Law and Mediation Office of

 Laurel Tuvim Amaya


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How does Mediation Work?

Mediation is a settlement process in which the negotiation is guided by trained third party.   Through this process and with the assistance of the mediator, the couples, whether divorcing or resolving parenting conflicts, are able to resolve their own dispute.   The use of the mediator benefits the parties by helping  the communication process, maintaining structure for the discussion, and working to avoid impasse and breakdown of the discussion. Mediation works well for people who want to come to a settlement themselves, but are unable communicate and/or address the issues without someone in "the middle."  The  mediator's job is to help discern the objectives, or interests, of each person, and work with both parties to find a resolution which will best meet the respective goals. 

Mediation works for people who cannot communicate without arguing.  You might say, "She/He doesn't understand what I'm saying",  "He/She doesn't listen to me", "We have different goals."  The mediator will find a way to "bridge" the communication difficulties, so that each person's voice can be heard, enabling productive negotiation to take place.  Then, once an agreement is reached, the mediator can also draft the agreement, and submit it to the court so the agreement can become an enforceable court order. 

The Collaborative Method


Collaborative Practice is a new way for you to resolve disputes respectfully -- without going to court -- while working with trained professionals who are important to all areas of your life.


Collaborative Practice or Collaborative Divorce (also called “no-court divorce,” “divorce with dignity,” “peaceful divorce”) enables you and the other party (person) the support, protection, and guidance of your own lawyers without going to court. Additionally, Collaborative Divorce allows you the benefit of child and financial specialists, divorce coaches and other professionals all working together on your team.  One main reason Collaborative Divorce is different is because, in the Collaborative Process, the parties and their attorneys, begin with the sole agreement that they will NOT go to court to resolve their issues but will work together, collaboratively, to create solutions together.


Collaborative uses a team approach with each party has an attorney to advise them in the legal aspects of their agreements. The attorneys are experienced family law attorneys specially trained to work cooperatively instead of aggressively preparing for a court battle. The family law attorneys who have trained and work in the collaborative process, know from their experience, that their clients, and their children, benefit from an resolution that they have created themselves and in which they are invested. The Collaborative process also can include the assistance of coaches, who can be extremely helpful in the emotional issues affecting the reaching of resolutions, including parenting differences, and when necessary the assistance of a child expert and financial consultants.


In the Collaborative Process there is a distinct focus on fairness and respectful problem solving. Often most important, this process helps parents find ways to reduce the negative effects that their divorce and conflict can have on their children.

Collaborative Practice keeps the focus on:


·              Negotiation of a mutually acceptable settlement without having courts decide issues.


·              Open communication and information sharing.


·              Creation of shared solutions acknowledging the highest priorities of all.