Legalreader.com recently posted an article about getting divorced in the State of Utah. Many couples who show up at mediation are unaware of the process even when they have legal representation. I encourage all parties in divorce to inform themselves of the process as best they can. This is one of the major life events you will experience and it is important that you move about it with as much information as possible so you can make good decisions.
This article details the basic steps in Utah Divorces:
1) Someone files for divorce
2) Petition, Answer & Counter
3) Waiting period
4) Attorney's fees
5) Parenting Plan & Custody Evaluation
7) Discovery Process
9) Pre-trial Conference
For detailed information about each step click on the image above to be directed to the article. Understand that mediation may be listed as step 6, but it can actually be utilized at ANY step of divorce. Mediation is a place where you can take the time to better understand one another and work together toward a mutually agreed upon resolution. When couples mediate regularly, they learn to trust the process and their partner/co-parent. I cannot stress enough how useful mediation can be amidst conflict and how much happier participants are than when they leave their personal issues up to the courts.
With the uncertainty that comes with separating and an unaffordable housing market, you may find yourself in a situation where you are still sharing a home with your ex-partner. Divorcemag.com offers help for this less than ideal situation.
Their suggestions for how to best enjoy the holiday are:
Consider the types of gifts you give your children and if they make sense for your situation and future changes.
Discuss whether you want to exchange gifts with the other parent.
Consider abiding by future holiday splits of time for traditions.
Try your best to make the most of the Season and Enjoy it!
For more detailed information click on the image above to be directed to the article.
Remember, if you have disagreements about holiday schedules, budgets, expectations, mediation is a great way to resolve your disputes in a productive and cohesive way.
The Rochester Beacon recently published an article called The Power of Repairing Harm. In that article they site a study by the Utah Law Review in this way:
In many states, restorative justice has become a standard practice to decrease the harm caused by crimes while considering the needs of all those involved—victims, offenders and communities. An analysis published in the Utah Law Review two years ago that drew on data from 50 states found that 45 states have codified restorative justice into statutory law or regulatory law.
In this article, they go on to explain the benefit and the logical wide spread adoption of such forms of justice within the legal system.
It is much appreciated the manner in which mediation services are explained for their undeniable benefits to both parties in legal situations. The outcomes of these ADR cases are so indisputably preferable to legal consequences traditionally imposed by courts.
reinventing evictionsRead Now
The Salt Lake Tribune recently featured an article that proposed 3 examples of other areas who are approaching issue of Covid relate eviction in different ways.
One of the examples given was was in Philadelphia. Here is what they did:
While Utah officials have justified paying eviction landlord attorney fees for evictions that were started before rental assistance was sought, the City of Brotherly Love took another approach. Philadelphia requires landlords to take part in mediation with renters and to also apply for federal rental assistance before they can file an eviction in court.
Often the parties agree to payment plans so that renters are not expected to pay off arrears all at once.
Creating a space for mediation — where the renters also have legal counsel to advise them — has led to a 90% success rate in terms of renters either staying in their homes, settling on a repayment plan or coming to an “exit strategy” to leave the apartment at a time that works for them, according to program administrator Sue Wasserkrug.
“It’s unburdening the courts and relieves both of the parties of all the stress of going to court,” Wasserkrug says. “It’s providing some certainty and stability for the parties.”
We could not be happier to see the successes of mediation used in this way. Articles like this one are the reason mediation gets it's due credit as a valid form of legal resolution to conflict.
WKRN.com is reporting that more couples are in need of marriage counseling services during the pandemic. The couples usually have unresolved issues in their relationship and due to having to spend 24 hours a day together, they can’t ignore those issues or avoid them. If counseling during the pandemic is not possible for a couple, they recommend “Time outs” where individuals have time apart, even if they are in the same house. Click on the image to see the report or read more on this topic.
You don’t have to be a celebrity to get good legal advice. People magazine posted an article by Celebrity Lawyer Laura Wasser. Some of her clients include: Jennifer Garner, Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise and Kim Kardashian. The main take away is something she says regularly: “try and utilize the three Cs: consideration, cooperation and communication. Adaptation and flexibility is key during this time,” says Wasser, 51. “A big part of this is the communication. Whenever there’s change, you have a situation where people are having to adapt to that change.”
I couldn’t agree more. Although there are plenty of reasons to fight harder during this time, there is also an opportunity to turn in and slow down as well.
AI as mediatorRead Now
I found this article on Cornell University’s website fascinating! I knew there were already some forms of “tone meter” when you text or message through some applications, but this is next level. I can certainly see how AI could do a better job at being unbiased, but I think the human factor or being able to read body language and power dynamics are also extremely important in mediation. What do you think?
I LOVE hearing about creative solutions to co-parenting! It reminds me that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. There is seriously a world of possibilities when two sides have an open mind. ABC news featured a group of adults with only kids in common who decided to rent a house and shelter in place ALL TOGETHER to the benefit of the kids they share! What a beautiful gesture at a troubling time. Their kids will undoubtably look back and see this crisis as a positive life experience even though it will be a crazy adjustment for everyone.
KSL.com recently posted an article about conflicts arising in families due to being home all the time with your family. The author, Kim Giles, sites the two main reasons/fears associated with common conflicts are:
I have found that we all suffer from both these fears to some degree every day. But I've noticed each person also has one of these two core fears that is their primary bad behavior trigger. If a person ever behaves badly or starts a fight, it is usually their same core fear that has been triggered. I call this your dominant core fear.
She later recommends:
Do not talk down to others. See them as equal and talk to them with love and respect. Try to use "I" statements, not "you" statements. "You are making me feel unloved" is an attack; "I am feeling unloved" is the truth.
Talk about your fear issues and feelings, and ask if the other person might be willing to help you by changing some behavior moving forward. Focus totally on the future behavior you want to see, not past behavior that they cannot change.
These issues and changes in behavior can be discussed in a safe setting like mediation where an unbiased third party can facilitate communication and understanding.
The Taunton Gazette in New York wrote an insightful article about the sudden need for mediation and parenting plans amid the pandemic. ````````````````````With new orders everyday for people to isolate, quarantine or lock down, how will you and your children adapt?
How will your custody change?
How do your views on how to address this align and conflict?
With job losses, how will child support change?
There are no shortage of questions to be worked through and unless you have an emergency order, most of these issues will not be resolved in a courtroom.
Mediation can be a good route to developing a plan that works for everyone. Putting your child(ren)’s needs first will ensure that they are less traumatized during this upset.
Fill out a contact form today to book a mediation session where you can develop a COVID-19 parenting plan together.
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