Author Archives: Susan Ingram

Ahhhhh . . . . . Silence

NYC divorce and family mediator, Susan Ingram, explores the importance of silence in our noisy, chaotic world. {2:12 minutes to read}  I’ve been thinking a lot these days about SILENCE, or rather, the lack thereof. You see, I live in an apartment in New York City. As it happens, not just one but two of my neighbors (on either side of me, no less) are renovating their apartments right now. As you can imagine, this makes for much congestion, mess, and NOISE.

This difficult situation triggered my thinking about SILENCE in more depth and contemplating its significance to me and others.

Certainly I know that allowing myself time for SILENCE and contemplation is important and a nurturing activity for me. It helps to ground me in an otherwise hectic world and enable me to move forward with empathy and understanding, as well as focus and determination.

Mediators and Mental Health Professionals: Working Together to Help Our Clients Through a Divorce

Mediators and Mental Health Professionals: Working Together to Help Our Clients Through a Divorce By Susan Ingram{3:20 minutes to read} Did you know that divorce and marital separation are the 2nd and 3rd most significant stressors in an individual’s life?

Studies conducted by psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe in 1970 identified the Top Stressors in a person’s life. Their research continues to be valid, even 45 years later. Here’s their list of the Top Ten, in order of significance:

  • Death of a spouse
  • Divorce
  • Marital separation
  • Imprisonment
  • Death of a close family member
  • Personal injury or illness

Friendly Cross-Species Interactions in the Animal Kingdom

If They Can Do It, Why Can’t We?

Divorce and Family Mediator, Susan Ingram, discusses cross-species interactions and how it relates to mediation.{3:17 minutes to read} The NY Times published a fascinating article recently in its Science Times section on friendly cross-species interactions. You can see the article here.

The article provides video and commentary on several of these unlikely animal relationships:

  • A 100-year-old tortoise and an orphaned baby hippopotamus
  • A donkey and a German Shepherd-mix dog
  • A longhorn calf and a one-horned rhinoceros
  • A baby monkey and a baby boar

My Top 9 Picks for Choosing Divorce Mediation

Divorce and family mediator, Susan Ingram, shares her 9 top reasons she chooses divorce mediation over litigation. {Time to Read: 3 3/4 minutes}  There are many reasons for a couple to choose to mediate their divorce. Here are My Top 9 Picks (in no particular order):

1. Expense: Mediation is much less costly than litigation. With mediation, the parties are paying just one professional – the mediator – to facilitate the process. In litigation, both parties have to pay the fees of each of their own attorneys as well as many additional fees and costs that are directly related to the litigation process.

2. Time: Divorce mediation is much faster than litigation.

How Can Parents Address Relocation Issues in Divorce Mediation?

NYC divorce and family mediator, Susan Ingram, discusses how mediation can help couples in post-divorce parenting, specifically when a parent may have to relocate.[Time to Read: 3.5 mins]

An important issue that divorcing couples with children need to discuss during mediation is where they will each be living and whether or how that will affect their ability to be with their children on a regular basis. This is so whether the parents have designated one of them as the primary residential parent, or whether they are sharing residential custody 50/50. See my prior article on custody arrangements here.

What’s the Best Custody Arrangement for Children When Their Parents Divorce?

[Time to Read: 4 mins]

NY divorce and family mediator, Susan Ingram, explains legal and residential custody and how it's worked out in a family and child-centric manner during divorce mediation.There’s certainly no one-size-fits-all when my divorcing couples are discussing the residential custody of their children and the parenting arrangements that reflect the specifics of how this will be handled. But before I proceed, I would like to clarify the concept of custody as it applies in divorce.

Basically, there are two types of custody: legal custody and residential custody (also referred to as physical custody).

Welcoming 2015 with a 10-Year Look-Back

Family and divorce mediator, Susan Ingram, reflects on her professional journey of the last 10 years as the new year approaches.Typically, at the end of each December, before the entrance of the New Year, I like to look back at what’s happened over the past year and then contemplate what I’d like to accomplish in the year that is coming. This year I decided to do my review a little differently. Instead of just looking at the timeframe of a year, I wanted to see the big-picture over the period of the past 10 years.

What was happening in my work life 10 years ago? I was still working as an attorney drafting and negotiating contracts in a corporate environment, as I had been doing for quite a few years before that. I was very good at what I did, yet I felt that there was something important missing – the sense of helping “real” people (not the corporate types) address and resolve significant problems in their lives.

How Long Will This Take?

Divorce and family mediator, Susan Ingram, discusses how long a mediation process may take depending on the circumstances.When I first meet with my clients, they often ask me how long the divorce mediation process will take. My answer is – it depends. In reality, it depends on any number of different factors, such as:

  • How complicated their issues are
  • Whether they have children or not
  • Whether they’re both “on the same page” as to the end of their relationship
  • Whether they’re waiting for certain events to occur (such as the sale of a home) before finalizing their arrangements.

Divorcing Couples and Parenting Plans

Divorce and family mediator, Susan Ingram, discusses divorcing parents and parenting plans.For couples who have children and are divorcing, there’s no more important subject to discuss than their parenting arrangements post-divorce.

As we are working in mediation, my couples sometimes ask if there is a best parenting plan that couples should adopt and follow. The short answer to that question is, no. The slightly longer answer is – no, because so much depends on the unique circumstances and needs of your specific family and its members.

A Valuable Resource for Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities

NYC Divorce and Family Attorney/Mediator, Susan Ingram, discusses her role in advocating for children with learning disabilities and provides a good resource for parents.In addition to my work as a family and divorce attorney/mediator, I’ve been involved in the non-profit world for more than 20 years helping children and young adults who have learning disabilities (LD). As often happens with people, I knew nothing about this subject until it touched me personally – when my son, Scott, was diagnosed with dyslexia, the most common form of LD, at the age of seven.