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Resolving disputes creatively

White Plains Divorce Law Blog

What happens when people reach agreements at divorce mediation?

It is very common for couples to have disagreements during a marriage about many different things. People resolve them very differently though and sometimes couples are not able to resolve them at all. When they are not able to resolve them often times that leads to a divorce. Just like there are many ways to resolve disagreements during the marriage there are also different ways to resolve a divorce. The couple could litigate the divorce, utilize the collaborative divorce process or use divorce mediation to reach agreements.

Litigation involves trials and presenting evidence to a judge who then makes decisions for the couple. Collaborative divorce is a process where the couple decides to work together to reach agreements and agree to not use the court process at all. Divorce mediation involves the couple meeting with a third-party neutral mediator who helps the couple negotiate and hopefully reach agreements. However, one thing is true for all options, a judge needs to sign an order to make the divorce official.

Getting through the complexities of a high-asset divorce

Every marriage is unique, which means that every divorce is unique as well. Many divorces will deal with similar issues, such as child custody and visitation, child support, alimony and asset division, but the final determination for each issue depends on the circumstances of each divorce. Children have different needs and parents have different schedules, and the main factor that affects the financial aspects of a divorce is the wealth of the couple.

High-asset divorces are oftentimes much more complicated than divorces for couples with fewer assets. Not only are their more assets to divide, but the types of assets can be complicated to divide as well. Usually, this is because the couple needs to first value the assets, which can include multiple properties, various bank accounts, investments, retirement accounts, collectables and many other assets. So, the couple may need to utilize professionals, such as forensic accountants, business appraisers and people to determine the value of collectibles.

Rapper files motion claiming ex-wife is violating custody order

Many people in New York are familiar with music by the rapper Nas, which he has been creating for many years. He is back in the news again, but it is not because of his music. This time he is in the news because he is back in court claiming his ex-wife is violating their child custody order by trying to move their son to Colombia. There have reportedly been many instances over the last year that she has brought their son there while she is starting a farm in that country.

Nas also claims that he missed his visitation on New Year's Eve because she kept their son in Colombia. In addition, he said she has violated the order by taking their son out of the school he was enrolled in. This case demonstrates what can happen in the years after custody orders are initially ordered. Parents may want to move for various reasons, sometimes parents may miss their visitation and other clauses of the order are violated.

Parents can be required to pay child support for many years

When people get married and have children in New York generally they believe they will be together to raise the children. This means that they will share the responsibilities for guiding the children through life and providing for their financial needs. However, the reality is that some marriages end in divorce. Divorces can happen when the children are at any given age. It could be when they are young or it could be when they are about to graduate from high school or even from college.

Whether parents are married or not, they both must contribute to their children's financial needs and most of the time the non-custodial parent must pay the custodial parent child support. The amounts will vary from couple to couple, but basic support is determined by the parent's combined income and the number of children they have together. There are exceptions and different factors that may change the amount of child support the parents ultimately pay.

Divorce mediators must be educated in all aspects of divorce

If a couple going through a divorce utilizes a divorce mediator to help them reach agreements in a divorce, they expect the mediator to be knowledgeable. That is why divorce mediators are required to be educated in the various issues that arise in a divorce.

They must understand child custody laws and also understand child development, how co-parenting affects children, how substance abuse affects them and other issues surrounding the best interests of the child. Mediators also need to understand the child support laws, spousal support laws, tax laws, valuation of property, monthly budgeting, health insurance and other aspects that help determine the outcome of these issues.

Protecting assets before the marriage with prenuptial agreements

Most people who get married in New York have a separate life prior to the marriage. So, they have obtained different assets and debts, have different jobs, may or may not have children from a previous relationship and many other circumstances. All of these things will certainly shape the marriage, but they are also considered separate for the purposes of marriage and potentially during a divorce as well. However, assets can be comingled and become marital property depending on the actions of the couple.

This can become a big issue for high asset divorces when one party who had significant assets prior to the marriage could lose part of them to their spouse. There is one way that people can try to avoid this possible outcome of a divorce: by planning ahead of the divorce and signing a prenuptial agreement before the marriage.

Tips for high asset divorce

If you're in the midst of a divorce, you might find it to be an emotional, costly and complicated process. Each divorce is unique with its own set of circumstances and difficulties, but high asset divorce has its own set of challenges.


In every case of divorce in New York, assets are split in a fair and equitable way, but there's more to consider when higher assets are involved. The benefit of a high asset divorce is that there's more money to divide, but the downside is it can be more complex financially. High asset divorces may include multiple bank accounts, trusts, large investment portfolios, high value collections or even joint business ownership.

Determining visitation schedules for non-custodial parents

In most situations, it is important that both parents have a role in children's lives in New York. This can be accomplished relatively easily when the parents live together and can see the children every day, but this is not an option when the parents are no longer together. In order to ensure that both parents can still be involved, even though it will not be at the same level they were before, there are generally visitation orders to ensure both parents can still be involved and see the children on a routine basis.

Determining visitation can occur in one of two ways, but in either way the determination is based on what is in the best interests of the children. The first way of making these determinations is when the parents can reach agreements. Parents generally understand the situation best and what would work best for their children, so it can work well when the parents reach agreements. The other option is for the parties to litigate the issue and ultimately have a judge decide for them.

Amounts deducted from income for child support

There are many things that parents provide for their children as they grow up. They provide love and emotional support, but also provide most of their children's financial support as well. In fact, parents are required to provide shelter, food and clothing to children until they are adults. Parents generally do this together when they are still married or living together, but when the couple is no longer together ensuring both parents provide can be more difficult, especially when one parent has the children more than the other.

To ensure that both parents do in fact contribute financially for their children's needs, non-custodial parents are generally ordered to pay child support to the custodial parent. Child support orders are based on the parents' income, which includes many different ways that people receive money, such as income from a job, workers' compensation, self-employment income and many other forms. Then, the non-custodial parent pays a percentage of that income for child support. The percentage they pay is based on the number of children.

Attending mediation for child custody can be helpful

Married couples in New York generally live together and each play a role in raising their children. One parent may work more than the other and one may spend more time with the children, but generally even parents are involved in their children's lives. This is why it can be so difficult when couples divorce. Parents are no longer able to see their children every day and this can be a difficult situation for both the parents and the children. So, child custody decisions can be very emotional.

Like most decisions in a divorce, child custody determinations can be made either by agreement of the parties or by trial and a judge will ultimately make the decision for them. While the couple may not immediately reach an agreement for child custody, it does not mean that they cannot eventually reach one and avoid trial and other forms of litigation. One option that parents have is to attempt divorce mediation to help facilitate discussion and hopefully help them reach agreements.

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