How Mediation can Help
You During Your Divorce
If you are
contemplating a divorce consider using mediation ...a
non-adversarial and cost-effective alternative. With
mediation, an impartial mediator helps you and your spouse
make decisions that can affect you for the rest of your
allows the divorcing couple to be the only ones who decide
how agreements are reached. The mediator’s main
responsibility is to assist the couple in reaching an agreed
resolution-not to convey their own opinion. One of the
mediator’s roles is to aid in defusing emotions as well as
guide the couple through the difficult issues that accompany
If you take
the traditional route - two opposing attorneys with two
angry parties - and go before a judge, decisions are based
on law. He or she can’t know all of your extenuating
circumstances about you and your children.
mind, divorce mediation is not marriage counseling. It will
not help you save your marriage. During the initial
consultation, most mediators detail what must be
accomplished in order for the couple to reach an uncontested
divorce agreement. Sometimes one of the parties reconsiders
their desire to divorce and will seek counseling to save the
marriage. Some mediators even have a list of therapists who
can work with the couple.
When Divorce is the Answer
When there is no hope of saving
the marriage, a divorce mediator can:
!Provide creative solutions to problems that parties
may have considered impossible to resolve
! Provide extensive knowledge of distribution of
property and debts
! Offer sensitivity about child custody, support
issues and espousal support
! Have an office setting rather than a public court
for personal and confidential issues
! Be less expensive than divorce attorneys battling
out a settlement on your behalf
! Help avoid destructive battles, which have negative
impacts on the children and other family members.
Mediation offers Positive Outcomes
shown that when you compare couples who have mediated their
divorce with couples who go through an adversarial/litigated
divorce, mediating couples are more likely to be satisfied
with the process and the results. In addition, mediation is
likely to take less time, save thousands of dollars, and
have these agreements honored more often than those decided
by an attorney or judge. Once the divorce has occurred,
spouses have a quicker recovery time and are able to move on
with their lives.
Characteristics of a Good Mediator
Divorce mediators come from many
different professions. Yet, all receive special training in
the skills necessary to assist parties in avoiding
contested/litigated divorces. In the end, it doesn’t matter
how educated the divorce mediator is, he or she must be able
to work with couples and be able to resolve conflicts in
order to reach an agreement.
before you hire a divorce mediator ask how much experience
the individual has. You also need to know how much time the
mediator is spending in a daily basis of working with
mediator will listen to everything you and your spouse have
to say, and the result will be a win/win for both parties.
Best of all, this divorce agreement will be uncontested in
Brian James, president
of C.E.L. Associates, focuses on helping divorcing couples
end their marriage as amicably as possible. His offices are
conveniently located throughout the Chicago suburbs and
Southern Wisconsin. He may be contacted by phone at: (312)
524-5829 or by email at GOTOBUTTON BM_1_ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important to Divorced or Divorcing Parents
parts of the country, the school year is ending in less than
three months. What do you know about how well your child or
children did in school this year? Will your offspring need
to attend summer school, have a tutor or be ready to
“graduate” to the next grade without any problems? Only your
child’s teacher has the answer.
are going through a divorce or are divorced, usually one of
them has little knowledge about what is happening in their
child’s classroom. Of course, most parents know that
parent/teacher conferences are a great way for them to learn
about their child’s daily activities in school, whether the
child is doing well or if their child needs help at home.
Yet, many parents don’t communicate with the teacher during
this trying time in their lives, or just turn over this
responsibility to the other parent.
you are divorcing or divorced from your spouse abdicating
educational responsibilities is not in the best interest of
your child. So---what can you do to avoid conflict with your
spouse, yet remain actively involved in your child’s
president of C.E.L. & Associates, an Illinois-based
certified mediator specializes in pre and post divorce
issues has some advice for parents that can be beneficial to
your child’s teacher is the first one informed that there is
a pending divorce or if a divorce has just occurred. “Your
child spends more time in school than anywhere else, and
this situation might have a negative affect on your child,”
he says. “At this time of year, most scheduled school
conferences have past. However, all teachers are willing to
have a conference with a parent at the parent’s request.
Find out what is happening with your child.”
parents are cordial to each other, they can attend the
parent/teacher conference together. That way, both parents
have the same information and can ask the same questions
regarding their child’s education. If only one parent
attends, the other one is left in the dark. Unfortunately,
in most divorce situations, this is exactly what happens.
More often than
not, sitting together with a teacher is virtually impossible
due to the antagonistic and negative vibes radiating from
each parent. This makes the teacher uncomfortable-and in
this hostile atmosphere-you may not receive all the
information you need to know about your child’s academic
achievements or non-achievements.
James as some advice on how divorcing or divorced parents
should handle teacher/parent conferences.
! Ask the teacher to notify both parents what days
and times are available for in-person or phone conferences.
! When necessary, schedule individual in-person or
phone conference time with the teacher. This will alleviate
divorced parents from having to be together, but at the same
time, allow them equal time with the teacher. This results
in each parent learning the same information about their
! If only one parent is meeting the teacher in person
or having a telephone conference, take notes. Even if you
and your ex aren’t on speaking terms, sending him or her
notes about the conference is in the best interest of your
child. Both of you need to have the same philosophy and
goals regarding your child’s education.
how much you and your ex dislike each other and want nothing
to do with one another, you still have a child you need to
parent together,” he says. “School is where children learn.
If the two of you aren’t on the same page regarding the
child’s current education, then you are both unnecessarily
harming your child’s future education and well being.”
information, phone Brian James at (312) 524-5829 or visit GOTOBUTTON