Derr & Villarreal Attorneys and Mediators has decades of experience in helping people work through divorce conflicts addressing property division, tax issues, spousal support payments, child support payments, and the critical determination of how parents are going to share and co-parent their children together. Yet, there are many other areas where mediation can help people who find themselves in conflict. In fact, mediation works for almost any conflict, not just for divorce, as a Beaver Dam divorce attorney can attest.
Engaged and Unmarried Couples
Engaged couples who are interested in getting married but want to protect their own property or protect their future spouse from their liabilities incurred during the marriage have mediated their prenuptial agreement. Unmarried couples who have decided to separate have used mediation to discuss separating the property brought jointly during the relationship. This includes the difficult discussion involving real estate in which one party had invested significant money, labor or both but was titled in only one parties’ name.
There is also the area of “marital mediation” for married couples who want assistance with marital issues but do not want a divorce. This includes issues with parenting, financial decisions or both. Marital mediation is not marriage counseling. While both involve helping couples communicate better, counseling involves diagnoses of the parties, discussion of childhood issues and treatment by a certified counseling professional. Marital mediation is focused more narrowly on the issue, and on resolving the present dispute or conflict. Instead of dealing with past childhood issues with a treatment focus, the marital mediator rather centers the parties on the current dispute, so they can find areas of agreement and learn practical techniques to help them resolve similar disputes in the future in the privacy of their own home.
We have mediated issues between a new owner and a long-term manager to help them recognize both the best of the old as well as useful new approaches in providing the services of their business. We’ve also trained managers to use mediation techniques as neutral parties at work to deal with valued employees who were having significant disputes. Management didn’t want to continually address the conflict which was spreading to other employees and staff, but they also didn’t want to lose either one of their talented team members. Workplace mediation can be particularly useful in family-owned businesses to discuss not only current issues but also to help with planning and succession issues.
Elder mediation has been extraordinarily effective in assisting families in transition with an aging parent including discussions of the type of care, place of residence, caregiving issues, and funding issues to name a few. Elder mediation helps families in crisis resolve issues through shared decisions rather than through bitter, protracted litigation which produces animosity that lasts for generations.
An entire industry of mediation is devoted to disputes between businesses, construction companies, sub-contactors and homeowners. While mediation traditionally consisted of disputes after the project was completed, experienced construction mediators can be called in much sooner to resolve immediate disputes such as change orders, project management, cost overruns, contract issues, defects, etc. Addressing issues sooner resolves conflicts before needlessly spending additional funds.