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  • Unmarried Parents | Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
    Certified Mediators Unmarried Parents If unmarried parents have children whether or not they are living together parenting and support of the children can raise important and complicated issues An experienced family mediator can help you come to decisions about the practical considerations of raising children out of wedlock without resorting to litigation Mediation for unmarried parents can assist with decisions regarding Child Support Parenting Plan Establishng Paternity Each of these is discussed in more depth below Child Support A non residential parent will typically be responsible for child support In determining child support for unmarried parents the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines apply In fact the Guidelines apply equally to determine child support for unmarried couples as they do for married parents A family mediator can help an unmarried couple come to terms on the child support obligation that best serves them Parenting Plan Child custody and parentng plans for unmarried parents is an important issue Unmarried parents except in extreme situations have the right to maintain a relationship with their children through parenting time While the presumption is that the mother has legal custody decision making authority when the child is not born of a marriage the parties can themselves agree to joint legal custody The parties can also agree to a parenting arrangement for parenting time that best serves their and the child s needs and values Having this conversation between unmarried couples facilitated by a trained family mediator is a great step in maintaining good will and open communication between parents which will greatly benefit their children For more information about parenting plans see the Model Parenting Plans released by the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court Department Establishing Paternity Establishing paternitycan be done through a court action which formalizes a father s relationship to a child born out

    Original URL path: https://mcfm.org/mediation/unmarried-parents (2016-02-13)
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  • Family Business Mediation | Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
    process often resulting in conflict among family members Family business succession conflicts are heightened by the particular nature of a family business When the elder generation relinquishes control of a family business there is often a struggle for control between members of the next generation This type of conflict because it is relates to family relationships and histories lends itself to the mediation process with an experienced family mediator who has a deep knowledge of business and finances The transition of a family business to a new generation often causes strains and conflicts amount the family members Some of these challenges are A possible divergence of view as to whether the family business should continue or not Whether the plan for liquidation is sound and will optimize the value for the family member stakeholders Possible disputes about the sharing of proceeds between family members Tansitions away from the family business can be emotional and difficult for the family participants Mediation can help to restore family relationships heal wounds break through impasses and work on concrete structures and agreements that help the family members go forward with their goal of operating a profitable business smoothly and without unnecessary family conflict Diverging interests can be reconciled or accommodated so that conflict is reduced Because family mediators are experts in people family mediators can help recognize and reconcile differences in values temperament family history business outlook financial knowledge or lack thereof which underlies family business disputes The setting in mediation rather than in litigation greatly benefits the family and can result in transformation of family relationships Mediation is well suited for resolving these difficult family business issues Selling the Family Business In family business often a dispute arises as to whether to sell the family business or retain it within the family Selling a family business affects the active members of the business and also the passive stakeholders who rely on the business for financial support Sometimes family businesses are sold because of unresolved conflict and contention These businesses might have been ongoing and profitable if the family participants and stakeholders could have resolved their problems The interests of the family members who wish to sell the business and those who do not can be reconciled and planned for in family mediation The terms of the sale and its effectiveness in securing value for the family members can be addressed in mediation Family mediation can assist the family members in understanding and managing the transition which can be a difficult personal financial and professional transition for the family stakeholders Divorce and the Family Business Divorce is an unfortunate reality of life In the United States about half of first marriages and over 60 of second marriages end in divorce When a family member active in a family business divorces there are financial and emotional implications and challenges which can be complex These can often be resolved through family mediation Family Mediation is an effective method to address the issues in control buy outs

    Original URL path: https://mcfm.org/mediation/family-business-mediation (2016-02-13)
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  • Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements | Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
    Mediation MCFM Certified Mediators Other Options For Professionals Apply Renew Events FMQ Join MCFM MCFM Certification Become a Certified Mediator Member List About MCFM Fiske Award Officers Directors Find a Mediator Find A Mediator Search by Zip Code Search by Name County or Specialty Search Certified Mediators Pre Post Nuptial Agreements Prenuptial agreements are contracts created between two individuals in anticipation of their future marriage to outline their respective rights and responsibilities as to assets liabilities and financial support in the event the marriage ends in divorce or one of the couple dies after marriage Postnuptial agreements are written terms created by a married couple generally outlining short term practical steps they will each take going forward with the goal of reconciling their relationship and avoiding divorce Postnuptial agreements may or may not become enforceable contracts depending on the circumstances of the specific case The terms of postnuptial agreements usually derive from marital or marriage mediation where the couple works to improve their communication and relationship with each other in order to stay married Mediation is a helpful process for negotiating prenuptial and postnuptial agreements because Participants learn about their rights and responsibilities as spouses Participants create customized plans based

    Original URL path: https://mcfm.org/mediation/pre-post-nuptial-agreements (2016-02-13)
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  • Cohabitation Agreements | Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
    or Specialty Search Certified Mediators Cohabitation Agreements When unmarried individuals plan to share a household they may first wish to create a written agreement regarding their respective rights and responsibilities A cohabitation agreement is usually intended to become a contract which does not require any Court intervention unless or until enforcement is sought Participants choose mediation to negotiate their cohabitation agreements so that their concerns and wishes can be discussed

    Original URL path: https://mcfm.org/mediation/cohabitation-agreements (2016-02-13)
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  • Separated Spouses Mediation | Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
    Member List About MCFM Fiske Award Officers Directors Find a Mediator Find A Mediator Search by Zip Code Search by Name County or Specialty Search Certified Mediators Separated Spouses Mediation In Massachusetts we have an action for separate support which is similar to what other jurisdictions may refer to as legal separation A separate support filing results in Court orders for essentially the same issues as in a divorce including financial support parenting plan and other child related matters division of assets and liabilities health insurance etc although the parties live separately and remain legally married Some of the reasons participants choose to mediate their separate support actions include Participants wish to memorialize and make enforceable their terms of separation while working towards reconciliation Participants may wish to stop living as a married couple but have religious or personal reasons for not wanting a legal divorce Participants tend to adhere to the terms of mediated agreements vs litigated judgments Adherence to agreement terms minimizes or eliminates future litigation Participants can maintain amicable relationships with each other Participants can consolidate expenses by jointly hiring any needed professionals such as appraisers financial neutrals or child development specialists Children avoid exposure to the

    Original URL path: https://mcfm.org/mediation/separated-spouses-mediation (2016-02-13)
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  • Elder Mediation | Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
    Planning Probate Same Sex Couples Marital Mediation What is Family Mediation Benefits of Family Mediation MCFM Certified Mediators Other Options For Professionals Apply Renew Events FMQ Join MCFM MCFM Certification Become a Certified Mediator Member List About MCFM Fiske Award Officers Directors Find a Mediator Find A Mediator Search by Zip Code Search by Name County or Specialty Search Certified Mediators Elder Mediation Families often find themselves in conflict over the care of an elderly parent A parent or other elder family member may wish to remain independent despite impairment to the elder s decision making capacity and ability to handle day to day household tasks This can place great strain on the family relationships and elder planning becomes necessary Mediation is often chosen to assist with elder issues because Mediation allows multiple participants possibly including the elderly family member a safe forum to voice their wishes and concerns A mediated resolution may avoid Court involvement unless a guardianship or conservatorship is made part of the plan for specific reasons Family members work together towards a practical solution that will meet the needs of the elderly family member Post mediation relationships between family members may be better sustained than in

    Original URL path: https://mcfm.org/mediation/elder (2016-02-13)
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  • Estate Planning | Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
    Same Sex Couples Marital Mediation What is Family Mediation Benefits of Family Mediation MCFM Certified Mediators Other Options For Professionals Apply Renew Events FMQ Join MCFM MCFM Certification Become a Certified Mediator Member List About MCFM Fiske Award Officers Directors Find a Mediator Find A Mediator Search by Zip Code Search by Name County or Specialty Search Certified Mediators Estate Planning Estate planning mediation is often used by elderly or terminally ill individuals wishing to clarify the underlying needs interests and goals of their estate plans to their relatives Estate planning mediation is also used to work out the complexities of multiple marriages blended families unmarried families and relatives with special needs Mediation is helpful for estate planning purposes because Mediation provides a structured environment with a facilitated discussion for multiple individuals to address difficult issues The individual creating the estate plan can answer questions and challenges in a safe forum All participants have a chance to both contribute to the conversation and hear what others contribute Professionals such as accountants attorneys or financial planners may be invited to a mediation session to disseminate and explain information about complex assets The resulting estate plan is less likely to be challenged

    Original URL path: https://mcfm.org/mediation/estate-planning (2016-02-13)
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  • Probate Mediation | Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation
    MCFM Fiske Award Officers Directors Find a Mediator Find A Mediator Search by Zip Code Search by Name County or Specialty Search Certified Mediators Probate Mediation Sometimes issues arise during the probate of an estate where there is no clear cut legal solution There may be various competing interests including surviving family friends caretakers and possibly educational or charitable organizations Mediation can be an ideal process to resolve probate disputes

    Original URL path: https://mcfm.org/mediation/probate-mediation (2016-02-13)
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