Don Sinkov

Is Child Support Just 25% for 2 Kids?

Is Child Support Just 25% for 2 Kids by Don Sinkov

{2:03 minutes to read} have 2 kids, so all I have to pay is 25% for child support, right?

OK, so you have researched the amount of child support on the internet and calculated the amount you have to pay and that’s it. Right? No!

Child support has several moving parts. They are:

The Formulaic Calculation

The formulaic calculation according to the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA) says:

  • 17% for 1 child;
  • 25% for 2;
  • 29% for 3; and so on.

Continue reading


Don Said Our Plan Was Unworkable – – We Should Have Listened!

Don Said Our Plan Was Unworkable - - We Should Have Listened! By Don Sinkov{3:36 minutes to read} 

“Don said our plan was unworkable, because we had a history of domestic violence, but we insisted that he should follow our decision to remain living together.  We should have listened to his advice, but we didn’t. Here it is 2 months later, my spouse is in jail.  Don said, people who have a tendency towards violence and are getting divorced are really like a ticking time bomb. They should not be living  together with their soon to be ex-spouse.”

Couples often have an idea of what their living situation is going to be after separation or divorce and when one of them is going to move out of the marital residence. Most of the time, it is a reasonable arrangement, but some of the time it’s not. Continue reading


Are You Already a Victim of Domestic Violence or About to Be?

Are You Already a Victim of Domestic Violence or About to Be? by Don Sinkov{1:48 minutes to read} More and more, I am receiving phone calls from people who are either living with domestic violence or suspect that they are about to experience it. So what are the signs of abuse?

  • They hurt you by criticizing, embarrassing, or putting you down
  • They try to control what you do, say, or wear
  • They try to control where you go
  • They call, email, or text you frequently
  • They become jealous or accuse you of cheating
  • They try to isolate you from your friends and family
  • They threaten to commit suicide
  • They blame you for their abusive behavior

Continue reading


Should a Newbie Mediator Apprentice with an Experienced Mediator?

Should a Newbie Mediator Apprentice with an Experienced Mediator? by Don Sinkov {1:50 minutes to read} If you want to learn how to be a divorce mediator, should you first apprentice with another mediator? Well, maybe. Can you learn some skills from them? Yes, and you could see how they apply the basic training, although what you’ll find out is that they probably throw out 90% of what they learned.

The basic training is really a broad set of guidelines and techniques, while divorce mediation is often subject-specific.

  • How do you calculate a marital interest in retirement plans, bank accounts, real property, cash values of life insurance, etc.?

They can’t teach you that in a basic 30-hour mediation training. And working with an experienced mediator will only show you their particular way of doing things.  Continue reading


There are No Experts Only Opinions

There are No Experts Only Opinions By Don Sinkov{3:18 minutes to read} I watched a YouTube video recently where a Norwegian scientist talked about global warming. He had all the charts and graphs showing the hard scientific evidence that said there is no global warming. The last 15 years of satellite images show there is no significant change. Carbon dioxide is good for plants, and the earth’s temperature really has not changed. So here is a scientific expert who is saying the opposite of what 97% of the other scientific experts have said. Who should we believe?

I read a 20-year study on child development and was very impressed by a lot of the research. Then I read another study that said the 20-year study was completely wrong. So one expert discredits the other expert. Who is right?

These examples reminded me one of the conferences I attend for ongoing mediation skills. They said this guy is fantastic. He writes books. He lectures. He gets paid a lot. For me he was just another expert at a conference talking about how their particular method works, and how great it is. When I first started mediating divorces, I was very enthused about learning new skills, but as the years went on, I realized that  their mediation style might work for them, but that doesn’t mean that you can apply in your own practice. Continue reading


Take the Deal!

Take the Deal! By Don Sinkov{2:54 minutes to read} After a few months of negotiation (a few months longer than it usually takes a couple to come up with a divorce settlement) the husband announced, “I cannot accept the deal.”  

There was very little money and property to divide. It should have been a relatively simple divorce mediation, but the husband was just dragging his feet.

Every time I spoke to him, he said “Let’s go over this deal one more time.” I explained that there were only 5 items to discuss. I put them in writing and I sent it to him. A week or two later, he called back and said, “I can’t accept the deal.” Really??? Continue reading


You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! No. 2

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! No. 2 By Don Sinkov

It’s Monday morning, and I am meeting with my first couple of the day. The husband is a successful businessman and is making a lot of money. The wife is a stay-at-home mom, very sweet, very attractive. We begin to discuss financing and the usual information and documents they will need to produce before we can start negotiating their Settlement Agreement.

While discussing budgeting, I remind them that it is very important that, in addition to all the costs we usually discuss, we talk about spending money. I wanted to make sure that we included spending money in their budget. Often, couples forget to do that. The budget covers living expenses such as utilities, groceries, etc. but does not include spending money. So I asked the wife what she thought she would need for spending money, and she said it was not a problem. I asked her to explain. She said:

” I have two cards. One is the ATM machine card from one bank. If I need money, I go to the bank and that’s how I get spending money. I take it out of the ATM.” Continue reading


I Thought He Was Going to Change!

I Thought He Was Going to Change! By Don Sinkov{2:42 minutes to read}

Imagine a couple married for over 20 years. They have been unhappy for a really long time. They have 2 children. They both acknowledge that the husband:

  • has had numerous affairs;
  • is a philanderer;
  • has a gambling problem;
  • occasionally goes on drinking binges; and
  • totally ignores the wife, and for the most part, the children.

When speaking to the wife privately, I asked her, “How long has this been going on?” She said, “Pretty much the whole time we’ve been married.” I said, “That’s over 20 years! Why didn’t you get divorced sooner?” She said, “Well, I thought he was going to change.” Continue reading


You Can’t Make This Stuff Up! No. 1

You Can't Make This Stuff Up!! No. 1 by Don Sinkov{2:42 minutes to read} The husband and wife showed up for mediation dressed to the nines. They told me that they were executives in Manhattan-based companies, and make a ton of money. I did notice that they were just loaded with bling:

  • Rolex watches
  • Fancy diamond rings
  • Driving a very expensive car

I discussed my hourly fee for mediation with them and told them there is no additional charge if couples have more assets. It might, however, take more time to discuss and understand the nature of complicated assets and/or if there are numerous assets in different forms. Continue reading


Does Divorce Mediation Have a Place in Domestic Violence Cases?

Does Divorce Mediation Have a Place in Domestic Violence Cases By Don Sinkov{2:54 minutes to read} Divorce mediation in domestic violence cases? The judges and the court say, “Never!” But are they right?

Over the years, I’ve heard judges, courts, and attorneys say time and time again, when there’s domestic violence, there is no mediation. It’s totally inappropriate and they will not participate. In the past, I respected their opinions and said, “I can understand. I can’t guarantee the safety of a victim of domestic violence at a mediation session, and I don’t want to put them at risk.”

But as time went on, I decided that refusing to mediate a divorce case where there is domestic violence doesn’t always make sense. And here’s why: You have someone who has been abused in their marriage. They want to get divorced from the abuser. By refusing mediation, you are putting them into the litigation arena, where it’s going to take years of battling to get them divorced.  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.