What happens when I contact you?

You are welcome to contact me either via email or a phone call. You can find the contact form to the left here.

After you contact me, we will talk on the phone where you can tell me about your situation. Together we will try to determine two things:

  1. Is mediation the right choice for you to resolve your conflict
  2. Am I the right person for you.

If we decide that we want to move forward, we will determine who will contact the other party. You can do that or I can do it. It all depends on your situation.

You or I will invite the other party to come to mediation. I will have information to share that can explain the process.

If the other party agrees, we will schedule a time to come together.

The Mediation Process

We will meet in a session for three hours. That sounds like a lot, but it’s really important that we give you some space to fully explain your position, to hear the other’s position and to explore various ways to come to an agreement.

Whatever agreement you reach will be completely voluntary. And in order to reach a place where you can resolve your conflict, you just need some time and space to sort things out. Of course we will take at least one break.

What happens when we agree?

During these three hours we will first of all listen to each other. In the process of listening to each other, ideas will come to you, to both of you, about ways in which you can come together. There is no way I can be more specific. Here’s what I know, though: when you feel heard and understood, you will find more willingness to explore the conflict from all sides. And it is that willingness that will create the possibility to seek new ways to explore solutions.

If you come an agreement, we will write these up during our time together. I will make copies and make those available to you. Agreements are confidential, between you two. I keep a copy just in case you loose yours, but no one else will see it.

What happens when we don’t agree during our session?

It’s perfectly normal when you can’t come to a full agreement in one session. In fact, when you are settling a divorce and have children, I assume that we will need several sessions for specific topics.

But sometimes parties are you farther apart than can be resolved in one session. We can decide at the end. We either meet again, or it becomes clear that mediation is not the process by which you can reach an agreement. Every situation is different.

Are the agreements binding?

No. When you reach an agreement during mediation, those agreements are not binding. You will need a court order to make the agreements legally binding and sometimes people decide that they want to file their agreements with the court for that reason. And that is a fine option.

You have to realize though that once you file an agreement with the court, the agreement is no longer confidential. It becomes part of a the public record. That may not matter to you; I’m just letting you know.

If you want to file your agreements with the court, you should also involve an attorney to help you do that. I am not an attorney, and I cannot help you. It would also possibly violate my ethical standard of neutrality and no mediator can give legal advice.

Voluntary agreements work!

Research has shown that people who reach agreements voluntarily, stick to those agreements in more than 80% of the cases. When people are forced into agreements, as in some court cases, they stick to them in less than 50% of the cases.

That’s for me the most important reason to seek mediation. Once you have come to an agreement, you don’t want to have to return to the same issue over and over again.

**And that’s in the end what we all seek, a time to agree so that you can return to loving your children and caring for them. **

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