b'Can Parents HandleTo Buy or Rent in an The Truth? A Primer OnInflationary Market? Child-Inclusive Mediation That Is the QuestionDebra M. Bulluck Aaron D. Quinby612-877-5348|Debra.Bulluck@lawmoss.com The Mediation Process 612-877-5395|Aaron.Quinby@lawmoss.comLawMoss.com/people-debra-m-bulluck At mediation, the child consultant voices each childs experienceLawMoss.com/people-aaron-d-quinbyDebra is a member of Moss & Barnetts Family Law team. She helpsto the parents and mediator. In most cases, children do notAaron practices in the areas of Real Estate Finance, Real Estate, clients develop creative and effective solutions to complex familyparticipate in mediation. The parents are then given time to digestand Business Law. He has experience with general real estate and law issues. commercial real estate finance transactions. the information from the child consultant before mediating issues. A common misconception in family law cases is that children are equipped to make custody and parenting time decisions.Parents who expected different feedback must be prepared toFor many, the decision to buy or rent can be challenging in All too often parents and their lawyers involve children inacknowledge a difficult truththat their positions in mediationordinary times, let alone in the current inflationary market. litigation, claiming the childs voice must be heard. Whetheror litigation may not align with the childrens perspectives. It is upPotential buyers are now faced with rising real estate prices, it is asking children to testify in court or filing unsolicitedto the parents to prioritize the childrens needs and find solutionsinterest rate hikes, and increased costs of lending. These economic letters from the child, these attempts often backfire andin their best interests.factors complicate the age-old buy versus rent analysis. ultimately are a disservice to the child. If parents truly desire to have the childs voice inform the process, an effective tool isAssessing Family Readiness Recent Trendschild-inclusive mediation (CIM).Parents should consider the following factors before utilizing CIM: As of December 2022, existing home sales dropped for the ninth straight month. For the year 2023, Fannie Mae predicts newexceeds a reasonable budget. Some experts recommend that What is Child Inclusive Mediation?The Why. CIM is not a process for parents with self-servinghome sales to fall 5.4 percent and existing home sales to fallmortgage expenses not exceed 25 percent of a households net CIM is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where theor vindicative motivations. Instead, CIM is for parents who want19.2 percent.monthly income.childs experience takes center stage. CIM requires the help of twohonest feedback about their childrens experiences and professionalsa mediator and a child consultantwho workhave the ability to use that information in a productive,In the commercial market, transaction volume in the third quarter Short-term versus long-term benefits. Renting can provide in tandem.solution-focused manner. of 2022 was down 21 percent as compared to the same perioda perfect short-term, flexible solution for someone starting aAge of child. There is no bright-line rule on how old is oldfor 2021. However, according to a recent JP Morgan survey,new business, or experiencing a temporary job relocation, who For parents considering CIM, a word of caution. Parents must beenough for a child to participate in CIM. Pairing a child with theapproximately 65 percent of real estate lenders are optimisticdoes not want all of the responsibility and maintenance prepared to hear the truth about their childs experience, whichright child consultant (e.g., a play therapist for a younger child)about the real estate industrys performance in 2023. associated with owning a property. However, buying is generally may be uncomfortable and differ from their own.is equally important when assessing a childs age and readinessthe better long-term investment given the autonomy and tax Keeping Perspective advantages associated with property ownership and the Mediator-Extraordinaire for CIM.potential to increase wealth if the property appreciates in value. Although the U.S. has seen record inflation and interest rate CIM mediators are highly trained and familiar with family Costs. Many CIM providers charge flat fees, hourly rates, orhikes, historical perspective is important. As of February 2023, Rent increases versus mortgage rate hikes. While mortgage law processes. It is the mediators role to receive preliminaryboth. Unlike traditional mediation with one mediator, parentsthe average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was hovering aroundrates have increased, buyers can decide to refinance for a lower information about the family, synthesize the issues to center theare paying for two professionals. 6 percent. Comparatively, between 1971 and January 2023,monthly payment if rates decrease in the future. Renters do not childs experience, guide the discussion, and empower parents to Other factors. Some cases may not be a good fit for CIM,30-year fixed rate mortgages have averaged 7.75 percent. Thus,have the same option. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of reach agreements.including cases where a child is resisting or refusing to see onewhile current mortgage rates are above what has come to beLabor Statistics, rental prices sharply increased by 8.3 percent "The Child Whisperer" parent and cases with a history of family violence, unless certainexpected over the past decade, the U.S. is still notably belowin 2022.safety precautions are taken.historical averages. Child consultants are typically experienced child therapists orConclusionhave similar credentials to effectively interview children. They useConclusion Renting Versus Buying Renting has its benefits in some circumstances, but buying real age-appropriate communication tools to elicit candid responsesFor parents who believe ignorance is bliss, CIM may not be Personal finances. Deciding to rent or buy largely depends onestate is generally the better commitment, even in an inflationary from children on various topics, including stressors in their life andthe best option. CIM is not about reinforcing parents firmly heldan individuals specific financial situation. It might make sensemarket. Purchasing typically provides greater stability and more how they perceive their parents relationship and conflict. Thebeliefs about their children. Instead, CIM is an opportunity to giveto wait on purchasing a home if there is insufficient moneypredicable expenses. As author Mark Twain famously said, buy child consultant meets with each child separately from the parentschildren a voice in a safe, therapeutic environment and empowersaved for a down payment or the estimated mortgage paymentland, theyre not making it anymore.2 and mediator.parents to create child-centered solutions. 3'