The two parties shared a last name. They were family. They were also in court over an eight year long conflict where a family member was living in a house his relative owned. She wanted him to move out in order to sell the house and he didn’t want to leave. There was a long list of miscommunication and missed opportunities on both sides. They had tried to resolve their differences between themselves and other family members but they had exhausted their resources. They were now in court to have the legal system decide the matter.
Instead, both parties agreed to mediation. Emotions were high and there was a wide range of emotions from anger to sadness and tears. Mediation allowed both parties to tell their story and then have it summarized back to them. Mediation brought out the fact that though one of them had brought the case, she still cared deeply about what happened. In turn, he also cared about her. This connection became the basis of a true agreement. There was a sense during the mediation that they were putting this behind them and deciding what was a workable solution for both of them. He agreed to move out in a time frame she felt she needed. They commented that it was a relief to have their agreement legally binding after being signed by the judge so there would be no more changes.
In my opinion, it was this combination of mediation and the Court’s support of mediation that made this possible. Instead of a broken family and bad feelings and voicing all those bad feelings in a courtroom, there was privacy, a mediator to listen and reflect and a family ready to heal.
“It was very exciting to learn skills that I can apply to my personal and professional life. The training was well-organized and always stimulating. I felt my brain and my heart stretching.”
-Patricia Mahoney, Retired Teacher
“You guys did a great job! I am so glad I took the plunge and devoted those four days to the Mediation Training….You make it all interesting, educational, valuable and fun…you taught me so much not just about mediation, but about other life skills…It was a wonderful experience which I would recommend to anyone.”
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