Family businesses are unique and complex entities. At their best, they embrace the intimacy and warmth of the family unit — a business grounded in caring and concern. At their worst, they are beset by jealousies and tensions that threaten to destroy personal and financial ties.
When family relationships break down and the family business is no longer able to function smoothly, the losses are magnified. The struggle to balance personal and commercial needs presents a challenging, even daunting task.
The solution is to find a method of addressing personal needs and concerns without losing focus on the objectives of the business.
A trained mediator offers a safe and neutral environment where family members are encouraged to explore their differences and work toward a collaborative solution — whether the objective is to grow the business or dissolve it.
Mediation may deal with:
As we age, new challenges emerge. Aging parents may depend on the assistance of their children, even as they continue to require the respect and dignity owed to them as parents. In addition, children are faced with decisions regarding their parent’s care and competence.
“I have lived in this house for 30 years. It’s my home and I will stay here until they carry me out!”
“My mother doesn’t drive and now that my father is gone, she needs help. In between driving my kids everywhere, I have to fit in doctors and groceries for my mother. I should just put TAXI on top of my car! Why doesn’t she ever ask my brother to help?”
“Dad is planning to marry this woman who has been “helping him” since Mom died. If he marries her, I will never speak to him again or let him see his grandchildren.”
“My mother-in-law’s house needs work badly. She is afraid to waste money on repair and upkeep. My husband is over there all the time.”
Mediation can assist siblings and aging parents to communicate more openly and directly as they develop a plan and strategy for their particular situation. As an agreement begins to emerge, communication skills are improved and the groundwork is laid for resolving future dilemmas in a cooperative manner. In a neutral and private setting, mediation provides a forum for addressing the subtle and personal issues that often block problem solving. The family is able to resolve their disagreements while preserving their dignity and future family dynamic.
At Divorce & Family Mediation Center, a trained, neutral mediator will assist parents and adult children to work through issues such as: