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News Last Updated: Jul 8, 2020 - 7:34:55 AM

Relationship Matter: How did the pandemic treat your Family? ADR may be your answer to personal crisis
By Azaleta Ishmael-Newry
Jul 7, 2020 - 1:50:01 PM

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Caryl Lashley, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators is a shown presenting training material at a seminar in Freeport, Grand Bahama. She believes that “Relationships Matter” and through ADR Bahamas, strives to assist families and businesses who may have been impacted during the pandemic with mediation or arbitration services. Photo by Shan Elliott.

Nassau, Bahamas  -- Now that the stay at home orders have lifted and we can move around more freely, it does not erase that fact that it was a long and grueling 3 plus months for many families. The pandemic caused an increase in domestic violence, a lack of coping for many, and surmountable damage to relationships. With unemployment rising to as high as 50% in a small island nation like ours, it is presenting worrisome situations.

Being confined against one’s will and the struggles of finances increased the breaking point of some marriages. In an April 2020 ABC news feature, it was reported that US lawyers are expecting a rise in divorce cases when confinement ends. This trend may follow suit in The Bahamas and the Court system is not an ideal place to be.

Covid-19 arrived and disrupted our lives. If family disputes escalated or separation or divorce are on the horizon, looking to an experienced mediator could help to avoid definitive endings. It is a first step to avoiding the Court.

Caryl Lashley of ADR Bahamas is a trained mediator and arbitrator who believes that relationships matter. She works to preserve them. When resolution does not work, she and her team are there to help the parties move towards dissolution in the best manner possible.

Having recently completed training to facilitate online meetings, Lashley said that her clients are more comfortable with the new set up for mediation and dispute resolution. “They like the new way of mediating. It has allowed people to have dialogue in a meaningful way for today’s circumstances. Meeting online also provides a neutral environment when tensions are high. Especially if 2 parties do not wish to be in the same room,” she said.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Bahamas encourages families to try alternative methods to help get through tough times. They are a neutral third party that listens to concerns and aims to help resolve conflict, outside of the Court. These professionals are knowledgeable in conflict resolution.

Lashley, who is a lawyer, has worked with a variety of clients for decades in mediation, arbitration and educational training.  “Covid-19 complicated our lives and stretched our limits in abnormal ways,” she explains. “In times of stress, sometimes words are misinterpreted, or given a different significance than originally intended.” Pre-existing problems that were prevalent in a relationship or the home are most likely amplified. “Like many cultures, we are not used to being with each other for lengthy periods and we generally are not the best communicators,” she said. Her wish is for people to operate in harmony and focus on the future.
The CDC (Centers For Controlled Diseases And Prevention) feels that “pandemics can be stressful for people, creating fear and anxiety and cause strong emotions in adults and children.” Covid-19 placed challenges on mental health and strained relationships with a spouse, partner or children. Often, the views of children were not valued as they should have been, and their anxiety and stressors increased. Depression can be commonplace in both adults and children. It is not normal to be isolated due to social distancing and being apart from friends or family and not having a routine. With school closing for the summer and a precarious economy, there are more challenging times ahead.

As the pandemic continues ADR Bahamas has professionals who have experience to mediate in most social and economic arenas. Let them facilitate a conversation to resolve issues surrounding family, work-related conflict or finances – all elevated by the “new normal.” You may book an online meeting by calling ADR Bahamas at (242)394-7800 or send a message to admin@adrbahamas.org.

Caryl Lashley is a Barrister of more than 40 years’ standing with experience in Litigation, Family, Corporate and Trust matters.  A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, she is proficient both as an Arbitrator and a Mediator. She is a trusted mentor who can help facilitate a resolution to avoid the Court. Lashley is determined to encourage, educate and strive for peaceful and amicable resolutions to conflict. In 2016, she founded ADR Bahamas, to provide education and stimulation for non-violent communication and conduct, as well as provide neutrals to facilitate conflict resolution. You can reach her at caelashley@adrbahamas.org


    www. cdc.gov. CDC Centers for Controlled Diseases

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