Author Archives: Susan Ingram

What Are 2 Basic Requirements for Mediation?

What Are 2 Basic Requirements for Mediation By Susan Ingram{2:48 minutes to read}  Taking it down to the bare bones, I believe there are really only two essential elements that need to be present in order for a mediation to be viable and ultimately productive.

Willingness to Dialogue

Certainly there needs to be a basic willingness to come together and talk to each other. This does not, however, mean that the participants:

  • Need to have the same degree of commitment to dialogue, or;
  • Feel comfortable speaking with the other.

Can Conflict Be Good?

Can Conflict Be Good By Susan Ingram{3.06 minutes to read}    “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely…” – Karen Kaiser Clark.

Many people, when in conflict, see it as something bad and unsettling and, indeed, it can be.  Alternatively, conflict can often be good. How can this be so?

There are 2 sides to conflict – one is productive and the other is unproductive. As to which of these approaches will prevail, that very much depends upon the attitude and approach of the participants.

How Can “Skip Track” Be Helpful in Divorce Mediation?

How Can "Skip Track" Be Helpful in Divorce Mediation? By Susan Ingram{2:36 minutes to read} In my last blog, I talked about hitting “The Pause” button at any stage during mediation, and how doing so may benefit a couple both pragmatically and emotionally. Alternatively, I’ve been asked whether sometimes it might be appropriate to hit the “Skip Track” button instead.

The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” At times, I find the best thing I can do as a mediator is to help a couple move the conversation along…

Hitting the Pause Button in Divorce Mediation

Hitting the Pause Button in Divorce Mediation By Susan Ingram{3 minutes to read}  Most divorce mediations can be resolved within a matter of months. By ‘resolved’ I mean that, within that timeframe, the couple will have:

  • participated in a number of sessions to discuss their issues,
  • come to an understanding on these issues, and
  • reviewed and executed a legal document (a settlement agreement) that sets out everything they’ve agreed upon.

Sounds like a pretty quick and efficient process, especially given the seriousness and importance of the subject matter. And many times the mediation process can be completed within a 4-8 month timeframe. (Just as an aside, a contested divorce, where both parties have separate attorneys, will very likely take, not months, but 1-2 years or more to resolve.)

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).