The Early Resolution and Mediation Project (E-RAMP) offers the services of a mediator to help parents create parenting plans. The program showcases the value of the mediation system when it comes to dealing with family legal disputes between parents.
Sharing parenting responsibilities and making decisions when both parents are not living under the same roof is challenging. There is a great deal of emotion involved and young lives are at stake. Even under the best of circumstances when both parents want what is best for their children, parenting battles can get nasty.
Thankfully, there’s a tool that can help families avoid these nasty conflicts.
The Early Resolution and Mediation Project used by residents of Flathead County is just that. A tool to help to separate and divorcing parents make important decisions for their children without ongoing disputes. The programs help parents find a newfound understanding of each other and it opens channels of communication that could lead to long-term positive effects for children.
The program began in 2018 and now, creators of the program want to expand it beyond Flathead County.
According to Patty Fain, Montana’s statewide pro bono coordinator and one of the people who spearheaded the creation of the program, “I really believe in it. I believe in the whole concept for parents, for kids, and what it does for our community.”
Advocates of the program believe the benefits are wide-ranging and provide insight into a part of the justice system that many people don’t know exist.
Says Kay Lynn Lee, a retired attorney and one of the E-RAMP mediators in Flathead County, “What you do is you let people talk. You try to guide them, so instead of getting on a blame train they do some creative thinking and try not to look at what’s happened in the past.”