If you disagree with your co-parent (or your kids’ grandparents, or others) about your kids, I can help you have a good conversation about it. I’ll support you in saying what you want to say, asking what you want to ask, making whatever suggestions you want, and making any decisions you’re ready to make. If you reach an agreement that you’re satisfied with, you can skip legal procedures, or you can easily have your decisions become part of a court order, whichever you prefer.
Frequently Asked Questions
I charge only for the time we spend meeting, with a 2-hour minimum. The hourly rate depends on the situation and your location. I also provide discounts based on financial need. Give me a call to discuss.
No, in my role as mediator, I can’t provide legal advice or a legal evaluation. But I can do something that is often far more helpful. I can help the two of you talk about what you want (and what you think your kids want and need) on your own terms. If you think the law is relevant, you’re welcome to discuss your take on the law.
I’m happy to include the kids in any conversation they want to participate in. I’ll meet with them first, to explore how they feel about it and how they want to participate.
If you come to an agreement with your co-parent, it’s very likely that they will follow through, because they committed to it, looking you in eye, with me as a witness, and maybe with me taking notes about what you agreed to. If you agree to make your agreement part of a court order, you can do that. So yes, these agreements can become legally binding. More importantly though, you are both likely to honor any commitments you make because you’re both satisfied with the way this agreement was reached.
I’ve been doing it since 1998, at least 50 parenting cases per year.
I’m not committed to any particular ideology about parents’ rights, except that it can be helpful for parents to have a good conversation if they want to. I don’t think in terms of what the best outcome is – I leave that entirely to you. I hope to help you have the sort of conversation that allows you to pursue what you want for your kids and yourself and that helps you respond constructively to differences with the other parent.
Many mediators use an approach that is designed to appeal to lawyers, since lawyers are in a good position to refer cases to the mediator. I’m clear that my obligation is to provide the parents with a meaningful process. This focus leads to a conversation in which your perspective, your needs, and your take on your kids’ needs remains central. The legalities become far less important when you and your co-parent are communicating well. I’m happy to work with lawyers, but the parents are my clients.
It’s entirely your choice. I’m happy to have a conversation with only the parents, with the parents and one lawyer, or with the parents and two lawyers. Regardless of who participates, I will focus on making sure the the conversation goes as well as possible for everyone.