P rivate Mediation is a method of resolving a legal dispute in which a neutral professional assists the parties to settle the dispute. The parties work directly with each other to resolve the dispute. While the mediator provides assistance, the parties are primarily responsible for information gathering and analysis. As a mediator I facilitate conversations between clients with the goal of helping them develop the necessary skills for constructive conversations on their own in the future. Every effort is made to assure that the clients are aware of each other's needs and interests.
My focus in private mediation is to be certain the parents are focusing on the needs and interests of the children during a divorce. During this process I want to assist the parents in creating a developmentally appropriate parenting plan. This plan should have resiliency to grow as the children grow accommodating their changing needs. If parents come to private mediation on their own or on a referral from an attorney every effort will be made to help the parents develop a plan they can agree to accept. The parenting plan developed in this process will be given to the clients and their referring attorneys. This document could then be memorialized into a legal document or included in the marriage settlement agreement.
Some clients come to private mediation as a result of a court order (STIPULATION AND ORDER appointing a private mediator, Sonoma County Rule 9.4.I.5.). This order offers the private mediator quasi-judicial immunity. Since there is an order for private mediation I would be able to make recommendations to the court regarding custody of their child(ren). In Sonoma County a group of psychotherapists have organized a High Conflict Co-Parenting Counseling project offering a full spectrum of services to divorcing or separating families. Private mediation is one of these services. For more information on this project please contact me through my Contact Information page. I will gladly provide more information on this project.