If you are thinking about working with a divorce mediator, then this is probably one of the more difficult times in your life. To make matters even more challenging, in the midst of this emotional turmoil you are called upon to make some important family decisions. One of these decisions is how to find a divorce mediator who will be right for you and your spouse. Here are suggestions for finding a divorce mediator in Maryland.
Recently the United States Supreme Court issued long anticipated rulings in the first marriage cases to reach the high court – United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry. Taken together, the decisions represent a significant step in the central civil rights issue of this era – the rights and responsibilities of same-sex couples to marry.
In the past fifty years, the revolution in American family law led to a revolution in family law dispute resolution. Virtually every aspect of divorce law has been transformed since the Mad Men era, including grounds for divorce, characterization of marital property, child custody presumptions, and alimony and child support rules. Marriage is not assumed to be a lifelong commitment. Fault generally is not legally relevant. Gender equality is a fundamental principle.
To Americans, “cultural diversity” means experiences derived from the differences in race, religion, gender, age, ethnicity and more recently, sexual orientation. Yet, this definition is a bit myopic; consider the implications of: immigration status, socio-economic and marital status, work experiences (blue collar/white collar, unemployed/underemployed), education, group memberships (NRA, ADL, Sierra Club, John Birch Society, Greenpeace, ACLU, Tea Party Movement), political affiliations, parenthood, disabled or disadvantaged or other significant life experiences - as they too, impact the concept of cultural diversity.
Best summary of the 140 page majority opinion (.pdf of opinion here) in Reading the Decision at the Daily Dish by Andrew Sullivan. This opinion eviscerates and then upholds Proposition 8 as constitutionally inoffensive.
Class-Action Discrimination Claims Against Dating Service Sent to Mediation
A California case alleging discrimination by the dating service eHarmony for refusing to extend its services to gay and lesbian customers was certified as a class action and sent to mediation. A similar case in New Jersey was just settled, with eHarmony agreeing to open a new website for gay customers, which the company asserts should resolve the California case as well.
PC Magazine (November 21, 2008)
Gay couples, not unlike straight couples, have different stories to tell, different issues to resolve. Yet since Massachusetts’s legalization of gay marriages, the “divorcing” population can be divided clearly into two distinctive sets: one group “living together outside of marriage” and the other “married.”
In February of 2007 the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts brought together a working group of thirty-seven experienced practitioners and researchers to identify and explore conceptual and practical tensions that have hampered effective work with families in which domestic violence has been identified or alleged. Five central sets of issues were raised at the conference and are discussed in this report. These include the following: differentiation among families experiencing domestic violence; screening and triage; participation by families in various processes and services; appropriate outcomes for children; and family court roles and resources. The report emphasizes the need for continued multidisciplinary collaboration in order to better serve families affected by domestic violence and it includes an appendix of consensus points as well as suggestions for formation of ongoing work groups.
This is an interview by Gini Nelson of John B. Stephens. Among many accomplishments, John is co-author of Reaching for Higher Ground in Conflict Resolution and an associate professor at the School of Government, UNC-Chapel Hill. He has worked on education, land use, and environmental issues, and designed and facilitated dialogues on homosexuality and denominational policies in the United Methodist Church. He can be reached at www.ncpdr.unc.edu
Straight couples can use case law and statutes to untangle their relationships and property. Gay and lesbian couples cannot. The most they can hope for from the law is to be treated as a failed partnership: a business entity. One solution for this problem is Mediation.
Since same gender couples cannot legally marry yet in most states and
foreign countries, how can they formalize their relationships? By using
a "Living Together Agreement." In this way they can couple consciously
in an attempt to create a solid foundation on which to build their
relationship. It's the perfect tool for sweeping away false expectations
and building honest, authentic communication.
Family Mediation has found a new home. The Academy of Family Mediators, which, for the past 20 years, has been the premier international professional organization for family mediators has, as of January, 2001, merged with the two other national organizations for alternative dispute resolution – SPIDR (Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution), and CREnet (Conflict Resolution Education Network). The new amalgam organization, called the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) is now the largest membership association in the conflict resolution field, and has as its mission, “...to promote peaceful, effective conflict resolution.”
In 1994, John Koekkoek, an evangelical Christian pastor, and
Nadia Telsey, a lesbian activist got involved in A New Community Meeting. They were two people living in two worlds separated by a gulf
of suspicion and hatred. Then they met, face to face, and spent months at work in a deliberate effort to find common ground.
I am delighted to serve as Editor for the
Family Section of the MIRC collection of
Thank you for visiting this site. I hope that
we provide you with useful information and
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Chris Moore shares his opinion on how world conflict has gone down in some arenas, but in others it has not, as new issues for dispute resolution have arisen. Also, he describes how the field has been more effective at the grassroots level than at a global level.
The archdiocese of Chicago has refused to participate in mediation in two cases involving human rights complaints. Two homosexual men working in different parishes were fired last year by their pastors. Colin Collette, choir director at Holy Family parish in Inverness, Illinois, and Sandor Demkovich, music director of St. Andrew the Apostle parish in Calumet City, were asked to resign when news of their same-sex weddings were made public. They both refused and were fired. read
The goal of mediation, however, is to resolve conflict, which has nothing to do with mental health. Mediation aims to help two (or more) parties find a mutually acceptable resolution to their points of difference or disagreement. It’s all about identifying goals and finding a way to achieve them that bypasses the inherent conflict. read
Divorce mediation is not designed to reconcile a couple. Rather, the formal and guided structure of the divorce mediation process is built around the idea that separating from the life one has built with the spouse should be as painless and reasonable as possible. The family has probably already had enough emotional trauma and pain. The mediation process is a caring and healing environment in which both spouses can make the right decisions to protect the financial assets, children and each other from further trauma. read
Mediation is underway between a South Australian council and its chief executive officer after he resigned in protest against the council raising a rainbow flag during an Adelaide gay and lesbian festival. read
Divorce arbitration occupies a unique position in the growing field of alternate dispute resolution. Let’s start by stating what it is not. It is not mediation where divorcing parties meet with a trained person who will hopefully assist them in achieving a settlement through a process of discussion, negotiation and compromise. Quite simply, some cases call for more than mediation can provide, especially if the parties are less than trustful of each other and a more firm, formal approach is appropriate. read
Where does marital mediation fit into the construct of "facilitative", "evaluative" and "transformative"? It has characteristics of all of these, as well as John Fiske's construct of "control" and "acknowledgement", depending on the situation, the mediator's preference, experience and style, and the clients' needs and visions for what the marital mediation should accomplish. read
Divorced couples cannot be required to resolve their post-divorce disputes through mediation if there has been an entry of a final restraining order based on a finding of domestic violence, even if existing property settlement agreements call for disputes to be worked through by mediators, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled. read
The referees overseeing the Bingham Cup last week were re-named “Conflict Resolvers,” in a legal twist that had Folklaw prick up its ears. Chad Burnell assistant director – legal at the Australian Sports Commission was a referee at the Bingham Cup. He told Folklaw that the spin on the referee title came from the t-shirt sponsor, mediation firm Negocio Resolutions. “When [the referees] saw it we all had a chuckle but that name actually stuck throughout the tournament. It got a laugh from the players as well,” he said. “I guess it was a light-hearted touch to poke fun at us in terms of what we actually do because, at the end of the day, rugby is a game of conflict and we try to resolve it the best we can.” The Bingham Cup is an international LGBIT tournament that runs every two years. This year around 1,000 players from 15 countries came to Sydney to participate. 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
Conflict Mediation a Key Tool for Same-Sex Couples
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. read
New Mediation Program to Resolve Employment Discrimination Disputes Faster, Save Time and Money for All Parties
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has launched a mediation program to resolve employment discrimination complaints within a short timeframe. Trained, neutral mediators will guide the process, which aims to produce settlements agreeable to both parties. "With mediation, everyone gets relief faster," Commission Chairman Gerry Robinson said. "People who believe they have been wronged, as well as employers facing complaints will get conflicts resolved faster, avoiding lengthy investigations, costly hearings and potential court filings." There is no cost to those who choose mediation as a way of resolving their disputes, and they do not need to hire an attorney. The process is confidential. read
Transparency marks Montana sex abuse lawsuit mediation
A weeklong "global mediation" slated to begin April 15 in Seattle will seek a broad settlement for two comprehensive sex abuse lawsuits pending against the diocese of Helena, Mont., and the Ursuline Sisters. More than 360 plaintiffs, several insurance carriers, the Helena diocese and Ursuline Sisters will be represented at the Seattle gathering to negotiate culpability and potential financial awards for sex abuse claims against priests. read
School rejects mediation talks in transgender girl's case
Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8 officials have refused to enter into mediation talks with the family of a transgender girl who wants to return to school. read
Croydon antisocial behaviour mediator abused lesbian couple in school playground
An antisocial behaviour mediator abused a lesbian couple and stuck her finger up one of their friends' noses during a heated row in a school playground. read
AU: Some sex offences are best dealt with out of the courts
Less serious cases of sexual offending could be better dealt with in a mediated, restorative justice setting. read