Mediation is a process where a neutral third party guides people to make decisions and come to agreements.
It is often used in divorce but can be used in many types of dispute – land/real estate issues, water rights, family trust issues, landlord/tenet issues, etc. When people or parties cannot agree on the details of the situation, a mediator is always a great next step before going to Court.
Mediators often write up a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that is considered by the Court and accepted into your file as part of your dissolution case. Anything can be amended and often that happens – children grow up so parenting plans usually change. Incomes or overnights change so child support or expenses need to be modified. People can relocate. As changes occur, an update to the MoU is a good way to work it out together without having to appear in Court.
Oftentimes when people decide to get divorced, the issue of hiring an attorney becomes top of mind. Sometimes mediation is mentioned as an option but not always. The beauty of mediation is that it is a confidential process – the Court simply knows if a mediation occurred and if agreements are made, the details are given to the Court. This allows parties to mediate confidentially and be able to speak freely.
I have been mediating for close to two decades and I am a bit unusual in my mediations because I focus on family law cases AND I do not allow attorneys to attend. I expect parties to meet together (there may be exceptions to this rule and those are always discussed in advance).
Why is this? ….
When the dust settles, neither the Judge, your attorneys or I will go home with you to ‘figure it out’ so having a venue to do this can set you up for success. What I truly believe after my 30+ years working as a family therapist, counseling children, teaching parenting classes, coaching and mediating is that this conflict belongs to the parents and THEY must figure it out. There is great power in working directly with the parents to reach durable agreements. Parents and parties also still have power to make decisions that will work for them instead of depending on the Court to tell you how to live your life. Oh, YUCK who wants THAT?
My focus is always on your children (if you are a parent) so all discussions and decisions will stay focused on how to keep your children healthy, safe, and at peace through this process. Court is very stressful. Figuring out how to move ahead in healthy ways does NOT need to be stressful.
Let me guide you to some durable and peaceful agreements!
Join me for mediation. I can help you move the needle and figure out ways to move forward so that you can live with the decisions AND walk into Court with an agreement that YOU already created so there are no surprises.