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More on Religion in Divorce

In a follow up to this article, the Sun-Sentinel reports about a woman in Boca Raton, FL who is being denied a “get” (Jewish divorce document) despite having a civil divorce.  The husband, a doctor, has had protesters outside his office for the last few days as a result.

The wife claims that he is withholding the get until all outstanding issues have been resolved.  A get is required for he to remarry.  The husband claims that he has signed the get but just hasn’t dropped it off yet to his attorney.  He is not orthodox, so he has less interest in granting it.

This is why the law in New York and the one proposed in Maryland exists.

Mediation Podcast for Entrepreneurs

Colleague Ellen Malow, a mediator and arbitrator from Georgia, was featured on a podcast on start-up lounge (click on the link to listen).  On the podcast, which you can also listen to via your PC or Mac, Ms. Malow discusses arbitration and mediation in general terms and where it might apply specifically to early-stage entrepreneurs.

These disputes are like any other business or contractual dispute, types of disputes I mediate and arbitrate.

Eldercare Mediation

It is rare to see mediation be mentioned on the evening news, let alone have a feature article. You can watch this CBS Evening News article about eldercare mediation here.

The article talks about a family whose parents can no longer take care of themselves due to Parkinsons and Alzheimers. As people live longer, this situation is becoming all the more common. Their 6 adult children — dispersed all over the courty and world — are facing the issues of taking care of their parents. Do they sell the house? Who will care for their parents? Who will handle the finances?

The contentiousness was poisoning their relationships. They opted for mediation and were successful in resolving most, but not all issues. They saw mediation as a catalyst, which is what mediation really is.

I do handle these types of mediation. If you are interested, feel free to contact me.

Religion in Divorce

Religion will often play a contentious role in divorces. For instance, Catholics do not believe in divorce and remarriage, and orthodox Jewish wives must receive a “get” (Jewish divorce certificate) from their husbands before they can remarry within the faith. The issuance of a get is often used as leverage by a husband in settlements.

A bill has been introduced into the Maryland legislature to require people filing for divorce to grant their ex-spouses permission to remarry. This bill would mandate that divorcing couples file an affidavit stating that they had removed all religious barriers to remarriage within their power. The intent behind the bill is to prevent spouses from using “gets” as leverage.

There are obvious first amendment issues with this law in the area of spearating church and state. For instance, it would create problems for Catholics. New York passed a similar law in the early 1980s which has not been tested in court yet. New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida have entertained similar bills in the past, but none have passed into law.

Horseracing and ADR

I used to own and breed standardbred racehorses. These are the horses who race behind the sulky or cart. Given the wagering aspect of the sport, it is a highly regulated industry. Thus, many elements are mandated by law or regulation.

Standardbred Canada, the governing body for the sport in our neighbors to the north, reports that the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) has agreed to mediation and possibly arbitration to work out a contract with the owners of Georgian Downs, a racetrack located about 50 miles north of Toronto.

A contract between a racetrack and horsemen would typically cover things such as the purse structure, sharing of gaming revenues from slot machines, number of racing days and provisions for horsemen such as stabling or insurance.

“The two sides have agreed on a mediator and talks have been scheduled for February 27 and March 1,” a release from OHHA stated.

“If mediation is not successful OHHA members have overwhelmingly supported going then to arbitration where a final decision would be made.”

College and PA vs. NJ law

The appellate division in NJ recently decided a case dealing with whether a parent must pay college costs for their children when the divorce (and child support orders) were issued in Pennsylvania.  In Marshak v. Weser (A-0586-05T10586-05T1), the couple with 2 children divorced in PA and subsequently moved to New Jersey.  New Jersey has a requirement that children have a right to have their college education paid for by their divorced parents (see Newburgh v. Arrigo).  Pennsylvania does not grant that same right.  The court held that since the original child support orders were issued in PA, under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA), which NJ has adopted, that PA retains jurisdictional control over the children and as such, they have no rights to have their college education paid for by their parents.

The UIFSA was implemented to prevent divorcing parents from shopping around among the states for the best deal.

Onto Hockey

Keeping with the sports theme, a Toronto radio station reports that Tie Domi, one the NHL’s retired tough guys and former New York Ranger, has settled his “acrimonious” divorce with his wife Leanne.  Terms were not announced (as should be the case in a mediated divorce since mediation should be confidential).  There were allegations that he had cheated on his now ex-wife with a Member of Parliament.  This case is evidence that even highly charged, emotional and acrimonious cases involving a party who is known as one of the NHL’s toughest enforcers can be resolved in mediation.

Baseball, Apple Pie and Mediation?

The San Luis Obispo (CA) Tribune reports that mediation is being used to settle a dispute at their baseball stadium over dates between two semi-pro teams wanting to use the stadium.  A new team, the SLO Rattlers wants to use the same field as the established SLO Blues have played for years.  City officials were going to use a lottery system to determine the dates, but mediation has apparently been so successful thus far that they are entering a second round of mediation.

Lotteries are often used to split up assets, but bouncing balls rarely take the parties’ interests into account.  Mediation can do just that.  The lottery will always be available as a failsafe backup.

Primate Mediation

Proving any dispute can be mediated, here’s one from the San Antonio Express-News that describes a dispute over monkeys.

Labor Settlement Reached

Last week, an acrimonious labor action was resolved in mediation.  An SEIU nurses local at two southern Nevada hospitals was locked out in December 2006.  Phil Satre, for CEO and Chairman of Harrah’s Casino, led 60 hours of mediation which resulted in the agreement.