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Best Mediation is unique in its emphasis on direct facilitated communication between parties. We believe that most spouses, with the help of skilled family mediators, can make their own financial and parenting agreements, create their own settlements, and plan the next chapter of their family’s life together~even during this time of emotional upheaval with parties experiencing high levels of interpersonal conflict.
By contrast, the following two models of facilitated divorce are locally available and are marketed under the rubric of mediation. These models run the risk of eroding trust between parties and are certainly more financially costly:
Many mediators lean heavily upon the "shuttle mediation" model, in which the mediator meets with one party at a time. While this model of mediation is easier for the mediator, it tends to significantly erode trust between the parties. The overuse of private one-to-one meetings with individuals clients can leave each party feeling excluded from communication, skeptical of mediator-client alignment, and untrusting of the process in general. Shuttle mediation empowers the facilitator, but can leave parties uninformed and disempowered. Twice the conversations can also result in twice the cost.
"Collaborative Divorce" is actually an attorney directed negotiation between parties. This is not actually mediation in that there is no unbiased, neutral facilitator present. Instead each party's attorney, (whose role as legal advocate, by law, is to be biased on behalf of their individual client), sit at the table and attempt to negotiate a settlement outside of court. While it may be more practical to negotiate than litigate, this is the most costly out-of-court dissolution model as parties are paying for the time of two attorneys to help make many decisions that may have been easily reached with the facilitation of an unbiased mediator.
The reality is that very few divorces are actually resolved in court. Most are settled, ultimately, by the parties involved. The choice becomes how parties might reach the best possible settlement for their family. We believe that even parties experiencing high levels of conflict are empowered when they can make their own decisions through the collaborative, open, problem-solving approach that mediation offers. Best Mediation offers such an approach~that is both cost-effective and highly successful.
At Best Mediation, we are aware that divorce~especially for couples with children~is a relationship transition, not an ending.
So we have created a mediation practice which seeks not only to maintain healthy respectful communication and relationships between parties, but that can even improve them. At Best Mediation, 95% to 100% of the mediation process occurs with both parties in the room. We see the mediation process as an added opportunity to work together to rebuild the trust essential to a healthy future co-parenting relationship.
Cost and Time Effective
Regardless of income level, divorcing couples are challenged financially by the impact of divorce. Best Mediation is committed to making the divorce process as affordable as possible. We offer a free initial phone consultation to each individual party to answer any questions and help determine if mediation is a fit for you both. In addition we utilize a co-mediation model, which gives you two family mediators for the price of one. This model brings two diverse skill sets to the process, helps us be more attentive to each party's needs, and is also highly efficient, saving you money. Depending on the financial complexity and level of conflict, it is not unusual for couples to complete a divorce mediation in as few as three sessions. Our minimal use of caucus time also decreases overall cost; shuttle mediation takes longer and increases the fees for service.
Over the past 14 years Best Mediation has served hundreds of clients in creating financial settlements and parenting plans in the completion of their divorce. With close to 90% of our clients successfully reaching resolution on all issues germane to their dissolution, our success rate is significantly higher than most other mediators or attorneys.
Our clients often list improved communication as one of their future goals. At Best Mediation we believe that the mediation process can help divorcing parents learn new ways of communicating, facilitating a better co-parenting relationship post-divorce. Communication coaching and deep listening during mediation can plant the seeds of a healthier co-parenting relationship. Parents have the opportunity to develop healthier ways to communicate about their children's needs and agree on the best models for their future communication.
At Best Mediation we realize that scheduling time during the work week to mediate your divorce can be challenging for many clients with busy work schedules. At Best Mediation we are willing to accommodate your schedule needs by offering sessions on weekends.