Archive for High Conflict – Page 2

We Don’t Get Along Very Well. How Can We Possibly Mediate Our Divorce?

Conflict between the man and the woman prior to divorce mediation

Peace and harmony are not prerequisites for divorce mediation.

Some people believe that a prerequisite for consensual dispute resolution options like Divorce Mediation or Collaborative Practice is that the parties have to get along or trust each other. That is simply not the case!

A good divorce mediator or collaborative practitioner knows how to get to the heart of the issues even when there is significant conflict. We consensual dispute resolution (CDR) professionals understand that people need our services when there is a dispute to resolve. Conflict is an inherent part of dispute resolution.

CDR professionals are not afraid of conflict.

They have training to get to the heart of what is keeping you from settling. I call these “fault lines”.  A significant part of my work with couples in divorce mediation is taking the time to really listen and understand where the fault lines are and what is causing them. That way I can help.

With divorcing couples, I never just expect things to be easy. After all, you are divorcing for a reason. Surely things up until now have not been all butterflies and rainbows.

My mission is to bring humanity to legal situations to clarify the dynamics of each unique situation in a manner that reveals options for settlement, preserves the long-term interest of the family, and empowers the individual client. I have a profound ability to get into the world my clients are experiencing and feeling to uncover the necessary clarity in each divorce relationship dynamic. From there, I can use my gifts to bring a sense of calm, resolve and hope that could never be reached in adversarial litigation.

So, I take time. I listen – carefully. I try to help bridge the gaps. It’s often quite emotional. It’s only rarely easy. But, if the parties work hard to stretch to find a settlement, I can usually help.

If you are having trouble getting along, don’t let that stop you. There are few cases that must go to court. It’s my job to get you past the conflict and help you find peace for you and your family.

9 tips for divorcing a narcissist . http

9 tips for divorcing a narcissist . http://ow.ly/DmenU

Robin Williams and the Two Headed Monster Demonstrate Conflict

As I am a mediator and a collaborative divorce practitioner, my job is all about managing conflict. A key component to managing conflict is recognizing it when you see it. To that end, I thought this video would make a great tribute to the late Robin Williams while educating my readers. Enjoy!

I am in a custody battle in California. My ex left an awful and damning voice mail message on my home answering machine. Can I use the recording in court as evidence?

By Shawn Weber, CLS-F*

In short, yes. While there are strict rules regarding the use of unlawful recordings of telephone conversations, there is no prohibition against recording a voice mail message. Ostensibly, the person who left the message knew that the message would be recorded, so you do not run afoul of the rules on unlawful wiretapping.

Some attorneys may attempt to object to the admission of the recording because it is hearsay. In other words, it is an out of court statement offered to prove the truth of the matter stated.  (See California Evidence Code section 1200.)  Normally, such statements are prohibited to be used in evidence.  However, in some cases, there are exceptions.  This is one such case.

Voice Mail Message

Statements made by a party to the action are excluded from the hearsay rule.  Because the statements made on the voice mail message are made by a party opponent (your ex) there is no concern about hearsay. It is admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule under California Evidence Code section 1220. See also People v. Horning (2004) 34 Cal.4th 871, 898 n5.

The only other concern you may have in getting the recording admitted is the issue of “authentication”. In other words, you have to show that the recording actually is what you purport it to be. You can probably take care of this by presenting your own testimony that you are familiar with your ex’s voice and that it was he or she who left the message. Also, you will want to indicate that you are familiar with the workings of your voice mail system and that this was left by your ex on your voice mail system. You can also get an admission from your ex by use of a document called a “Request for Admission” asking your ex to admit that it is an authentic recording of his or her voice left on your voice mail.

You should have an attorney work with you on how best to present the recording to the court as evidence. There are rules about how something must be presented. The rules are technical and a screw up could cause the evidence to be excluded.  However, getting something like a recording into evidence can be very effective.  A judge actually hearing the voice of the person can be very powerful and persuasive evidence.

The corollary to this post is that a person leaving a voice mail message, email or text message should be very careful.  A person should just assume that any communication made with his or her ex or child could end up in front of the judge.  Beware of social media posts as well.  Many custody battles are lost over stupid communications.  Just don’t give yourself the hassle.  In my own cases, I often recommend that my clients have me review their email messages BEFORE they are sent to make sure that they have the intended effect and to ensure that there are no unintended consequences.

Here’s an AWFUL voice mail message left by actor Alec Baldwin on his daughter’s phone.  This unfortunate message was a demonstration that Baldwin had SERIOUS anger management issues.  Needless to say, it caused him a lot of problems.  Now the recording is infamous.  Sadly, this kind of thing is not unusual.  Just follow my mother’s advice, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”

(Just a warning, the language is strong.)

If you need help in preparing evidence for family court or with coparenting communication concerns, contact San Diego child custody attorney Shawn Weber at 858-345-1616 or see our website at www.bravewebermack.com.

*Certified Specialist – Family Law

The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

The Divorce So Bad it Made the Family Judge Flip Out

Getty

I came across this article from Time Magazine by  BELINDA LUSCOMBE about a family judge in Canada that basically flipped out on a couple because their behavior during the divorce was so bad.  The Judge apparently wrote his opinion having taken a very dim view of both parties.  I particularly enjoyed his dark and sarcastic tone in his very unusual order.  However, the opinion underscores in a humorous way a significant problem facing many family court judges.  I have often heard the saying that in Criminal Court, we have bad people on their best behavior.  But in Family Court we have good people on their worst behavior.  I wonder how many family judges have considered making an order like this one.

Here’s the link to the article.   http://healthland.time.com/2011/01/05/the-family-judge-who-flipped-out/

Mark Baer’s Keynote Speech Given at The Divorce Expo in Detroit, Michigan on March 23, 2012

A friend and colleague of mine, Attorney Mark Baer, gave a great spech at the Divorce Expo in Detroit on March 23, 2012.  He did a great job of explaining many of the new and more effective options available for families transitioning through a divorce.  Here is the text:

Mark Baer’s Keynote Speech Given at The Divorce Expo in Detroit, Michigan on March 23, 2012.