Why Mediation is a Good Option for Separating Families?

When couples decide to end their marriage and families are forced to separate, it is difficult for everyone. Though it might seem as though the only people are affected are the spouses, the end of a marriage means changes for everyone. Even under the best of circumstances it is a tough transition, but a long, drawn-out court battle makes things even worse.

Luckily, there is an option available that can help families transition from marriage to separation with less stress, less animosity, and less disruption in life. Mediation is a tool that makes ending a marriage as easy as it can possibly be and makes it possible for the family to move forward into a new way of relating to one another.

What makes mediation so perfect for separating families?

Mediation is Built on Communication
One of the most important reasons why mediation works so well when families are separating is because it keeps the lines of communication open. A mediator is a third-party facilitator who is working for both spouses, as opposed to representing one or the other.

A mediator’s goal is to help a separating couple find a solution that both are happy with. The way this is done is by bringing the couple together to explore all potential outcomes and weigh the pros and cons of each outcome. Everyone is encouraged to share his or her concerns and discuss why solutions seem fair or unfair. The mediator oversees these conversations and keeps the process on track.

Mediation tends to cut down on the discussions that go astray and get mired in resentment and ill-intentions. There is a well-defined goal at the beginning of mediation and someone is there to keep the goal on track.

The problem-solving strategies used in mediation can also be useful as a family moves forward into their new way of living. Many couples find that once their separation is finalized and they are forced to co-parent the methods they learned in mediation are an effective way of resolving differences that arise.

Control of the Situation
When decisions about separation and divorce are made in the courtroom the family has very little control over what happens. They might be able to share how they feel, but ultimately it is the court making the final decision.

This is not the case with mediation. The process puts a separating couple in complete control of the process and the outcome. Mediations are not considered successful unless both spouses walk away from the situation satisfied with the arrangement.

Mediation also ensures that children have an opportunity to share how they feel when it is appropriate.

The spirit of self-determination makes the transition from marriage to separation easier on everyone.

Even with all of the benefits, mediation is not perfect. A marriage is still ending and that is never going to be easy. It is also not the right tool for everyone to use, especially if a marriage involved abuse or one party is unwilling to accept the end of the relationship. Assuming mediation could provide a method for helping a family to separate, it is often the best option available.

Juan Pyfrom
Family Mediation

Unique Challenges in the Health Care Industry and How Mediation Can Resolve Conflict

Unresolved conflict in the health care setting can lead to significant challenges in this industry. Being aware of these challenges and alternative forms of dispute resolution like mediation can help.

Conflict in the health care setting can result in significant expenses, both direct and indirect. If the case is litigated, there will be additional legal fees that the health care facility will have to pay. Additionally, unresolved conflict can affect patient satisfaction, occupancy rates, workers’ compensation and disability claims, increased turnover, and decreased employee morale, an increase in clinical errors and a disruption of management time. Negative publicity can further negatively affect the health care setting.

Confidentiality is another concern in the health care setting. The staff may not be able to freely disclose relevant medical information to all interested parties. This may create an additional barrier to resolving conflict. Additionally, the health care setting may have time constraints that impact the ability to wait for litigation to finalize in order to resolve the problem. Additionally, situations involving conflict in the health care setting often involve emotionally charged situations.

Many physicians and nurses do not have significant training in negotiation, conflict resolution skills or communication. The mediation process allows an expert in these skills to help facilitate an agreement. A mediator can work closely with the parties, inform them of misconceptions and help uncover hidden interests to help the parties more agreeable to a cooperative solution. Additionally, mediation addresses many of the challenges involved in the healthcare setting. The parties can agree to keep the proceedings confidential so that there is not negative publicity or an invasion of the patient’s privacy.

Three Things You Should Know about Employment Mediation

Mediation is a tool that disputing parties use to resolve their differences. It can be effective in a variety of situations, but is especially beneficial in the business world. It alleviates the need to use the courts and can make the process of resolving a dispute much easier for everyone involved.

Employment mediation makes it possible to resolve a number of different types of disputes, including those related to harassment, wage and overtime problems, and termination issues. It tends to be less expensive than other dispute resolution methods including litigation, and allows the problem to truly be resolved so professional relationships might, in some cases, have the best possible chances of continuing.

What do you need to know about employment mediation?

1. Mediators are Neutral
Mediators oversee the process and ensure that it is as efficient and effective as possible. They are neutral third-parties, which mean they have no interest in either side. In the case of employment mediation, the mediator might be appointed by the EEOC or be retained by the parties involved in the dispute. Many mediators are lawyers or former judges, but this does not have to be the case.

The important thing is that the mediator is able to remain impartial, and that he or she is capable of gaining an understanding of the dispute. It can be helpful to work with someone familiar with a particular industry, but this does not need to be the case.

2. Mediation Does Not Need to Be Binding
One of the greatest benefits of mediation is that it gives those involved in the dispute absolute power over the outcome. Mediators are there to guide them and help them explore their options to resolve the dispute, but mediators do not issue binding orders, as is the case with a judge or arbitrator.

It is possible for parties to agree that the outcome of the mediation will be binding once everyone has agreed to it. Once an agreement is reached, the court can be asked to verify the agreement and make it legally binding, but this only occurs if everyone involved is satisfied with the agreement.

3. Mediation Can Preserve Relationships
Relationships are important in business. They are the backbone of success and allow people to come together to achieve a common goal. When a dispute arises, it can create havoc for those directly and indirectly involved. This is often the case with employment disputes. Those directly involved are affected, but so are co-workers, clients, customers, and others involved with the business.

Mediation provides an efficient means by which to resolve a dispute, but it also gives everyone an opportunity to express themselves and have their opinions respected. This can go a long way in protecting the balance needed in the workplace for everyone to feel comfortable and confident when it comes to performing their job duties.

Employment disputes are fact specific. Mediation allows both parties, the employer and the employee, to apprise the other party of all facts that they believe are relevant to the dispute. As a result, a resolution might be achieved which allows everyone to walk away from the dispute feeling good about what occurred. For example, a possible resolution might include a “neutral” referral letter from the employer for the terminated employee to use in future job searches.

If you have an employment dispute that you would like to have mediated, please contact John W. Kelly, Jr. 713-775-3003. https://www.experiencedhoustonmediator.com/

Can Traffic Violations Be Mediated?

Due to the widespread benefits of the process, mediation is being used in increasingly more diverse arenas, including in cases involving crimes or traffic citations. Mediation is often turned to when the parties involved do not want to go through the time, expense and effort of litigation, and traffic violations are no exception. Judges and prosecutors want to avoid trials and lengthy court proceedings and may recommend mediation to resolve a traffic dispute.

During mediation, the person who received the violation and a prosecutor or someone with the legal authority to resolve the case meet together with the help of a trained mediator. The parties listen to the mediator’s explanation that the process is confidential and that if they are unable to reach an amicable resolution of the case, they cannot repeat what was said during this process. Each party then states their position and their hopes for a successful outcome. The mediator may then divide the parties and meet with them one-on-one or may talk to both of them in the same room. The mediator points out the strengths and weaknesses of each position and reminds the parties about the possible consequences of not reaching an agreement, such as expensive court costs or a lack of a predictable outcome.

If the parties reach an agreement during mediation, this is written up and signed by the parties. Depending on the situation, the parties may then need to submit this agreement to the judge for approval. The prosecutor may have to take additional action, such as dismissing or modifying the charges.

Possible Ways to Resolve Tax Debt through Mediation

Depositphotos_31199551_xl-2015For many people, tax debt is crippling. When a person gets behind on taxes, it may be difficult for him or her to ever catch up. The mediation process can be used to form a settlement agreement with the IRS, as well as state tax agencies, but the taxpayer must affirmatively request this measure. During mediation, the taxpayer and tax representative may reach a settlement regarding tax debt, such as:

 An Offer in Compromise

 In some situations, you may be able to settle your tax debt for less than you actually owe. The IRS typically only accepts this arrangement if it is unlikely that it will be able to collect the tax debt by traditional enforcement options.  An offer in compromise is a great option for some taxpayers since it reduces the total amount they pay. This option is available through a lump-sum or periodic payment.

Installment Agreement

 An installment agreement with the IRS allows you to make a more affordable payment to the IRS each month until your tax debt is paid off. The IRS may agree to a longer term for taxpayers to repay their debt so that they have a guaranteed payment coming in.

Penalty Abatement

 Typically, if you do not pay and file your taxes by the original deadline, you will be assessed additional penalties. Through mediation, a taxpayer may be able to have these penalties waived through penalty abatement. This relief may be in addition to other forms of relief, such as an installment agreement or offer in compromise.

Innocent Spouse Relief

 In some situations, you may not be required to pay off tax debt such as if your spouse was responsible for the debt. You will have to meet certain guidelines, but this can be an effective way to relieve yourself of at least part of the debt.