Updated: Dec 10, 2018
Custody disputes and divorce proceedings can be incredibly stressful. Believe me, I get it.
My sincere hope is to assist you through the mediation process so that both of you are in better position than when you first walked in my door.
Let’s turn for a minute to how I would describe my mediation style. Academics point to various models of mediation, such as Facilitative, Evaluative, and Transformational, among others. For example, the Facilitative method means that the mediator structures a process to assist the parties in reaching a mutually agreeable resolution. In this model, the mediator will ask questions and assist each party in expressing their points of view. A facilitative mediator looks for shared interests and helps the parties brainstorm and discuss options for resolving their case.
An Evaluative Mediation is a process modeled on settlement conferences held by judges. In such a mediation, the mediator puts more emphasis on law, instead of interests. An evaluative mediator may point out the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s legal case and is likely to make recommendations to the parties as to the outcome of the issues.
In recent years, Transformative Mediation has developed in order to focus on the values of "empowerment" of each of the parties as much as possible. Together with empowerment, it puts emphasis on the "recognition" by each of the parties of the other party's needs, interests, values and points of view.
My mediation signature is to tailor the process as much as possible in order to meet the specific needs of the parties and their family. While I have studied and evaluated each of the various models above (and others), I have chosen instead to borrow from each of the traditions. In my mind, there is no precise “right” label or answer, but rather the answer lies in “what works for the parties” at the time given their personalities and circumstances. Some people seek more guidance and input from me in arriving at agreements, while others may just be looking for a conference room and sufficient caffeine to hammer out their own agreements. It really just depends.
Regardless of the model, I consider these 3 fundamental aspects as the hallmarks of mediation practice:
Honor the wisdom of clients to reach agreements that are right for their families and lives;
Deliver expertise and knowledge; and
Act ethically and with integrity.
I hope that this gives you a brief insight into where I fit in with respect to the types of mediation that are out there. Thanks for reading!