Parties involved in legal disputes are often not aware that there are alternatives to the conventional adversarial process, especially where family issues are concerned. in divorce cases, couples facing the end of a relationship feel an urgent need to end the chaos and uncertainty in their lives and achieve closure. However, although their relationship has not worked out as once hoped, and even in the presence of strong emotions, couples ending their relationship are not suddenly incompetent to continue to make sensible decisions about their families and finances. The process of mediation allows the parties to have greater control over the process and outcome, while maintaining privacy and civility.
Ending a relationship, making arrangements for children, and dividing assets and debt, is a complex, personal and emotional journey that all too often becomes unnecessarily adversarial, resulting in the personal and financial devastation of both parties and their children. The litigation process often takes an already difficult situation and unnecessarily escalates it into a win or lose competition, rather than focusing on what each party needs for the future. All too often, parties waste years of time and tens of thousands of dollars just to have these most important family decisions determined by a total stranger: a judge.
As a result of more than twenty years of practice in the area of family law, Jennifer has learned that the most successfully resolved family law disputes, whether litigated or mediated, are those in which the couple recognizes that while their intimate relationship has ended, there are long term benefits to themselves and their children in minimizing conflict and pursuing a resolution in which they maintain some control over the outcome. While resolving parenting and financial issues is always difficult, in mediation you don’t have to turn over either the discussion or the outcome to anyone.
Making the choice to mediate moves the process away from warfare in the courts, toward a model based on achieving independence through private, rational discussions. You can pass through this difficult period without destroying your ability to talk and parent together, and navigate this transition with your emotions and finances intact. You can choose to sit in a room together now and sensibly resolve the issues with the assistance of a trained professional, and be able to sit together at your child’s graduation or wedding.
Jennifer’s common sense and collaborative approach to family law issues assists people to deal rationally with the events that have disrupted their lives.