Families who have children with special needs constitute a significant percentage of the divorced population. Children, all children, present a mixed blessing. Some times they may help to save a marriage; other times they add to the stresses of daily living in ways that parents are not able to handle.
The Parenting Plan is the parental agreement setting out how the children will be cared for between separated parents. Essentially, the Parenting Plan is the road map that separated parents will follow for the raising of their kids.
Using the Collaborative Law process, we feel impelled to be creative with solutions, even where there are standard guidelines in the Texas Family Code for such things as how to set child support. In most litigation cases, the child support amount is quickly set by following the standard formula. The Code deals with the amounts of income and the number of children before the Court, as well as considering if there are other children that need to be supported.
Here are several important issues you should think about as you design your parenting plan. A child needs the love and affection of both parents, but they also need both as teachers. These roles should override your desire to “own” your children.
This article applies the litigation and mediation processes to a common parenting scenario in order to illustrate the differences between the processes and the advantages of resolving family conflict through mediation.
A Sugar Land nursing home dispute that arose after an elderly resident’s family was banned from a long-term care facility over a number of social media posts has reportedly been ordered to mediation. According to a complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas, Silverado Senior Living barred a woman’s two sons and daughter-in-law from the premises after the individuals refused to remove several photos and videos of their mother at the facility from their social media accounts.
For years, family law litigators were the go to persons to facilitate the distribution of property, support obligations and the plan of care for children of the relationship between separating couples.
There are only so many options available for separated parents to settle their parenting disputes in a way that minimizes lawyer involvement. Chief among them are: Mediation; Mediation/Arbitration (Med/Arb); and Parenting Coordination.
Behind closed doors, in more than 500 locations across England and Wales, a network of National Family Mediation (NFM) services are meeting separated couples attempting to resolve their disputes over money, children and property – without a courtroom battle.
The Underwoods, the main characters in the show House of Cards, have been married a long time when we meet them - 26 years - as the series begins. They seem to be a very solid two-person unit, that have things to teach us about balancing personal fulfillment and commitment to the marriage.
While representing culturally diverse clients in court requires a degree of knowledge and cultural sensitivity, acting as a neutral mediator often presents even a greater challenge, – to maintain a delicate balance between honoring the cultural and religious rules and rituals that a family has and, on the other hand, helping people understand U.S. law and come up with agreements that are considered fair and legally enforceable.
In the case Ledbetter v Ledbetter, the appellate court considered the issue of whether parties to a divorce mediation should be bound to a settlement orally dictated by the mediator and affirmed by parties and their counsel at mediation, which was later repudiated by one of the parties.
Joan Kelly describes a research finding which concluded that families who mediated during the divorce had father's who were significantly more involved in their children's lives twelve years post-mediation.
An interview with an Aboriginal woman who talks about her experience with child protection mediation. She tells us how mediation helps both parents and child welfare workers who are unable to resolve a plan of care for a child, reach a decision together in a non-judgmental way.
This video describes the four phases of the mediation process. This is an informative role-play produced by Jean Munroe and TennesseeMediation.com. The topic of the mediation is divorce and child custody.
This video by Leo Hura shows a parent with a disabled child. She finds herself in a dispute with her school, but through the mediation process she reaches agreement with school regarding her disabled child in a culinary program.
Tobi Inlender and students discuss the Peer Mediation Program in Santa Monica. This is the original peer mediation program in Los Angeles, and is run by the Dispute Resolution program and Lincoln Middle School.
Joan Kelly describes how mediation can be a protective factor for children in the divorce process. If parents can engage in and deal with conflict without involving their children, the children will be better off.
Andrew Schepard describes how Aboriginal tribes have an optimal process of dealing with child neglect and/or abuse. If abuse is reported, a family group conference may be called; they have the choice of opting out of the coercive court system, which he sees as a model approach.
Linda Singer describes how her interpersonal mediation experience in the past has helped her to mediate in multi-party, complex cases currently. The rapport-development skills she learned in interpersonal mediation carry over to multi-party disputes.
Costs can be kept lower by utilizing mediation. In mediation, a neutral third party (on occasion two mediators) sits with the parties to the divorce and asks for their responses to a series of questions about assets and liabilities, the family home, parenting agreements for their children and other pertinent matters. This at-the-table work can be hard for people who are in a divorce, but the benefits are not only a lowered cost but also the fact that they design their agreement. read
Nine couples featured in a new BBC 2 documentary series Mr v Mrs: Call The Mediator, which takes a fly-on-the-wall approach to the growing practice of family mediation as the UK now carries out more than 17,000 mediations a year, according to government statistics. The success rate is high: nearly 90 per cent achieve a satisfactory deal. read
When Tricia Lerdon and her husband separated, they had to figure out how to share their beloved dachshund, Jetson. "One of us giving up the dog?" she said. "That wasn't even a conversation." So while living apart, they co-owned Jetson for several years until he died earlier this year. He traveled between their homes on the same schedule that their daughter did, so she would always have her pet's company. read
Divorces can be messy and complicated. But an amicable divorce need not be impossible to accomplish. Here are a few types of divorce proceedings that possibly could make it easier on all involved. read
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office has appealed a federal court ruling that found a Marion County court discriminated against a deaf man in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act when it rejected his request for an American Sign Language interpreter at a court-ordered mediation session during his child custody case. read
A deaf Indianapolis man was discriminated against when a court denied providing him an interpreter during a mediation session ordered in his child custody case. A federal judge ruled Friday that Marion Superior Court’s decision to deny the interpreter in a court-funded mediation program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. read
In the context of a divorce, mediation is a good thing. It offers folks a real opportunity to settle their divorce without the acrimony or expense of a trial. Plus, in many counties, it’s mandatory—meaning the parties are required to mediate before going to court. read
With court fees on the rise, in some extreme cases by more than 600 per cent, and the cut backs in the administration of justice, most notably with some local courts shutting down, legal cases are more expensive and take longer to resolve. read
A pioneering mediation program in Brazil is banking on religious leaders using their conciliatory skills to resolve conflicts between families and neighbors, while helping the judicial system reduce a massive backlog of cases overloading the country’s courts. read
Mediation is less costly than separate representation -- and educates couples about the court process: Their options, child issues, financial issues, legal concerns and legal effects of decisions so they can make their own agreements. read
1. High Conflict Divorce is expensive! Mediation is the least expensive option, at a typical cost of $6,600. Collaborative law costs average $19,723 while full-scale divorce litigation average, $77,746. read
With the advent of economic mediation pilot programs involving cases including a history of domestic violence with final restraining orders in place, the appropriateness of and approach to such cases has become an issue of heightened importance. read
For all contentious child cases now, counselling and mediation is required, with a pilot programme that includes a therapeutic interview with affected children. “We found that this helped parents appreciate the consequences of their actions on their children, with encouraging results." read
Families argue -- especially around the holidays. Overbearing in-laws, wayward teens, stepfamilies, elder care or antiquated parenting plans can turn a home into a war zone. While some situations are easily resolved, others can linger for months -- even years. Instead of allowing conflict to fester -- consider mediation. read