Mediation Process: It's Not Just for Divorce
Family mediation is a non-adversarial process for resolving disputes in divorce, separation, post-divorce matters, non-traditional families, estates, elder care, and other family-related situations. Mediation allows for individuals to come together with a neutral professional to work toward a resolution settlement that is fair and equitable. Mediation takes place outside of the courtroom, in a private and confidential setting. Mediation is less expensive than the litigation process. The mediator frames the issues for discussion, facilitates compilation of information, directs the indviduals to outside resources if necessary, guides discussion and negotiation, and helps to develope reasonable solutions.
The mediator does not act as an attorney or provide legal advice or consultation to either party. Each party should engage an independent attorney to provide guidance and advice throughout the mediation process and to review the final agreements that may be reached.
In divorce mediation, you and your spouse will meet for a series of sessions to resolve all issues of your divorce, including child custody and support, maintenance payments, division of assets and property, retirement accounts, taxes, as well as any other concerns that you may have. The mediator will explain the divorce process and help you work towards an agreement on all the terms of your divorce. The mediator will prepare a Memorandum of Understanding - this should be reviewed with an attorney who will prepare the legal separation agreement to be submitted to the court.
After the divorce, there may be changes that you need to make with respect to your parenting plan, child-related agreements or financial arrangements. Mediation allows you and your ex-spouse to discuss and negotiate the changes in a cost-effective and efficient way. Mediation is also a useful tool to negotiate and reach agreements in non-divorce family matters, such as disputes between never-married partners or between siblings and/or adult children and elderly parents.
Benefits of Mediation
You will be able to have control over decisions that affect you and your family. You will be able to focus on the issues that matter the most to you. You will have a chance to approach dispute resolution in an amicable process that preserves relationships by engaging in dialogue and communication, not an adversarial process that tends to polarize people and destroy relationships. You will save time and money and be part of the process that respects you and empowers you to make your own choices. You will be engaged in a process that helps minimize conflict between parents, which is one of the most important factors that help your children, and that has been shown to have positive impact on post divorce parenting.
Experience Makes a Difference
As a family mediator with both legal and mental health clinical training and experience, Tanya Gurevich has the added value of understanding not only the legal framework of the family dispute, but also its psychological impact and effects on all of the people involved. During a difficult family situation, there are strong emotions that often get in the way of communication, negotiation and finding solutions. Tanya will validate your emotions and concerns by making sure all parties have a voice in the process, and help you and other family members have the "difficult" conversations. She will work with you on finding areas of agreement and mutual interests.