divorce and family mediation in nyc

jennifer safian, divorce mediator

212-472-8626    info@safianmediation.com

{3:54 minutes to read} More and more frequently, I am getting calls from couples who have decided to call it quits Mediation for Couples Separating but Never Married by Jennifer Safianafter living together for many years, but who never actually married. This trend has been happening in European countries for many years and now seems to be more prevalent in the US, though in a less outspoken way.

Mediation offers the best possible place for separating non-married couples, because it gives them a platform to explore separating their assets.

  • For unmarried couples with no children, laws regarding assets would not apply as they would for married couples unless they have joint properties. Interestingly, before they negotiate their agreements, these couples often want to know what the rules of equitable distribution would be had they been married.
  • For unmarried couples with children, New York State guidelines for custody and child support DO apply. Parents are parents whether they are married or not.

Here are some examples where mediation facilitated conversations between long-term unmarried couples regarding joint assets and children:

Bill and Teresa

Bill and Teresa had been living together for almost 10 years. During that time, they bought a house which they put in both names, got a mortgage in both names and made some substantial improvements to the house. When they decided to end their relationship, they were unable to come to an agreement regarding the house.

Each one of them wanted to remain in the house and said that the other should find another place to live. They both felt that they had invested so much of themselves in:

  • Searching for the perfect house;
  • Negotiating the purchase;
  • The renovations;
  • The decoration;
  • The upkeep.

The one thing they did agree on was that the house was a worthwhile investment. Real estate property values would continue to rise, and so they should keep the house until they were both ready to sell and each retrieve their 50% share of the equity.

After exploring the pros and cons in each one’s favor for staying in the house, they finally decided to sell it. They knew that the party leaving the house would forever be upset about it and the last thing they wanted was to come out of the process with long-term resentments.

Bob and Ursula

Bob and Ursula had been together for 8 years. They had 2 children, ages 4 and 6, and needed to work out a parenting agreement to include custody decisions, child support, and a parenting schedule. What should have been a short and sweet agreement was not so simple because, while they each fully recognized the importance of the other parent’s role in the lives of the children, each wanted the children 100% of the time.

The mediation setting gave them the perfect space to brainstorm and come to an agreement where they would co-parent together while living apart. They would keep a united front regarding parenting decisions, discipline and the like. They recognized that each of them having the children 100% of the time was unrealistic, so they created an arrangement which they felt was fair and that they could live with.

Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
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