Mediation is a tool that can be invaluable to families. At Fields and Dennis, we are well-versed in all aspects of Family Law, and we often turn to mediation as an agreeable and less distressing means to an end.  There are many ways that mediation can benefit families at various stages of life. From divorce to estate planning and everything in between, mediation can be an indispensable tool to quell interfamilial tensions and disputes.

If this were a game of Family Feud (Instances a family may call upon a mediator…) ‘divorce’ and ‘estate planning’ may very well be the top two answers on the board, but there are a variety of times when the services of a mediator may benefit a family unit.

Conflicts between parents and adolescents can be volatile and often get out of hand. With mediation, both sides can be heard in a comfortable environment, decisions can be made and boundaries set.  The presence of a neutral third party can add an element of structure and stability that one-on-one exchanges between parents and teenagers often lack.

When starting or ending a family business, mediation may often be required to settle differences. A family business can be complicated, as it mixes your personal relationships with your professional interactions. If you are starting out on a new enterprise, a mediator can help work through issues before they get out of hand. If, unfortunately, it is too late for that, a mediator can similarly help dismantle the partnership so that your familial relationship can remain in tact.

Family conflicts can be tough, and they can arise at already trying times.  Sibling disagreements can often be sparked after the loss of a loved one leaves questions of how to handle their legacy. While a solid estate plan can usually stop some of these disputes before they can occur, even with the best-laid plans this is not always the case.  Mediation can help grieving siblings work out their issues with the help of a neutral mediator rather than a long, drawn-out court case that may leave irreparable damage to the family unit.

Ultimately, mediation has many uses for families which should be considered as an alternative to litigation when possible. After all, families are important and navigating these bonds is a journey that really does take a lifetime.