Same Sex Married Couples Still Need Second Parent Adoptions

I have written about this before, and it is still true – same sex couples still need second parent adoptions even though they are legally married. New York’s Appellate Division Second Department made this clear their May 2015 decision, Matter of Paczkowski. The case is about a lesbian couple who was married and had a child together during the marriage.  The non-biological mom had not adopted their child. The couple later broke up, and she filed for joint custody, arguing … read more »

Elder Mediation and Family Conversations

The New York Times ran an article about elder mediation and how it can be useful to adult siblings who are working together to take care of aging parents. Elder mediation can help sisters and brothers air out differences, understand each other,clarify their expectations, and approach each other with compassion so they can work together as a team.  This is one of the services we offer. As it happens, I just published an article on describing elder mediation and … read more »



Our mission is to support families through life’s difficult transitions by providing intelligent and compassionate counseling, mediation, and legal representation.   We use this space to share some interesting news we have come across, observations we might have, things to make you laugh … We welcome your comments and observations, too. Please stay in touch!  

Busy week!

It’s been a busy week – I was on a panel at CUNY School of Law about Contemplative Lawyering and alternatives to litigating on Monday. On Wednesday I was a panel at Cardozo Law School about mediating with non-traditional families. And today I published an article on about why second parent adoptions are still needed even when the same-sex parents are married.  They say that if  you love what you do, it never feels like work.  So true. I’m … read more »

Dividing Up the Property

One of the biggest decisions that needs to be made in a divorce is how you will divide up your assets.  Here is a link to an article I wrote recently about this topic, entitled “Equitable Distribution 101.”  This might be helpful whether you are using mediation, collaborative process, or using traditional lawyers.

Divorce Envy ~ Who knew?

I’m honored and excited that I was quoted in Amy Sohn’s Harper’s Bazaar’s article about Divorce Envy. It really is an honor.  And an interesting topic.  We feel the need to keep up with the Joneses to get the latest handbag, to do hot yoga and eat kale, why not to get divorced in the most healing way possible?  As I said, if it leads to a trend of collaborative process and divorce mediation, maybe peer pressure is a very … read more »

All Children Included!

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s will was filed in court yesterday, and has already gotten a lot of press. He did some unusual things – most poignantly, he did not create trust funds for his children.  But he also did not update his will after his younger two kids were born, nor did he make provisions for the possibility that he might have more kids.  So they are in a bit of legal limbo, as this article shows. How can you avoid … read more »

Pete Seeger’s Legacy – And Pete Seeger’s Will

I just read an article in the NY Daily News about Pete Seeger’s will.  While I am dismayed that they talk about the dollar value of his estate, I love that his instruments have names, and that the kids each got an instrument But Pete’s impact is not in his will.  It is in his legacy.  How he taught millions of people that they can feel community by singing together.  How music brings us together, rich and poor, young and … read more »

Second Parent Adoptions are Still Necessary!

The NY Times’ Motherlode blog ran an article today about 2nd parent adoptions, and Judge Lopez Torres’ recent decision to deny a petition for such when the adoptive parents were married. Here is my comment (which they also published): I am an attorney who does second parent adoptions. I have completed and filed several such adoptions in New York State since Judge Lopez Torres’ decision was published – parallel courts recognize them as still being necessary. While Judge Lopez Torres’ … read more »

Is Halle Berry’s child support too much?

According to People Magazine (and now on the AP), Halle Berry was recently ordered to pay $16,000 per month in child support.  Too much?  Perhaps.  It seems hard to fathom how a child could need $16,000 per month – especially when she and her ex- have shared custody.  But there are so many factors involved – one of which, in New York at least, is Nahia’s standard of living before her parents split up. A lot of people have a … read more »