Mediation in Guardianships

Tue, Jul 19, 2011

Guardianship

Mediation has many benefits in guardianship cases of all types. The Sarasota law office of Christopher Smith has seen many cases where mediation greatly relieves tensions when a guardianship case has become difficult due to disagreeing parties. It is usually quite helpful in contested guardianship cases or in cases where a guardianship has run into trouble. Many times, involved parties may disagree on the following:

  • Whether a guardianship is needed at all
  • Whether a guardian is needed for all aspects of someone’s life
  • Whether or not a guardian is acting appropriately
  • The duration of a guardianship
  • Who should be the guardian

Mediators can help assuage these situations and provide structure to disputes.

Mediators are neutral parties. This is a tremendous advantage in cases where people cannot agree about a guardianship decision. It is a relief to enter a room where a neutral party can hear both sides of a story and help the parties decide issues that are too emotionally charged for the parties involved to agree upon by themselves. As trained professionals, mediators are capable of dissecting problems down to the actual parts that are in dispute by removing some of the cloud of emotional stress. This focus allows involved parties to see what is the true root of the disagreement.

Mediators are excellent at allowing the various parties to discuss their concerns and problems, with everyone getting a chance to speak (sometimes even alone with the mediator). Many people just want someone to listen to their grievance, and a little bit of understanding goes a long way in issues of this type.

Attorneys are often grateful for the progress made in mediation, especially when it allows them to focus their clients on the specific issues rather than hurt feelings or other problems that may plague the situation. This can be a boon to costs as well, as there is less time spent with attorneys. The billing of an attorney typically costs more than a mediator, so airing grievances in mediation can save money in the long run.

The person needing guardianship is the most important party in these types of proceedings and a mediator can be a key player in helping them. Mediation can help clarify the issues at hand and bring to light the most important aspects of a guardianship case.

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