Vanarelli & Li, LLC provides elder mediation services, a specialized form of mediation to help elders, the disabled and their families resolve conflict. Mr. Vanarelli is co-founder of the Elder Mediation Center of New Jersey, a collaborative venture with other elder law attorneys and geriatric professionals whose mission is to educate professionals and private individuals on the.. read more →

Thomas v. Thomas, Docket No. A-2388-11T2 (N.J. Super. App. Div. June 4, 2013), involved competing claims against a $1 million life insurance policy maintained by the decedent. Mr. Thomas was survived by a wife, as well as an ex-wife, with whom he had 2 children. Pursuant to the Property Settlement Agreement (“PSA”) between Mr. Thomas.. read more →

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, I presented a session on the impact of elder law issues on divorce mediation at the 2013 Annual Divorce Mediation Seminar by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. The topics covered in my session included Social Security, including retirement, disability and survivors benefits, Supplemental Security Income benefits, Medicare, Medicaid,.. read more →

In Beim v. Sawyer (N.J. App. Div. A-2816-10T1, decided on February 29, 2012), defendant, in her 70s, filed for a divorce from plaintiff, in his 80s. After the complaint and answer were filed and discovery completed, the parties made repeated efforts to settle their dispute through multiple alternative dispute resolution events held over an extended period. They.. read more →

Family and divorce mediation is a process in which a mediator, an impartial third party, facilitates the resolution of family disputes by promoting the participants’ voluntary agreement. The Model Standards of Practice for Family and Divorce Mediation are the product of an effort by mediation-interested organizations and individuals to create a unified set of standards.. read more →

(The following is part of a discussion, taken from a listserv, or electronic bulletin board, maintained by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators.) Question: I am a new mediator. I am also finding the ‘equal balance of power’ issue challenging. … I have been wondering if balance of power is even possible … if.. read more →

Couples who are facing the difficult prospect of divorce have a critical decision to make: whether to pursue the divorce using the “traditional” litigation model; or whether to consider an alternative model, such as divorce mediation. Arriving at the correct decision should include an analysis of the potential costs of traditional litigation. The most obvious cost.. read more →

Mediation is generally recognized as a process in which parties in conflict (often on their own, but sometimes represented by separate attorneys) attempt to negotiate a settlement of their dispute with the assistance of a neutral third party, the mediator (who may or may not be an attorney, but who does not represent either party)… read more →

What Is Collaborative Law? Collaborative law is an emerging dispute resolution technique in which each party retains a lawyer, but the lawyers pledge not to resort to the courts (or threaten to do so) to resolve issues. If the collaborative technique is unsuccessful, the lawyers must withdraw, and the parties start over through litigation. How.. read more →

When a couple decides to divorce, the spouses have important choices to make about how to proceed and the extent to which they will need help from others — including lawyers, mediators, and other professionals. Some couples choose to file for divorce in court and go on to lengthy, high-conflict divorce litigation. Others choose an.. read more →

Here’s a memorable sentence: “Nobody can relate to the raw, visceral experience of ending a marriage better than someone who has gone through it.” Amen to that. Based on that insight, the NY Times published an article this past Sunday entitled “Experienced in Love and Money” which summarized advice from financial experts about what they.. read more →

Recent cases illustrate two important legal principals involving the right to resolve family disputes in New Jersey by voluntary, alternative dispute resolution procedures, such as arbitration and mediation, rather than trial. Our courts have held that parents have a fundamental and constitutionally protected liberty interest in raising their children, which includes the right to submit.. read more →

A recent article in the August 2009 edition of the American Bar Association (ABA) Journal (found here) identified mediation as a legal practice area that is thriving in these recessionary times. The article stated that businesses and private individuals seeking to avoid the high cost of litigation in the present economic downturn have turned to.. read more →

The Wall Street Journal published an article today discussing the increasing number of couples separating and divorcing as a result of financial hardship brought on by the recession. Yet, according to the Journal, the recession also is causing some unhappy couples to rethink their marital situation, since a costly divorce would only further deplete already-shrunken.. read more →

Here is a recent discussion thread on a mediation listserv concerning the effect of an affair on a marriage today. Q – I find that far fewer couples than I expected come to divorce mediation because of an affair. I wonder if that is true for you as well? For those of you who litigate.. read more →

In a recent survey, 68% of Certified Divorce Financial Analysts (CDFA) contacted from across the country indicated that they have clients who could not afford to get divorced because of recession-related financial problems, with 63% of responding CDFA saying that the number has increased since the previous year. The professionals surveyed believe this will result.. read more →

A recent article on the MSNBC website entitled More Couples Seeking Kinder, Gentler Divorces reports on an interesting study which compares the costs involved in mediated, collaborative and litigated divorces. The study was prepared by the Boston Law Collaborative, a law firm in Boston where the staff includes a psychologist and a financial planner. It.. read more →

In January 2006, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution formed a Task Force to investigate factors that define high quality mediation practice. Over the following two years, the Task Force organized a series of ten focus group discussions in nine cities across the United States and Canada. The Task Force also collected responses.. read more →

You are invited to explore the legal, financial and psychological issues involved in divorce in comprehensive seminars led by an interdisciplinary team of attorneys, financial experts, child specialists and mental health professionals. There are separate seminars offered for men and women. In each seminar, team members will discuss the pros and cons of the various.. read more →

Technorati, the internet search engine that indexes and searches blogs, also analyzes the trends and themes of blogging. In its State of the Blogosphere 2008 annual report, Technorati reported that it indexed 133 million blogs since 2004, and has tracked blogs in 81 languages. Technorati concludes that this global phenomenon accounts for close to one.. read more →

A part of my practice involves mediation and collaborative legal practice. Both mediation and collaborative practice are dispute resolution techniques used as a alternative to litigation to settle a dispute. I believe that settlement, which is a product of mutual agreement, is almost always better than litigation. Settlement involves the principal of self-determination. That is,.. read more →

New Jersey Lawyer (NJL), the official newspaper of the New Jersey Bar, recently took a look ahead to describe the practice of law in New Jersey in the future. The newspaper’s focus was on how the practice of law will change in the coming decade. To describe the future of the law in New Jersey,.. read more →

THE GOAL OF DIVORCE MEDIATION: A “GOOD” DIVORCE A “good” divorce accomplishes 3 objectives: Legal Divorce – ends the marriage or civil union within a reasonable time of the decision to divorce, without high legal fees that drain the family’s finances, and with a minimum of acrimony and fighting. Economic Divorce – separates the marital.. read more →

The June 6, 2008 edition of the Wall Street Journal included an interesting article entitled “Separate Peace.” It espoused the benefits of divorce mediation and collaborative divorce, particularly where children were involved. Although the article criticized the approach of “normalizing” divorce found in both mediation and collaborative divorce, which the author believed could lead couples.. read more →

Our office offers Collaborative Divorce services. In a Collaborative Divorce, each of the spouses and their attorneys sign an agreement committing themselves to resolving the issues in the divorce without going to court. The agreement also provides that if either spouse decides to litigate the case in court, both of the attorneys will withdraw from.. read more →