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Need Help in Making Decisions in Mediation?

August 17, 2018  | 

{3:42 minutes to read}  One of the major benefits of mediation is that parties make the decisions about their lives and the lives of their children. Self-determination is an awesome responsibility in that regard, and couples should be prepared to accept that responsibility when choosing to mediate.

To me, this would mean that parties should make sure that they have all of the resources they may need in order to make the best decisions they can.

Choosing the Mediator

After you both decide to mediate, this is clearly your first joint decision in the process. You will want the mediator to be experienced and have a practice dedicated to mediation. You will want one who attends continuing education and who is active in the mediation community. You also want a mediator that you both feel is able to:

  • Not take sides;
  • Speak about complex terms in a manner you both understand;
  • Show patience and understanding to both of you;
  • Be non-judgmental.

To determine that the mediator has the qualities you seek, ask for a consultation. Many mediators will offer a brief consultation at no charge, so take advantage of that.

Other Professionals

To help them in decision making, I encourage parties to get as much information from as many resources as they can. Not all clients feel this is necessary, and in terms of self-determination, that is their choice to make and responsibility to assume.

For those who want to seek guidance from other professionals to assist in making decisions about the various aspects of the mediation process, they can consult with:

An Attorney

  • To learn their legal rights and responsibilities before they begin mediation;
  • To discuss terms of settlement that they can propose;
  • To, if all parties agree, accompany them to the mediation;
  • To review the final agreement.

A Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)

  • To get help in making a budget and assembling financial information;
  • To educate themselves on financial matters;
  • To, if all parties agree, accompany them to the mediation.

A Divorce Coach

  • To manage and contain highly charged emotions so they can focus in meetings;
  • To address a specific situation like an affair;
  • To recognize triggers that can derail a meeting, and develop a strategy to avoid reacting to them.

A Child Specialist

  • To help determine what is the children’s best interests;
  • To help create a parenting plan that will encourage the developmental capabilities of the children;
  • To meet with the children, if appropriate, and ensure that the children have a voice in the decisions.

In many ways, mediation can be more difficult than just handing everything over to an attorney. Parties have the utmost responsibility in the process, as it should be, since they are the ones who will be living with the outcome. Be sure to get all the help you possibly need so the decisions you make are the best ones for you and your family.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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