Question #73: My husband and I are seeking a divorce and I would like to know how it works if we would come to you as a mediator. Do we see you together or separately, what are the fees and do you provide a free consultation? I did my research about the divorce itself and our situation is like this: I guess the best grounds that are not severe for us would be constructive abandonment. The custody will be full physical with the mother and shared decision making with flexible visitation rights. My husband has a pension plan from his job, he makes around 52-57k I am now unemployed but will resume working in a month for $18/hour (about 35K). We need to somehow split our 30k dept from which almost 9ooo is for a car that my husband will take. I want him to be responsible for that ammount and share the rest 2/3 to 1/3 due to my lower income. II will need a child support and possibly a spousal support at least for the start. Can the child support be increased in a future if he will be promoted? I will also need to determine how to split the cost of education, summer camps, medical etc for my son. Also I would like to keep my son on his medical insurance and change my last name. I dont know what else to look into, so can you pleaselet me know if youy have a free consultation to discuss this matter further? Thank you for your time.

The mediation process requires that both parties participate together and begin interacting with each other if no longer as husband-and-wife then , as parents of the same children , whom they both love and wish to protect. The meetings would be held in the privacy and comfort of my office, instead of the courtroom corridors, and all the time would be spent on actually dealing with resolving issues in order to get on with your lives instead of sitting around for hours waiting for your 10 minutes before the judge in the cold courtroom.
My fee is $375 per hour and the total fee will be a function of how many hours it takes us to go through all the issues involved , including child custody, child support, spousal support ,division of marital assets, paying off any existing liabilities, and any other issues that are important to you.
I see you have put in much thought into some of the issues that are involved , and to the extent that you and your husband can resolve these issues before the mediation meetings the faster the process will go and the less-expensive it will be. There are however, additional matters you failed to mention that must be discussed , which will be presented during the course of the mediation process.

If you are living in the New York City metropolitan area, I strongly suggest that you call me at 212-370-1660 to arrange for a meeting for all of us to discuss the matter at greater length. If you and your husband both attend, there is no charge for the initial meeting if you decide not to continue.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./DivorceSolutions

Question #64: I would like to end my 7-year marriage to my husband. We have no children and have mutually agreed on the property split (so there’s nothing to mediate). We have both worked full-time jobs throughout our marriage so there’s no need for alimony. We live together for economic reasons. What would be the quickest and most affordable way to divorce him in NYC? Do we need to be legally separated for a specified amount of time. We don’t have a lot of money, and like I said earlier, not much property to split. Should one of us move out?

Although you state that you have nothing to mediate, in fact it is important to make sure that you have discussed all of the relevant issues involved in separating, and ultimately divorcing and therefore a mediator is still necessary. In addition you will have to enter into a Separation Agreement which will spell out in writing all of the terms of upon which you have agreed to divide your property and the decisions you have made regarding spousal support and other issues. The quickest way to divorce in New York City is to do it through mediation. Please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss the matter. Neither should move out before a settlement is reached unless there is a problem with physical abuse.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

Question #52: In a divorce, should my attorney attend mediation? What if my wife insists that her attorney attend mediation, am I at a disadvantage not having my attorney with me?

Generally, it is better if neither attorney is present so that the parties can begin the process of relating and problem solving under the new conditions of separation. The attorneys will only complicate that process. The attorneys may be consulted by each party before making final decisions but should preferably not participate in the discussions between the parties during the mediation sessions. If one side, however, feels insecure without his/her attorney present and insists on having the attorney there, the other side should also be represented by separate counsel to balance the discussions.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions