Charlotte and Joe meet every other Friday afternoon and Sunday evening so that Joe Junior can spend those weekends with his Dad. Joe Junior looks forward to these visits, and Charlotte and Joe’s interactions during these transfers are limited but cordial. Until they worked through a range of issues in mediation, these twice-monthly meetings often included angry words and tears and left Joe Junior fearful and anxious.
Cindy, Martha and Angela are working together to make difficult choices about their elderly father’s living situation. It’s quite a change from the angry attacks and guilt they were living with before they mediated. They now have a plan in place to research in-home care options and assisted living facilities. Cindy is relieved that their father won’t have to keep living alone, which required increasingly frequent visits from her. Martha and Angela, who don’t live as close, can accept the idea of a nursing home if nothing else is possible. Given how hard these decisions are, they also agreed to return to mediation if their plan broke down.
Jeff and Marilyn find that communicating effectively about minor changes in their children’s visitation schedule is not as hard as they thought. After 18 months of filing in court every time an adjustment was needed, the Judge’s strong recommendation got them to mediation, where they began by continuing to argue. After several hours of the mediators patiently reflecting their different version of events, they began to question their own interpretations. Once they were able to move beyond their mutual suspicions, they not only revised the visitation schedule but also realized that their children’s well being mattered more than a rigid schedule.
Bernice is seeing slow but steady improvement in the condition of the house next door. Referred to CDRC by her councilman when she called to complain, Bernice was willing to mediate but the absentee landlord refused. Staff then helped her think about the other options available and provided referral information. The City Building Department clarified what any homeowner must do and Bernice now contacts them whenever there is a code violation next door.
Cheryl and her 15 year old daughter, Brittany are far from an ideal mother-daughter relationship. But as Brittany keeps her mother informed about her comings and goings, and Cheryl accepts Brittany’s activities as long as she knows where she is, trust is slowly rebuilding. It’s quite a change from the anger and hostile silences that characterized their relationship before they participated in Family mediation. The adult-teen co-mediators helped Cheryl and Brittany clarify their concerns and decide the concrete steps that each were willing to take.
A dairy farmer and his neighbor were in a dispute over manure storage and spreading. The neighbor was upset about the odor. The farmer was angry that the neighbor had complained to other neighbors, the police, several town and state officials instead of coming to him. After a two hour mediation, the farmer agreed to give notice and change the timing of his manure spreading and other farm practices. The neighbor gained an understanding of farm work and practices, financial pressures, and the farmer's contributions to the community. As a result of mediation, both were able to come to an agreement that ended their battle over manure. They also made a plan for handling any future complaints.