'justice too long delayed is justice denied.'"
Seeking and obtaining the assistance of the courts in resolving disputes is a right afforded the residents of our republic, but it is not always administered justly and equally. Many have been denied those rights over the years due to discrimination or economic limitations, and it is a privilege of access that many others have come to take for granted.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted just how necessary court access is in emergencies, and also delayed significantly the access to courts for non-emergency matters. Unfortunately, what constitutes an emergency is very limiting, and for many this means bearing the stress and trauma of ongoing litigation for much longer than even the normal lengthy process. Now more than ever is the time to consider alternatives.
The most common rejection of mediation, and other forms of out-of-court dispute resolution, is that the other side wouldn't agree or participate in good faith. As with anything else we don't control the decisions of other people, and we must focus on what we do control, our own actions and reactions. So if you want to try mediation, or another forum, then ask yourself whether you've done everything you can to make that possible. In order to facilitate that process, we are sharing a sample letter and explanatory flyer (links below). We're encouraging you to consider using these templates to find the right forum for your case:
Download: Sample Letter suggesting use of out-of-court dispute resolution
Download: Sample Flyer describing the options for facilitating out-of-court dispute resolution
Outside of Court you have other forum options including:
- Collaborative Law
- Facilitated Attorney Negotiation & Settlement Conferences
- Other hybrid combinations of the above choices.
The sample flyer includes a short description of each of these forums, and the sample letter provides a template for sharing your interest in one or more of the options.
We encourage you to consider how you can affect your current situation and what action you can take. When it comes to seeking ways to resolve your conflict, I'm reminded of the lottery tagline "you can't win if you don't play." If you don't at least ask the other side to try mediation, then you can't keep saying they are the reason you haven't tried it yet.
For more templates to assist in the settlement of divorce matters in Massachusetts, visit the Gray Jay Endeavors, LLC divorce forms website.