Category: Family & Divorce

Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 4
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 4 | Ada Hasloecher

{4:30 minutes to read} In the preceding 3 articles, we have covered the subjects of retirement funding, comparing 401(k)s and IRAs, and dividing a 401(k) plan. As you will see, IRA plans almost never require a QDRO. However, many of them do have detailed paperwork which can look similar in scope to the language in a QDRO document. Typically, the plan will want to see a copy of the section of the Settlement Agreement (Separation Agreement) that spells out how the parties agreed to split the IRA along with their paperwork. It’s always wise to prepare the paperwork well in advance of the judgement of divorce as there can be a lag time with the paperwork.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

the greek chorus revisited
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
the greek chorus revisited | Jennifer Safian

{3:06 minutes to read} A few years ago, I wrote an article called “The Greek Chorus.” The article centered around all the well meaning people who think they know what you are going through and want to dispense advice on your situation. The effects of “friendly advice” continue to be a problem with many of my clients, so I thought that it might be helpful to take another look at this topic. Divorce is a very scary proposition, and when we are scared, many of us tend to gravitate towards others for answers and support.

Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article...

Continuing Education for Mediation
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Continuing Education for Mediation | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Mediation is gaining in popularity, so much so that there are a proliferation of people advertising that they do mediation. Some of them are attorneys, some of them are not. Many of them have had absolutely no training in mediation, yet will sit down with a couple and “mediate.” New York has no licensure for mediators, so it is difficult for the consumer to determine whether a person claiming to be a mediator is actually trained in the process or just trying to help facilitate a compromise. One can even get a mediation certificate online.

Click here to read Deborah E. Kaminetzy's full article...

A Letter from China: International Collaboration with Mental Health and Divorce Professionals
avatar


Authored by , re: Family, Family & Divorce, on .
A Letter from China: International Collaboration with Mental Health and Divorce Professionals | Lauren Behrman

{Read in 3:30 minutes} Dear Colleagues: We’re sending this blog from Wuhan, China, where we are enjoying a few days of sightseeing and absorbing Chinese hospitality, history and culture from our wonderful colleagues and their graduate students.

Jeff is the current president of The Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy,(SAP) Division 29 of the American Psychological Association (APA). The division has been working on increasing its international presence, and in 2016, SAP formalized an affiliation with Oriental Insight—a similar organization in China Normal University School of Psychology which was founded by Professor Jiang Guangrong, a leading psychologist at Central China. Professor Jiang is one of the leaders in the field of Counseling Psychotherapy and Mental Health on the Chinese mainland.

Click here to read Lauren Behrman's full article...

“Throuple”: A Case of Polyamorous Custody
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

An interesting decision out of Suffolk County recently established custodial rights of a non-biological parent who was part of a polyamorous relationship. In Dawn M. v. Michael M., the court essentially affirmed the validity of a non-traditional family composed of two women and one man. Though their names have been revealed in the media, for our purposes we will call the family members Mom 1, Mom 2, Dad, and Child. Mom 1 and Dad were a married couple who had attempted to conceive with great difficulty. They utilized in vitro fertilization, but unfortunately Mom 1 miscarried.

Click here to read Andrea Vacca's full article...

Mediating a Divorce After a Long-Term Marriage
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Mediating a Divorce After a Long-Term Marriage | Don Sinkov

{2:30 minutes to read} I am often pleasantly surprised when couples who have been married for 20, 30, 40 years or more are able to come to mediation to be divorced. Sometimes I wonder whether I could have done that; whether I could sit next to my soon-to-be ex-spouse and say out loud, “I want to divorce you and move on with my life. I want to live alone and not be married to you anymore.” How incredibly difficult would that be in a private setting, but here we are, saying this in front of the mediator, a stranger whom we just met.

Click here to read Don Sinkov's full article...

Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 3
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, Financial Planning & Insurance, MEDIATION, on .
 Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 3 | Ada Hasloecher

{4:54 minutes to read} In Part 1 and Part 2 of BJ Mann’s article on retirement plans and divorce, we talked about retirement funds in general and the differences between 401(k)s and IRAs. Now to the topic of dividing the plans. No matter how these plans are divided (equally or some other sharing arrangement), the math must be done first.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

 

family dispute? ask a question
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
family dispute? ask a question | Jennifer Safian

{1:36 minutes to read} With our aging population and the growth of multi-generation families, the need for family mediation is increasing as conflicts arise. These conflicts come in all shapes and sizes:

  • Disputes between siblings over the care of aging parents
  • Squabbles regarding distribution of assets in inheritances
  • Disagreements regarding the sharing of family vacation homes
  • Resentments of elder parents feeling that they don’t get the attention they need from their children
  • Money disputes
And many others. Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article...

Parallel Parenting: Making the Best of a Bad Situation
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Parallel Parenting: Making the Best of a Bad Situation | Bob Bordett

I very much appreciate working on divorce cases with a team, as it has so much value for clients. Mental health professionals can bring much needed clarity to very difficult situations. The following article, written by Howard Dructman, PhD and Marsha Schechtman, LCSW, Atlanta Behavioral Consultants, explains how the concept of parallel parenting works: A literature search of peer-reviewed professional journal articles yields very few articles that contain references to parallel parenting.

Click here to read Robert Bordett's full article...  

Consulting or Review Attorneys in Mediation – Part 1
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Consulting or Review Attorneys in Mediation – Part 1 | Katherine Miller

{6:00 minutes to read} It’s a really good idea for a divorcing couple in mediation to have a consulting or review attorney to act as a matrimonial medium.  What is the role of attorneys in a mediation? Sometimes parties believe that lawyers are a threat to the mediation process itself. In other mediations, it is assumed that lawyers are the main players. In commercial mediations, it is almost exclusively the case that lawyers are in the room and playing a big role.

Click here to read Katherine Miller's full article...

There Is a Person Behind Every Label: Watch Out for the Diagnosis Trap
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MENTAL HEALTH, Therapy, on .
There Is a Person Behind Every Label: Watch Out for the Diagnosis Trap | Jeff Zimmerman

{4 minutes to read} In any context, a mental health diagnosis is a serious, meaningful term that should not be taken lightly, and should only be made by a mental health professional who has personally assessed the client and is trained to diagnose the condition at hand. Although diagnoses are often casually offered colloquially as labels, careful assessment and expertise are truly required in order to make an official diagnosis.

Click here to read Jeff Zimmerman's full article...

Another Reason to Keep Your Custody Dispute Out of Court: It’s a Black Hole
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .

Kafkaesque: of, relating to, or suggestive of Franz Kafka or his writings; especially: having a nightmarishly complex, bizarre, or illogical quality, as in Kafkaesque bureaucratic delays. (Miriam-Webster online dictionary) As ProPublica recently revealed in detail, Kafka’s dystopian vision is a terrifying reality for many New Yorkers who have had judges appoint forensic psychologists in their custody dispute cases. In Joaquin Sapien’s thorough (and thoroughly disturbing) article, For New York Families in Custody Fights, a ‘Black Hole’ of Oversight, he reports on the story of a mother separated from her son as a result of an error-filled and incomplete analysis made by a court-appointed forensic psychologist.

Click here to read Andrea Vacca's full article...

The Power of a Sincere Apology
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
The Power of a Sincere Apology | Clare Piro

{3:24 minutes to read} I thought it was interesting that the Personal Health columnist for the New York Times, Dr. Jane Brody, wrote a column entitled “The Right Way to Say I’m Sorry.” She posits that taking responsibility for your actions and offering a true apology to someone you’ve hurt actually is a matter of your own health and well being. Dr. Brody refers to these words from Harriet Lerner’s Why Won’t You Apologize? as to why an apology can be “central to health, both physical and emotional.”

Click here to read Clare Piro's full article...

Intra-Family Commercial Mediation: Get Back At Or Get Back Together?
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Intra-Family Commercial Mediation: Get Back At Or Get Back Together? | Gary Shaffer

{2.54 minutes to read} All happy families may be alike, but all families with intra-family disputes involving money are unhappy in their own way. Resentments build up slowly over time, people develop allies and enemies, recollections diverge, and “alternate truths” emerge. Each family has its own unique set of alternate truths that must, at a minimum, be recognized for a mediation to be successful. The goal of an intra-family mediation is not to get family members to agree on a single truth. This may be emotionally impossible, and recollections can be fuzzy and subject to interpretation. Words can be stated in many different ways and with different intent. What was meant one way may have been taken in another. 5, 10, or 15 years later, the recordings are lost. And to some extent they may be irrelevant.

Click here to read Gary Shaffer's full article...

Have the Talk Before You Take the Walk
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, Trusts, Estates & Elder law, on .
Have the Talk Before You Take the Walk | Deborah E. Kaminetzy

Most couples get together based on attraction, discuss one or two main expectations or goals, fall in love and decide to get married. They then focus on wedding plans, thinking that if they can negotiate a large event between two families and come out unscathed by the wedding date that they will succeed in their marriage. So why do so many divorces occur?

Click here to read Deborah E. Kaminetzky's full article...

Like Donald Trump, Pay Your Fair Share of Taxes, but Don’t Overpay
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Like Donald Trump, Pay Your Fair Share of Taxes, but Don’t Overpay | Don Sinkov

{2:24 minutes to read} As the years have gone on, I’ve been really working hard to make my mediation practice successful. Most of my clients are now coming from referrals, with a smaller percentage coming from internet advertising. My practice has grown steadily, and now it is time to do my 2016 tax return.

Click here to read Don Sinkov's full article...

Prepare and Plan to Ensure that Children’s Special Events are Truly Special
avatar


Authored by , re: Family, Family & Divorce, on .
Prepare and Plan to Ensure that Children’s Special Events are Truly Special | Lauren Behrman

{Read in 3:30 minutes} Children’s special events deserve to be memorable and positive. Whether it’s a graduation, confirmation, bar or bat mitzvah, recital or play, children benefit from divorced parents who plan ahead to ensure that the event—and the memory of the event—will not be spoiled by parental conflict.

Click here to read Lauren Behrman's full article...

Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 2
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, Financial Planning & Insurance, MEDIATION, on .
Divorce and 401(k)s and IRAs – Part 2 | Ada Hasloecher

{3:54 minutes to read} In Part 1 of this series, BJ Mann reviewed the three main types of retirement funding. In Part 2, we move on to the important details for the mainstay of the typical retirement plans: 401(k)s (and their sisters) and IRAs in all their permutations. These do not address pensions, which will be discussed in a future post. Of particular interest is the difference between qualified and non-qualified plans, which require different sets of instructions for dividing.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...

10 faqs on divorce and taxes
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
10 faqs on divorce and taxes | Jennifer Safian

{5:06 minutes to read} Many of the financial decisions made by couples going through divorce have tax implications. And while I am not a tax specialist and do not calculate the taxes that may be due following my divorcing clients’ decisions, I always alert them that taxes may be due so they can discuss those points with a tax professional. Since we are now about one month away from April 15, I chose to list here 10 of the most frequently encountered tax questions during the divorce process.

Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article...

The Importance of Dates & Fluctuations in Divorce
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
The Importance of Dates & Fluctuations in Divorce | Sandy Balick

{4:42 minutes to read} Mediation empowers divorcing spouses to define their own standards of fairness and helps them to make maximum use of the considerable freedom New York law allows in shaping their own settlements. This entry focuses on selection of appropriate valuation dates for financial accounts, including bank and retirement accounts. As noted in an earlier blog in this series, the law views marriage as an economic partnership, and the assets (as well as liabilities) to be divided in equitable distribution are (with a few exclusions) those acquired from the wedding date until the initiation of divorce proceedings (referred to as the “commencement date”).

Click here to read Sanford E. Balick's full article...

Why Do I Have to Prepare a Budget?
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Why Do I Have to Prepare a Budget? | Bob Bordett

We all hate the word budget. How many times have you had a budget that never worked and only made life harder? And when you didn't follow it, did you feel like you failed?

If a budget is done right, it will provide many benefits that are crucial when going through a divorce.

  • A budget is a guideline to help you forecast how your cash flow will look.

  • Having a budget keeps your priorities and values straight. Many times during the divorce you can get confused about what is important to you.

Click here to read Robert Bordett's full article...  

So, What Do You Think I Should Do?
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
So, What Do You Think I Should Do? | Clare Piro

{3:24 minutes to read} One question that I’m asked by clients fairly often is, “Do you think I should accept this?” Or “Is it good for me to do x, y or z?” I understand why a client would ask. But, like the question, “Do you think that this is fair?” it’s not one that a mediator can answer (Fair is in the Eye of the Beholder]. It certainly seems expedient, especially if the couple just wants it all to be over. The mediator understands the facts and the law and is certainly capable of answering the question. So, why not?

Click here to read Clare Piro's full article...

Adult Children of Gray Divorce
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
Adult Children of Gray Divorce | George Grace

There is a large demographic getting a lot of air time right now—those over 50 who are choosing to get divorced. Oftentimes, these couples have been married for many years, and now their youngest is about to go to college or move out of the house. Many of the couples in these “gray divorces” have successful and flourishing adult children, who escaped being in the midst of a contentious divorce or custody battle while they were growing up, only to find themselves in the middle of their parent’s divorce now.

Click here to read Cheryl Stein's full article...

filing the divorce action
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
filing the divorce action | Jennifer Safian

{3:18 minutes to read} In a previous article, do we file for divorce before starting mediation, I talked about whether parties needed to file for divorce before starting the mediation process. Eli Uncyk, Esq., an experienced family law mediator and attorney, read my article and suggested I write about what happens if the parties do file for divorce before starting the mediation process, and how this might affect that process. I asked him if he would answer these questions, since he is an attorney and a prominent one in our mediation community. He graciously agreed, and what follows are his thoughts on the subject.

Click here to read Jennifer Safian's full article...

Using a Life Coach in the Divorce Process and Beyond
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
Using a Life Coach in the Divorce Process and Beyond | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Clients frequently need support during the divorce process. They are not satisfied with the way things are and want a change, but that change itself is scary. Sometimes I suggest that they obtain the help of a life coach. There are two reasons for this: First of all, life coaches charge significantly less per hour than an attorney (similar to that of a therapist), and second, they are specifically trained to help in that way. Click here to read Deborah E. Kaminetzky's full article...  

The Dreaded New Significant Other, Part I – The Possibility
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
The Dreaded New Significant Other, Part I - The Possibility | Melissa Burns

Part I: The Possibility of a New Significant Other {3:00 minutes to read} Co-parenting can be challenging enough without adding a 3rd (or 4th) party to the mix! It’s not easy to see an ex with someone new, and a conversation about this possibility is sometimes very difficult. However, at some point, this is likely to happen. Divorced adults who respect each other’s right to autonomy can have a thoughtful conversation about a significant other and what, as parents, each one expects the new person’s role to be. Having this conversation with an ex and accepting the idea of a new relationship will usually make things easier for your children.

Click here to read Melissa Burns' full article...

The Dilemma of the Custodial Parent
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, on .
The Dilemma of the Custodial Parent | Don Sinkov

{3:06 minutes to read} In most joint custody cases, the child primarily lives with one parent. The other parent shares time with the child around a schedule set forth in their parenting plan.

This joint custody arrangement, although very common in agreements, is not a slam dunk, and to the contrary, is more often not fair to the custodial parent. The majority of phone calls and/or emails I receive are usually complaints from the custodial parent, who, after several months, realizes that the child is with them almost all the time. The non-custodial parent might see the child one or two days a week, but sometimes that doesn’t happen. How many of you have heard this before?

Click here to read Don Sinkov's full article...

Divorce and 401Ks and IRAs
avatar


Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, Financial Planning & Insurance, on .
 Divorce and 401Ks and IRAs | Ada Hasloecher

{3:18 minutes to read} My colleague and fellow mediator, BJ Mann, who practices in Rochester, NY, has written as comprehensive, cogent and concise a primer on the basics of retirement plans for divorcing couples as I have ever read. She graciously allowed me to post it on my site for you, dear reader. After all, why reinvent the wheel? I’ve broken it down into 4 posts for easier digestion.

Click here to read Ada Hasloecher's full article...