WHY I AM A MEDIATOR
After 25 years as a divorce litigator, I realized that I could deliver a better product in a fraction of the time for a fraction of the cost as a mediator. My professional satisfaction now comes from meeting my clients’ needs better, faster, and cheaper.
Mediation works for most people because money is an object for most people. Divorcing couples would prefer to spend their money on themselves and their children instead of attorneys. They know that hiring lawyers to do their talking for them increases the cost of the process with no assurance that they will get a better result.
I believe the parties are competent to make good decisions and capable of resolving all issues with the help of a knowledgeable guide. They may benefit by getting analysis and advice, but they do not need others to do for them what they can do for themselves. The genius of mediation is that it enables parties with no particular knowledge or experience to resolve their situation satisfactorily by using professionals on an “as needed” basis.
The parties’ goals are usually to resolve all issues, dissolve their marriage, and get on with their lives. My role as the mediator is to help the parties achieve their goals. What are the issues? What are the options for resolving those issues? Which option would work best for the parties?
Most mediation clients are interested in addressing the issues in their case efficiently and economically, and making a deal they can live with. I help the parties accomplish their goals in their own time and in their own way. They are in control of the process, not me. It’s their agenda that matters, not mine. This approach meets the needs of most mediation clients.
I try to be respectful of my clients’ feelings, whether they are dividing their property, reordering their finances, or figuring out how to co-parent their children.