Mediation is a process where the parties work with a Mediator, who serves as a neutral and balanced facilitator. The Mediator assists them in defining their issues and problems. The Mediator helps them work through these issues and problems, so they can arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for them and their family. The settlement includes how they will share parenting responsibilities with the preparation of a Parenting Plan that works for them and their children. It will also resolve all financial and any other related issues.

In mediation, all decisions are made by the couple with the Mediator’s assistance. This is called “self-determination” and is a major benefit of mediation. Other benefits of mediation include: 1. confidentiality and privacy of the process; 2. the safety and security of the process; 3. an efficient use of time; 4. monetary savings, as mediation is a more cost effective process as opposed to litigation, which can take years and cost huge amounts of dollars; 5. improvement in the parties’ ability to communicate; and 6. mediation provides reassurance to the parties that they can and will survive financially after a divorce. Moreover, a successful mediation will provide the parties with a “road map” for their future lives. —Bonnie Blume Goldsampt, MA, JD, Accredited Professional Mediator