Divorce Mediation > What is Mediation

As a mediator, I create a safe, respectful environment that allows clients to speak freely and feel understood with compassion so that they can craft a sensible agreement that works for both of them
— and especially the children

What is Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary conversation between two or more people with a neutral facilitator for the purpose of creating understanding and reaching agreement when there are differing points of view. 

What is the Mediation Process

  • Unbiased – As a mediator, I am neutral and do not make decisions, tell you what to do, or side with anyone 
  • Confidential – Discussions, documents, and behavior during sessions cannot be shared in court. This allows everyone to brainstorm freely and discuss creative options that might otherwise not be considered.
  • Transparent – All information is disclosed fully, freely, and honestly, with documentation for financial information, if requested.
  • In the Shadow of the Law – If requested, I may share with both of you the range of outcomes that may occur in court as an anchor, but you are free to make their own decisions
  • Goal-oriented – The purpose is to help you reach an written agreement that works for all, help parents develop a sensible co-parenting plan tailored to the children’s needs and learn to co-parent effectively, and help parents communicate more effectively going forward.
  • Respectful – Process goals are established before we begin and honored throughout to ensure that everyone speaks respectfully toward one another, removing hostility from the process so that you can focus on solving problems, rather than reacting emotionally to one another.
  • Not Binding Until Signed – Agreements made in mediation are not binding until legal documents are signed. Because anyone can change their minds at any time, this removes the risk of feeling pressured to agree before you're sure, allowing everyone to think openly and creatively.  Once a legal agreement is signed, it is legally enforceable, and once it is filed with the Court, it is the same as a judge’s court order.
  • Welcoming to Attorneys – Participants are encouraged to retain consulting attorneys and are free to consult with them at any time.

Why Mediation

  • Empowering – You, not judges, make important decisions about your own lives; only you know what makes sense for your specific situation. You always know what is happening at any given moment because you are involved every step of the way.
  • Efficient & Cost-effective – Time and money are spent directly solving problems instead of having attorneys threatening one another, reply to court documents, or spend time in court
  • Protective of Children – Parents who mediate tend to experience much less conflict after the divorce than those who go to court, and fathers who mediate tend to spend more time with the children and have better relationships with them after the divorce than those who go to court. Parental conflict post-divorce and a poor relationship with the non-custodial parent are the two major predictors of negative effects on the children after a divorce.
  • Low Risks/High Gains -  No one gives up any rights to go to court if they don’t reach agreement.  Given the advantages of mediation over litigation, it is almost always worth giving mediation a try.
  • Educational – If desired, mediators who are trained as child specialists or divorce coaches can help parents learn about the best interest of their children or how to communicate more effectively.
  • Effective with Emotional Issues – Mediators trained as psychotherapists are especially skilled at helping clients address difficult emotional issues that clients may wish to address before moving forward or that may otherwise derail the mediation process

How Mediation Works

We take you through every step of separating or divorcing, from deciding what to do about your marriage or relationship to filing court papers.  In the mediation process, we all sit down and systematically address the issues that need to be resolved in a separation agreement. After agreeing on process goals to ensure that the sessions are respectful, balanced, and effective, I check to see if there are any urgent issues to resolve, such as decisions about camp or paying unexpected bills. I then review the topics to be resolved in a separation agreement, including living arrangements, parenting schedule, decision-making, other parenting issues, cash flow between spouses or partners, support of children, distribution of assets and debts, tax considerations, and other relevant issues. 

Respectfully and systematically, we explore all topics fully, including exchanging information and back-up documentation when requested or relevant, discussing options, and reaching agreement in a collaborative, non-adversarial manner. If emotional issues arise, or if other urgent issues emerge, I help you explore them, if desired or necessary to avoid impasse. Any unresolved issues are identified as open issues and revisited later. If you choose, you consult with individual attorneys during the mediation process or engage additional professionals, such as a financial specialist or child specialist.

Once all issues are addressed, I draw up a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which details in plain English what was agreed to in the mediation sessions. You return to mediation to finalize the MOU, which is then put into legal language by a neutral drafting attorney that I work with. After the legal agreement is completed, you share the Agreement with your respective consulting attorneys, who review it with your interests in mind. Upon approval by the consulting attorneys, both of you sign the Agreement in the drafting attorney’s office, and the drafting attorney files any legal documents with the Court.

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"Providing compassionate & skillful divorce mediation and protecting children from divorce in New York City and Westchester"

"Holistic individual, couples, family, and individual psychotherapy, specializing in eating disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and relationship issues."
New York City Office
220 Fifth Avenue (26/27, closer to 26th)
11th Floor

New York, NY 10001

Phone: (212) 222-6300
Brooklyn Office
159 Baltic Street
Suite 4

Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: (917) 691-9947
Westchester Office
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
Phone: (914) 591-6800
 
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