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Helping Michigan Farmers Settle Divorce and Domestic Disputes Through Mediation

Being a farmer can be stressful enough. But, having to work on your farm while going through a divorce or a domestic dispute can be an extremely stressful and emotional experience. But there’s an option to help you to try to make the process much less difficult and less expensive.

“Divorce is a very common mediation, and we encourage it because it’s much less adversarial and much less stressful,” says Dr. Jane Millar, Executive Director of Northern Community Mediation based in Petoskey. It is also part of the Michigan Community Mediation Association.

She says mediation is a much more streamlined process than going through the court system.

“One of the things in mediation that—prior to coming to the table—the case managers will talk with all of the parties involved to find out their side of the story and what they see as the issues and the conflict, so that when the mediators come to the table, they have some idea of what the case is about,” says Millar.

Those issues may include disputes over the equity in your home and farming operation, as well as custody rights with your children.

“All parties can at least get on with life, but it is important because we’re not talking about the past,” says Millar. “We want to talk about what’s going to happen going forward for the health and well-being of everyone involved. This is particularly true when it comes to the health and well-being of the children and that their parents are not as adversarial towards one another or spiteful. This is critical for the health of the children.”

Millar recommends mediation for Michigan farmers facing a difficult separation.

“So often, when they have the dialogue between one another, they feel more empowered, and they feel that they worked this out together. This is a win-win,” says Millar.

Click here for more information about Northern Community Mediation.

To find a mediation center near you, visit MichiganMediates.org.

Click below to hear C.J. Miller’s news report for Michigan Ag Today.