special Needs Child
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Authored by , re: Family, Family & Divorce, on .
 Governmental Benefits and the Special Needs Child | Susan Ingram

{2:48 minutes to read} In my next blog I will be discussing the various financial issues that affect the parents of a special needs child who are divorcing. Before doing that, however, I first need to describe the basic framework of governmental services and benefits that are provided to children and young adults with disabilities.

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Parenting Arrangements for Special Needs Children
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
Parenting Arrangements for Special Needs Children | Susan Ingram

{3:32 minutes to read} When I’m mediating with parents who have a special needs child, I view myself as being on a “fact finding mission.” What do I mean by that? In addition to performing my other mediator responsibilities, my role is to gather as much information as I can about the couple’s special needs child, and how that child’s disability relates to each of the parents’ lives, as well as to any other siblings in the family. Clearly, these family relationships are often more complex than families without a special needs child.

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Special Needs Children and Parenting Discussions
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, Parenting, on .
Special Needs Children and Parenting Discussions | Susan Ingram

{3:06 minutes to read} When couples with normal-developing kids are separating or divorcing, we can spend quite a bit of time during mediation discussing their parenting arrangements. Among the many subjects that need to be addressed are: what the weekday and weekend parenting schedule will look like; how scheduling for holidays and summer vacations will be handled; and in what ways the scheduling may need to reflect the specific work circumstances of the parents.

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Divorcing Parents and Their Special Needs Children
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Authored by , re: Family, Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, Parenting, on .
Divorcing Parents and Their Special Needs Children | Susan Ingram

{3:12 minutes to read}  I just finished a mediation session with a divorcing couple who have a special needs child, in addition to two typically-developing children. While divorces involving special needs children are often complicated and involve more issues than the “normal” divorce, I find helping these families to be especially rewarding.

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I’m Right — and You’re Wrong!
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Authored by , re: MEDIATION, on .
 I’m Right — and You’re Wrong! | Susan Ingram

{2:36 minutes to read}  I just attended a monthly peer group meeting with my mediation colleagues. One of the subjects that came up and generated a lively discussion was the need we humans have “to be right,” which typically means that the other person must be wrong when he or she doesn’t agree with us.

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What are the 4 Elements of Divorce?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
What are the 4 Elements of Divorce? | Susan Ingram

{3:30 minutes to read} When most people are going through a divorce they don’t think about the various elements that come into play during this difficult process. They are often overwhelmed with emotions (anger, resentment and sadness, among them) that come up during this extremely difficult time of their lives. They often become stuck in the disputed details of their lives, and are unable to see the Big Picture of what is in play and thus understand the essential interaction between the 4 elements of divorce.

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The Gray Divorce – Part 2
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
The Gray Divorce – Part 2 | Susan Ingram

{4:12 minutes to read}  In my last blog, I wrote about the general phenomenon of the Gray Divorce. This trend is continuing to grow as adults in their 50s, 60s and older divorce their spouses, frequently after many years of marriage. There are unique issues that need to be addressed by a couple that decides to divorce at this later stage of life.

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What is Meant by a Gray Divorce? Part 1
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
What is Meant by a Gray Divorce? Part 1 | Susan Ingram

{2:24 minutes to read} You may have heard the term Gray Divorce and wondered what it meant. Typically, it refers to older adults who, in their 50s, 60s and older, have divorced their spouses. Research reveals that the divorce rate for this age group has spiked significantly over the past twenty years. Two decades ago, adults 50 and older accounted for about 10% of divorces. Today, the divorce rate for this group has risen to nearly 25%, with half of those divorces occurring in long-term first marriages.

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