I have volunteered to work as a mediator for the Red Cross Disaster Relief program. You can find out more about the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Red Cross at http://www.redcrossarizona.org/site/PageServer. I agree with the Red Cross’ Fundamental Principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence Services, Unity, and Universality and its Core Values of Accountability, Collaboration, Commitment, Results, Trustworthiness, and Humanitarianism. Becoming a volunteer requires a great deal of training. I have taken courses entitled Fundamentals of Staff Services, Fulfilling Our Mission: Translating Your Compassion into Community Action, Mass Care Overview, Introduction to Disaster Services, New Paid & Vol. Staff Orientation, Client Casework: Providing Emergency Assistance and will be taking Collaborating to Ensure Effective Service Delivery. What has been interesting is how many of the skills taught by the Red Cross are similar to those used by mediators. In fact the skills are common sense and social skills we should all use. Some of the skills include: welcome the person warmly, treat the person with courtesy; active listening which enables you to express in your own words what the client is saying; avoiding the listening challenges of not paying attention, interrupting, hearing what is expected; practicing good listening skills such as focusing on the person, paying attention to non-verbal language, asking questions that clarify what the person is saying; and finally empathy. Volunteering for the Red Cross is a rewarding experience and I highly recommend it. WM 2/4/08
It was probably no surprise that I wanted to do my own television show. I can’t remember my family not having a television set but I remember us purchasing our first set. I watched Hopalong Cassidy and matured to watching Have Gun Will Travel. For reasons I don’t remember, I started calling myself Lucky. I even was in the Peanut Gallery of the Howdy Doody Show. So it came as now surprise when I read about Access Tucson http://www.accesstucson.org/ and how you could do your own public access television show that I decided to do a television program. I also was interest in how the media could change the culture of divorce and I liked playing with electronic equipment. Doing a television show seemed to include many of my interests. Thus was born Divorce TV, a program dedicated to providing you information about divorce so you can make knowledgeable decisions about divorce. We are starting to tape the show in April and hope it will air in May. If you want more information about the show, you can go to its website at http://divorcetvaz.googlepages.com/ or its blog at http://divorcetvaz.blogspot.com/
If you get Cox or Comcast cable you can view the show on the pubic access channels. If you don’t get cable you can view the show on your computer at http://www.accesstucson.org/ They may also have it On Demand. If you want more information about the show or want me to email you when and where the show is on, you can email me at DivorceTVAZ@gmail.com As always, we welcome your comments. In particular, we are interested in what you would like to see on Divorce TV and questions you would like us to answer on the air. You can always post a comment on this blog by clicking on comments at the end of the posted blog and follow the instructions in the window that opens up. We look forward to hearing from you. WM 2/3/08
One of the interesting features of our blog is the ability to do polling. For fun and since it is the presidential season, I have asked in our poll which of the current presidential candidates you would like as your divorce attorney or mediator. Try the poll at the bottom right. Let us know if you have any questions you would like us to poll. WM 1/31/08
The nature of a divorce s is determined first by the process a person chooses. Is it an adversary divorce, a collaborative divorce or a mediated divorce? The nature of a divorce is next determined by the divorce professional the person chooses. One of the first questions I ask a client is who is representing his or her spouse. It tells me a lot about how the case is going to proceed. Is the person a “shark” who says your spouse is the enemy? Is the person a reasonable person who wants the person to be able to have a better life? Is the person interested in the biggest possible fee or helping the person get thru the divorce with the least possible pain? Is the person interested in how the divorce affects children? But how does a person tell the type of divorce professional the person is choosing. People usually ask friends for a referral. This does not always work because people have different needs and perceptions. I have always wondered if you can tell a book by its cover, can you tell a divorce professional by the car he or she drives? My simple observation is more adversarial divorce professionals drive a BMW or a Mercedes and more reasonable divorce professionals drive a Volvo or Saab. There are many more cars. What is your experience? What do you think? Let us know by posting a comment by clicking on comments at the end of this blog. WM 1/31/08
The Arizona Daily Star reported a case today that “parents who pay (child) support have to keep paying until their kids finish high school, even if they’ve turned 18 and even if it takes them longer than four years to get a diploma.: You can read the article at http://www.azstarnet.com/allheadlines/222841.php
The law did require through high school but no later than age 19. The parent did not feel this was correct when it took the child five instead of four years to complete high school. Post your comments by clicking on comments at the end of this post and let us know how you feel about this decision. WM 1/30/08
Although our name is Center for Divorce Mediation, we do other types of mediation. These include marital, elder, civil rights to name a few. An area of mediation which does not get a lot of publicity is immigration mediation. The Arizona Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution, http://www.mediate.com/acrarizona, and the University of Arizona School of Law are sponsoring a program on February 9, 2008 on this topic. If you want more information, the following is a copy of the flyer. WM 1/29/08
ARIZONA ASSOCIATION FOR CONFLICT RESOLUTION
University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
MEDIATION MEETS IMMIGRATION:
Recourse to Employment, Education, Health Care, Housing, and Consumer Discrimination
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED!!!!!
DAY: Saturday DATE: February 9, 2008
TIME: 10AM – 1:30PM
PLACE: UA, Rogers College of Law, 1201 East Speedway @ Mountain, Tucson, Arizona Room 146
VISITOR PARKING: Garage is on Park, north of Speedway
LUNCH: Compliments of AACR (Please RSVP to email@example.com)
CLE credit (3 hours/ including .5 hour Ethics)
KAT RODRIGUEZ, Coordinator of Coalicion de Derechos Humanos, Tucson, AZ.
TOPIC: Residents of Tucson who file grievances over abuses find assistance in
achieving resolutions, via mediations and negotiated interventions.
JENNIFER ALLEN, Founding Member & Executive Director of Border Action Network, Tucson.
TOPIC: Current policies impacting immigrants and border communities in Arizona are under
attack as unfair, inhuman, and unworkable policies.
JUDITH GANS, Coordinator for the Udall Center for Public Policy, Tucson.
TOPIC: The role of immigrants within Arizona and U.S. A.;
& The difficulties associated with immigration reform.
SUSAN BULFINCH, Board Member & President-elect of AACR, Phoenix.
TOPIC: Are there any ethical or legal considerations for mediators where one party is an
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION,
Roger Hartstone, AACR