Why Divorce Mediation Works

December 4th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation


Divorce mediation clients soon learn that there are wide varieties of financial and parenting resolutions that could be incorporated into their divorce decree. Mediation clients are encouraged to focus on many possible alternatives. This is quite different from the focus developed by the clients who choose to litigate their cases in the courts. Litigants tend to focus on developing the best possible resolution for themselves and to focus all of their attention and legal fees on getting exactly that. It isn’t until months or years into the litigation that they are forced to face the fact that the resolution that they formulated is not going to be the end result.

During the mediation process, each spouse has an opportunity to examine the best and worst possible resolutions for each of them and at least initially to put some parameters around the unknown.

Because they are in direct communication with each other throughout the process, they don’t have to fear being unprepared to address previously unknown demands during court proceedings.

Through mediation, both spouses become keenly aware of the fact that they are in a much better position to create a resolution of their divorce issues than to allow a court to do it for them.


Divorcing spouses always have some common interests and goals. In particular they both want to get through the divorce process in a way that minimizes the financial and emotional pain. Most people want to do the right thing in dealing with their former partner and more oft en than not do not want to cause their soon-to-be ex-spouse unnecessary pain.

They also almost always have concerns about minimizing any trauma to their children.

Divorcing spouses also always have some unique interests and goals that need to be communicated to the other, if such unique interests and goals are to be considered in crafting a resolution.

Mediation brings couples together with a trained professional who teaches them how to communicate and how to develop such goals. A good mediator will show them how to notice their emotions and their bodies’ reactions to the various options being explored during the mediation process. The mediator will then assist them in using this information to clarify and further explore what should be included in any resolution or settlement. It is through this kind mutual mindful communication that good resolutions evolve.


It is usually when each spouse gets in touch with their own interests and goals, and with those of the other, that they are able to use their joint creativity to develop unique resolutions.

Through the mediation process, couples learn to reframe the divorce process from being a way of dealing with a terrible loss to an opportunity for personal growth and evolution. Once this bridge is crossed, creative solutions quickly surface.

Ora Schwartzberg is a divorce attorney/mediator with offices in New Hampshire. She has recently published a book, Divorce Mediation from the Inside Out – A mindful approach to divorce. The book is available at her website or from all major booksellers.

Mediation In The Workplace – What Is It And How Can It Help You?

December 4th, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

Article by Robert Gray

Copyright (c) 2011 Robert Gray

Disputes at work are common place and can arise for a variety of reasons. As with all kinds of disputes in life a resolution as quickly as possible is always the desired outcome, but it is not always easy to know how to go about achieving this resolution. This article looks at the role mediation can play in workplace disputes and for what kind of disputes mediation can be used to try find a resolution.

Mediation is a form of ADR – or, Alternative Dispute Resolution. It is completely voluntary and confidential and involves an independent, impartial individual (the mediator) listening to both sides of the disagreement. The mediator will not pass judgment and will not decide that one side is wrong and one side is right, they will simply ensure that both sides are fully aware of the issues in dispute and will highlight the options available to the parties. The mediator can talk to both parties, either separately or together. Their main aim will be to find a resolution to the problem that both parties are happy with and try and restore the employer/employee relationship in a way that it can be maintained.

As with all arguments or disputes, discussion and understanding the issues involved is most useful early on in the dispute and this is also true for mediation. Mediation often appears as a stage in an employer’s grievance procedure and is usually suggested to take place after discussions between employees/employers have been deemed unsuccessful but before the matter is taken to a tribunal.

Types of issues in the workplace which may be suitable for mediation are numerous. These may include personal injury disputes, harassment issues (not related to discrimination), issues regarding pension rights, holiday pay issues, non-payment of wages issues and issues surrounding withdrawal of benefits.

Mediation costs vary and the venue for the mediation is usually a private room in your place of work, though this does not have to be the case.

Mediation can be a very useful step in the resolution of disputes especially if it fulfils its aim of restoring the employee/employer relationship and avoids the need to proceed to an employment tribunal. If you do have an issue in the workplace you should firstly try and discuss the issue with your superior or a work colleague to gain some perspective and see if they can offer a resolution. However, if discussions do not provide a solution then mediation may be the answer.

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Mediation in Communities

December 3rd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

Just what is mediation in Tennessee? Mediation, as defined by the Tennessee Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission “A voluntary settlement process to help you resolve disputes. Mediation is an informal process where a mediator helps people with a dispute to reach agreement. The mediation process identifies important issues, clarifies misunderstandings, explores solutions, and negotiates settlement.”

Mediation can be used at any time during, before and after litigation has occurred, although the majority of mediations occur prior to litigation. Mediation allows the parties to come to an agreement in their dispute rather than taking it to a third party, such as a judge.

You probably mediate every day and don’t realize it. You mediate when a co-worker comes to you with a gripe about another co-worker and you play devil’s advocate or help them see the other side, or when your spouse and child can’t agree on where to go out for dinner.

Mediation is about helping people come to a resolution. Consider it bridge building. Mediation can be used to settle a dispute between members in a home owner association, between a hospital and a patient, a company and an employee, or many other situations.

Community Mediation Centers are a great community resource for both the communities in which they serve and the people who volunteer their time for the organization and are one way that mediation is used in Tennessee. These centers offer low-cost or sometimes a no-cost mediation solution/service. Community Mediation Centers are typically non-profits where professional or community trained people offer their time to the organization to mediate disputes.

In addition to the mediation services to parties seeking resolution, these centers often also offer the community educational opportunities.

These opportunities can come in the shape of lunch in learns or mediation training to train community volunteers to become mediators.

If you are looking for a worthy cause to donate your to time, I’d suggest taking a look at your Community Mediation Center.

What Is Divorce Mediation?

December 3rd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

Divorce mediation is about you and your soon to be ex-spouse deciding your own divorce and what is best for the both of you and most importantly, your children. In mediation, you and your spouse meet with a neutral third party, the mediator, and with their help, you work through the issues you need to resolve so the two of you can end your marriage as amicably and cost effective as possible. The issues covered include but at not limited to the following:

1.Distribution of Property (Assets/Liabilities)

2.Child Custody and Parenting Time

3.Child Support/Maintenance



In mediation, the couple, with the help of the mediator, works out agreements on the above issues. Sometimes agreements come easy, sometimes they take time and a lot of work. When agreements are hard to reach, that is when the mediator intervenes. It is the mediators job to keep the lines of communication open, brainstorm ideas, reality test the couple, teach empathy and assist the couple in their decision making process. Mediators help keep the couple focused on the issues at hand, trying not to get them off track. When divorcing couples get off track and away from the above issues during mediation, arguing, name-calling and bad prior memories are brought up.

Mediation is flexible and confidential. It gives you and your spouse a way to settle the conflict between you in a way that helps you to work together as parents. This is extremely important if you have children and must interact with your ex-spouse after you are divorced. Mediation brings about communication between the couple, which can then be used when they must discuss issues in pertaining to the children. Lack of communication may have been one of the main reasons for their divorce. Mediation has the ability to help the couple learn to communicate again, if only for the sake of the children, and make their post-divorce relationship better than their married one.

A divorce mediator is neutral and doesn’t “work” for either parent. That means the mediator can not give advice to either party. They must remain neutral no matter what the situation.

What the mediator can do, though, is assist the divorcing couple in formulating ideas that can eventually lead to agreements that will stand the test of time. That open and free exchange of information frees up both spouses to negotiate with each other in confidence. Because both spouses are working with the same base of information, it usually takes far less time to negotiate a resolution that makes sense to both spouses.

Mediation is voluntary. It continues only for so long as all three of you – you, your spouse, and the mediator — want it to. Mediation can be conducted weekly, every two weeks, monthly or how ever often the couple wants them to be. This is their mediation and they decide everything in the process.

How long does divorce mediation take and what are the costs?

The length of mediation depends on what issues have been agreed to prior to mediation and those issues that need to be addressed during mediation. Also, the amount of time spent in mediation is contingent upon you and your spouse’s willingness to come to agreements that are equitable for the both of you and your willingness to do what is in the best interests of your children.

The time spent in mediation can be reduced if you and your spouse are able to come to agreements prior to mediation, or at the least, narrow down your options to a few workable ones. However, if you and your spouse are not able to discuss your divorce outside of mediation, it is strongly recommended that you avoid it at all costs. When couples try to work out issues on their own and it leads to arguments and “drawing lines in the sand”, it makes mediation more difficult and time consuming.

On average, pre-decree divorce mediation can be completed in 4-10 sessions. Again, how long it takes really depends on what if any communication there is between the divorcing couples and their level of animosity for each other. If either one of the spouses is unwilling to budge from their certain position on a divorce issues, mediation may not be an option for them and they may have to litigate in court. Once this happens, communication is shut down and the fight begins.

In 2008, the average mediated case cost $ 3000 and was settled in 90 days. In turn, the average litigated case in the courts cost $ 15,000 and took 18 months to settle. Keep in mind, the litigated cases led to more spite and frustration between the divorcing couples, usually leading to a lose/lose situation for both. Not many people walk away from a litigated divorce feeling satisfied. On the other hand, couples who went through mediation felt satisfied with the agreements they had reached and both walked away feeling that they had gotten what they had wanted. Who would you rather have decide what happens with your children and assets after a divorce, you during mediation or attorneys and judges during a divorce in the courts? Who knows more about you, attorneys, judges or you? Why have people who know nothing about you tell you how you are going to live the rest of your life.

Also, divorce in the court system is public domain. Anybody can sit in court and hear the specifics of your divorce. On the other hand, mediation is confidential, private and conducted behind closed doors. In mediation, there are no attorneys putting up walls between you and your spouse. Mediation is about working together, doing things in the best interests of your children and focusing on being able to be parents for your children for years to come. Unfortunately, divorce in the court system is designed to put up that wall and limit communication, which inevitably leads to many post divorce problems and many more hours and thousands of dollars in court.

Brian James is a mediator with C.E.L. and Associates, a mediation, therapy, and coaching services firm with offices throughout Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin. Learn more about the advantages of mediation and co mediation in Illinois for divorce at Visit our blog for information tips, trends, and advice on mediation and divorce at

The Value Of Mediation

December 3rd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

What is the value of mediating your pre- and post-decree divorce issues? Below are just a few of the couples who have used our services for their divorce related needs and have expressed the value in their own words:

Adam – Before mediation, I thought we didn’t need it and we could resolve everything by ourselves. After the first meeting with Brian, I realized there was far too much bitterness and animosity and we needed a fair and unbiased third party.

Chris – Brian gave us a lot of ideas and plans on how we could work together to benefit our son.

Justin – The price was great. Our whole divorce was only $ 4000 total and C.E.L. & Associates was what helped keep the costs down.

Emily – By going through mediation, we didn’t fight, our divorce was amicable, and I truly believe Brian did a great job of keeping our children’s best interests at the forefront the entire time. There were times when we weren’t thinking of our children and Brian helped keep us focused. Also, staying out of court and away from the lawyers was an added bonus.

Not every divorce mediation is as positive as the above. However, in almost every mediation I have conducted over the years, the couple has walked away with at least one agreement that has in some way benefited both they and their children. One agreement reached through mediation can save thousands of dollars and many hours spent in court.

Mediation isn’t for everyone. Active domestic violence, mental health issues and the inability to speak for oneself prohibits you from mediation. Otherwise, every couple going through a divorce or those who are divorced and need help with post-decree issues can benefit from mediation services offered by C.E.L. and Associates.

A call to a mediator should be the first call you make for your pre- and post-divorce decree problems. If you do, your divorce experience will be less costly and not as emotionally draining as it would if your first call was to an attorney who is looking for a battle, at your financial and emotional expense.

Brian James is a mediator with C.E.L. and Associates, a mediation, therapy, and coaching services firm with offices throughout Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin. Learn more about the advantages of mediation and co mediation in Illinois for divorce at Visit our blog for information tips, trends, and advice on mediation and divorce at

Wise Decisions: Cost Issues in Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation

December 3rd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

Article by Brian James

Approaching the disillusion of a marriage, both parties are faced with many hard decisions. Whether to choose mediation over litigation is fundamental and primary in the divorce process. When couples weigh the pluses and minuses of both choices, the factor of cost must be of primary concern. The costs of divorce litigation are both significant and a source of concern for couples as well as even the attorneys that may represent them. In their September 2002 meeting, the Beverly Hills, California Bar Association issued the statement, “By the time we see [divorce] cases in court, most people have spent all their community assets in the divorce itself. By that time, we’re just dividing debts and attorney’s fees.” It is obvious that cost is a universal concern.

The cost of a mediated divorce, with one attorney, is on average $ 5,000 to $ 7,000. However, the cost of a litigated divorce averages $ 30,000. This disparity can grow significantly when a divorce is more complex. When you factor in the considerable expenses a divorcing couple faces, the added costs of divorce litigation are devastating. It is incumbent upon couples to look for ways to reduce costs so that assets remain for the benefit of their children and for relocation, housing, and associated costs. Choosing mediation represents a “wise decision” when looking for a way to cut costs while insuring the soundness of the divorce process.

Certainly, cost is not the single reason to choose mediation, but it is a significant consideration. When evaluated with the many other benefits of mediation, mediation represents a way to cut costs without sacrificing the quality of service. The mediation process offers a couple the flexibility and sensitivity that is the hallmark of divorce mediation. Mediators are specifically trained to focus on the priorities of their clients and, from industry reports; cost savings is a top priority. Many couples see their worst fears materialized when the choose divorce litigation and their mutual resources are totally depleted by attorney fees and court costs. Facing a divorce is, in itself, a fear provoking proposition and adding the hardship of financial stress can be a terrible burden. Divorce mediation eliminates the financial stress and the couple can focus on a meaningful and thoughtful process of resolving their marriage.

Another important consideration is the effect a bitter and contentious battle over money will have on the children in the marriage. Nothing can provoke more hostility and anger than argument of assets and costs. The children are silent witnesses to this battle and can face significant worry over the issue of financial security and their own well being. When they hear their parents agonizing over costs and their own insecurities over their financial future, children cannot help but internalize these issues. “Will they have to switch schools?” “Will they have to move from the family home?” “How will their life style be changed?” These are all questions that trouble the children, as well as the parents. The fear of an unknown and vague future can impact children even more deeply than the adults in the divorce process. Divorce mediation is, again, a “wise choice” because the financial benefits will ensure that the couple’s children will not have to face the acrimony of arguments over assets and property division.

Divorce mediation offers couples a dignified, confidential, and sensitive approach to the process of divorce. Cutting costs is important but certainly not at the expense of other needs. Mediation, with a sensitive and professional mediator, serves a multitude of needs. Mediation offers both parties a way to resolve their marriage in an atmosphere where priorities are recognized, equity is paramount, and the emotional well being of everyone affected is addressed. The right mediator offers these essential benefits while keeping costs reasonable and responsible.

Brian James is a mediator with C.E.L. and Associates, a mediation, therapy, and coaching services firm with offices throughout Chicagoland and Southeastern Wisconsin. Learn more about the advantages of mediation and co mediation in Illinois for divorce at Visit our blog for information tips, trends, and advice on mediation and divorce at

How A Tampa Divorce Lawyer Can Use Mediation To Help His Clients Seeking A Divorce In Florida

December 2nd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

Article by Florida Law Group

Divorce can be a very difficult and expensive procedure for both parties involved. When a divorce is initiated there are many issues which must be resolved between the two parties. For instance, which spouse will become the primary guardian of the children, who gets to keep the house, and the amount of alimony or child support to be paid each month. Often, the two parties will disagree on the appropriate resolution for these issues and hire a Tampa divorce lawyer to negotiate on their behalf. Negotiation can be a very long and time consuming process, resulting in high fees paid to the Tampa divorce lawyers. If the parties fail to come to an agreement a Florida family law court will decide the outcome of each contested issue for them. In most cases, it is best for the two parties to resolve the differences between themselves, rather than having a Florida family law court decide the outcome. If the two parties are struggling to reach a settlement and do not want to leave the decision in the hands of a judge they should consider mediation.

Mediation is quickly becoming a very popular tool in divorce negotiations. Mediation is when the two spouses and their Tampa divorce lawyers meet with a neutral party to discuss resolution of the issues. The mediator should be someone who is well verse in Florida divorce law and has experience with Florida divorce proceedings. Often, the mediator will be a retired Tampa divorce attorney or Florida family law court judge. The mediator does not decide the outcome of the negotiations or provide legal advice to the two parties. The mediator has no legal authority to determine the outcome of the contested issues. However, the mediator can present alternatives and provide a neutral third party opinion to help the parties reach an agreement. Mediation also allows a Tampa divorce lawyer an opportunity to better gauge his client’s position. If the Tampa divorce attorney is unable to persuade the mediator that his client’s position is legally sound it could indicate that the argument would be unsuccessful if brought before a Florida family law court.

Under Florida divorce law, anything discussed during mediation is considered confidential and may not be used as evidence if the mediation fails and the divorce is brought before a Florida family law court for adjudication. However, a mediation report will be sent to the court outlining what was agreed upon and what issues are still remaining. If the mediation was successful then the mediator will draft an agreement for both parties to sign. Once the agreement is signed, it will be forwarded to the court and the judge will often honor the agreement.

For more information on mediation or to schedule a free consultation with a Tampa divorce lawyer contact Florida Law Group.

Florida Law Group has served as a dependable source for information regarding a Tampa Divorce Lawyer for many years. For dependable answers and advice on finding a reputable Tampa Divorce Attorney visit our website today.

The Concept of Mediation

December 2nd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

If you think you know nothing about mediation, be prepared to think again. Mediation is a concept so old that its origins are impossible to determine with authority. It is something we all encounter on a regular basis and in many different forms, which brings us to the all-important question: what is it?

Mediation is the concept of assisted negotiation. In other words, negotiations between two parties in which a third party is involved to help facilitate the satisfactory resolution of a dispute. For example, during a divorce settlement the two parties concerned may reach an agreement without involving a third party or they may choose to hire opposing legal representatives. As another alternative, they may choose to involve a single independent mediator.

There are several key qualities that are common to all mediation processes, and these help to differentiate mediation from adversarial processes such as those overseen by the courts.

First and foremost, mediation processes are voluntary. The two parties to the dispute are able to withdraw from negotiations at any time and for any reason. This is crucial to the spirit and climate of effective mediation, which aims to find a solution which is agreeable to both parties. An independent mediator does not have the authority to impose conditions on either party – any measures taken are contingent on the explicit agreement of both parties.

Mediation processes are generally confidential, although this is not without the occasional exception. This means that both parties are usually free to voice personal concerns within the mediation forum without fear of repercussion, making it a particularly attractive option when sensitive disputes arise in the workplace.

As a general rule, the materials and records produced during a mediation process are not admissible as evidence in court. An independent mediator is always obliged to disclose the nature and level of confidentiality guaranteed to mediation participants.

Impartiality is another central feature of mediation. Whilst the legal representatives involved in a court case are required to act in the best interest of their respective clients, by contrast an independent mediator is required to be without bias towards either party. This helps to ensure the collaborative nature of the negotiation process.

If the parties involved in a mediation process wish to obtain legal or expert consultation or advice, this is allowed – although expert advice is never determinative in mediation processes. In other words, a mediation process can be as informed as its participants want it to be.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of mediation over other forms of dispute resolution is that it encourages positive negotiations. Rather than attributing blame, as adversarial legal proceedings do, mediation processes empower their participants to make concessions and compromises that cater to both parties.

Mediation at Work is a leading provider of workplace mediation training and services. If you are looking for independent mediators to help resolve disputes in your working environment, Mediation at Work has the expertise you need.

Mediation – An Overview

December 2nd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

Mediation is a process that deals with resolving problems, one of the main aims is to come up with alternative resolution which all the parties involved are happy with. Mediationallows people to keep their problem out of court which can save time and money. It is a very private affair. Mediation can be used in a wide range of disputes from divorce, child maintenance, debts and in the workplace.

The mediation process will involve a trained mediator who works with the parties involved in the dispute to come up with a result which they are all happy with. If the parties involved have a great deal of ill feeling toward each other, it is up to the mediator to try and get the parties back on civil terms. This can require a great deal of skill and sensitivity in some cases. A mediator will not take sides or make their own opinions on the situation but will encourage each party to make compromises in order to come to a final decision.

There are usually 5 stages of mediation;
The initial meeting
Meeting with the other party for the first time
Joint mediation
Post mediation

The mediation process is a lot quicker than going through the courts, family matters regarding children will normally take 1-3 sessions and matters involving money will take around 4-6.

There are many advantages to mediation. One of the main advantages is that it puts the end result in the hands of the people involved, instead of leaving the final decision to a judge. This means that both parties can gain something from mediation. Another benefit of mediation is that nothing discussed during the process can be used in evidence if a decision is not made and they decide to go to court, unlike if they had been using solicitors, anything said could be used against them. There is usually a much more free dialogue in mediation and both parties can talk about the result they want without fear of it being used against them. The mediation process is also a lot less stressful than going through court. Court can often end up being aggressive and result in relationships being irreversibly broken, where as with mediation, it can be possible to retain a civil relationship after the process.

Unlike court, it is possible to work out exactly how much the mediation process will cost. In the first mediation meeting a number of sessions should be discussed and the overall cost of each session should be secured. This means that the mediation process cuts out the fear of unexpected legal fees which can sometimes amount to thousands of pounds. Mediation sessions cost from 150-1200 depending on the dispute. Mediators normally work on a sliding scale so if you have a low income you may be charged less.

I am a legal writer covering advice on topics of law, including the mediation process, for further text and similar works visit mediation or contact a solicitor today.

For more legal advice and information, and free legal resources visit

Loan Dispute Mediation

December 2nd, 2011 No Comments   Posted in Mediation

Article by Joffrey Long

While opinions differ on the percentage of loan workouts that wind up in default, there’s no question that a large number of them do. Foreclosure often leads to disputes, which lead us to mediation. Mediation, which should not be confused with arbitration, (FN1) is simply a formalized attempt by the parties to resolve differences, with the assistance of a skilled third party negotiator. Mediation can be brought about by a contractual agreement (that originated prior to the dispute) or by mutual agreement when a dispute arises.

First, why mediation? There are some key benefits aside from the obvious avoidance ofcostly and time consuming litigation. Mediation is privileged by statute in California. Therefore, the parties can speak freely in mediation, without risk that their statements can be held against them in potential later litigation.

You may not be able to go to trial in some courts before there has been a mediation or other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure. More often than not, the ADR process doesn’t occur until the eve of trial. A better strategy is to take the initiative and have mediation or other ADR procedure at the beginning of the conflict, rather than on the eve of a trial.To maximize your ability to avail yourself of mediation, consider placing a clause in your loan agreements that requires the parties to mediate in the event of a dispute. Some pre-printed forms in related industries contain mediation clauses (FN2).

With an existing loan where there is no provision for mandatory mediation, it will only occur through a mutual agreement of the parties. Consider having a discussion with the borrower or borrower’s counsel suggesting mediation, and pointing out that a court may require mediation as a condition of ultimately proceeding to trial. The cost of mediation is customarily split between the parties. Where the borrower is unable or unwilling to advance their share of the mediation cost, consider advancing their share of the cost and adding it to the loan balance, or simply paying their share of the cost, in the interest of avoiding higher litigation costs later on.

As with clearly defined “protocol” arrangements, mediation may benefit you by avoiding or reducing the high cost of litigation, and in actually resolving certain problems or differences between you and the borrower. A huge additional benefit in today’s pro-borrower, pro-modification, anti-lender environment, exists in your showing that you went to further efforts to attempt to help the borrower retain their property.

FN1: Mediation is an formalized attempt to resolve disputes, in the presence of a trained negotiater/mediator. There are no resolutions or decisions imposed by third parties, as in arbitration proceedings. With arbitration, the parties are bound to accept the findings of the arbitrator.

FN2: The California Association of Realtor’s (CAR) pre-printed purchase contract form contains a mediation clause..

Joffrey Long provides mortgage lending and real estate advice and insight for homebuyers, real estate investors and investors in mortgage loans. He’s a mortgage lender and real estate investor himself, and has been in the industry for 34 years. He’s also called upon to testify as an expert witness in mortgage related litigation matters.