3 Tips for You and Your Business: When Dealing with Divorce, Child Support, & Custody Issues
Have you encountered an employee, customer, client or patient that presents you with a divorce decree or child support and custody order demanding that a parent or former spouse not be given access to certain information, accounts, children’s records, or wages? In Texas, divorce and conservatorship
Tip #1: Diffuse the SituationRemember, conflict resolution isn't just reserved for the courtroom! Conflict resolution happens every day--from who goes first at the self-checkout to negotiating conflicts between clients and employees. Just because the law is involved with divorce and conservatorship doesn't mean that we put away our conflict resolution or mediator hat. In fact, it is even more important that we engage everyone involved with the active listening and mutual understanding these kinds of issues require. Divorce and conservatorship issues can at times be the result of hard-fought or messy legal battles that are really personal in nature. By making sure that your client, customer, or patient is heard, then they will at the very least feel that you appreciate their circumstances while your sort out what your duties and responsibilities are.
Tip #2: Develop Engagement PoliciesDeveloping procedures to engage these issues more comfortably on an internal basis provides an assurance that your operations are in general compliance with state and federal law. Failure to comply with an order or supplying information or services without establishing a baseline for what legal authority you may have can prove to be needlessly damaging to a professional reputation and may result in further court action involving you or your business. Therefore, developing engagement policies that are continuously updated and are part of employee training provide a sense of comfort when trouble scenarios may arise.
Tip #3: Seek Professional GuidanceIf you deal with a high volume of divorce and conservatorship related issues in your business, then you may want to retain legal counsel to assist you with legal opinions on specific occurrences. Also, having legal counsel in your back-pocket ensures that you can negotiate conflicts with the comfort of knowing you have complied with all duties and obligations you may have in a given scenario.
While as a society, we have become more litigious, don't make yourself an unnecessary party to conflicts that you only deal with on the periphery. Ensure that you have done all you can to successfully engage both the people and issues involved.