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The Promise of Mediation

Mediation of a divorce or other dispute can achieve results that seemed impossible to the disputing parties. Great mediators, being impartial, bring open minds, experience and patience to the quarrels large and small. This story, taken from William Ury, an author of "Getting to Yes" wonderfully demonstrates the promise of mediation:

"Well, the subject of difficult negotiation reminds me of one of my favorite stories from the Middle East, of a man who left to his three sons 17 camels. To the first son, he left half the camels.

To the second son, he left a third of the camels, and to the youngest son, he left a ninth of the camels.

Well three sons got into a negotiation. Seventeen doesn't divide by two. It doesn't divide by three. It doesn't divide by nine. Brotherly tempers started to get strained.

Finally, in desperation, they went and they consulted a wise old woman.

The wise old woman thought about their problem for a long time, and finally she came back and said, "Well, I don't know if I can help you, but at least, if you want, you can have my camel."

So then they had 18 camels. The first son took his half -- half of 18 is nine. The second son took his third -- a third of 18 is six. The youngest son took his ninth -- a ninth of 18 is two. You get 17.

They had one camel left over. They gave it back to the wise old woman."

Today, everyone wants a quick answer to problems. In divorces, people expect "the law" to provide the answers to their dilemma. But divorce law only provides a framework to create a workable answer to parenting plans or a division of assets and debts.  Like the old woman above, mediators along with the parties may take time to generate options to solve disputes. The three sons could not see the answer to their problems and arguing in louder terms would not lead to the clever answer brought forth by the old woman.

Let us help you with your disputes. Whether the dispute concerns elder care, parenting plans, financial divorce issues or family arguments, let Steve Hirsch bring his experience of mediating hundreds of disputes during more than 17 years to your problems.

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Law Office of Steven J. Hirsch, Esq

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