Sandy Balick

Mediation: When “Lawyering Up” May Result in “Lawyering Down”

Mediation: When “Lawyering Up” May Result in “Lawyering Down” by Sandy Balick

{5:24 minutes to read} Noting that, especially recently, even lawyers have been “lawyering up” (at least in our nation’s capital), Wall Street Journal columnist Ben Zimmer (June 24, 2017) set out to trace the origins of the phrase.

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Love-by-Contract

Love-By-Contract by Sandy Balick

{4:00 minutes to read} Most of my posts are occupied with divorce-related mediation topics. Divorce mediations are ultimately focused on giving birth to a contract: the settlement or separation agreement. But, on the other end of the spectrum, contracts may be powerful guides to relationship building and preservation, regardless of marital status.

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Building a Lasting Relationship: Not Just Another Algorithm

Building a Lasting Relationship: Not Just Another Algorithm by Sandy Balick{4:24 minutes to read} Matrimonial mediators and lawyers look on in wonder at the financial wreckage that so often forms the final exclamation point of a marriage. One wonders whether in an age of so-called “predictive analytics” there isn’t some sort of litmus test to help couples understand their prospects as long-term marriage partners.

Well, wonder no more, because such a thing actually may exist.

A recent post in Marketwatch highlights a joint study by The Federal Reserve Board, the Brookings Institution and UCLA, which concludes that credit scores may be highly predictive of the possibility of divorce.

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The Freedom to Factor in Mediation

The Freedom to Factor in Mediation by Sandy Balick

{3:12 minutes to read} In concluding this series on Equitable Distribution in mediation, I want to circle back to a topic introduced in my first installment: That equitable distribution is not necessarily equal distribution. This being the case, how are parties to divide their assets and liabilities in the process of winding up their marital estates?

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The Importance of Dates & Fluctuations in Divorce

The Importance of Dates & Fluctuations in Divorce by Sandy Balick

{4:42 minutes to read} Mediation empowers divorcing spouses to define their own standards of fairness and helps them to make maximum use of the considerable freedom New York law allows in shaping their own settlements.

This entry focuses on selection of appropriate valuation dates for financial accounts, including bank and retirement accounts.

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Business Valuation in the Mediation Process

Business Valuation in the Mediation Process by Sandy Balick

{3:36 minutes to read} This is a second installment on the subject of business valuation to assist divorcing spouses in the property settlement process.

It’s common for divorcing spouses to engage in asset trading (a court-ordered distributive award is essentially such a tradeoff). To be a good trader a spouse should be equipped with a reasonably informed idea of an asset’s value.

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Equitable Distribution and Business Interests

Equitable Distribution and Business Interests by Sandy Balick

{3:30 minutes to read} More on New York’s approach to equitable distribution of marital assets—this time pertaining to business interests.

Assuming a business, including a professional practice, is established in the course of a marriage, it is likely a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. The division of these business interests may be the subject of distributive awards—payments or distribution of some other value in lieu of actual equity in the business under consideration.

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Not to Be Overlooked: Increased Value as an Asset in Divorce

Not to Be Overlooked: Increased Value as an Asset in Divorce by Sandy Balick

{2:42 minutes to read} The divorce process will focus on the distribution of a couple’s assets and liabilities, in a practice referred to as equitable distribution. In my last blog post, I noted the important distinction between separate (non-marital) and marital property.

One potential asset straddles the line between separate and marital, and this will be referred to here as “increased value.” In the divorce process, a non-titled spouse may claim a portion of the increased value of an otherwise separate asset. While the requirements for establishing such a claim are stringent, increased value may be too significant to be overlooked in the distribution process.

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Practical Guidelines to Dividing the Marital Estate

Practical Guidelines to Dividing the Marital Estate by Sandy Balick

{2:36 minutes to read} New York’s equitable distribution law and the state’s matrimonial courts are quite supportive of the efforts of divorcing spouses to reach voluntary agreements regarding the manner in which assets and debts of the marital estate are distributed between them. Mediation offers an ideal environment with which to achieve these voluntary workouts.

In mediation, the parties are free to shape their agreements to reflect both a mutual sense of fairness and a practical recognition of future financial need and ability to fund separate lifestyles.

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Which May Be Most Equitable: A Court or Mediation Settlement? – Part 1

Which May Be Most Equitable: A Court or Mediation Settlement? - Part 1 by Sandy Balick

{3:24 minutes to read} In divorce, the fair and orderly division of the property owned by a couple unfolds under the banner of “equitable distribution.”

You are reading the first of several posts on equitable distribution. In coming installments, I’ll touch on a number of basic concepts on this subject and will contrast the court and mediation-based approaches to the manner in which assets and debts get divided upon termination of a marriage.

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