What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process for divorcing or separating couples to mutually, respectfully and efficiently resolve issues involving parenting and custody, child support and alimony, property distributions and debt allocations in a positive environment. 

The goal of mediation is for couples to reach an agreement cooperatively rather than through litigation and an adversarial process.

Mediation can also be an effective process for former spouses to address issues that arise “post-judgment” or after a divorce decree has entered.

What is the Mediator’s Role?
A mediator is a neutral and impartial third-party, who acts as an intermediary or facilitator for mediating couples.  The mediator helps couples to recognize issues; to discuss their conflicts with each; to understand each other’s side of the conflict or point of view, and to encourage joint problem solving.  Through negotiation, a mediator will guide and assist the parties toward a settlement of their differences.  Part of the role as a mediator is to provide information and suggest options to consider.  A mediator can help you explore creative solutions. 

When appropriate, the mediator will recommend that the parties should seek the advice of other professionals, such as accountants, appraisers and actuaries.  The parties to a mediation are also encouraged to seek the advice of a “consulting attorney” during the process, as a mediator does not provide legal advice.  When all issues have been recognized and resolved, the mediator, if he or she is a licensed attorney, can draft your “Separation Agreement,” for later presentation to the Court. 

What are the Benefits of Mediation?
Mediation allows couples to maintain control over the outcomes of their divorce or legal separation, as the resolutions reached in mediation are created and accepted by both parties. Research shows that settlements created with the full participation of the parties, in face to face negotiations, are more likely to satisfy the needs of both parties and be honored in the future.

The mediation process is private and confidential.  In Connecticut, communications made in mediation are protected by state law.  Mediation sessions are scheduled in the privacy of the mediator’s office at times and dates that are convenient to the parties.

Mediation fosters a quicker resolution of the issues between couples, reducing the hostility and trauma to the parties and their children. 

Through mediation, many couples learn new listening and communication skills that are useful in the future. 

As mediation is a cooperative process, it is more cost-effective than a contested divorce action tried before a Judge.  Mediation fees are paid at the end of each session as you go along, so there are no surprise fees.

Is Mediation Right for You?
If you are contemplating the end of your marriage or have already filed for a divorce or legal separation and believe that a non-adversarial approach is the option best suited for your family, please call me to schedule a mediation session.  An initial two-hour session will be scheduled so that you and your spouse can explore the positive outcomes that can be achieved through mediation.  I think you will be glad that you did.

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