Family Mediation: Finding Common Ground
My work as a neutral facilitator in divorce matters includes mediation skills, skills that foster effective communication around highly charged emotional issues.
I am available to help parties settle many different kinds of disputes including those that grow out of divorce, and from parenting and business. Examples include but are not limited to issues related to family owned businesses, custody and parenting matters between parents and between children, relationship triggers with couples and, eldercare issues among siblings.
Like neutral coaching, mediation is a process in which an impartial third party facilitates communication, negotiation and promotes voluntary decision making. Where a neutral coach will offer additional information, data and guidance – influencing change and potential outcome – a mediator remains committed to the decision of the parties, concluding in a draft or agreement, sometimes with the assistance of an attorney. Rose Kauffman and Kim Hamilton are attorney mediators in Centre county with whom I often work.
Parties are thoroughly informed of all aspects of mediation prior to beginning the process so they may feel confident of the rules governing the process and subsequently well-informed of their decision. For example, in mediation each party is not bound to confidentiality – each may share what they have learned of the other with their respective attorneys. Should the case go to court, this information is admissible. In contrast, the collaborative divorce coach is bound to confidentiality within the team – should the case go to litigation, information revealed within collaborative meetings is not only inadmissible in court but clients will need to hire new attorneys to represent them.
Over many years, I have had the privilege of training with Sharon Strand Ellison of The Institute for Non-Defensive Communication and, Carl Schneider of Mediation Matters.
To more fully understand the role of mediator, visit www.mediate.com