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Divorce Services - Mediation

Mediation is a process where the divorce negotiations are facilitated by a neutral professional, or mediator, who assists a couple in resolving the issues in their divorce.  There are different approaches that may be used by the mediator in conducting the mediated negotiations.


Interest-Based Mediation


This approach involves the mediator working with the couple to understand and negotiate settlement based on their respective goals and interests.  Typically, a couple works only with a mediator and consult with lawyers if there is a need to understand legal issues or if they feel they require legal support.  It is important to understand that with this type of mediation, the mediator is not able to provide legal advice and does not represent either party.



Evaluative Mediation


This approach involves the mediator working with a couple and their lawyers in a litigated divorce process.  A mediator is sometimes asked to conduct a mediation conference or series of conferences to assist in settling an impasse in negotiating settlement. A neutral mediator provides a facilitated negotiation based on the mediator's experience in how a judge may rule on the issues to be decided.



Working With Couples in a Mediation Process


Many times, a divorce financial specialist will co-mediate with mental health professionals or lawyer/mediators.  A financial neutral, is able to provide couples with education around their financial situation, develop creative options in resolving financial issues and help clients make informed financial decisions for their divorce.  A divorce financial specialist can also assist clients in understanding how taxes impact their choices, as well as understand their cash flow post-divorce.  Many times, other financial goals are explored as part of the process, such as college or retirement saving.  The benfits of working with a divorce financial specialist as a co-mediator is that the financial specialist can focus on the specifics around finances while the other co-mediator can focus on how a couple's interests are heard and considered as part of the negotiation discussions.

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