What is more complicated than the law? Answer: family. I recently got a call from a woman living with her aunt, who had given her a room for the past five years. The reason for the call was that she had received from her aunt a written demand that she leave or start paying rent. My enraged caller demanded to know whether this notice complied with landlord-tenant law and whether she had recourse against her aunt for failure to recognize her rights as a tenant. This caused me to wonder how many “legal matters” could be better resolved with good counseling. A high percentage I suspect.
Contracts sometimes have mediation clauses in them. This does not often lead to resolution of a heated dispute because neither side is bound by an outcome and it is easy to dispense with a mediator’s recommendations as being biased or ignorant. I suppose a mandatory counseling clause would suffer the same fate.