Category Archives: Relationships

The Children’s Bill of Rights

The Children’s Bill of Rights By Susan Ingram

{3:42 minutes to read}  Many of the couples I see in my divorce mediation practice have children. Not surprisingly, I find that some parents are more able than others to keep their conflict separate from their relationship with the children. Understandably, this is no small feat, given all of the emotions, anxieties and fears that can arise during this challenging transition from married to separated/divorced.

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A Survey Reveals a Huge Disconnect for Couples

A Survey Reveals a Huge Disconnect for Couples By Susan Ingram

{3 minutes to read}  I heard a startling fact on the radio the other day that really got my attention. The announcer declared that a recently released Fidelity Investments Study had found that “while 72% of couples say they communicate well, 43% of couples cannot correctly identify how much their partner makes.” (For the Study, couples were defined as those who were married or living together in a long-term relationship.)

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Mediation and the Tale of the Single Lemon

{2.48 minutes to read}  In my last blog article, I described my frustration with lawyers and other professionals who undervalue the skills and experience that go into making a good mediator.  As I continued to contemplate this subject, I remembered an excellent “story” I had been told early in my mediation training days to illustrate one of the key principles of mediation.

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Can Conflict Be Good?

Can Conflict Be Good

{3.06 minutes to read}  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.

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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.

{Time to Read: 3.1 mins}  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.

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Integrated Team Mediation: What Is It and How Can It Benefit You?

NYC Family and Divorce Mediation, Susan Ingram, explains integrated team mediation.

For family and divorce mediation to be done as effectively as possible, I believe an integrated team approach must be utilized. I use the term “Integrated Team Mediation” to describe this approach. So what do I mean by this?

First let me explain some basics: At the core of the team is the couple who has come to me to facilitate their discussions, and of course myself, their mediator/attorney. Sometimes a couple’s circumstances are quite straightforward, and they already have all the information they need to make their decisions. For instance, I’ve had couples who don’t have children, have a short-term marriage and have few resources to divvy up. In those instances, typically there is no need to bring in outside professionals.

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Can Mediators Be Impartial and Address an Imbalance of Power?

Divorce and Family Mediator, Susan Ingram, discusses maintaing impartiality while keeping parties balanced and informed during the mediation process.

In my last blog article, I questioned whether a mediator could be either neutral or impartial. As I discussed, for me personally, the term “impartial” is more relevant – and something I continually strive for when I am mediating with my clients.

How does this actually play-out in a mediation? Sometimes with difficulty and a great deal of challenge. Let’s face it – even with the best of intentions, we’re all just human. I will frequently check-in with myself to question whether I am maintaining an unbiased position toward each of my clients. Then, if I sense there’s an issue, I’ll try my best to adjust my approach.

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One-Up, One-Down: Power Imbalances in Mediation

One-Up, One-Down: Power Imbalances in Mediation By Susan Ingram

I recently participated in a discussion with a number of colleagues who are therapists working with couples and their families. We had all just witnessed a divorce mediation session where a couple was discussing the parenting arrangements for their two children, both under the age of ten.

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