Med-Arb: Another Unknown Option for Divorcing Folks

Med-Arb is the Prius of ADR.  It is a hybrid and full of promise, efficiencies, and good mojo.  More than that, it is a process that comes with a guarantee of a resolution – one way or the other – to a dispute.

In the divorce context, many couples have an idea of the range in which the terms of their divorce will land.  It’s the details of just  how much alimony will be paid and for just how long or what the percentage split of that IRA will be that often results in unsuccessful mediations.  Mediation, after all, requires an agreement and that requirement is precisely the reason behind most divorces!

Many divorcing couples are not aware that they can combine mediation and arbitration to create their own settlement agreement in divorce.  It’s called “Med-Arb.”

Here’s how Med-Arb typically works in the divorce context:  A couple mediates as many terms of their divorce as they can, and then, upon the mediator’s decision that impasse has been reached, the remaining terms are submitted to arbitration.  In some cases, the mediator changes his or her role to that of an arbitrator and “makes the call.”  In other contexts, the couple leaves the mediator and presents their cases to an arbitrator who “makes the call.”

Whether the mediators becomes the arbitrator or not, the result is the same:  the couple gets a complete resolution of the terms of  their divorce.

Teeing up an uncontested divorce does not have to be onerous.  However, most couples are unaware of ways to get to that point and are hamstringed by a lack of information.


DYI Divorce? Mediate Then Arbitrate?

The value of ADR in the family law arena, particularly divorce, is gaining popularity.   What couples may not consider when they are at the start of the process is how to manage the process.

Many couples have a pretty good idea of how they might “split” their assets and debts, care for their children, and such.  But, the paperwork and some of the details make it a little too intimidating.  Hire an opportunistic attorney and – voila – thousands of dollars that might otherwise have been retained are not there to split (problem solved!).

However, if many couples understood that they could Mediate and THEN Arbitrate their divorce (with or without legal counsel), they might be able to avoid some major expenditures to get divorced.

Couples can make an agreement to start with mediating the terms of their divorce and, where they cannot agree, they submit those unresolved issues to an arbitrator.  The end result: the ability to file for an uncontested divorce!

Many couples balk at the idea of mediation because there is no guarantee that there will be an agreement of any kind at the end of the day.  Pairing mediation and arbitration together guarantees a resolution that likely will be far, far cheaper and faster than litigation, while still asserting some control over the outcome.

Contact One Mediation for more details about “Med-Arb” of Divorce.

Aging + Elder Mediation = Control

We all put it off.  I mean, how long did it take you to make a will after you met that perfect person…or after the first through three kids…?  We just don’t like talking about aging, unless it’s with a plastic surgeon.

But, the reality is that the more you talk about it, the more control you will have over how you will be treated as you age and, something you may not have considered, how your family members will treat each other.

Enter Elder Mediation!  A recent article highlights the control factor – just by making an appointment with an Elder Mediator, such as Burke Johnson, you can have a facilitated family meeting where the awkwardness is lessened and the clarity is heightened.   Through an early mediation, you can discuss how you want to age in the best case scenario and the worst case scenario.

Procrastination from these kinds of discussions, on the other hand, may land the senior (or the estate) in protracted litigation where a judge just might order the parties to mediation (where you should have been to begin with).

Dysfunction? System-wide? Why a Workplace Investigation Provides A Starting for Positive Change.

Usually, the call to One Mediation for a workplace investigation is due to a troubling complaint of retaliation, discrimination or harassment.   Sometimes, the complaint is dead-on accurate.  Sometimes, the complaint highlights a workplace that is fraught with unprofessional conduct and gaps in training.

It is embarrassing for many workplaces and the individuals in them when the microscope of an investigation arrives.  However, the earlier the action, the better off the employees are, the reputation of the employer is, and the likelihood that mass lawsuits could ensue.  But, sometimes it takes a crisis before action occurs – an Auburn jail is one recent example of such a lost opportunity.

Mediation of Juvenile Delinquency?

Mediation of criminal matters has gained significant traction in states such as Minnesota, but it is somewhat controversial.  Victims often are disgusted with Plea Bargains and want full prosecution, particularly when the crime involves violence.  But, what about when the crime involves children?

Many jurisdictions use mediation in non-violent criminal matters (and usually non-felony charges) involving minors to resolve the matter.  These mediations often involve not just the accused and the State, but also the victim(s).  Should it be part of the criminal judicial system?  See a recent article for more context.