1301 Luisa Street, Suite B • Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505 [Map]
(505) 989-8558 • Contact me by email!
serving Santa Fe, Taos, Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Ratón,
About Divorce, Family and Relational Mediation
• If you are ending your marital relationship, you will find that mediation offers you both a way to make mutual parenting and financial settlement decisions together; no stranger (i.e., a judge) is going to tell you what to do.
Mediation allows you to stay in control of the process and to work cooperatively toward mutually satisfactory conclusions--without staggering legal expense and in a reasonable amount of time. I invite you to see mediation as an investment in your future, in your self-respect and in moving ahead with your lives.
• If you are committed to preserving your relationship but experiencing difficulty arising from poor communication regarding important issues, you will find that mediation can help you safely explore these issues and negotiate new agreements to stay together.
• If you are questioning whether to remain together—and under what circumstances—you will find it helpful to be in a totally private arena in which to discuss and negotiate behaviors and examine appropriate decision-making pathways for the future.
• Parents will find this especially helpful in preserving positive co-parenting relationships that will endure throughout your lives. For parents, divorce represents a change, not a complete termination, of the relationship—a transition to a new system for co-parenting together.
Regardless of the specific issues, I will ask you to state your positive goals for the process—
• What are your positive goals—for yourself and for both of you?
• What do you want me to help you achieve?
Philip, Thank you very much for your work in our case. I know that it was a difficult one with the parties at wide ends of the spectrum. You handled the matter with great care and compassion and were able to bring the parties to a settlement in a case where one bystander literally said it would take a "miracle" to do so. I really appreciate your work and will be happy to recommend you to other attorneys.
“I wish we had come to see you two years ago...”
At a time of
great emotional distress--as hopes and dreams are dashed, as the most beloved
becomes the object of less positive feelings--mediation provides a
confidential means of making collaborative decisions, without having to give
in to the urge to lash out. I
Contemplating Divorce? Consider Mediation is a stimulating brief article on the benefits of mediation in divorce. It outlines some of the opportunities that mediation gives couples, in shaping their own futures and in preserving important elements of relationship—especially when children are involved.
(If you want to get even or to win at any cost or to punish the other person, I may not be able or willing to help you.)
Mediation takes a lot of work and especially a willingness to understand that there may be another perspective—even if you don't agree with it. "Doing it for the sake of the children" means sometimes agreeing to actions you don't like but are willing to accept because they will support a healthy relationship between a child and the other parent, or will be of ultimate benefit to the child.
NOTE: I am happy to provide a brief no-cost opportunity for
potential clients to meet me, ask about the process and decide whether to
I am a trained professional mediator with over 25 years of experience in divorce, child custody and other family issues. My background is varied and includes experience in social science and education. I am neither an attorney nor a psychologist. I will not even begin to give legal advice or psychological counseling! For further information, please refer to my
In addition, as a long-time member of the national professional association for family mediators, I conform to thepreviously adopted by the American Bar Association, the American Arbitration Association and the Association for Conflict Resolution.
Divorce mediation offers great advantages over litigation, including:
1.) COOPERATIVE PLANNING FOR
· Creative real and personal property division;
· Disinterested evaluation of financial needs and plans for support;
· Joint structuring of children's living arrangements and visitation;
· Respectful communication and decision-making.
2.) PRIVACY AND CONTROL
3.) EXPLORATION OF
4.) LOWERED COST IN TIME
5.) BETTER FOLLOW-THROUGH
6.) A SENSE OF DIGNITY AND
7.) FLEXIBILITY IN TIMING
· Premarital agreements
· Internal family conflicts, including family businesses
· Marital and temporary separation agreements
· Modifications after final separation.
* From the writings of Kenneth Cloke,
of the Center for Dispute Resolution in
I can help you with the decision parts—the Parenting Plan and Child Support and the Settlement Agreement, including interim division of assets and debts, property division and Spousal Support (alimony). Mediation really is about making mutually satisfactory decisions. Courtroom battles are wasteful stressful and usually unnecessary.
Striking evidence of the benefits of mediation in co-parenting:
As detailed in
his latest book, The Truth About Children and Divorce, nationally recognized divorce
researcher, therapist, and family mediator, Robert Emery, Ph.D. has released his striking
studies conducted with the highest scientific standards and contrasting the
long term experience of couples randomly assigned to mediation rather than
litigation of their divorce or custody disputes.
· 28 percent of the nonresidential parents who mediated saw their children at least once a week, in comparison with 9 percent of parents who were assigned by the study to resolve their divorce or custody dispute by litigation!
· 36 percent of nonresidential parents who litigated had not seen their children in the last year, in comparison with 16 percent of divorcing parents who were assigned to mediation!
· Among divorce families who mediated, fully 59 percent of nonresidential parents talked to their children weekly or more often, compared with just 14 percent of nonresidential parents who litigated!
· Finally, in comparison with families who went to court, the residential parent of divorcing couples who mediated, consistently reported that the nonresidential parent discussed problems with them more and participated more in the children’s discipline, grooming, religious training, errands, special events, school and church functions, recreational activities, holidays and vacations!
While many people understandably want to avoid the cost of attorney fees, I do encourage people who are engaged in processes with legal consequences to consult with (not retain) attorneys. Good attorneys—those with plenty of experience, business and integrity—will provide limited consultation on a per-hour basis. This consultation will provide the participants with knowledge of the legal implications of their decisions and give them confidence that they are acting within their legal rights and obligations.
I will help you be your best at the mediation table, so you can make thoughtful and durable decisions that will stand the test of time. Let's talk! You might want to Take a look at Choosing a Divorce Mediator, an article posted on Mediate.com. I think you’ll find it helpful.
“Thank you for everything you did. We were able to [finalize our divorce] without going to court and without lawyers.”
OTHER TYPES OF RELATIONAL MEDIATION—Marital, Guardianship/Elder,
Mediation at its core is about communication, not therapy. The understanding that is developed in this process can be very helpful in families who want to function more closely together. Couples sometimes use Marital/Relational Mediation to help outline the behaviors and techniques that will keep them out of the damaging patterns of the past.
Likewise, Parent/Teen Mediation fosters more effective communication and understanding between children and their parents. In both forms of relational mediation, the participants negotiate new standards of behavior, along with agreements about how to communicate when things go well (to reinforce the positives) or when things go astray (to get the relationship back on firm footing).
SAME-GENDER COUPLES used to face special problems. When these partnerships were
dissolved, they were treated under contract law, not family law.
Similarly, Relational Mediation can help same-gender couples clearly articulate individual issues and create new understanding and agreements that will preserve their lives together.
Please contact me for a Free Consultation!
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