Couples who are separating and divorcing who are interested in a non-adversarial process that allows them greater control often select the mediation process. Mediation is client-centered and allows couples to make their own decisions about parenting and finances with the assistance of a trained mediator. As attorney mediators, our role is to provide information about divorce, structure, and framework in moving through the process, and assist in the decision making process. We use an interest-based negotiation process that helps you make decisions grounded in your core values, without escalation of conflict. We work hard to help you make mutually acceptable decisions and move forward with your lives.
Mediation is based upon:
• Facilitating effective conversations about decisions that need to be made. We understand that some conversations are more difficult than others. Our job is to help you make decisions without increasing conflict.
• Both parties are empowered. Couples decide for themselves what their process and outcomes should be.
• Areas of conflict are identified and clarified. Sometimes clarification can be helpful in moving forward. This can also lead to more effective communication between couples, which is especially important when children are involved.
Working with attorney mediators tends to cost less, and take less time. There are no retainers in advance. You only pay for the services you use.
Couples who wish to avoid an adversarial process, and who still want the support and advocacy of having their own attorneys, often select Collaborative Law. Collaborative professionals understand that even if a couple is going through a divorce, there are still parenting and other relationships that are important. Collaborative divorce focuses on the restructuring and reorganization of the family, without causing unnecessary conflict or harmful escalation.
Collaborative negotiations are about problem-solving and are not driven by fear, positioning or strategic posturing. The goal of collaborative divorce is reaching an outcome that addresses the needs and concerns of all family members—as much as possible. Resources are almost always limited. Time with our kids is just never enough. But making all attempts to jointly address all family members’ needs and concerns is the surest path to reaching that goal—as much as possible.
In collaborative practice, couples are active participants in every aspect of the settlement process. Collaborative divorce is a client-centered process, not a lawyer-centered process or a court-centered process.
Collaborative Law involves other professional specialists to help clients reach the best possible outcome. Lawyers help with the law. Mental health professionals serve not as therapists, but as divorce coaches (a.k.a. facilitators) helping to clear the emotional obstacles that all too often get in the way of a successful negotiation. Mental health professionals serve as child specialists and can also be available to bring the children’s voices in the room. Financial professionals can focus on efficiently gathering and analyzing the financial data so that the clients and their lawyers can more clearly understand the facts, figures and financial options (with tax optimization, of course). Instead of just one professional helping a divorcing couple get a deal, the synergy of these various professionals, working together as a team, based on the particular needs of the family, enables families to reach the best possible outcomes, in a process that is designed to help, not harm.