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Category Archives: Mediation/Arbitration

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NEW JERSEY FAMILY LAW PODCAST SERIES PRESENTS: STOP. COLLABORATE. LISTEN.

Posted in Interspousal Agreements, Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues, Property Settlement Agreements

In the third installment of our New Jersey Family Law Podcast Series, we are proud to present – Stop.  Collaborate.  Listen.  Based on one of our earlier blog posts, Eliana Baer and I discuss why these three words are so critical to a successful outcome in divorce mediations, while highlighting the perils that can occur when divorcing spouses refuse… Continue Reading

USE OF MEDIATION AS A STRATEGY

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues

We have heard over and over that settlement ranks high in the public policy of this state and know from experience how the system is geared toward settlement.  In particular, there is mandatory custody mediation, mandatory Early Settlement Panels (MESP), mandatory economic mediation, Blue Ribbon Settlement Panels, intensive settlement conferences (ISPs or ISCs depending on the county) and the like.  With all of… Continue Reading

NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED? ARBITRATOR’S SUGGESTIONS TO RESOLVE UNRELATED ISSUES LEAD TO ARBITRATION AWARD BEING VACATED

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues

B.M. – that is before the Minkowitz decision that we previously blogged on (which lead to a second post on arbitration best practices), it was common practice at the start of an arbitration, just like it is common practice before the start of a trial, to take one last crack at trying a case.  Sometimes it even happens… Continue Reading

THE VERY GROUCHY LADYBUG – A DIVORCE PARABLE?

Posted in Divorce, Domestic Violence, Interspousal Agreements, Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues

One of my kids’ absolute favorite books is The Very Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle.  We must have read the book together over 100 times, with each of us taking turns reading the parts of the animals that the so-called grouchy ladybug encounters throughout his day.  The book carries an anti-bullying theme, as each animal that… Continue Reading

THE INFORMATION ASYMMETRY AND THE DIVORCE PROCESS: AN UNLIKELY PAIR

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships, Counsel Fee Awards, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Estate and Trust Issues, Interspousal Agreements, Mediation/Arbitration, Modification, Practice Issues, Prenuptial Agreements, Property Settlement Agreements, Tax Exemption, Visitation/Parenting Time

What do divorce and economics have in common?  Well, a lot. But today I am focusing on the unlikely link between the theory of information asymmetry – which deals with the study of decisions in transactions where one party has more or better information than the other – and the New Jersey Divorce App.  … Continue Reading

Tracking Finances: There’s a (New Jersey Divorce) App For That.

Posted in Alimony, Child Support, Civil Unions and Domestic Partnerships, Cohabitants' Rights, College, Counsel Fee Awards, Custody, Divorce, Equitable Distribution, Estate and Trust Issues, Interspousal Agreements, Mediation/Arbitration, Modification, Other, Practice Issues, Prenuptial Agreements, Privacy and Confidentiality, Property Settlement Agreements, Resources, Tax Exemption, Uncategorized

Oftentimes I hear from clients that gathering their financial information is the most daunting task they will face during the divorce process. They picture being buried in an avalanche of documents, account numbers and canceled checks. The New Jersey Divorce App’s Finance Tracker can help.  In fact, I have recommended it to my clients before,… Continue Reading

BEST PRACTICES FOR DIVORCE ARBITRATION

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration

As noted in yesterday’s post on  Minkowitz v. Israeli, the Appellate Division held that once you serve as a mediator, cannot then serve as an arbitrator, absent prior written consent to the dual role.  But the decision written by Judge Lihotz did more than that.  She seemingly opined upon what should be the “best practices” for binding… Continue Reading

A WRITING MAY NOT ACTUALLY HAVE TO BE A WRITING TO CONFIRM A SETTLEMENT REACHED AT MEDIATION

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues

Last week, I posted about the new Supreme Court case regarding enforcing settlements reached at mediation. That case made clear that a settlement that is reached at mediation but not reduced to a signed written agreement will not be enforceable. Simple enough right. *Image Courtesy of PhotoExpress. But what is a writing.  The Court noted… Continue Reading

Are Court Appointed Experts Supposed to Try to Facilitate Settlement? If so, then when?

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues

Very often, Judges will appoint their own expert to assist with their resolution of the case.  Some times, a Judge will appoint their own experts right from the get go.  In a recent case, a judge appointed a custody, business valuation and employability expert at the first motion, even though the parties planned on getting… Continue Reading

If Your Agreement Has a Mediation Clause In It To Resolve Future Disputes, You Actually Have to Go to Mediation To Resolve Future Disputes

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration, Practice Issues

For whatever reason, it is not unusual for a Marital Settlement Agreement and/or Custody Agreement to have a mediation clause in it which requires parties to go to mediation before bringing an issue to the Court by way or motion.  For some issues, like enforcement, one questions the obligation to go to mediation.  Either someone… Continue Reading

Another day, Another Judge lost

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration

 There is no secret that New Jersey is suffering a significant crisis with respect to judicial vacancies. This year alone has seen a significant number of retirements without replacements being named.  The effect on the family courts, and in particular, the divorce docket, has been catastrophic.   I was at a meeting of family lawyers… Continue Reading

If a Tree Falls During Mediation, Can the Mediator Tell Anyone About It?

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration

Last week, Larry Cutler posted a piece on this blog entitled "Are Mediation Proceedings Really Sacred and Secret?"  The inspiration for this post was a recent published Appellate Division case Willingboro Mall, Ltd. V. 240/242 Franklin Avenue, L.L.C.., a case in which a mediator actually filed a certification and testified.  That, however, is the exception but not the rule. … Continue Reading

ARE MEDIATION PROCEEDINGS REALLY SACRED AND SECRET?

Posted in Divorce, Mediation/Arbitration

            Generally speaking, New Jersey statutes and court rules cloak settlement negotiations with secrecy (legally, called a “privilege”) such that what goes on in those proceedings are not evidential, that is, they are “privileged” from being disclosed to a court.             Somewhat of an exception arises in cases in which the negotiations produce an oral… Continue Reading

Arbitration of Children Issues

Posted in Custody, Mediation/Arbitration

 Previous blogs on this site have dealt with arbitration of various aspects of matrimonial disputes. N.H. v. H.H. is another in the developing law of arbitration of family law issues.   This article will deal with the subject of arbitration in the context of children issues, as the financial issues raised on appeal are less timely and… Continue Reading

Disqualification of a Decision-Maker

Posted in Divorce, Mediation/Arbitration

 The most timely and important issue in the recent Appellate Division case of N.H. v. H.H. dealt with the rapidly developing law of the alternative process of arbitration in the family law context, and in that case, particularly as that process relates to children issues. That is the subject of a companion article on this blog…. Continue Reading

NEW APPELLATE DIVISION DECISION REGARDING PARENTING COORDINATOR GRIEVANCES AND FEES

Posted in Counsel Fee Awards, Custody, Mediation/Arbitration, Visitation/Parenting Time

Following on the heels of Eric Solotoff’s recent blog entry addressing the use of parenting coordinators, a new published (precedential) decision from the Appellate Division talks about grievances against parenting coordinators, parenting coordinator fees, and the need for a plenary hearing to address such issues.  In Segal v. Lynch, the Appellate Division addressed these issues in… Continue Reading

Matrimonial Arbitration is on Its Way

Posted in Mediation/Arbitration

          Matrimonial Arbitration is a form of alternate dispute resolution (ADR). ADR seeks to resolve disputes utilizing a facilitator or tribunal who is not a judge. Sometimes, cases are submitted to ADR without a court action even being filed, in which case, it operates outside of the system and wholly on its own. When the parties resort to… Continue Reading