In addition to divorce, post-divorce, and prenuptial mediation, there is a range of family conflicts that I can help you resolve. I facilitate your negotiation toward a legally binding and enforceable agreement.
Unmarried parents may mediate parenting time and decision-making (known under the law as “physical custody” and “legal custody”). These conversations take into account the fact that your children are growing, changing people and the agreements you reach should be similarly dynamic in relation to the needs of the family. Decisions around parenting time entail, at a minimum, thoughtful conversations about everyone’s schedules and priorities. Regardless of whether or not you are married, as parents you know your child(ren) best. The same can be said about your own responsibilities and schedules. As such, you are the experts in your own lives and in mediation you will make your own best decisions about how to spend time with the child(ren) day to day.
- Holidays and school breaks are particularly meaningful times spent with child(ren)—and often with extended family, as well. Taking you through the yearly calendar of holidays and school vacations, I will help you arrive at your family’s unique best schedule—not a one-size-fits-all approach.
- How you will make major decisions about your child(ren)’s well-being and upbringing—and even which topics you both consider to be “major”—is an essential component of a parenting agreement. In mediation, you will reflect on your values and priorities so that you can work together raising your child(ren), while minimizing conflict between you. The communication modeled in the mediation process offers a blueprint for communication between households, raising children together while living apart. General topics for decision-making between parents include: education, medical care, religious and/or secular upbringing, and extra-curricular activities.
Property Division and Child Support
Unmarried couples contemplating a separation are well served in mediation, where you can discuss your financial reality and plans for the future, and consider how you have handled owning property together or apart during the years of your relationship. There may be unique intricacies or customs that have directed how you managed your shared household. I provide a forum to consider these fully, including an examination of your history together, your budgets and your goals as you move forward toward distinct households.
- Support of your child(ren) is the area in which legal considerations are discussed alongside your and your child(ren)’s budgets. A detailed review helps you arrive at a mutually affordable and realistic child support agreement that will hold up in court, while providing for all family members.
Post-divorce, issues often arise around integrating new partners and their child(ren). New families may come to mediation to discuss ways to establish cooperative and even trusting relationships. Issues may range from how to celebrate a child’s birthday to how step-siblings will be provided for financially. Mediation is elastic in that we help you address your unique set of circumstances. While not all resolutions to the issues at hand will necessarily be reduced to a contract, mediation allows you to set intentions all together.
Co-habitation and/or the Purchase of Joint Property
Unmarried couples may discuss and agree to financial terms for their partnership, including the costs of a common home—whether rented or purchased. I facilitate conversations around parties’ sources of funds and responsibilities toward the purchase and maintenance of the home or other asset. It is important to determine how the asset will be divided upon a sale or a break-up.
When issues of relocation arise post-divorce, they can feel particularly challenging and time sensitive. These conversations about how to modify the terms of an existing parenting agreement are always delicate. I help you focus on how you might spend meaningful time during holidays and school breaks, as well as how to communicate with child(ren) when one parent is living a distance away, and, of course, how the costs of travel will be borne among the adults.
Family Business Disputes
Closely held family businesses are particularly complex to value and manage, as personal relationships and financial interdependence are core to the equation. I help you assess your roles, needs and contributions to the business, alongside your family dynamic. These negotiations and the results they yield serve as a blueprint for successful business relationships among family members.
Other Family Relationships: Parent-Child, Grandparents, Siblings, etc.
These extended family relationships may be served by a goal-oriented process structured to address particular misunderstandings or needs for healing.
For couples working to remain together, marital mediation addresses with you discreet areas of conflict and ways in which you might negotiate a workable and viable compromise. Distinct from couples therapy, and often complementary to it, you have the space to consider concrete solutions intended to ease tensions in the relationship.
Couples experiencing a high level of conflict while hoping to remain together may settle the terms of a potential future divorce. In doing so, you turn down the heat and come to resolution without fear or insecurity of a pending action to terminate the marriage. Should you ultimately split up, you will have negotiated some or all of the terms together—how you will distribute marital assets and liabilities and provide for each of your households—thus sparing time, money and rancor down the road.