Divorce and family Mediation offer parties the opportunity to resolve their issues in a non-antagonistic way. The Mediator helps clients reach win-win solutions and keep control of the decisions that will alter their lives. As a trained professional, the Mediator’s role is to help the parties reach fair and equitable settlement that is beneficial to everyone.
Mediation can address virtually all important issues involving divorce and separation, including:
· Parenting issues, including schedules and child-rearing
· Child support and spousal maintenance
· Property division and financial matters
· Other issues
CUSTODY / PARENTING TIME EVALUATION
Although we believe that parents are in the best position to make decisions about their children, we understand that they sometimes request the opinion of a Custody Evaluator. We respect the confidence that parents place in us to help with such an important decision. At MMCC, we believe that a Custody Evaluation should be a “settlement tool.” We make every effort to be thorough in our evaluations and to make recommendations that parents and attorneys understand and can use as a basis for negotiations.
Custody and Parenting Time Evaluations typically include:
· Meeting with both parents
· At least three individual meetings with each parent
· Interview with children
· Home visits
· Psychological evaluations
· Collateral contacts (professional and personal)
Parenting Consultants may serve as facilitators, coaches, and/or arbitrators. Our first effort is always to help parents reach as many agreements as possible through facilitation of their negotiations. As coaches, we will advise and assist parents, together and separately, to help them with their negotiation styles and with specific parenting issues. Finally, if impasses are reached, we act as arbitrators and make decisions relative to the issues. It is our hope that parents will learn and grow from this process and ultimately function as effective partners in parenting.
Issues that are typically addressed in Parenting Consulting include:
· Schedules for children
· Child care and day care
· Education options
· Extra-curricular activities
· Transition of children between households
· Communication between parents
PARENTING TIME EXPEDITING
Parenting Time Expediting involves a process of mediation and arbitration. We believe that parents are the experts about their children, and it is our goal to assist parents in interpreting and creating schedules that make sense and meet the needs of parents as well as children. If impasses are reached, we act as arbitrators and make recommendations relative to schedules and access. This is a confidential process, and we hope that parents will develop new communication and relationship skills to function as effective partners for long-term parenting.
Parenting Time Expeditors are used:
· To resolve temporary issues during pending legal action
· To address post-divorce issues
· To assist with issues following a custody evaluation
· To settle a one-time dispute
· To enforce, interpret, clarify and address parenting-time circumstances not specifically
addressed in the existing order
Although we usually work with the parent individually, the Parenting Coach at MMCC will always be mindful of the larger family system that is involved. We work with our clients to help them understand the perspectives of their children and the other parent and to develop strategies that are effective for everyone. A Parenting Coach works with a parent to assist with a wide range of issues.
Some of the more common concerns brought to a Parenting Coach include:
· More effective communication between parents
· Age and developmentally appropriate schedules for children
· Helping children with transitions between households
· Setting limits and consequences with children
· Guidance through a custody evaluation
· Accommodation to Court Orders and/or custody recommendations
The definition of closure is: “resolution, finality, conclusion, finish.”
When children are involved, relationship closure is an especially important step toward accepting the end of “the dream” and finding ways to embrace the possibilities for co-parenting, re-creating an alternative future for parents and their children. Closure therapy is a process where parties engaged in divorce or relationship dissolution can disengage emotionally and focus on forgiveness, acceptance and moving forward. Clients are cautioned that this process will undoubtedly be painful at times as they recall hurt feelings, anger and sadness, and re-experience the grief of the loss of dreams that accompanied their previous relationship.
Closure therapy is designed to be time-limited (4 to 6 sessions for 2 hours each) and focuses on a range of topics that moves clients through the process. Clients will be asked to participate in a process designed to initiate forgiveness of themselves and each other. They will read selected publications and keep a personal journal. Finally, they will create a ritual to symbolize their commitment to relating differently.