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Boy, Am I Happy I’m Getting the House!

{3:54 minutes to read} A divorcing couple has decided how they are going to divide their assets. They really don’t need a mediator to mediate the terms because they have already decided, without knowing family law. Or how a judge might decide their case. Or what factors they need to consider. They have been thinking about their settlement for a while and like what they have. The husband and wife don’t really want to hear what I have to say. Although they’ve hired me as a mediator, they don’t want me to mediate. They just want me to write out the deal they have. […]

If You Can’t Bargain for Yourself, Maybe Mediation Isn’t for You!

{3:48 minutes to read} One of the elements of a successful mediation is the client’s ability to bargain in their own self interest. Often, I have one spouse who is more concerned about what is going to happen to their soon-to-be ex-spouse than they are about themselves. When I see that, I say, “Listen, your spouse is concerned about him or herself, and you’re concerned about them also, so there are two people concerned about them but who is expressing concern for you. For this mediation to be successful, you have to speak up for yourself and play a part in constructing what you both believe is a fair settlement.” […]

Can We Share Future Earnings After the Divorce?

{2:42 minutes to read} During a recent mediation, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the husband and wife were smiling and seemed totally at ease. The husband was a hedge fund manager, and being a risk taker, he had started several hedge funds, then gone bankrupt. Currently, he is operating a very successful hedge fund with a very promising future. His wife, who is a successful doctor, had supported him not only financially through a series of ups and downs, but emotionally. Fast-forward 20 years later, and they are now getting divorced. They’ve both experienced some lean years, but now things have turned around. He is making a lot of money, and the prospects for making even more money in the next few years are excellent, so the couple wanted to make an agreement that would address the husband’s future earnings. […]

Dividing the Marital Assets in Half—Part 2

{3:42 minutes to read} There was a big response to my last blog, I’ll Divide the Marital Assets in Half as Long as My Half Is Bigger, mostly from attorneys. They said horrible things like: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. We don’t always divide the assets in half. Where did you get that idea?” I said, “Okay, so if I’m wrong, tell me why I’m wrong or what you do differently.” “We don’t always divide the assets in half. We add up all the assets and then try to figure out what the value was at the date of the marriage, and the end of the financial interest is the date of commencement.” […]

We Are Looking for the Mediator with the Cheapest Hourly Rate

{2:24 minutes to read} When the police arrest you for having drugs that you insist aren’t yours, do you look [...]

If You Want the Job, Just Write What We Say!

{2:36 minutes to read} Couples often get the idea that they can save a lot of money during the mediation process [...]

Dividing Net Equity Using the "Magic of Math"

{2:36 minutes to read} A while ago, I wrote a blog article about “The Magic of Math,” which had to [...]

Why Must I Read My Divorce Agreement?

{2:24 minutes to read} How often have I received a phone call from divorced spouses asking questions about their settlement [...]

Is Your Mediation Practice Narrow Focused or Big Picture?

{3:45 minutes to read} I recently had lunch with an attorney, and she asked me what my mediation practice was [...]

Is the Home a Married Couple’s Greatest Asset? Maybe Not.

Today, more often than not, the family home is not a couple’s greatest asset. Although it used to be, the [...]