Author Archives: Susan Ingram

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.

Beware the Well-Intentioned Advice of Friends and Family

Divorce and Family Mediator, Susan Ingram, warns against heeding the advice of non-professional, well-intentioned friends.I suppose it’s only natural that friends and family will volunteer all sorts of information as to what happened to them, or other people they know, when they got divorced. The clients I see in my divorce mediation practice often come to me with preconceived and incorrect information as to what they believe they are “entitled to” as part of their divorce settlement.

Why Mediation Is Better for Couples and Their Children

Family and Divorce Mediator, Susan Ingram, explains Why Mediation Is Better for Couples and Their ChildrenThe majority of the couples I see in divorce mediation have children. Early on in the mediation process, when I ask them to identify their most important concerns, they invariably say that they are most concerned about the well-being of their children during their separation and divorce process – and continuing after they are divorced.

There is no question in my mind that mediation is the best process for most couples when they are divorcing.

The “Good Enough” Settlement Agreement

Divorce and Family Mediator, Susan Ingram, discusses settlement agreements.Exactly what do I mean by a “good-enough” settlement agreement? Although it’s an amusing and somewhat awkward phrase, in the context of family mediation, it has some very positive attributes.

Actually, it’s easier to first describe the opposite of the good-enough agreement. That would be the more-than-enough or have-it-all agreement. To simplify my discussion in this blog, though, let’s just call this other option the “perfect” agreement.

Reflection – What Happens When It’s Not Part of Our Lives?

NYC Family and Divorce Mediator, Susan Ingram, discusses the importance of making time to be being alone for reflection.The New York Times ran an interesting article recently, entitled “No Time to Think.” The author, Kate Murphy, describes a phenomenon that we’ve become all too used to in our modern, high tech society, without questioning whether it’s beneficial for us. “It” is the way we’re running around all the time, over scheduled and exhausted – never having a moment for ourselves.

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