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.
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.
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.
If you are concerned about the time it might take to mediate, your best course is to come PREPARED! Bringing organized documentation pertaining to all of the issues to be mediated will streamline the process and keep your time and costs down.
Mediation is meant to be approached in good faith. One party hiding assets, money, debt, etc could very well cause a breakdown of trust that could end negotiation on a dime.
Today I mediated for 7 1/2 hours without a break. I was the one mediating, so i can only assume that it must have felt several times longer for the parties involved as it was their lives that were being affected. It would have been tragic to end mediation because the parties were exhausted by the process and not because they couldn't come to agreeable terms.
If you are preparing to mediate a divorce, come prepared to discuss EVERYTHING and plan to spend the better part of the day FOCUSED on mediation. Deadlines or events planned on the same day may distracting and put undue pressure on the process.
Many people don't realize that Mediation is a course of action that is ALWAYS an option. May times clients who are court-ordered to seek a resolution through mediation give up after the first attempt. It is often the case that the real problem with finding a resolution is timing. That means, if the same two parties were to attempt Mediation at a later time, the result could be remarkably different.
It is always worthwhile to reconsider and make multiple attempts to mediate a dispute, even if you have previous failed attempts. A mutual agreement is almost always better than a court-order for all parties involved. If you're feeling DONE, take control and give mediation a try.
Ongoing, regularly scheduled mediation sessions to address regularly occurring custody issues (extracurricular, holidays, etc.) is a great way to avoid high conflict interactions in uncontrolled environments and relieve anxiety and distrust when co-parenting.
To book your next mediation session, click here.
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