Don Sinkov

Dividing Net Equity Using the “Magic of Math”

Dividing Net Equity Using the Magic of Math by Don Sinkov{2:36 minutes to read} A while ago, I wrote a blog article about “The Magic of Math,” which had to do with dividing equity in the home. Somehow there was a lot of confusion, so I decided to clarify and perhaps do a better job of explaining this concept.

When a couple jointly contributes to the down payment on their house, and there is a sale, they will usually divide the net equity in half. However, if one spouse paid the down payment through separate funds before the marriage, they are usually allowed to deduct that, and then divide the net equity. Continue reading


I’m Going to Mediation To “Get Over” on My Spouse!

I'm Going to Mediation To Get Over on My Spouse! By Don Sinkov{2:54 minutes to read} Couples with many assets can present challenges above and beyond in a divorce settlement.

I met with a couple recently who had a lot of assets. When I started explaining to them which ones were marital and separate, they announced “We don’t need to hear that. We’ve already worked everything out.” They produced spreadsheets and a proposal. They informed me that they just wanted their settlement reduced to a written agreement.

When I reviewed their spreadsheet and proposal, it was clearly one-sided. Had they gone to court, the judge would have likely divided the assets equally. Continue reading


If I Ignore You, Will You Change Your Mind about Getting Divorced?

If I Ignore You, Will You Change Your Mind about Getting Divorced By Don Sinkov{2:48 minutes to read} One spouse is often the initiator when getting divorced or separated. The other’s attitude is, “Let’s just keep things the way they are. I know we’re totally miserable, the kids are in therapy, and life is horrible, but you know what? I’ve done it this way for so many years, why change it now?

It sounds preposterous, but I have heard this more times than I can count. People resist change. I get that. They would rather have the devil they know, than the devil they don’t know. Many couples tend to stay in their current relationships. Continue reading


Why Must I Read My Divorce Agreement?

Why Must I Read My Divorce Agreement? By Don Sinkov{2:24 minutes to read} How often have I received a phone call from divorced spouses asking questions about their settlement agreement? I offer a review session to go over the agreement before they sign it, but to my amazement, almost nobody wants to pay for the hour to ask questions and get a good understanding of what they are agreeing to.

I know that money is tight, but how important is it for you to read and understand the details of the divorce agreement? Answer:  VERY IMPORTANT!

This is not an admonishment, but a recommendation – a strong recommendation. Continue reading


Binding Arbitration: Is It a Process Whose Time Has Come?

Med-Arb- Is It a Process Whose Time Has Come By Don Sinkov{3:12 minutes to read} For many years there has been a discussion in the mediation/arbitration community about when to choose different forms of dispute resolution. And additionally, when, if any time, is appropriate for binding arbitration.

Credit card companies usually contain arbitration clauses, but since the arbitrators often are supplied large volumes of work by that same company, are they under pressure to decide their cases in favor of the credit card company? Are they truly unbiased?

In cases where there is no contract provision, some choose arbitration rather than litigation because it is faster and costs less. Plus, you get the benefit of an unbiased 3rd party making a ruling based on the evidence you present.  Continue reading


Do Mediators Need Specific Subject Knowledge?

Do Mediators Need Specific Subject Knowledge By Don Sinkov{4:36 minutes to read} Back in the 80s when I first started in mediation, I took the initial mediation training and then went out and tried to mediate every case I could possibly get to gain experience. After a while, you feel empowered, like you can do anything. I’m sure a lot of new mediators feel that way. No problem is too great for us to solve.

The Middle East?? No problem.

World Hunger?? No problem.

A friend of mine called me and said, “I have this divorce case, can you mediate it?” I explained that I didn’t know anything about family law, or how divorces work exactly, but I could help them agree on their settlement, because I’m a mediatorContinue reading


Oh, No! My Clients Have Turned into Jailhouse Lawyers!

Oh, No!  My Clients Have Turned into Jailhouse Lawyers! By Don Sinkov{2:42 minutes to read} Because:

  • The economy is still recovering;
  • People always like to save money;
  • Divorce cases have a reputation for taking way too much time and costing way too much money;

Clients are attempting to decide and write the terms of their agreement, thinking that this will help lower the cost and take less time.

Although they have never done this before, they come into a mediation session with their spreadsheets and a financial plan that they have already worked out. When I see the results of their efforts, I think “Oh, no! My clients have turned into Jailhouse Lawyers.”  Continue reading


Virtual Office Space – Is It for You?

Virtual Office Space - Is it for You? by Don Sinkov{2:30 minutes to read} Most of my attorney/mediator colleagues maintain one or two offices, with a:

  • Staff;
  • Secretary;
  • Legal assistant;
  • Possibly several attorneys with whom they work.

This high overhead creates pressure to constantly seek new clients and earn enough to pay the high expenses and still show a profit.

Some of them have upscale office space in Westchester County or Greenwich, CT. Sometimes, they may have to take less desirable cases, or charge the clients for every email or phone conversation.  Continue reading


The King of Mediation, Really?

The King of Mediation, Really? by Don Sinkov{3:48 minutes to read}  After a difficult couple of weeks mediating with high conflict couples, divorce lawyers calling me and arguing with me on behalf of their clients, even though that is not how mediation works, I received a call from a well known divorce attorney.

She was laughing hysterically, uncontrollably, A LOT.  So I said, “What’s so funny?” She said from now on I’m going to address you as “King of the Mediators.” I asked, “What do you mean king?” and she said, “I just had one of your clients call. I’m filing their divorce papers and they asked me a question. When I answered, your clients said they didn’t agree with my answer, and they were going to consult with you, Don Sinkov, King of the Mediators.” She burst out laughing. It was really funny and we all had a good laugh over it.  Continue reading


Mediation Companies: Good for Business, or Bad for Mediation?

Mediation Companies: Good for Business, or Bad for Mediation? by Don Sinkov{2:54 to read} Recently, I was approached by two companies that call themselves nationwide mediation companies. They market themselves to large businesses and corporations, usually through Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). They claim to provide qualified mediators to these employers at a discounted rate, as an alternative to hiring a private mediator and paying their full fee.

Who Are These People?

They appear to be business people that are trying to insert themselves between the client and the mediator. They can make large fees by convincing corporations and businesses that they are the best source for providing mediators at a discounted rate.  Continue reading


Don Sinkov, Accredited Divorce Mediator, provides Divorce Mediation, and Legal Separation Agreements in the following areas of WESTCHESTER COUNTY New York - Ardsley NY 10502, Armonk NY 10504, Bedford NY 10507, Bedford Corners NY 10507, Bedford Village NY 10506, Briarcliff Manor NY 10510, Bronxville NY 10708, Buchanan NY 10511, Chappaqua NY 10514, Crompond NY 10517, Croton Falls NY 10519, Croton-on-Hudson NY 10520, 10521, Crugers NY 10521, Dobbs Ferry NY 10522, Eastchester NY 10707, 10709, Elmsford NY 10523, Fairview NY, Golden’s Bridge NY 10526, Greenville, Harrison NY 10528, Hartsdale NY 10530, Hastings-on-Hudson NY 10706, Hawthorne NY 10532, Heritage Hills, Irvington NY 10533, Jefferson Valley-Yorktown NY 10535, Lake Mohegan NY 10547, Larchmont NY 10538, Lincolndale NY 10540, Mamaroneck NY 10543, Mount Kisco NY 10549, Mount Vernon NY 10550,10551,10552,10553, New Rochelle NY 10801, 10802, 10803, 10804, 10805, Ossining NY 10562, Peekskill NY 10566, Pelham NY 10803, Pelham Manor NY 10803, Pleasantville NY 10570, 10571, 10572, Port Chester NY 10573, Rye NY 10580, Rye Brook NY 10573, Scarsdale NY 10583, Scotts Corners NY 10576, Shennorock NY 10587, Shrub Oak NY 10588, Sleepy Hollow NY 10591, Tarrytown NY 10591, Thornwood NY 10594, Tuckahoe NY 10707, Valhalla NY 10595, Verplanck NY 10596, White Plains NY 10601, 10602, 10603, 10604, 10606, 10607, 10610, Yonkers NY 10701, 10702, 10703, 10704, 10705, 10706, 10707, 10708, 10709, 10710, Yorktown Heights NY 10598. by Don Sinkov, Accredited Divorce and Family Mediator, Divorce Mediation, Legal Separation, and child custody mediation, proudly serves the following towns in Upstate New York - PUTNAM COUNTY New York - Adams Corners NY 10579, Brewster NY 10509, Carmel NY 10512, Cold Spring NY 10516, Crofts Corners NY 10579, Garrison NY 10524, Kent Lakes NY 10512, Lake Carmel NY 10512, Lake Lincolndale NY 10541, Lake Mahopac NY 10541, Lake Peekskill NY 10537, Lake Secor NY 10541, Mahopac NY 10541, Mahopac Falls NY 10542, Manitou NY 10524, Nelsonville NY 10516, North Highland NY 10516, Oscawana Lake NY 10579, Patterson NY 12563, Philipstown NY 10516, Putnam Valley NY 10579, Sears Corners NY 10509, Southeast NY 10509, Tompkins Corners NY 10579.