Damage from litigation

The courts have some test programs running where they refer cases to mediation.   Parties are screened for some known red flags – but pretty much – if your case is sent to mediation, you have to attend – at least that first session.*

Some of these cases are rough!  We have to undo 2-3 years of damage to their relationship and ability to trust each other, eroded from the litigation process, before we can even begin to have productive discussions about moving forward.  And that damage crops up and again and again at every turn and has to be scraped away each time.

These couples are not necessarily “high conflict” couples by personality or psychology or history.  It’s the damage that has been done by being in litigation and all of that time operating out of defensiveness and fear, with their normal communication blocked – sometimes at their lawyers’ instruction.

*The mediators donate 90 minutes of time, free, and then, if the parties so choose, they can continue at the mediator’s hourly rate. 

Blogging after all these years . . .

The pandemic hit me hard – as it did so many of us – and I found that I could not write. That is why I have not posted about mediation in a very long time. I still care, I still mediate and find it engrossing. I love working with families to help them find the stepping stones through their separation and restructuring caused by breakups. I am sympathetic and want to help; honored that they let me into their lives, and share with me their concerns and priorities.

I just have not been able to write about it. But I have broken through, and will be blogging again.

I also am starting a new podcast – “Keep the Kids In Mind.” So many of my clients were children of divorce, trying to structure their divorce in a better way than their parents did, without destroying their exes or wincing when they think about what they did during this transition. Others have children themselves who they want to protect from their divorces. We will focus on how to do it better