Child Custody


Distance Mediation


Mediating Interpersonal Issues


Mediating Workplace Issues




What Happens at Mediation?


Why Mediate?


Mediating Separation/Divorce

How should you are your spouse/partner end your relationship?  Ending a relationship where there are children is not just a legal matter.  It is a total life changing event that includes many aspects.   It should not be about winning or losing.

“If divorcing husbands and wives go off to separate lawyers to get the answers to their questions, their only thanks will be to be given different answers to the same question.”   


So instead of solving their problem, they will be left with a problem, one that the law does not solve. The legal system is not designed to handle the complicated matters that are involved in changing family dynamics.  Lawyers and judges know the law, not your family.  Lawyers know how to score adversarial points, not what is best for your family.  Mediation is the better way to resolve these issues.

In mediation, the parties make their own decisions.  They learn to cooperate and communicate in a positive way while working toward independent futures.  They retain assets for their mutual benefit. They get the hard work of separating done expeditiously.


Parenting plans, child support and other financial issues can be decided by the parties in mediation.  There are many ways that people can decide to resolve issues.  You do not have to have a court impose a one size fits all solution.  You can be creative in making decisions on parenting, supporting your children and dividing up martial assets.  

Mediation is an affirming and validating way for families to resolve issues.



Mediating Child Custody

Whether or not you have been married, if you have a child(ren) and are separating from the other parent, you need to make arrangements for custody and visitation.  Custody identifies who makes which decisions about certain issues for the children.  Custody may be joint, shared or sole.  You would also need a Parenting Plan that details the specifics of when each parent will care for the child(ren).  This may include a regular schedule with beginning and ending dates and times, determining a place for transferring the child(ren) and specifying a means of communication between parents and a time for parents and child(ren) to be in contact.  A separate holiday/ summer schedule may be needed.  Other issues may also be included.  It is important to agree on as many issues as possible to create a much consistency as possible for the child)ren).


In mediation, parents are able to make the best decisions for their children.  The legal system takes much time and may be more focused on legalities rather than the children.  Going through court might appear to provide justice when parties are angry but costly lawyers are usually necessary to navigate the complexities of the system and a judge may not agree with what you think is obvious.  The legal system also does not provide a comprehensive and practical plan, simply broad outlines that leave much to be negotiated and fought over, often ending up back in court, wasting more time, money and emotion.



Distance Mediation 


In these busy times when it is difficult for people to meet in person or for those who would rather not, internet options can provide the same mediated results. Costs may be lower as travel and child care may be minimized.



Mediating Other Interpersonal Issues

Other conflicts that may be mediated:


Who will take care of Mom or Dad?  Where will they live? What kind of treatment should they have? Who gets what of the family possessions?  Rather than argue with siblings over these issues that can than create animosity for years, have a conversation and make decisions based on what is best for everyone not on anger or emotion.

If you are having a dispute with your neighbors, perhaps they would be willing to discuss the issues rather than have them fester and ruin your relationship.


Call the mediator to find out whether or not your issue could be mediated.  You could save yourself and others much money, time and aggravation and maintain relationships by settling your disputes in the most cost effective and efficient way.




Mediating Workplace Issues

“A good manager doesn't try to eliminate conflict; he tries to keep it from wasting the energies of his people. "  Robert Townsend 

Neutral mediators can help resolve interpersonal issues involving fairness, harassment, discrimination, work assignment and other claims in a cost effective, confidential and expeditious manner. 

Let managers use their time managing work rather than conflict. 
Mediation can Increase:  Profits, Productivity, Morale, Fairness  Mediation can Reduce:  Absenteeim, Employee Turnover, Stress, Health Care Costs, Costs of more expensive types of conflict resolution: litigation and arbitration.




Mediation encourages people to work together without creating or fostering an adversarial atmosphere.


Mediation is a collaborative process that helps people
solve their problems and move on.


The mediator is an unbiased third party with significant training and experience in conflict resolution. The mediator has no pre-conceived notions and no stake in the outcome. 


The mediator helps the parties discuss their issues and resolve their problems. 


Mediation is a highly effective means for resolving problems and providing satisfying results because you are actively involved in making your own decisions.



What Happens at Mediation?


The mediation is scheduled promptly and is completed in a timely manner.  The process is not dragged out for months and years.


Both parties sign the Consent to Mediate form confirming confidentiality and other particulars related to the mediation process.


Each party has time to talk without interruption. The mediator helps the parties focus on practical solutions for resolving their problems.


The mediator drafts a Memorandum of Understanding reflecting the decisions the parties have made. The parties receive a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding.



Why Mediate?

Call an attorney or a mediator?

Which should you choose?  The Mediator!

Most situations are not about law but problems that can be resolved by the people involved. If you call an attorney, you may find yourself on an endless loop of fees, letters, filings, court appearances that waste money, emotion and time without providing resolution or satisfaction.


Litigation should be a last resort.  It is time consuming, costly, emotional and driven by lawyers, not your needs. 


You can get a better result by mediating.  The success and satisfaction rates for mediation are above 75%.


Why waste your time and money on courts, when you can get a better result by mediating?


Don’t be fooled by faux mediations.  Negotiated Settlements are not real mediations.   Attorneys run that process and you have little say in the result.  You just pay for it.

. .

Marianne Haynes