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The Mediation & Collaborative Opportunity

Thursday, April, 26, 2012



Mediation is characterized by the use of neutral professionals to assist divorcing couples to make their own, informed decisions.  In the case of Glasser Mediation Services, Robert Glasser, a Family Law attorney, and his wife,Jann Glasser, a licensed divorce coach, team to assist the client spouses in settling their divorce issues.  Only the clients have the right to make the decisions which create the workable agreements that will resolve those issues.  As mediators, the Glassers facilitate the process, helping their clients address the facts and the feelings that go into making decisions.  A Mediator does not represent either spouse nor act as therapist.  The clients must share all information and fully participate, ultimately to find the solutions that will work for them.  Mediation works well for clients who have some ability to communicate their needs, and have some mutual goal.  That could be, for examples, sparing the children from the emotional fallout of traditional divorce, saving legal fees, or avoiding the uncertainty and delay of court combat.  Mediation helps each client grasp sufficient understanding of their financial and legal information to make a good settlement, one that works for them.


A Divorce Coach Is…

A collaborative or a mediation process provides you with the opportunity to define and implement a workable post-divorce set of arrangements.  Addressing the needs of each person looking forward requires efforts, both individual and collectively.  Each spouse has questions to answer: “What do I need my life to look like in the soon future?” and, “What do I need to live that life?”  An experienced divorce coach helps shape that vision responsibly.  The job of the coach is to help with making decisions and setting goals for you and your children.  In a litigated divorce, clients have no one trained to help them with the emotional impact of the divorce, while also assisting them to participate in the legal process.  Attorneys are not trained to act as therapists.  Attorneys do not typically provide the emotional support that a client may need.  With a divorce coach, your attorney is free to handle the factual and legal aspects of your case, and you are prepared for and guided through the emotional mind fields.    Divorce litigation is often based on the spouses’ reactions to fear, anger, a desire for retribution, and more.  A divorce coach helps resolve these distractions by refocusing emotionally based thinking with outcome based thinking.  To determine what is important for you and your children, now and in the long term, is best done not by the often faulty navigational guides of emotion.  A divorce coach is not a therapist.  The history of your feelings in order to explain them is not the goal.  Rather, your coach stands by you to help you digest both the facts and your feelings to arrive at workable divorce solutions.


The Collaborative Approach

Collaborative Law combines certain qualities of litigation and mediation in a cooperative, non-combative divorce process.  As in litigation, each divorce client has their own attorney to give them legal advice and to advocate for their needs.  Drawing from mediation, the clients and their attorneys commit to an open information gathering and digesting process as well as a commitment to negotiate settlement without having to have a court decide.  Each spouse also has a divorce coach to stand beside him or her.  There will be a neutral specialist who digests and reports from your financial data, and if there are children, another neutral specialist will work with the family to help create parenting that promotes their best interests.  A collaborative team applies best in highly emotional or difficult cases.  The professional team can contain and channel those energies toward fully advised and well made negotiated settlements.