I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by my colleagues, Isaiah Vallejo-Juste, Esq. and Meredith Shirey, LCSW for their podcast, Love Me or Leave Me.Isaiah is a divorce litigator, and Meredith is a couples therapist. I have a lot of respect for them both–we all work with NewYork City families, but approach our work in different ways. I thought they did a great job distilling my comments and getting to the heart of what mediation is and how I … read more »
Why You Need Reviewing Attorneys When You Mediate Your Prenup!
Sam recently called me up and asked if I could mediate his prenuptial agreement. “Sure,” I told him. “But you will also each need a lawyer to review the draft.” “Why?” He asked. “We’ve already talked about everything. We agree. All you need to do is write it down.” I understood why he bristled. Who wants to complicate things? Who wants lawyers (or the state, for that matter) to be involved with private, family agreements? Prenups are funny kinds of … read more »
A Few Words About the 2021 Expanded the Child Tax Credit
Parents, take note! Starting in the middle of July, many American families will receive six monthly payments of up to $300 per month for each child under 6 and $250 per month for each child ages 6-17. (Note that these credits start to phase out for individual taxpayers who earn over $75,000 and those who are married and filing jointly who earn more than $150,000.). (You can use a calculator here to find out how much your family might get.) This … read more »
Lawyers Make Things Worse!
“Lawyers make things worse!” I sometimes say to my clients. “They can take people who are this far apart,” I say with my hands about 4 inches away from each other, “and make them this far apart by the time they’re through!” continuing with my hands still facing each other but my arms stretched about 3 feet away. This may seem like blasphemy coming from a lawyer! And I mean no disrespect to my colleagues – but it’s part of … read more »
Did you ever get in an argument with someone that was so intense that you couldn’t see a way out? Did you ever do things in a moment of rage that you regretted later? The emotions seem to take over. I certainly have. When I was young, I was hot-headed! I’ve done things I am not proud of. And I’ve seen it with clients, too. In fact, one such incident was the reason I got interested in mediation. About 16 … read more »
You Might Have more in Common with Bill and Melinda Than You Think…
Bill and Melinda Gates recently announced that they are divorcing after 27 years. Besides having to address their billions of dollars and their enormously influential foundation, this has brought attention to issues of a mature (or “gray”) divorce. Like many other couples, they waited until their youngest child is about to go off on her own. And they, like so many others, have to plan for a very different future. Divorcing later in life comes up more often than you … read more »
Layers of Sound
I have been meditating for a few years, and was part of a workshop recently where the facilitator had us listen to “layers of sound.” I didn’t understand what she was talking about at first. It sounded a little mysterious, and a little woo woo…. But I decided to try what she was asking. And it’s not hard – I’ll show you. (This is an interactive blog post!) Listen – right now – first, to the sounds that are farthest … read more »
Hold Your Grudges!
“But you had an affair!” “But you started drinking … again!” What is a grudge? The Oxford Dictionary website defines it as ‘A persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury.’ As you can imagine, nearly everyone who walks through the doors of my office to get divorced has a grudge or two in their pocket. I’m sure some are well deserved. Certainly, past insults and injuries are what lead to divorce in the … read more »
Count Basie Lives!
For the last 6 years, I have been honored to be the Trustee of the William J. “Count” Basie Trust. An American icon, Count Basie was one of the greatest bandleaders of all time. Count Basie changed the jazz landscape and shaped mid-20th century popular music, earning the title “King of Swing” because he made the world want to dance. The Trust’s property included all of the Basie family’s personal possessions which we recently transferred to Rutgers University’s Institute of … read more »
I am currently re-reading a book called Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict, which I found to be almost life-changing, by Donna Hicks, PhD. I had the wonderful opportunity to study with Dr. Hicks at Harvard Divinity School in January, and heard her again recently when she was speaking in New York City for ODN New York and Latino Justice. Anne Gibbons did a graphic map as Donna was speaking, a photo which accompanies this blog post. She did … read more »
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