When couples come to me for mediation, one of the most difficult subjects for discussion is working out a parenting plan, which used to be called “visitation”. Parents don’t usually like to think that they are “visiting” their kids so the word “visitation” is discouraged. They are spending parental time with their children and, hopefully, that parental time is also “quality” time.
For many parents, who do not live with their children on a day to day basis, the proverbial “every other weekend and dinner at McDonalds on Wednesdays” is not enough. For most parents, “quality time” means, living life that includes regular life activities like helping kids with their homework, getting them up and ready for school, taking them to their extracurricular activities, and just “being a parent”.
Continue reading In Whose Best Interests?
Mary and William have been divorced for 2 years. They have one child, Donna, who is 8 years old. Their divorce was a hotly contested one that took almost 2 years to finalize. During that time they had been to court on various motions all related to their daughter Donna, who lived with Mary. The disputes ranged from how much time William would have with Donna, to what school she would go to, what summer camp she would go to, what extracurricular activities she would be enrolled in, and how all of those things would be paid for. Both parents lived in Bergen County, New Jersey, close to the George Washington Bridge.
Continue reading It’s Never Too Late to Mediate
Recently I spent a weekend at the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation’s annual conference, which, as a member of the Board of Directors and Conference Committee, I helped to arrange. More than 150 mediators from all over the state attended to hear prominent experts on divorce related issues run workshops and lectures to improve our skills and keep current with the latest information that will help our clients get through the difficult Divorce Process as easily as possible.
Continue reading Divorce Mediation Conference – Parenting Plans