Mediation Dynamics

Over the past decade there has been a sweeping cultural shift related to the traditionally accepted assumptions concerning divorce and separation, which has led to transformational changes to our system of family law.

The underlying policies propelling this trend have been implemented by the introduction of both new legislation, as well as court rules, with the stated purpose of promoting a cooperative approach to the resolution of conflict within families using alternative methods of dispute resolution, rather than high conflict litigation.

This new initiative evolved coincidently at the same that our courts experienced a critical depletion of staff and resources, in the face of an ominous growing caseload involving family issues.

The confluence of these developments gave rise to the natural and logical promotion of mediation, as the optimal method of conflict resolution in family related cases.

The fundamental principle of mediation in domestic relations disputes is the recognition that the parties themselves should be allowed to unravel and bring their relationship to an end on their terms, and that parents should continue to be empowered to make the best, long lasting decisions concerning their children's upbringing, following separation.

This concept, now promoted and referred to as "Self Determination,” is the guiding light in the mediation of disputes involving Family matters.

The mediation process, when conducted properly, is particularly well suited to attain these goals.

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To broaden our understanding of the importance of "Self Determination and Empowerment"  in Family Mediation, in my next post I will focus on the Children of Divorcing and Separating couples, and the use of the phrase "Best Interests of the Child."

Francis F. Lane JD, CFM

Families and Divorce

Divorce, or the separation of a couple, is not an end but an event which may occur along the Pathways of our lives.

Statistics reveal that 50% of all marriages today will end in Divorce. The incidence of Divorce is even greater in second and third marriages.

A Divorce, or separation, will certainly have future ramifications in our lives.

In a Family with children, although the relationship between the parents may be ending the interrelationships between children and their Parents, and between the Parents as well as extended Family, continue and do not naturally end when the Children graduate from High School, or reach some predefined legal age of majority. Children may attend and graduate from College, marry and have their own children.

Avoidance of the insidious acrimony resulting from a High Conflict Divorce, or Separation, can assure that children will continue to have the support, love and guidance of both Parents, so critically important to their physical and emotional childhood development.

This past month I had the privilege to attend a Professional Skills training program offered through Pepperdine University Straus Institute For Dispute Resolution on Family Law Mediation.

The program, presented by two preeminent authorities on Family Dynamics and Conflict Resolution, retired Justice Irwin Joseph and Dr. Donald Saposnek, introduced comprehensive and invaluable information and insights into Family dynamics, and current trends and methods relating to effective Conflict Resolution in cases involving Divorce and Separation.

I have included here on our Resource page an article entitled 'Developing a Mutual Story of Divorce', in which Dr. Saposnek addresses the very difficult subject confronting Parents at the beginning of a Divorce, "What should we tell the kids?”

I look forward to sharing and highlighting additional information and references relating to the Meditation process and Conflict Resolution in future posts.

Francis F. Lane JD, CFM

Welcome

I am very excited to create this new platform to introduce Mediation services, serving the Rockingham County and the greater Seacoast New Hampshire area.

Mediation offers an informal, secure and non-adversarial process which involves the active participation of each party. A process which focuses upon shared interests, allows for collaborative efforts to obtain and share information necessary to make informed decisions, and to develop and fully explore all possible settlement options.

It is recognized that the guiding principle behind Mediation is " Self Determination ", the belief that the parties themselves when engaged in a non-threatening, cooperative process can develop solutions to their particular conflict which will best meet their respective needs and interests, and that the settlement which they arrive at together through this process can be long lasting.

I plan to periodically post comments to the site which will address common issues involved in the Dispute Resolution Process, and to offer information and tips intended to help readers to better understand the process and to identify valuable resources of additional information.

Everyone confronted with a conflict, or problem, is invited to consider the opportunity to engage in the Mediation process which offers a peaceful Pathway designed to lead to a better future, and to avoid the problems of the past.

                                                  Francis F. Lane JD, CFM