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What Is Divorce Mediation?


Divorce mediation is a voluntary, confidential and cooperative problem-solving process in which you and your spouse meet with an impartial divorce mediator who helps both of you to communicate effectively with each other so that you can: (1) identify your concerns; (2) maximize your shared interests; (3) clarify your goals; (4) explore settlement options;  and (5) develop a written divorce agreement.

Divorce mediation focuses on the present and the future, on the positive rather than the negative, so that you and your spouse can concentrate on the things that you can change, rather than dwelling on the problems of the past and allowing them to control your lives. This is not to say that divorce mediation is always a pleasant and easy process. However, for those times when emotional issues become overwhelming, divorce mediation provides a safe environment where, because I am a marriage and family therapist, I can help both of you to openly express your needs, interests and feelings. If they are ignored, these underlying needs, interests and feelings lead to frustration, miscommunication and anger, which frequently prevent couples from reaching an acceptable divorce agreement.

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.

In divorce mediation, the ultimate determination of what is appropriate or inappropriate, acceptable or unacceptable is decided by you and your spouse, not by the divorce mediator. While the divorce mediator helps to guide the process, you and your spouse are responsible for making all major decisions. Divorce mediation thus empowers each of you to take control of your divorce, your future, and the future of your family.

I call myself a “family” mediator because mediation is not limited to divorces. Mediation is a very effective way to resolve family issues that arise after a divorce is final (such as changes in parenting plans), and challenges facing stepfamilies. Mediation can also be used to resolve specific issues for couples who have otherwise chosen the litigation alternative to obtain a divorce.




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