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White Plains Divorce Law Blog

How does the process of divorce mediation work?

In the state of New York, more and more couples are choosing divorce mediation as a way to resolve complex and even simple issues. As you may know, divorce mediation is typically a more amicable alternative to traditional litigation. Other benefits include affordability, privacy and ending a marriage as quickly as possible.

Many couples do not understand how the divorce mediation process works. As such, they may opt for litigation instead, thereby missing out on the many benefits of mediation. Learning how mediation functions can help couples make better-informed decisions about how to proceed with your divorce.

New York property division: Keep these things in mind

Getting divorced is challenging under the best of circumstances. Even when both spouses agree that divorce is the only solution, it is still a difficult process mentally and emotionally. The property division portion of divorce can be especially trying because agreements over financial matters are often elusive.

In our New York legal practice, we have found success in helping people cope during property division. One of the most effective aids in keeping things short and civil is changing the way you think about this and other aspects of divorce. Letting emotions rule your actions typically sets the stage for conflict or hostility. Below, you will find several effective tips on helping you separate emotionally from the process of divorcing.

Tips for improving communication with your co-parent

When severe problems point to divorce, people often dream of complete disconnection from their spouse. They may look forward to a divorce's conclusion just so that they do not have to deal with their ex anymore. However, when children are involved, total disconnection is not possible for New York parents.

Until your kids are adults, you will need to cooperate with your ex over matters like child custody and support. Even after your kids are on their own, there exists a strong probability that you will encounter your ex at weddings, birthdays and other events.

New York divorce mediation tips: Do this, not that

If you visit our blog regularly, you know that we like to publish simple, easy-to-understand tips for our family law readers. We believe that approaching sensitive topics in this manner gives New York residents common sense ways to accomplish their legal goals.

In this post, we would like to focus on divorce mediation by offering you several "dos and don'ts" to help you achieve your mediation goals.

  • Do: Prepare yourself for compromise if you wish to end your marriage quickly and as agreeably as possible.
  • Don't: Resort to slinging insults or calling your spouse names during mediation.
  • Do: Put your focus on areas of agreement at first to make it easier to address areas of high conflict later.
  • Don't: Disregard or try to invalidate any concerns your spouse may have.
  • Do: Leave any past arguments with your spouse out of the mediation process so that you may focus on what is important right now.
  • Don't: Make unreasonable demands or absolute statements that could hurt you or your spouse's efforts to negotiate.
  • Do: Remain committed to the process of divorce mediation and make it clear to your spouse that you wish to avoid litigation.
  • Don't: Interrupt your spouse or the mediator so that you can help foster a peaceful and respectful environment in which to negotiate.

Why exchange custody at a neutral site

For most parents, a child custody exchange is simply going to happen in the home. The children stay with Mom for the weekend, for instance, and then Dad picks them up after work on Monday. At the end of the week, Mom shows up to collect them once again.

However, some parents cannot do this because there is too much conflict between them. The adults simply do not get along. Every time they see each other, it turns into an argument. It's causing a lot of stress and making the divorce far harder than it has to be.

Family law terminology definitions all New Yorkers should know

Hopefully, you will never have to navigate the family court system, but if you do, it is helpful if you can follow along with the discussions taking place. Legal terminology is often difficult for non-legal professionals to understand. When you are dealing with a formal legal matter in New York, not understanding the terms you hear or read could be detrimental to your case.

Your family law attorney can easily explain what the judge and other people in court are saying. However, it will be easier to absorb these discussions if you learn a little legal terminology yourself. We have provided several examples of such terminology and their definitions below.

Divorce, property division and protecting your credit score

Property division is one of the most stressful elements of ending a marriage. We say this often in our blog and in our communications with New York residents because we want them to be as prepared as possible. Even divorces that begin amicably often devolve into chaos when it is time to split your assets.

One reason for the stress that appears during property division is dividing your debts as well as your assets. Many couples do not expect this and so become blindsided by this aspect of parting ways. Even when debt division occurs relatively easily, there is never a guarantee that each spouse will abide by the agreement.

Tips for dealing with the stress of a divorce

When your spouse asks for a divorce, you instantly feel stressed. This isn't what you planned on for 2019. It's not what you thought you'd have to deal with, and it feels like a lot.

First and foremost, you're not alone. Divorce can be stressful. Any life changes can be stressful. The key is not to avoid this stress, but to understand how to deal with it. Here are a few tips that can help:

  • Understand that an emotional reaction is fine and even expected. You don't have to feel the same way your spouse does about this. You don't have to process these changes as quickly as they do.
  • Talk to people you can trust. Maybe it's a sibling, a parent or a close friend. Do not try to do it all alone. Sometimes, just talking about things -- even when there's no "solution" -- can make it easier to have a healthy perspective.
  • Take a break. Take some time to yourself. Focus on engaging in some relaxing activities that you enjoy.
  • Try not to argue with your spouse. Getting in fights and arguments only increases your stress. Take a more hands-off approach where you focus on yourself.
  • Don't forget about your physical health. Get outside. Go for a jog. Ride your bike. Eat healthy meals. Do not get so sidetracked by the divorce that you neglect what your body needs and you make the stress worse.

Determining if divorce mediation is the right choice for you

In our blog, we talk about the advantages of divorce mediation quite often. Our lawyers believe in mediation and have observed how it makes the process of ending a marriage easier in most cases. However, as we have said many times, mediation does not work for all White Plains couples.

In today's post, we want to shift the focus from when you should absolutely try mediation to when you may need a different solution. We felt a good way to do this is by offering our readers three situations in which divorce mediation may not be wise. Before continuing, we also want to say that getting advice from an attorney can help you decide how to move forward.

Spousal support is still relevant in the 21st century

Although the idea of equal rights for men and women still needs work, most New Yorkers would agree that in a divorce, equality is critical. Couples want fair outcomes in all matters during a divorce. As a result, we have seen many divorcing spouses -- both men and women -- refuse their right to seek spousal support.

In many cases, refusing an offer of alimony is the right decision. With more marriages in which both spouses have good jobs or lucrative careers, spousal support is often unnecessary. However, in our family law practice, we have learned that many spouses come to regret not pursuing alimony.

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