Using Mediation to Consider Divorce Maintenance

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Divorce is an upsetting, and often highly complicated part of life, but it's something that many couples go through at one time or another. As a child custody attorney and divorce lawyer, part of Mr. Darren M. Shapiro's role is to help individuals move through the process of divorce with as little pain as possible. To help facilitate this, Mr. Shapiro doesn't just offer his skills as an experienced litigator but also provides alternative methods of dispute resolution in the form of collaborative law and mediation too. Mediation can be used to address a wide variety of different issues that appear during the divorce process, including things like parenting time, visitation, equitable distribution, and of course, spousal maintenance. To be clear though, if a couple wants to use Mr. Shapiro as their mediator, he will not have a one on one consultation with either of them before beginning, since he is neutral to the couple, he will meet with them together.

Otherwise known as "alimony", spousal maintenance is a common concern for those considering divorce. Many people prefer to use mediators when making decisions regarding maintenance because methods of alternative dispute resolution can allow parties to maintain a degree of control over the decisions made for their future. Mr. Darren M. Shapiro can guide his clients through the discussions held around maintenance, helping each individual to consider why they believe they're entitled to support or can pay support, and whether the support given needs to deviate from the guidelines set by New York. Much of the time, each party can have their own definition of what should be deemed "fair" by the courts, but mediation can provide a platform to discuss these points.

Using Mediation to Manage Maintenance

As a professional mediator as well as a child custody attorney and divorce lawyer, it's Mr. Shapiro's job during mediation to act as a neutral party that encourages successful collaboration and communication between divorcing couples. Though he won't take sides in any discussion, he can offer guidance based on his experience in the courts, and give his clients information about the guidelines applied for spousal maintenance, and the factors courts will consider when deviating from pre-set amounts. Usually, the conversations held with Mr. Shapiro as a mediator will address many areas of maintenance, starting with a discussion around which party believes they should be entitled to what amount.

Once the basis for a conversation around maintenance has been set, Mr. Shapiro uses his skills as a mediator, along with his knowledge as a divorce attorney to provide information about the formula for maintenance used by the courts of New York. These guidelines are based on client income, and is set by statute, and can help individuals to come to a decision about who should be eligible support in terms of pendent lite awards, or long-term orders. If the typical guidelines don't seem to apply to the circumstances at hand, then Mr. Shapiro can discuss the potential elements that might cause the judge to consider an alternative amount, separate to the presumptive amount of maintenance. Those factors might include the health and age of each party, and the ability that each party has to earn money, as well as other elements that seem relevant to the amount considered "fair" according to Domestic Relations Law.

Why Choose Mediation to Consider Maintenance?

Mr. Shapiro's extensive experience as a child custody attorney and divorce lawyer has allowed him to recognize many instances wherein couples might prefer to use mediation over litigation when making decisions regarding their future. Working with a mediator like Mr. Shapiro for spousal maintenance decisions can help clients to develop personalized plans that suit the needs of everyone involved depending on the circumstances of their situation. Mediation provides a useful area in which couples can address joint and individual liabilities, along with budgets, assets, and potential earnings, to help determine who should pay what to either side.

During mediation, Mr. Darren Shapiro works to give both sides an equal opportunity to speak out about their concerns regarding maintenance. If sticking points emerge, however, it may be possible to try caucusing, which involves speaking with both sides individually to come up an answer to common problems. Additionally, neutral parties with an expertise in financials can be brought into the mediation team to keep each side focused on their needs when transitioning from one household into two. Additionally, Mr. Shapiro always recommends the use of review attorneys, who can help to come up with ideas that can be brought to the mediation conversations. Review attorneys can provide behind-the-scenes guidance to mediation clients - which is something that Mr. Shapiro is not able to do as a mediator.

In litigation, courts determine what they consider to be a fair maintenance amount for the divorce situation, but in mediation, divorcing couples can agree on what they consider to be fair within reason. Though the agreements must be approved by the courts, mediation can make it easier to discover an agreement that both sides can live with. In some cases, mediation might prompt couples to divide assets and liabilities in a way that impacts how much support should be awarded. Throughout mediation, both parties discuss the issues that worry them as they move through a divorce. Mr. Shapiro can discuss many issues with his clients around maintenance, such as the details regarding temporary support, whether maintenance should persist through a new relationship, and whether amounts need to be reconsidered in response to social security benefits.

Discuss Your Maintenance Through Mediation

In many circumstances, mediation can act as a powerful way for couples to make important decisions when planning their future and their lifestyles after the significant changes that come with divorce. When it comes to concerns like spousal maintenance, the conversational nature of mediation means that everyone involved in the divorce conversation can air their concerns, and come to terms that appear to be suitable for everyone involved. As a divorce lawyer, child custody attorney, and certified mediator, Mr. Shapiro is available to act as both a source of information and a neutral third party for his clients within the mediation process.

To learn more about mediation and spousal maintenance, read through some of the other blog posts available on this website, or reach out to Mr. Darren M. Shapiro through phone call to 516-333-6555 or using our simple online form. You'll be able to arrange your free, initial 30-minute consultation at a time that suits you.

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