Forthcoming changes to the family law in England and Wales amount to a “revolution”, the President of the Family Division has claimed. In the recently published 11th View from the President’s Chamber, Sir James Munby said: “Central to this revolution has been – has had to be – a fundamental change in the cultures of the family courts. This is truly a cultural revolution.” The family courts stand “on the cusp of history” and the changes due on April 22nd mark “the largest reform of the family justice system any of us have seen or will see in our professional lifetimes.” read
Firms in four cities have kicked off a national mediation initiative designed to help separating couples and demonstrate to lawyers the commercial viability of providing the service. Lawyer Supported Mediation has been set up by trained mediator Marc Lopatin (pictured) with ‘mediation hubs’ in Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester and London. Two more cities will join later in the year. The initiative is launched ahead of a change to the law making it compulsory for separating couples to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM) before issuing family proceedings. The change is introduced on 22 April, under section 10 of the Children and Families Act. read
UK: Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs), were first introduced in April 2011, but they weren’t compulsory back then and referrals to mediation have fallen dramatically since. But from 22 April 2014, if you are considering making an application to the court about your children you will most certainly need to know what they are, who can provide them and if you need to have one before issuing court proceedings (and in most cases you will). MIAMs are designed to ensure that couples are aware of mediation as a potential way to resolve their problems outside a courtroom. A MIAM is a meeting with a mediator in which the couple is provided with information about the mediation process and the legal framework that applies to their situation. It is a formal assessment of mediation’s suitability for their individual case. read
Our lives sometimes seem filled with concerns or disagreements that too often spiral out of control into full-blown disputes. These conflicts may be with the ones we most love or may concern issues vitally important to us. These incidents may be with a partner relating to the dissolution of a relationship, with the family of a loved one regarding issues of care during an illness, with others laying claim to an inheritance after a death, with a former partner concerning visitation rights to children, with a child regarding access to grandchildren, or with an employer, school, neighbor, or merchant. Traditional mechanisms for resolution use the “win/lose” dynamic. Conflict resolution is, then, a risk-filled process. “Mediation” or a “Shared Decision Making Process” offers a completely different model of conflict resolution. Within mediation, conflict may be seen as an opportunity rather than a problem. The operational theory of mediation is “win-win.” read
South Carolina has run up more than $100 million in penalties over long-delayed project. The state and Hewlett Packard are in mediation over a long-delayed computerized child support enforcement project, a state official told senators this morning. The project, which has been decades in the making, has drawn more than $100 million in penalties from the federal government over the years. The federal government requires states to have a computerized child support enforcement system. South Carolina is the only state that does not have such a system running. read
A mediator appointed by the Bombay high court to explore the possibility of reconciliation between former Miss world Yookta Mookhey and her estranged husband Prince Pal Tuli has informed the judge that the mediation was successful. The HC has now scheduled the matter for further hearing on March 26 when the mediation report is likely to be discussed. Tuli had last year moved the HC for anticipatory bail in a cruelty case filed by Mookhey against him. Sheh ad accused him of cruelty to her, intimidation and unnatural offence.The HC had in October directed that a senior advocate be appointed as a mediator to resolve the dispute amicably between the couple. The mediator appointed was advocate Rajeev Patil. On March 13, he informed Justice Mridula Bhatkar in the HC that the mediation was complete. He however sought a week's time to submit his report. The counsel for Tuli, advocate Filjee Frederick and Taubon Irani for Mookhey were present and orally informed the judge that the "mediation is successful.' read
Charlie Sheen has fired his latest shot in his war against wife Denise Richards. The 48-year-old is now taking the mother of his two daughters - Sam, 10, and Lola, eight - to private mediation as he continues to try to get his $55,000 a month child support payment reduced. RadarOnline reported on Friday while the actor had previously hoped to plead his case in front of a judge in court, he will now have to settle for a retired judge. An insider told the website that the Anger Management star’s legal team has 'formally notified Denise and her lawyers that they will be headed to private mediation next week to try and get the child support reduced'. The source said: 'The mediation will be handled by a retired judge who has handled various issues for the former couple over the years since their divorce. read
When Summit County Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer took office in January 2013, she declared her intention to use mediation as one means of resolving disputes brought to her court. Judge Stormer developed a mediation program, and longtime Akron attorneys William Dowling and Douglas Godshall were appointed as court mediators. Concluding its first year of operation, the mediation program has proven to be a success, enabling the parties involved to resolve numerous disputes without the need for lengthy litigation and court trials. read
A northern New Jersey honor student who has sued to get her parents to support her after she moved out of their home had her initial request denied Tuesday by a judge who cautioned that the case could lead to a 'potentially slippery slope' of claims by teenagers against their parents. Rachel Canning had sought immediate relief in the form of $650 in weekly child support and the payment of the remainder of her tuition at Morris Catholic High School, as well as attorney's fees. State Superior Court Judge Peter Bogaard denied those motions but ordered the parties to return to court on April 22, when they will present evidence and testimony on the over-arching question of whether the Cannings are obligated to financially support their daughter. Rachel Canning, a high school senior, has already been accepted by at least one college and is seeking to have her parents pay some or all of her tuition, attorney Tanya Helfand told Bogaard Tuesday. read
For baby boomers, divorce has almost become, like marriage, another rite of passage. The post-World War II generation is setting new records for divorce: Americans over 50 are twice as likely to get divorced as people of that age were 20 years ago. But just because it's more common, doesn't mean it's not still painful. read
We have to be in the present time, because only the present is real, only in the present moment can we be alive. We do not practice for the sake of the future, to be reborn in a paradise, but to be peace, to be compassion, to be joy--right now.
Family & Divorce Mediation Articles
Children, Divorce, and Dating (4/15/14) Shannon Rios Paulsen In my role as a counselor for children of divorce, my focus is the children. Parents made a decision to divorce and they also made a decision to have children. It is my view that they must do all things possible to mitigate the effects of the divorce on their children. The question about dating arises in every session of “Co-parenting Through Your Divorce” that I facilitate. This article addresses this question for parents of divorce and for those who are dating others who are divorced with children.
5 Steps for Strengthening Your Marriage (4/14/14) Mary Aderibigbe You can make your marriage strong but you’ve got to acknowledge that disagreements are inevitable. Preventing conflict begins identifying what are common conflict points in your marriage. Preventing conflicts also means strengthening your marriage to withstand outside conflicts. This is a faith-based article discussing Biblical viewpoints for strengthening marriage.
The Importance of Mediation in Family Business Management (4/04/14) Joseph Berljawsky Managing a business can be difficult enough—but when your in-laws are the board of directors and your sister is the CEO, management of a family business can also become a contentious issue. Problems related to leadership and ownership of family businesses arise in a variety of situations. Sometimes there is a power struggle, other times people feel they have been treated unfairly or do not get enough of a say in the company.
Stupid Nice Things Good People Say (4/04/14) Vivian Scott Why is it that whenever someone shares disappointing or sad news with us our first inclination is to throw on a super-hero cape and deliver the perfect words that will make everything better? No matter our good intentions, what usually happens, though, is that we end up saying really stupid things—meant to be nice and comforting, mind you, but stupid nonetheless. This article shows you a few examples. 1 Comment
Marriage 101 for Family Mediators (3/29/14) Larry Gaughan Those of us who have been in the trenches of family law practice for decades have lots of experience with bad marriages. We each probably know more gruesome details about marriage breakups than we care to remember. But most of us also know the details to what makes a marriage great. 1 Comment
How Dating Can Cause Stress For Your Child (3/21/14) Shannon Rios Paulsen The truth about dating is that it can cause stress for your children. You impact their level of stress by your actions. It is my view that parents must do all things possible to mitigate the effects of the divorce on their children. One easy way to do this is to be conscious of your dating. Dating done wrong has the potential to cause stress for children for three crucial reasons, and they are important to understand. 2 Comments
It's All about the Relationship (3/14/14) Phyllis Pollack In 2000, I decided to move away from practicing law because I got tired of fighting with opposing counsel and being labeled and treated as the "bad guy" simply because I was representing an allegedly "bad guy". It seemed that civility and professionalism among lawyers no longer existed, and I and my clients were continuously lumped together as "hated and despised" individuals.
Third Party Assisted Negotiation and High Pressure Settlement of Disputes (2/21/14) Rachel Virk After twenty years of marriage, two parties separate. They are each college educated and gainfully employed. The parties have two children whom they hope to send to college, ages 13 and 15. They have amassed many assets during their marriage. This articles discusses how our current legal system does not have an effective way of dividing the mutually valued sum of these two people's lives.
Compassionate or Benevolent Divorce (2/21/14) Roger Ley This is an essay on compassionate divorce and the role of lawyers in the divorce or dispute resolution process. For the parties, the core of my system is to negotiate for the welfare of both sides. For the lawyers, the core is to throw away the law books and let imagination help the lawyers find creative resolutions to their cases.
Marital Mediation is Not Therapy (2/14/14) Dr. Lynne C. Halem Mediation is not therapy. Mediation is a problem solving process in which the three participants, husband, wife, mediator, determine the issues to be tackled, what information is needed to embark on the process and what were the objectives to be gained. 4 Comments
Whose Fault Is It? (2/07/14) Shannon Rios Paulsen When parents are arguing, children are typically caught in the middle. The children try to figure out who is at fault and what they can do to stop it. This article suggests that what children need is not a place to assign blame, but a place of peace.
Mediate is Top Ranked Mediation Website (2/04/14) Mediate.com Mediate.com is ranked the top mediation and dispute resolution website by Alexa in its February 1, 2014 global website rankings. In business since 1996, Mediate.com has over 15,000 searchable mediation articles, blog posts, news items and videos. Mediate.com also hosts the most used mediator directory and offers mobile friendly website development, professional promotional services and cloud-based case management systems.
Demystifying American Divorce Law (1/24/14) Larry Gaughan The misconception that there may be a fixed "legal" solution for many mediated divorce cases has created unnecessary difficulties in communication between mediators of different professions. A proper understanding of how the formal system of divorce law works (and often doesn't work) may help to bridge these gaps. This article is intended to enable mediators who are not attorneys to be more comfortable with some useful concepts and guidelines inside the legal box. It is also intended to enable mediators who are lawyers to expand the scope of their skills and knowledge into the important areas of divorce settlements outside of the legal box.
The Parents Left Standing (1/23/14) Shannon Rios Paulsen There are many different scenarios where parents leave the life of their child. This article goes over some of these scenarios, as well as what to say to a young child, such as the parent is learning to be a better parent and person and having your child write a letter to or draw a picture for the other parent. Remember you chose to have your children, please continue to choose them. I can tell you that adults are much less forgiving than children.
Elder Divorce Mediation (1/17/14) Dr. Lynne C. Halem As the remaining baby boomers turn 50 this year, we continue to see a significant increase in divorce and separation among the general population of those in that 50-plus age bracket.
Is Collaborative Law a Good Fit for You? (1/11/14) Dick Price Adryenn Cantor, a San Diego, CA attorney included an excellent list of five questions for people to ask themselves to determine if they are a good candidate for using Collaborative Law in a divorce case.
Mediation Works for Family-Run Enterprises (1/10/14) James MacPherson In the Arab World, family firms make up 85 per cent of the region's non-oil GDP. While many are small to medium-sized enterprises -
the cornerstone of any successful economy - the success of the GCC economies, coupled with the enterprising minds of business
leaders during the region's boom years mean that a significant number of these organisations have become multinational and highly
Conflict: It's Relational and That Ain't Situational (12/27/13) Dan Simon Many mediators say they adjust their approach according to the situation. This makes sense on one level. If a mediator remains responsive to the parties, the interventions will necessarily vary according to the parties, and will even vary with the same parties as their interaction changes. 2 Comments
Family Violence and ODR (12/23/13) Maria Eugenia Sole While conflict is inevitable and inherent to the family, violence is an inadequate manifestation of tensions and conflicts that goes beyond the capacity of response of individuals, due to serious situations of psycho-emotional, sociocultural or economic limitations. In this sense, violence is the extreme manifestation of the constraints to which families are subjected.
Violencia Familiar y ODR - Espanol (12/18/13) Maria Eugenia Sole Mientras el conflicto es inevitable e inherente a la familia, la violencia es una manifestación inadecuada a tensiones y conflictos que desbordan la capacidad de respuestas de los individuos, por encontrarse en situación grave de limitaciones psicoemocionales, socioculturales o económicas. En este sentido, la violencia es la manifestación extrema de las limitaciones a las que están sometidas las familias.-
The Real Christmas Gift for Kids (12/13/13) Gary Direnfeld Even though parents argue as to the best residential schedule, choice of school, faith, holiday time, Christmas and extra-curricular activities, these issues are simply not as predictive for the wellbeing of children as conflict alone.
Mediation and CollabLaw (12/13/13) Oran Kaufman What is the difference between mediation and collaborative law? Couples going through divorce today fortunately have many more options available to them to finalize their divorce. Choosing the right approach involves knowing and understanding the differences between approaches.
To Move or Not To Move an Elder (12/06/13) Halee Burg This article concerns the important decisions that often face caregivers or other family members concerning where an elder family member will live, the strong emotions that are evoked in families contemplating a possible elder move, the important questions that should be considered in considering a move, and how mediation can support families in having a productive discussion concerning this important, complex and highly emotional issue.
Parent Conflict After Separation: Taking a Closer Look (11/27/13) Joan B. Kelly, Ph.D. High conflict is often described as the most damaging factor in the post-separation adjustment of children and adolescents. High conflict that continues in the years after separation is indeed a major risk factor for children’s longer-term well-being. However, more recent research has demonstrated that it is only one of several important factors creating risk and potential detriment. The quality of parenting after separation and divorce, for example, is now recognized as equally important, if not more so, because competent and warm parenting acts as a protective barrier against the effects of high conflict.
REVIEW of Ellen Bruno’s DVD, “SPLIT: Divorce Through Kids’ Eyes” (11/26/13) Donald T. Saposnek Ellen Bruno’s new film, Split takes us to a whole new level in understanding the effects of divorce on children. The movie is 28 minutes long and consists 100% of interviews of real children (no adults were harmed used in the making of this film) telling about their experiences going through their parents’ divorces. I strongly encourage you to view this lovely film and discover ways to integrate it into your work of supporting families going through divorce. 1 Comment
Family Mediation UK - Video (11/13/13)
This video is produced by the Ministry of Justice in the UK . It highlights the benefits of using mediation for family cases.
Mediating in Cases in Domestic Violence – Between a Rock and a Hard Place (11/08/13) Sabine Walsh The question of whether, and how, to mediate with couples who have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence or abuse has challenged and divided mediation professionals for many years now without consensus on how to handle such cases having been reached. Domestic abuse can be a contra-indicator for mediation for a number of reasons, mainly however that it is likely to compromise the equality of bargaining power, the free interaction with and the voluntary participation in mediation.
Why Couples Are Choosing Mediation in Divorce Cases (11/04/13) Bruce Provda If you are contemplating a divorce or having trouble settling divorce issues with your spouse, mediation might be the best choice. Mediation is a great setting for you and your spouse to settle your divorce issues in a more amicable fashion with less stress on you and other family members, including your children. Being able to settle issues quickly helps children and other family members adjust to the situation as well.
Ten Tips for Developing and Drafting Effective Parenting Plans in Mediation (10/31/13) Donald T. Saposnek A mediation process that is thoughtful, respectful, and paced to fit the communication style and needs of the parents will increase the chances of crafting a clear and comprehensive parenting plan. Such a process offers a supportive and cooperative context, promotes direct communication between the parents, empowers the parents to make their own decisions, remains sensitive to their unique couple dynamics, and maximizes a tone of flexibility for future modifications to their agreement. While this context is very important, even more is needed to develop an effective parenting plan. The following ten tips will ensure a well-drafted product. 4 Comments
Divorcing Parents: Avoid Bringing Your Battles to Court (10/15/13) Rosalind Sedacca You're getting divorced and you're angry, resentful, hurt, vindictive or any combination of other painful emotions. Hiring the most aggressive litigious divorce lawyer you can find seems like your smartest choice. If you're a divorcing parent who is thinking along those lines, you're making a choice you may long regret.
Getting Unhooked From Interpersonal Conflict (10/15/13) Tammy Lenski You’re familiar with hooks: Hooks for hanging coats, hooks for fishing, hooks for crocheting, hooks in computer programming, hooks in barbed wire. They share a kindred function: To intercept and snag, to catch and hold. But what is the role of a hook in mediation?
Globalization of Family Mediation Rooted in Children’s Rights (9/20/13) Maureen Dabbagh Mediation now includes standards and guidelines for international family mediation. Unlike traditional family mediation rooted in state family law codes, international family mediation has developed within the context of international rights of children. The Hague Conference on Private International Law (HccH) used the principles found in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) in framing international family mediation. The first standards for cross border family mediators was presented in December 2012. 3 Comments
Dealing with Your Ex’s New Other (9/20/13) Allison Pescosolido For many, some sort of relationship with your ex exists beyond divorce. Whether you have children, business interests, or other things in common after divorce, you may have to confront a new love interest in your ex’s life. Below are five tips to help you interact with the new other and maintain your personal integrity.
Love, Eros, and Negotiation (9/19/13) Robert Benjamin Even linking the notions of love with negotiation rubs some people the wrong way. Love, after all, should be pure and not subject to vicissitudes of business. And, negotiation, being business, many believe should never be personal. In most relationships, however, personal and business, love and negotiation are inseparable and he denial of that reality frequently and unnecessarily contribute to the end of many relationships. 1 Comment
Restructuring the Family the Collaborative Way (9/13/13) Dick Price In a typical litigated divorce, the Judge will impose a standard set of guidelines for most matters relating to the children. In many of those cases, the resulting order doesn't exactly fit the needs or facts of the case. Many times, there's a random standard possession schedule for the children, as well as a standard child support order. Special needs due to work, geography, health, school or any other factors are often not considered. The big advantage of that approach, "one size fits all", is that it's easy.
On Apologies (8/31/13) Gregorio Billikopf We must first recognize our error before we can make things right. While never easy, it is even harder when such recognition requires a public acknowledgement—an apology—to those we have injured. A true apology requires a great deal of humility and includes a sincere expression of regret, changed behavior and, when possible, restitution. 3 Comments
The "Too Attractive" Bias (8/23/13) Phyllis Pollack On Sunday, October 13, 2013, I will be participating in a panel presentation entitled, "Ethical Duties of Eliminating Bias in the Legal Profession" as part of the California State Bar's Eighty Sixth Annual Meeting in San Jose, California. The focus of our discussion will be hidden/implicit biases- those biases that exist within us, subconsciously, if not unconsciously. When do these actually become discrimination?