Gary Shaffer - How long does it take to mediate a divorce? It depends.{4:30 minutes to read}  One question I always get whenever someone calls about a divorce mediation is, “How long does it usually take?” The “It depends” answer to this one is far more accurate than in most other mediations.

Many non-divorce mediations take a full day. There is something about participants getting tired and it getting dark that stimulates movement. No one wants to leave after 8, 10, or 12 hours with nothing to show for it.

In divorce mediations, a similar process plays out, but never in one day. And single sessions rarely go over two hours. Couples get exhausted by that point. Plus they need to reflect on and sometimes even live with issues, emotions, and possible decisions.

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How Long Does Mediation Take by Gary Shaffer {3:30 minutes to read} Someone recently asked me how long I would expect a mediation to take. I thought hard for two or three milliseconds and said, “It depends.”

So, how long should one expect a mediation to take? I’m glad you asked. I’ll address different areas of mediation length over the next few blog posts, but let’s start with a commercial case.

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{3:30 minutes to read}  I recently had a conversation with two attorneys in an employment matter that came my way through a court annexed mediation program that automatically sends all employment cases to mediation.

I have written before about the benefits ofGary P. Shaffer - Employment Mediation - If Not Now, When?mandatory mediation,” which until somewhat recently was often thought of as an oxymoron. One axiom of mediation has been that the parties are in charge of the process, including the decision whether or not to mediate. However, it turns out this theory has some flaws. The most serious is that many litigants would love to try to resolve their cases early on, but don’t want to make the first move in suggesting mediation for fear it will be a sign of weakness.

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New Tax Rules Make 2018 The Year of the Divorce by Gary Shaffer{4 minutes to read}  Breakin’ up is not just hard to do—it’s often expensive. But for the past 75 years or so, alimony has been deductible for the payor and income to the payee. This often helped soften the economic fallout of divorce by allowing the higher-earning spouse to pay alimony to the lower-earning spouse so the “family” could reduce its overall tax burden. Since child support is neither income nor deductible, couples often agreed to allocate more money to alimony and less to child support to increase the overall pot available to the family post divorce.

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{4:12 minutes to read} Med-Arb Clauses in contracts specify mediation before arbitration in disputes.When arbitration first became popular, it was seen as an antidote to the time and expense of litigation. Parties could bypass the lengthy court process, narrow the issues, limit discovery, and hire experts to decide disputes. Arbitration also kept disputes private, making it less likely the terms of a settlement or adverse decision would become public.

However, over the past 10 years, arbitration has begun to lose some of its luster for several reasons. Most well-known are the compulsory arbitration clauses found in consumer contracts (e.g., “Click here if you agree with the terms and conditions…”) that are often seen as unfairly favoring parties with greater economic power and limiting the ability to redress legitimate grievances.

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Condo Association Warfare by Gary Shaffer

{4:30 minutes to read} A friend recently told me about a situation involving her neighbor at the condo development where she lives. She and the neighbor were never close friends, but they were friendly toward each other, saying hello and chatting when they would see one another.

About a year ago, however, things began to change. The flowers my friend had planted in her front yard for several years were now not to her neighbor’s liking. And the awning that provided shade on the rear of my friend’s unit, which faces west and can get hot in the summer, was suddenly a violation of the condo rules. The awning had been up for about seven years.

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{3:54 minutes to read} Our mental attics can store lots of emotional content when it comes to a family home. For Family Disputes: Selling The Family Home by Gary Shaffermany families, selling that home may be sad, but not otherwise a source of contention. It can even be a relief. But for others, selling the home can create conflict. While there can be an almost infinite source of such conflicts, mediation can provide a way to ease or even resolve them.

Money and emotion are almost always intertwined in a dispute over the family home, and any attempt at resolution must address both. Ideally, the issue is addressed before a dispute arises:

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{3:42 minutes to read} In my previous blog post on this topic, I described some of the general issues that arise  What Would a Successful Family Mediation Outcome Be? by Gary Shafferduring a mediation involving an intra-family commercial dispute. These included:

  • Resentments built up slowly over time;
  • Allies and enemies;
  • Divergent recollections; and
  • Emerging “alternate truths.”

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{2.54 minutes to read} All happy families may be alike, but all families with intra-family disputes involving money Intra-Family Commercial Mediation: Get Back At or Get Back Together? by Gary Shafferare unhappy in their own way. Resentments build up slowly over time, people develop allies and enemies, recollections diverge, and “alternate truths” emerge. Each family has its own unique set of alternate truths that must, at a minimum, be recognized for a mediation to be successful.

The goal of an intra-family mediation is not to get family members to agree on a single truth. This may be emotionally impossible, and recollections can be fuzzy and subject to interpretation. Words can be stated in many different ways and with different intent. What was meant one way may have been taken in another. 5, 10, or 15 years later, the recordings are lost. And to some extent they may be irrelevant.

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{3:18 minutes to read} Mediations come in different flavors. Most typical is a single mediator who meets with the  Co-Mediation: Does it Make Sense? by Gary Shafferparties and includes joint as well as individual sessions.

Co-mediation is sometimes used in divorce or family matters, usually with a male and female mediator working with a male and female couple. The thought is that such an arrangement will lessen the possibility or the perception of gender bias. Experienced mediators are careful to avoid any bias as best they can or, are at least able to pick up when a particular spouse/partner is sensing some bias.

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About Us

An honors graduate of Harvard University and the Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University, where he also served on the Law Review, Gary brings more than 30 years of litigation and negotiation experience to his practice as a mediator. He has successfully negotiated and mediated resolutions in family matters, employment cases, commercial disputes, personal injury cases, and major civil rights matters.

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Phone :- 347.314.2163
Email :- gary@shaffermediation.com

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