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How Will You Resolve Your Separation? Let’s get creative…..

October 20, 2015

Litigators litigate, mediators mediate, and collaborative lawyers collaborate.

But sometimes none of those approaches are sufficient to address the needs of some people and their circumstances.

Enter creative options.

Imagine if you worked with someone who had a multitude of creative peacemaking/settlement approaches and if the lawyers were flexible enough themselves to explore some out-of-the-box approaches, beyond those noted above.

It starts though with listening to the issues the parents bring forth and then tailoring a process specific to their needs.

In one file mediation was appropriate but there was a concern about one of the parental residences. I offered to view the residence and report back on the sufficiency of the residence for the child to have overnights there. So while mediation, the parents accepted they didn’t need a full-fledged assessment, but just a set of neutral eyes to determent the children had a reasonable space for themselves and to sleep.

In another file the parents were concerned for their child’s experience of each other and the parental separation. I offered to meet with the child on two occasions, once brought by one parent and once brought by the other parent and then report back to both. The parents appreciated the information I was able to provide about their child’s experience and they were willing to address issues identified in a parenting plan that included treatment for one of the parents.

In yet another file, collaboratively trained lawyers on a non-collaborative file (no participation agreement, meaning they could litigate any unresolved matters), still sought to keep matters from court. I offered a consultation to the parents and lawyers wherein I heard briefly of their issues/concerns and then determined that lawyer assisted mediation would be most appropriate given the level of acrimony and mistrust. In lawyer-assisted mediation, the lawyers are included in the process providing a sense of security to the parents. Knowing that these lawyers could support the process, this was a very viable option.

What many separated parents and even lawyers don’t always recognize is that flexible and creative problem solving settlement processes can be tailored to meet their unique set of needs. You don’t need to choose exclusively between a few discrete options. You can create your own, but it does take a creative problem solver and flexible settlement minded lawyers.

To begin, all it takes is a phone call. In some instances a single meeting can help set the course of action.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.

https://garydirenfeld.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/gary-feb-12.jpg?w=200&h=301

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
http://www.yoursocialworker.com

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.

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