What is Mediation?

Mediation is a form of “Alternate Dispute Resolution,” and is a confidential process conducted with a neutral facilitator, i.e. the mediator, to attempt to resolve issues.  The parties meet with the mediator to assist them in reaching agreements on disputed issues.  Mediation can occur with all parties and their counsel in the same room, or the parties can be placed in separate rooms and the mediator will shuttle between them. This is particularly useful in high stress situations, in situations with abuse, or when one party would like to speak in confidence to the mediator.  A mediator cannot be called to testify in court.

 

 

 

 

The process is usually done in four steps:

First:  Handle administrative issues.  Meet with Ms. Kreis,  sign the agreement to mediate, learn some ground rules, ask questions about the mediator and the process.

Second:  Define and discuss the issues.  Help identify and clarify the issues for the parties, and let the parties begin to listen to and address the concerns and issues.   Ms. Kreis will handle all of the paperwork for an entire divorce action, if requested.  In these circumstances you may not leave the first session with an agreement in hand, but may have a to do list of things to complete before returning, such as valuing property, getting debt numbers in order, meeting with  specialists or experts.   Each case is individual, and therefore requires a different strategy.

Third:  Discuss the issues, and work with Ms. Kreis to come up with reasonable solutions.  Ms. Kreis has years of experience dealing with family law related-issues, and has handled well over 6000 cases between mediation and representing parties in family law cases.  Her experience is invaluable, and  she can give the parties many options to resolve disputes and handle children’s issues, division of property and debt, maintenance, and tax issues, that they or their counsel may have not considered.  Additionally, she can identify issues that the parties failed to address, or may crop-up or cause problems in the future.  This is important as you may be entering into agreements that are irreversible, when you think that it is, and not even know it.  Ms. Kreis will ensure the parties are clear on the law and the outcomes.  Mediators who do not have this level of expertise may have the parties enter into agreements that they may not fully understand.   Given her years of litigation experience, she has valuable insight as to what the courts may do, and is well versed with the statutory and case law associated with issues that come before her.    Additionally, she is also able to think outside of the box and will work to come up with creative solutions to the problems.  Mediation is much more flexible than court, and usually the best method to settle disputes.  Helping the parties to work together and demonstrating to them that they can, lets the parties start to move on, and raise their children together, in the absence of conflict.  (Studies show that Conflict between the parties, whether they are together or not, is extremely harmful to the children.  Parents working together not only reduces conflict, but also allows the parties to demonstrate to their children how parents should behave.)

Fourth:  Ms. Kreis will draft all necessary documents resulting in a fair, final, and enforceable settlement.  By considering issues that the parties may not even be aware of, clarifying what the parties understanding is, and drafting an enforceable agreement, she can aid the parties in resolving their issues, avoiding conflict, doing what is best for their children, and lets them move on with their lives.  People hit rough patches in their relationship all the time.  How they get through these patches is what counts.  Parties working together for the sake of their children, and frankly for their own well-being, is always the way to go.

Want to know more?  Call us at (303) 431-9792, or email us at info@ourfamilymediator.com with questions.  We are here to help you determine if this process is right for you.

Mediation can also take place by telephone if the parties agree.  Ms. Kreis will travel to a location in the Denver Metro area for no cost, or hold the mediation in her office in Arvada. Parties may mediate with or without counsel present.  Ms. Kreis specializes in Divorce and Family Law matters, and practices before all Courts in the Denver Metro area.