As a Divorce & Family mediator in Birmingham, AL, I am an impartial, third-party person that helps people negotiate their disputes over their divorce. I have over 60 hours of mediation training. As a mediator, I can help do the following:
- Assist parties in discussing parenting time and responsibilities
- Allow each party the opportunity to communicate their concerns to the other party
- Empower parents to use problem-solving skills in the future to address issues and deal with conflict
- Assist parties to negotiate an agreement satisfying to both
- Facilitate discussion of assets liabilities, including property and businesses, and spousal support, if any.
- Help the parties to explore alternative ways to resolve problems.
What is my role as the mediator?
I am not a judge and will not render a decision or impose a solution on any party. Rather, I assist in helping you and your former spouse talk to each other and resolve disputes yourself in a way that meets both of your needs.
Why would you use mediation for parenting, divorce and post divorce issues?
- In mediation, you and your former spouse are able to keep control over the outcome and solutions. Both of you are the most familiar with issues unique to your family. By mediating, this helps free you up to focus on what you need to be focused on: your kids.
- Mediation is confidential and private.
- Your disputes can be settled promptly. Mediation can be scheduled as soon as both parties agree to use mediation, even before legal papers are filed.
- By choosing mediation over litigation, you will be choosing to reduce the emotional trauma associated with your divorce.
- Settlement in mediation is entirely voluntary. While the courts may order you to try mediation, either party or the mediator may terminate the mediation at any time.
- Mediation costs are usually significantly less than trial costs.
- You and your former spouse are much more likely to comply with voluntary agreements that meet your needs than agreements imposed on you by a judge.
How does mediation work?
I will meet with each of the parties/parents in a room that allows for privacy and safety. For some, it may be OK for everyone to sit at one table and discuss issues. Other parties may want to break up into separate rooms and discuss things privately. Parties/parents may elect to bring their attorneys with them, and this is advisable. After a brief description of the process, guidelines are set, confidentiality is explained, and the parties are asked to sign a paper saying they agree to mediate. Parents may work toward creating a plan for co-parenting, as well as discuss assets, debts and spousal support.
Through mediation, parties have an opportunity to tailor a plan specifically suited for their needs and the needs of their children. The mediator will usually meet privately with each party to explore more fully the facts and needs of the parties. This gives the participants the opportunity to communicate to the mediator their real interests, as well as vent any anger or frustration outside the presence of the opposing party.
The mediator will communicate ideas and proposals to the other party, when a party approves it, so that an agreement can be reached. The agreement is then written and signed by both parties.
What if I have domestic violence in my marriage?
It is believed by many legal professionals that mediation is a safer form of legal resolution for divorce than litigation when domestic violence is involved. I have 14 hours of domestic violence training, which is required in the state of Alabama when domestic violence claims are apart of the mediation.
Why would I use a co-parenting counselor instead of an attorney to mediate my divorce?
If you have a number of child custody issues or co-parenting issues, my perspective and experience as a co-parenting counselor can offer a different perspective than that of an attorney with issues regarding children. I also take a much more facilitative approach instead of an evaluative approach as an attorney would in their mediation. This means that the mediation may take a little longer, but each of you will be heard and your concerns will be discussed thoroughly in a more therapeutic way.
Click here to read my blog on 9 Benefits to Divorce Mediation vs. Litigation from a Co-Parenting Counselor’s Perspective