Why’s It SO HARD for People to Finish [Divorce]?
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Why’s It SO HARD for People to Finish [Divorce]? | Katherine Miller

{5:00 minutes to read} One thing that is a very well known professional phenomenon is that, when people get toward the end of a negotiation, something comes up. Usually, a relatively small something becomes very emotionally significant to the parties that stops them from settling, right before the end. I remember, as an example, the first case I ever went to try, decades ago. It was a pretty big case. There were three children and a lot of real property. We had settled the entire thing and were about to go into the courtroom to put the Stipulation of Settlement onto the record.

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Embrace the Process
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Embrace the Process | Dana Heitz

{3:11 minutes to read} The law can be so black-and-white that it’s inconsistent with reality, which is notoriously (sometimes frighteningly) messy. And law is often mundane, bureaucratic, and tedious. After all, there isn’t much aesthetic joy in a stack of legal files. Poetry, on the other hand, is all complexity and flow and rulelessness and beauty, and it doesn’t seem to have much in common with the legal profession. But some lawyers can find the same kind of joy in rearranging evidence and watching an argument emerge as writers do from selecting the right words to structure their thoughts into a poem.

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Winning the H-1B Lottery — Part 1
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Winning the H-1B Lottery — Part 1 | Mitchell Zwaik

{2:42 minutes to read} The H-1B program provides temporary work visas for professionals, largely in the computer programming field. IT professionals are the largest number of H-1B visas, but all professionals are covered by the H-1B, meaning people who have a bachelor’s degree or better; engineers, architects, et cetera. There are 85,000 visas allotted to the H-1B category, divided into two distinct groups: 65,000 for those with bachelor’s degrees and 20,000 for those with master’s degrees.

All Quiet On The Western Front?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
All Quiet On The Western Front? | Ada Hasloecher

{3:48 minutes to read} The World War I masterpiece All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque was not required reading when I was in high school. I was intrigued to tackle it recently as a result of a reference in another novel I recently finished. Oh my. I have not been able to shake its profound impact on me since reading it over a month ago.

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“Someday” and “Maybe” Numbers: The Challenge of Dividing Retirement Assets – Part 2
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Authored by , re: Asset Management, Family & Divorce, MEDIATION, on .
“Someday” and “Maybe” Numbers: The Challenge of Dividing Retirement Assets – Part 2 by Rachel Alexander

{4:00 minutes to read} Just because we determine a value for something does not mean we divide it!Often spouses are concerned that the mere mention of an asset puts it on the auction block and forfeits their exclusive rights to it. Not so!

Getting a comprehensive picture and value of ALL assets is an important part of creating a solid settlement agreement. An agreement should even specify assets whose separate nature is undisputed, with the other party waiving any rights, title or interest thereto.

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3 Degrees of Rita
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3 Degrees of Rita | Cynthia Greenawalt

{4:05 minutes to read} I recently had an amazing conversation with a potential client. Let’s call him Bob. I asked him to draw a dot on a piece of paper, which represented one of my favorite clients: Rita. I then asked him to draw a circle around Rita, to represent her first-degree relationships. Although her LinkedIn profile might say she has 3000 connections in her first degree, I asked Bob to write the number 300 on that first circle around Rita, to represent the 300 people that she could call on the phone and they would know exactly who she was. These 300 have an instant relatedness to her. I then asked him to draw another circle outside Rita’s first degree, to represent the second degree of Rita.

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Age Appropriate Parenting Plans
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Age Appropriate Parenting Plans | Daniel R. Burns

{3:30 minutes to read} At the 2017 Annual Conference for the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, I heard from someone who has studied custody arrangements and determined what works best for children when their parents are no longer living together. According to University of Virginia Professor Robert E. Emery, Ph.D. who has either conducted or reviewed a variety of studies over the past thirty years, there is no one parenting plan that works for children of all ages. His conclusions:

  • Joint legal custody and shared decision-making are best for children;
  • Children tend to “attach” to one parent; and
  • Parents should adjust their parenting schedule to meet the needs of their children as they grow and mature.

Click here to read Daniel R. Burns' full article...

Via Four, A Trusted Financial Partner
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Via Four, A Trusted Financial Partner | Jeff Holland

When you partner with Via Four, you are not only gaining decades worth of experience from our advisors, you are also getting the security of our national brokerage custodians. According to Wikipedia, a custodian is a specialized financial institution responsible for safeguarding a firm’s or individual’s financial assets and is not engaged in “traditional” commercial or consumer/retail banking, such as mortgage or personal lending, branch banking, personal accounts, or automated teller machines.

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Lender Alert: Bankruptcy Court Holds that Mortgage with Incorrect Legal Description is Avoidable in Bankruptcy
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Lender Alert: Bankruptcy Court Holds that Mortgage with Incorrect Legal Description is Avoidable in Bankruptcy | Michael L. Moskowitz

By Michael L. Moskowitz and Melissa A. Guseynov In a recent decision of consequence to mortgage lenders, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachusetts concluded that a Chapter 7 Trustee may avoid a debtor’s mortgage and maintain it for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. See Eastern Bank v. Benton (In re Thomas H. and Nancy C. Benton), 2016 WL 53581 (Bankr. D. Mass. Jan. 4, 2017). Simply put, the Bankruptcy Court held that, when a mortgage contains a correct street address but an incorrect legal description, the mortgage lien is avoidable by the bankruptcy trustee in his or her role as a hypothetical bona fide purchaser of a debtor’s property under section 544 of the Bankruptcy Code.

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Is Prudential Not Paying Your Long-Term Disability Claim?
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Is Prudential Not Paying Your Long-Term Disability Claim? | Evan Schwartz

Prudential Life is an insurance company that sells a large number of group Long-Term Disability (LTD) insurance policies—and has only been selling group LTD insurance policies for a long time. In the last year, Prudential has really stepped up its claims scrutiny and has been denying and terminating LTD claims in far greater numbers than they have in the past. Because they only sell group disability insurance, the vast majority of policies they sell are governed by the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 or ERISA. I have previously blogged about ERISA and the difficulties that ERISA creates for claimants who have denied or terminated LTD claims.

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Mediation for Couples Separating but Never Married
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Mediation for Couples Separating but Never Married | Jennifer Safian

{3:54 minutes to read} More and more frequently, I am getting calls from couples who have decided to call it quits after living together for many years, but who never actually married. This trend has been happening in European countries for many years and now seems to be more prevalent in the US, though in a less outspoken way. Mediation offers the best possible place for separating non-married couples, because it gives them a platform to explore separating their assets.

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The Grey Divorce
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The Grey Divorce | Bob Bordett

Perhaps you’ve heard about the phenomenon known as the “grey divorce” and are wondering what it’s all about. An important study conducted by the Department of Sociology and the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University entitled “The Grey Divorce Revolution” addressed this issue. I was attending the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts’ annual conference in Orlando where I saw Justin Reckers, do a presentation about the study and offered us a few insights: Typically, those who are considered as going through a grey divorce are couples over the age of 50.

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

A Friend of a Friend Said… You Should Actually See a Lawyer
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A Friend of a Friend Said… You Should Actually See a Lawyer |  Mark Kaufman

The other day a client sent me two pictures. One was of a someone else’s textile design, and the other was my client’s own rendering of it. The client said “We copied our design from their design. Can you tell us whether it’s infringing?” Rather than respond to the email, I called my client and reminded him about the rules of discovery:  although any communications I have with my clients—including communications in which a client admits to having copied something—are protected by attorney-client privilege, mistakes can happen when even privileged documents are inadvertently produced in discovery in the event of a lawsuit.  Also, if he inadvertently shares those communications with third parties, the attorney-client privilege goes out the window.  So, saying incriminating things in emails (or texts or worst of all social media) can live forever in a way that’s inconvenient if not destructive.

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What You Should Consider When Mediating College Expenses
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What You Should Consider When Mediating College Expenses | Clare Piro

{4:00 minutes to read} Certain children’s expenses must be paid in addition to child support, according to the child support statute: medical insurance premiums, unreimbursed medical expenses and child care expenses. These are mandatory add-ons. Then, there are expenses that may be ordered at or in the Court’s discretion, including post-secondary educational expenses. The Court will consider the parties’ circumstances and what is in the best interest of the child at the time the child would be entering college.

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phoneBlogger.net’s Onboarding Process: A Springboard to Word-of-Mouth Marketing Results
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phoneBlogger.net’s Onboarding Process: A Springboard to Word-of-Mouth Marketing Results | Mark Bullock

{3:33 minutes to read} phoneBlogger.net has a detailed and well-oiled client onboarding process that starts with the end in mind—to create full engagement in our process and for clients to produce and distribute smart articles to their network. The onboarding process is a coordinated effort—and it works. Our goal is to handle as much of the tasks as possible for our clients; however, there are a lot of parts that come into play. It is important to note that there are pieces of information (that cannot be guessed or pulled out) that the client will need to provide, i.e. contacts, etc.

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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.

Click here to read Susan Ingram's full article...

Do it Right From the Start: Business Agreements Among Co-Owners
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Do it Right From the Start: Business Agreements Among Co-Owners | Harlan Levine

{2 minutes to read} If you co-own a business or are considering entering a business partnership, have you drawn up a shareholders’ agreement or operating agreement? Oftentimes, partners are so excited and optimistic about building their business that they overlook this important document.  My experience has shown that partners who are long-time friends or family may be most in need of a document that sets forth their rights and obligations toward one another. Even the closest of relationships can go south and frequently do.

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Nesting: The Logistics of the “Family” Home
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Nesting: The Logistics of the “Family” Home | Deborah E. Kaminetzky

Nesting has become a popular concept for families of divorce lately, with articles in the New York Times and other well known publications. Nesting, if you are not familiar with the term, is when divorcing parents arrange for the children to remain in the family home while they each obtain a separate place to live. In theory this enables the children to remain in their home where they grew up, as well as cuts down on the shuffling back and forth between the parents’ homes, which is typical of divorced families who have joint or shared custody.

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An Unappealable Contempt Decision Providing Rachmones[1]
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An Unappealable Contempt Decision Providing Rachmones[1] | Wayne Greenwald

The American Bankruptcy Institute's ("ABI") VOLO Project had me synopsize the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in U.S.A. v. Kerr-McGee Corp. (In re Tronox Inc.).[2] The sixty-two-page opinion boiled down to two "holdings."[3] They are:

a.) Claims derived through a debtor are bankruptcy estate property which only a trustee can assert;

b.) A District Court order on a contempt motion which:

1.) enforced an existing injunction; and

2.) made no contempt finding nor sanctions award was not a "final order"[4] subject to immediate appeal.

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Retail Vacancies
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Authored by , re: Commercial Real Estate, on .
Retail Vacancies | George Grace

Because there’s a fairly high retail property vacancy rate (just walking down the streets of Manhattan, you see many “for rent” signs on stores), I don’t think rental rates for retail property will rise. I believe the fairly low level of demand for retail space can be explained by three factors:

  • People do not have as much disposable income, so they’re not spending as much money.
  • Online alternatives such as Amazon are taking business away from brick and mortar stores.

Click here to read George Grace's full article....

Consulting or Review Attorneys in Mediation – Part 2
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Consulting or Review Attorneys in Mediation – Part 2 | Katherine Miller

{3:45 minutes to read} In my last article, I discussed the role of review attorneys in mediation. In this continuation, I’ll discuss the role of a consulting attorney in comparison. Where the review attorney is usually brought into a mediation toward the end of the process, the consulting attorney is brought in early. When working with clients as consulting attorney, I consult with them either inside or outside of the mediation room. Outside the Room I usually talk to my clients before and after their mediation sessions, outside the mediation room.

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When Your Child with Special Needs Turns 18
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When Your Child with Special Needs Turns 18 | Ronald A. Fatoullah

By Ronald A. Fatoullah, Esq. and Eva Schwechter, J.D.

{4:48 minutes to read} Parents of children with special needs face unique challenges in raising their children. One such challenge is the question of what to do when a child with special needs turns 18, the legal age of adulthood. It is during the few years after a child turns 18 that the services and programs associated with the public education system end and are replaced by different benefits targeted toward adults. Managing the transition from services for minors to adult care presents one of the greatest challenges for parents of children with special needs. There are a number of paths the parent can take to ensure that her adult child is best provided for in the future.

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5 Things Every Private Company MUST Understand before Launching an Equity Incentive Plan
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5 Things Every Private Company MUST Understand before Launching an Equity Incentive Plan | Bettina Eckerle

There is a point in the life of every start-up when it needs to establish a plan to reward its employees for their service by giving them a piece of the pie, i.e., their share of the potential upside. Being a 100% upside person myself, most employees drawn to start-ups tend to be more interested in the possibility of hitting a home-run rather than the fixed cash payment every month.

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The Budget Reconciliation Bill Significantly Increases H-2B Visas
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The Budget Reconciliation Bill Significantly Increases H-2B Visas |  Mitchell Zwaik

{2:12 minutes to read} The budget reconciliation bill that was recently passed through Congress has an important immigration provision in it, which allows for significantly increased H-2B visas for this fiscal year.

An H-2B is a visa that allows people to enter the United States legally in order to perform work for seasonal businesses. A perfect example in Long Island is people who work in the restaurants, hotels, motels, pool companies, coffee shops, et cetera on the Eastern End and South Shore of Long Island during the holiday/summer season.

“UL” is Not in the Public Domain. Don’t Mess with Certification Marks!
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Authored by , re: Intellectual Property, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
“UL” is Not in the Public Domain. Don’t Mess with Certification Marks! | Mark Kaufman

What two words are worth $500,000 each? In the case of HOVERBOARD (R) re-seller The Space Chariot, those two word are “UL Certified.” (Yes, HOVERBOARD is a federally registered trademark; while it appears to be on the road to becoming generic, that’s a topic for another day.) Why they are called HOVERBOARDs is beyond me. They clearly have wheels that touch the ground, but if kids (or those “young at heart” who prefer not to use their own horsepower) want to use their imagination, far be it for me to intervene. Most people have seen these devices on the street and have figured out that operating them relies on tilting them with your body weight, much like a Segway scooter. But unlike the Segway, these inventions have a history of bursting into flames at the most inconvenient of locations, which is why so many airlines have banned them from flights.

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A Lesson from Sherlock Holmes: Financial Sleuthing
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A Lesson from Sherlock Holmes: Financial Sleuthing | Rebecca Eddy

The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.” -Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

Attention to detail is a necessary attribute in a sleuth, whether the clues are fingerprints, footprints, or an out of place detail. While sleuth is most often used in reference to detectives, anyone who seeks information fits the bill. Sherlock Holmes, a consummate collector of clues, valued the most minute evidence as greatly as the gigantic canine tracks that set him sleuthing on the trail of a murderer in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles.

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The Nurse With a Purse and Sugar Daddy Dynamic
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The Nurse With a Purse and Sugar Daddy Dynamic | Cheryl Stein

The idea of a “sugar daddy” is very common and well-known: A “sugar daddy” is an older man who marries a younger woman and takes care of her. There is a similar, but lesser-known dynamic when the older marrying spouse is a woman. This dynamic has been referred to as the “nurse with a purse.” In both cases, it’s equally important for the older spouse to obtain a Prenuptial Agreement. Often, the woman in the “nurse with a purse” situation is in her 50s or older, highly capable, financially comfortable, healthy and has been married before; she is typically either widowed or divorced.

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what happens to assets accumulated after separation?
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Authored by , re: Family & Divorce, LAW RELATED ARTICLES, on .
what happens to assets accumulated after separation? | Jennifer Safian

{2:42 minutes to read} Bob and Jean were married for twelve years, but had been living separately, with no formal separation agreement, for the last 5 years. They came to mediation to work out the terms of their divorce. The big question that came up for them was, “What happens to the money accumulated since their separation? Is it marital property or is it separate property?”

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