What Will Divorce Mediation Look Like in 2019?

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The world of family law is often complicated and unpredictable. That means that it's very difficult, even for experienced attorneys and divorce mediators like Darren Shapiro, to predict the future of legislation, regulations, and their effects on legal practice with complete certainty. However, it is possible to evaluate the current landscape and make some predictions based on what we've learned in the years gone by. Attorney and Divorce Mediator Shapiro, as a child custody attorney and divorce lawyer in Long Island and New York, often provides his clients with guidance and advice on the complex nature of family law. However, in this particular the case, the predictions that he has made for 2019 are simply conjecture.

Throughout 2018 and before, mediation has represented a useful and compelling alternative to standard litigation for married couples seeking an alternative way to negotiate things like equitable distribution and child support. Going into 2019, many aspects of mediation are likely to stay the same, but there are things that may change too. For instance, though it's likely that mediation will remain to be a helpful alternative for dispute resolution, there may be extra guidance required for couples unsure about what to do about the new non taxability of maintenance and mediation agreements.

For now, one thing that Attorney Shapiro can tell his clients, is that the grounds for divorce with mediation appear to be staying the same in 2019. Almost all the spouses that Attorney Shapiro works with choose the "no fault" divorce law option for their procedure. Although other methods remain available, the no-fault approach makes managing the difficult decisions of divorce a little easier for most couples.

Predictions for Mediation in 2019

When it comes to predicting what divorce mediation might look like in 2019, divorce mediator Shapiro can only comment on what he knows, what he has learned, and what he understands about family law in New York at this time. Attorney Shapiro believes that in the year ahead, child custody and parenting time considerations will remain largely the same and will often revolve around discussions of things like the best interests of the child, and how a child should be raised. For the beginning of the new year at least, the New York legislature has not changed the guidelines that are used for child support and maintenance to keep up with the new Congressional tax law for the United States. The new tax law says that maintenance payments are no longer taxable income for the recipient, or taxable deductions for the payor.

When the new tax laws go into effect on the 1st of January 2019, it's likely that the guidelines for the immediate future, for maintenance and child support awards will remain the same, but there may be arguments that the guidelines were originally designed at a different time, when tax rules could give some lenience to paying spouses. The current guidelines for maintenance that are in place at the time of writing this blog were revised during 2015, and Attorney Shapiro is very familiar with these guidelines. However, throughout the courts of New York, many judges have chosen not to stick with the guidelines given, believing that revisions were necessary to make the guidelines more suitable for the paying spouse. There's a good chance that practices such as these will continue in full force going into 2019.

The Benefits of Mediation in 2019

Attorney Shapiro is both a family law attorney and a certified mediator, capable of guiding couples through the complexity of divorce with a range of different strategies. One benefit of mediation that Attorney Shapiro often shares with his clients is the fact that it allows parties to focus on making the decisions that are best for them. There's no reason to rigidly apply specific guidelines for maintenance and support sessions, as the mediator and the couple can look at awards based on things like the budgets of the parties involved instead. Of course, a judge will still need to sign off on the agreements that are made with the support of a divorce mediator. However, mediated agreements can outline why they chose to deviate from guidelines, and request that the judge approve a different type of award.

As an experienced divorce mediator, Attorney Shapiro will do whatever it takes to deliver the best outcomes for his clients. Sometimes this means moving away from the guidelines provided for a maintenance or support award. In other circumstances, Attorney Shapiro may use the guidelines available in his mediation process as a starting point to help couples discuss what they would like to accomplish with things like child support. As New York moves into the year of 2019, and the rules around tax change, there may be even more reasons available for people to deviate from guidelines in their child support and maintenance guidelines. During decisions, many couples will need to consider things like the financial resources of both parents, the tax consequences of the parties, and any other features deemed relevant.

In some cases, it may be possible to argue that the new guidelines around taxes associated with maintenance and support payments in 2019 will need to be addressed during discussions about equitable distribution too. After, all, any factor deemed relevant by the courts in New York can be considered during the equitable distribution agreements made by spouses during mediation. If you're unsure about your upcoming divorce and what the new tax regulations will mean to you, start your new year by contacting the law and mediation office of Attorney Darren Shapiro. Free initial consultation periods of up to thirty minutes are available for new clients. Mediating couples will do the consultation together. Contact the office today on (516) 333-6555.

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