There are no take backs in negotiation. Every move invites a reaction and response. Sucker punch your opponent and, be assured, of an equal or greater responsive measure. In other words, a negotiative "punch" always invites a "punch back".
Confidentiality has long been touted as a cornerstone of mediation practice in California. However, that may soon change due to a proposal to amend the Evidence Code protections for mediation confidentiality
In 1988, Robert Fulghum wrote a book entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten.” The mother of a four year old, I am reminded of the lessons I learned in Kindergarten daily, as I bear witness to my daughter’s journey. As a family law attorney and mediator, I have come to realize that the costs of a divorce (financial, emotional, and otherwise) often depend entirely on the parties’ willingness to abide by a basic Kindergarten code of conduct.
So, here it is - the spectrum of family law processes - in a nutshell, with everything including the kitchen sink.
A toe dipper is someone who is cautious to carry out an act. When it comes to relationships, we are all wise to dip a toe or two before jumping into the marital pool. Likewise, when circumstances permit in a marital relationship, care ought to be exercised before jumping out.
Family mediation is not therapy, but it is a logother-ipical approach to conflict resolution - a self-determinative, voluntary, non-judgmental, future-focussed injection of hope and optimism in difficult circumstances.
Parents are more familiar with the mediation process than they may realize. In fact, parents often mediate disputes between their children - they just don’t know that is what they are doing. On the other hand, litigation - the default process in family proceedings - is more foreign in concept, as it relates to family dynamics. The following hypothetical is designed to illustrate the difference between litigation and mediation by applying both processes to a common parenting scenario.
Mediation is a process in which a third party neutral intervenes in a dispute to assist the parties in reaching a mutually acceptable resolution. At its purest, mediation is a voluntary,private and informal process. However, as a modern practice of mediation has developed in North America, lawmakers have taken notice of this alternative method of resolving disputes, and have incorporated mediation into traditional litigation procedure. In fact, mediation has become a precondition to a formal hearing in some traditional legal systems, such as the respective mandatory mediation programs instituted in California, United States and Ontario, Canada.
In 2010, Walt Disney Pictures released the computer animated film “Tangled,” a film based on the classic “Rapunzel” story about a young girl locked in a tower, who leaves the tower to find adventure, against the wishes of her mother. In 1949, NBC Radio broadcasted a program “Father Knows Best” about a family and its father-patriarch, Jim Anderson. The entertainment industry has long poked fun at the old adages “Mother/Father Knows Best,” and elicited decades of comedic dialogue born from the divergent perspectives between parents and their children.
Social realities are often not very different from their fictional portrayals. While parents often strive to do what is best for their children, their ability to make these determinations can be clouded by perception, self-interest, fear and emotion. What is “best” is an entirely subjective standard and difficult to define with any sense of accuracy or certainty. Notwithstanding, the “best interests of the child” is the standard employed “in all family law proceedings, including mediation, litigation, and custody evaluations.”
This paper examines the circumstances in which the child’s perspective and inclusion is appropriate in the divorce mediation process and how to achieve a safe inclusion process. Specifically, this paper examines how a child’s inclusion may inform the “best interests” doctrine and aid mediation participating parents in making the “best” decisions in respect of their children.
In William Ury’s sequel to “Getting to Yes”, “Getting Past No,” 1 the co-innovator of the principled (interest-based) negotiation method considers the problem of impasse in negotiation. Ury proposes a strategy for breaking through barriers. The first barrier Ury identifies is closely related to Ariely’s principle of the effect of expectations: your natural reaction.
Since the first barrier is your natural reaction, the first step involves suspending that reaction. To engage in joint problem-solving, you need to regain your mental balance and stay focused on achieving what you want. A useful image for getting perspective on the situation is to imagine yourself standing on a balcony looking down on your negotiation. The first step in the breakthrough strategy is to Go to the Balcony. 2