Transformative mediation was first described by Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph P. Folger in The Promise of Mediation. They describe it that the transformative theory starts: “(…(F)rom the premise that inter-relational crisis is what conflict meant to people. And help in overcoming that crisis is a major part of what parties want fro a mediator…In the transformative mediation process, parties can recapture their sense of competence and connection, reverse the negative conflict cycle, reestablish a constructive (or at least neutral) interaction, and move forward on a positive footing, with the mediator’s help. “ Transformative mediation is not therapy. The mediator's goal is not to alter the relationship. Rather, the mediator strives to balance the parties' negotiation power while creating opportunities to address underlying issues, within the context of resolving the presenting dispute.Read More
When parents are sharing custody but live in different school districts, deciding the best school for the children to attend can be challenging. I’ve been involved in many situations when the parents disagree on where their child should attend school. Usually, we can’t find an easy answer, but with mediation or collaborative practices, we work together to evaluate the options and reach the best decision for the family. In reaching a decision, we often look at the following issues.Read More
Should I call the police?
A few days I had a call from a father of a family that I’ve been working with in divorce mediation. He wanted to know if he should call the police when his wife did not permit the children to come with him for his custodial time. He wanted to document the problem.
Contempt of court occurs when a court issues an order requiring that a person (or company) do something, and that person disobeys the court order. The injured or aggrieved party requests that the court find that person in contempt and take action to ensure compliance with the order. In other words, once the court issues a ruling, so long as that ruling is in effect, anyone who is ordered to do something in the order must do it, or the court may find them in contempt.Read More
January is a popular month to file for divorce. Why? For many people, the new year is a time that they reevaluate their lives and decide to make changes. Perhaps they have waited or tried to make a marriage work for some time and the new year seems like a good opportunity to go ahead and pursue divorce. Others may want to wait until after Christmas to plan for their a divorce. Some people postpone divorce into the new year for economic or tax reasons. Whatever the basis, if you have decided to divorce in 2017, should you file?Read More
Over the past few months on this blog, I’ve covered many of the issues that we consider in mediation when a couple is planning to file for divorce. My posts in this series have examined everything from how to divide marital property, how to calculate child support, and how to make schedules for holidays for the children. Along with resources such as the free forms from the West Virginia Supreme Court, these posts may help you decide whether or not you want to retain a lawyer, reach an agreement before you select a lawyer or file for divorce, or if you want to consider collaborative law.Read More
In today’s post, I’ll continue to share ideas on how to develop a custodial schedule in your parenting plan. Once you have the decision-making portion of the parenting plan developed, have agreed on some of the objectives and conceptual details about custodial time, you might stumble when creating a calendar, due to unique problems in your family. In this post, we’ll address some of the challenges I’ve seen parentings struggle with and how they’ve resolved them.Read More
With your decision-making parenting plan in one hand and the answers to some important questions about jobs and schedules in the other, you are ready to start marking up a calendar to decide how to divide custodial time. You might want to print out some calendars and mark them up with different schedules. Printed calendars make it easier to evaluate the possible plans.
When you are working in mediation or collaborative law, you can create most any schedule you want to create to suit your families' needs.
The schedules I’m describing in this post are examples of what has worked for some families. Of course, if you cannot develop a plan through mediation, negotiation, or collaborative processes, you will be stuck with a schedule that a judge creates that may or may not be as tailored to your families’ needs.Read More