Mediation Won’t Work Because We Can’t Talk

Renee LaPoint

Renee LaPoint

Some couples who decide to end their marriage or partnership stopped communicating effectively with each other a long time ago. Many things can cause this to happen: different communication styles, a power imbalance in the relationship, lack of problem-solving skills and loss of interest or respect are a few.

When couples that want to separate or divorce consider the process that is best for their family, they may be afraid that they won’t be able to work together to make decisions for their separation or divorce agreement. Read the rest of Renee’s article to learn how mediators help couples in conflict communicate.

The Importance of Control

Clare Piro

Clare Piro

I always stress the importance of the client’s right of control in a mediated matter versus the loss of control clients experience in a litigation or in an attorney-negotiated matter.

My recent, 2nd personal brush with the legal system reminded me of the 1st, and brought the concept of client control in mediation to an even greater importance for me.

Read the rest of Clare’s article to learn what it means to have control through the divorce mediation process.

When is it Appropriate to Introduce the Children to a Significant Other?

Ada Hasloecher

Ada Hasloecher

Part 1 – The Scenario

Of all the issues that come up in mediation, there is probably not a single one that is rife with more consternation, complexities, consequences, and what I call “heavy-osity,” than this question. It’s a big, fat, loaded hot-potato, and no one wants to be on the receiving end of catching it. For a myriad of reasons, it’s a virtual land mine if the parties don’t see eye-to-eye on how to address this issue and ultimately resolve it. The minute one of the parties brings it up, I start buckling my seatbelt.

Why is this topic so fraught with emotion, worry and possible ego-deflating potential? Read the rest of Ada’s article to learn more about when to introduce children to a significant other.

Mindfulness and Mediation

Clare Piro

Clare Piro

I am attending a series of workshops for mediators who are interested in practicing mindfulness tools to help alleviate stress, impart focus and extend compassion not just to others but also to ourselves.

To start in a small way, our trainer suggested as an exercise, to practice mindfulness while brushing your teeth–to really think about how the toothpaste tastes, how it feels against each tooth, the sounds.  I had to laugh because as the consummate multi-tasker, brushing my teeth means that I am simultaneously cleaning up the counter, reading a magazine, or even on occasion walking out of the room to watch television.

Read the rest of Clare’s article to learn how the qualities inherent in being mindful are the same as those that are beneficial in a good mediator:

Who Sets and Enforces Ground Rules in Mediation?

Daniel Burns

Daniel Burns

My friend, Chip Rose, is a mediator in California. One of the things he believes is that it is the responsibility of the mediator to control the process while the clients control the outcome.

In order to control the process, he creates ground rules for his clients that include how they respond to each other during the mediation sessions. He believes that by doing so he can help them obtain what he calls “the best possible outcome under the circumstances.”

Although I have a few ground rules with respect to the process, they involve financial disclosure and caucusing. They do not deal with the manner in which the couple interacts with each other during the sessions. A recent mediation, however, has caused me to rethink my approach to setting ground rules.

Read the rest of Dan’s article to learn more.

What do a Hostage Negotiator and Divorce Mediator Have in Common?

Kathy Seiden

Kathy Seiden

More than you may think.

I was so fortunate recently to hear a presentation by Lt. Jack Cambria, the recently retired chief hostage negotiator for the NYPD at the Downstate Symposium of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation. I sat in amazement listening to stories and lessons learned over his long and distinguished career.

These are some of the lessons Lt. Cambria shared:
– No matter how tense the standoff, remain calm. You must first manage the emotions of a person in crisis in order to bring the conversation to a place of rational thinking.
– Approach each situation with respect, understanding and empathy.
– Do not have preconceived ideas about what motivates people to act they way they do.
– And most importantly, trust the negotiation process. Do not attempt to rush results as each situation needs to evolve on its own timeline or the desired outcome won’t stick.

Read the rest of Kathy’s article to learn how divorce mediators use these strategies.

 

 

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