“I’m right, you’re wrong.” Whether you’ve said this out loud to a spouse, children, senior parents, siblings, or just thought it, family conflict can become a part of our personal lives.

Often, when conflict escalates, tempers flare, people take sides, lawsuits are filed, costly legal fees chip away at savings, and family relations can be disrupted, altered or even irrevocably destroyed.

My professional advice: Stop the madness – and choose Mediation, the alternative way to resolve conflict.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process that brings disagreeing or disputing persons or parties together for facilitated conversations, which can result in a settlement or compromise of the disagreement or legal dispute. The person who acts as the neutral facilitator is called the Mediator.

What kinds of family issues can you bring to Mediation to avoid lawsuits and the associated high legal costs?

The issues suitable for Mediation fall into two categories:

  • Elder care disagreements between siblings, spouses and other family members about health care decisions, caregiving, financial management, and guardian designation for incapacitated seniors; and
  • Special needs disagreements between divorced (or divorcing) parents over visitation, future planning, and guardianship for intellectually disabled adult children.

Can you use a Mediator’s techniques before new disputes surface or existing disputes re-appear?

Yes. I recommend you read the popular book, “Mom Always Liked You Best: A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles & Eldercare Crises,” by Arline Kardasis (Elder Decisions of Boston, Massachusetts), available online at Amazon.com and Agreement Resources, LLC.

My upcoming blogs will describe some of the tools you can try with your own family.

But, for families with mushrooming conflict, a neutral Mediator may be the best or only way to avoid costly litigation or to manage and shorten existing litigation in elder care, guardianship and special needs planning.

For more information about my work as a Mediator, BPA Mediation, please visit www.bpamediate.com.

For legal representation in elder law, Medicaid, estate and special needs planning and guardianship, please visit www.bpaelderlaw.com.