family conflicts

7 Legal Actions to Resolve Family Conflicts Even Before They Emerge

Family conflicts are almost inevitable. Somewhere along the line, families have their issues including sibling disputes over inheritance and many other scenarios that can lead to disagreements. In this guide we’re looking at how to resolve family conflict and even avoid issues such as family will disputes altogether, setting up a fair playing field before the disputes can crop up and ensuring that everyone knows where they stand.

Ensure Everyone Makes a Will

Inheritance disputes between siblings can be incredibly common, and they are only made worse if there is no will to explain what the deceased wishes to happen to all of their estate and belongings should they pass away. This can avoid family disputes over wills as it is clearly outlined who is to receive what. The probate laws in California and elsewhere in the USA are designed to protect belongings and ensure that they are divided fairly, but it is not always that simple and there can still be a long process to resolving and settling family disputes over inheritance, ultimately leading to everything taking a lot longer. By ensuring that everyone makes a will, you can at least go some way to avoiding the arguments and disputes that can occur. The executor can help to ensure that everyone gets what is intended for them.

Use Mediation for Inheritance Disputes

Not all families have a happy and settled relationship that might be sold to us on television. Estate and inheritance disputes between siblings may not be resolved easily and in this case you might need mediation. Mediation services are a form of conflict resolution with family wills and many other aspects of family life. The goal is to make sure everyone gets what they are entitled to and create a fair outcome for everyone. Without a professional mediating then the family disputes can become very nasty. A mediator might end up using some relatively simple techniques, but the point is to resolve any conflict and make sure everyone is happy with the outcome (or at least satisfied with the outcome). It could be that you even end up drawing items or belongings out of a hat. This is not an uncommon way to resolve a conflict like this. Ultimately, if things have become a source of argument and conflict within the family then mediation services could be essential.

Dispute Resolution for Divorces

Divorces are not an uncommon scenario for people to have to go through, so how can dispute resolution make it easier for people who are looking to divide up property after a divorce, for instance? If you don’t figure out how to resolve family conflict, it may end up going to court and this can lead to an extremely long and drawn out battle over who gets what, and other issues including custody.  Dispute resolution can be much more affordable than the drawn out process of going to court. If you can reach an agreement via a dispute resolution then you are more likely to have a quick and flexible solution to the problems that come about from divorces. Even if you are on very good terms with your partner when you divorce, it is a good idea to contact a probate attorney nearby to help you to establish who is going to get what in terms of possessions, and if there are children involved, you can settle other aspects of your life moving forwards with the help of divorce attorney. These sorts of conflict resolution for families may seem extreme but they can actually prevent a lot of drama and expense.

Staging Interventions

One big issue that families can come across is when one member of the family is using drugs or has become addicted to alcohol, gambling or other harmful habits. An intervention may not be a legal issue as such, but a lot of the time, people get an intervention specialist, or a legal professional specializing in conflict resolution to be involved. Nobody really knows how someone is going to react when they have a group of loved ones staging an intervention and they can sometimes feel accused or targeted, so it is a good idea to include the help of medical professionals to resolve the conflict with minimal issues.

Use a Mediator

There are so many different things that can crop up in day-to-day life that mean you have a family conflict. Perhaps somebody has borrowed money and won’t pay it back. Perhaps there is a family-run business and this has led to a financial disagreement. Because conflict resolution for families can involve so many different disagreements, using the professional help of a mediator might be wise. Mediators know how to deal with a huge variety of different problems ranging from estate disputes between siblings to financial issues. Knowing how to resolve family conflict is their whole business. A mediator is not just about getting you to communicate with your family member, it can also be a way to avoid court proceedings being required in the future. If you don’t solve your conflict early on then eventually someone in your family might look to take things into a formal court environment. This can be costly, time-consuming, and it can damage family relationships. Mediators are recommended in so many situations. They can give a fair and impartial outlook on a situation and help you to come up with a fair solution. Because they are trained in family conflicts and mediating to keep everyone happy, it is also unlikely that the results should be questioned by any of the parties. It can be a way to get any disputes and other issues dealt with in a matter of days and weeks, rather than months or years.

Court of Law – The Last Resort

If other forms of mediation to resolve family conflicts have not worked then you may end up going to court. In these scenarios you will have a judge or even a jury deciding upon the outcome of the case. Depending upon which state you are in, it could be a small claims court that deals with your issue. This is the case in California.  Small Claims Court proceedings are rarely quick and easy, they can be drawn out and more expensive than they are worth. If you possibly can, it is probably a good idea to stay out of court. However, if there are some huge property disputes between siblings and a lot of money is at stake then you may end up having to go to court.  Probate courts are often required in the event of splitting up an estate after someone has died. The court might not be avoidable. Make sure you have as much evidence put forward as possible to support your case.

Should I Try to Resolve Conflict Myself?

You don’t necessarily have to dive straight into legal services. If you are on good terms, you may at least be able to negotiate some aspects of an inheritance or divorce on your own, rather than having to get mediation involved. The issues usually arise when there is a disagreement, and nobody can solve this. Families can be torn apart, but you should remember to be hard on the issue at hand, rather than hard on each other, and try to keep your family relationships strong.


Keeping your family relationships as strong as possible may involve a little bit of preparation. Creating a will, for instance, can be a great way to avoid family conflicts over property and inheritance after someone passes away. The legal system is there to support us all, and this means amidst family disagreements, too. Just try to avoid having to go to court, and bringing undue pressure on your own life.