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Showing posts from May, 2016

Think Ahead and Prevent Conflict! Mediation as a Planning Tool

Post by Julie Tolek * Mediation is often referred to as “facilitated negotiation” or a form of voluntary dispute or conflict resolution. Using these terms to describe mediation automatically brings to mind scenarios where couples are fighting over a problem or situation that has already happened. But what if we turned that process around and reversed it? What if we mediated a plan before something bad happens? Using mediation as a planning tool to help facilitate negotiation and communication before something bad happens can be equally as valuable (and sometimes even more so) than applying mediation to solve a current problem. After something bad happens, emotions are usually raging, parties are sensitive, often angry, and sometimes even vindictive. If you have ever tried to solve a problem (or even have a conversation) with someone who is in a bad mood or having a bad day, you already know it’s like talking to a wall. Now imagine if you try to plan for potential issues befo

Announcement: New Parent Education Attendance Rules in Massachusetts for Divorcing Parents

Taking the course is a prerequisite for getting divorced in MA. As of May 1st, 2016 Massachusetts has announced and ordered new changes to the Parenting Education programs for all divorce cases that involve minor children ( Standing Order 2-16 ). The court  has ordered that all parties in a divorce action must register with an approved program within thirty days of service of a Complaint for Divorce and prior to the hearing on a Joint Petition for Divorce. ( a list of the approved programs can be found here ) Once registered parties must file the " Affidavit Confirming Registration at Parent Education Program ."  This is a new form and timeline, but the programs themselves are not new. This is not a program that teaches people how to parent their children, but rather a program designed to help divorcing parents understand what the challenges their children will face because of the divorce.  It is ideal that the program be taken as soon after the parties decide to di

Now, More Than Ever, Arbitration Is the Way to Go!

Guest Post by Attorney & Arbitrator Anthony C. Adamopoulos * A recent decision of our Appeals Court, Gravlin v. Gravlin , is good news for those facing divorce. For collaborative divorce attorneys and divorce mediators, the decision confirms that arbitration is the viable alternative to court litigation for resolving a single issue or even taking the place of a full court trial. In Gravlin , the Appeals Court acknowledged: “… arbitration has long been recognized as a valid means of resolving disputes between divorcing parties.”   This blog's primary author, attorney/mediator Justin Kelsey , has often praised the value of using alternatives to divorce litigation; with Gravlin , the Appeals Court has stamped an imprimatur of sorts on divorce arbitration. While arbitration is available to replace a public court trial, I encourage the use of collaborative divorce or mediation to “work out” divorce issues, as discussed in previous posts on this blog . However, if col