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What Do We Need In Order To Be Successful In Mediation?

Rachel Fishman Green, Esq.

The number one thing you need is for both of you to truly want to resolve everything in mediation, and to move forward. I have, so many times, worked with people who had what seemed like impossible conflicts - but they kept coming back to the table to talk, and solutions emerged.

Here are the requirements that you need, in order to consider mediation:

No Hidden Assets - Financial Disclosure
You can't make informed decisions if you do not have all of the information on which to base your decisions. In mediation, we will not have the power of the court behind us to compel people to produce credit card statements, bank statements, stock options, small business records, etc. Most couples who choose mediation feel confident that they know what each other has, and don't need to engage in formal disclosure. At a minimum, each person must be willing to voluntarily provide any information to the other person which is requested. Mediation would not be right for someone who wants to 'make a deal' without revealing their cards.

No Patterns of Intimidation/Control
If you and your spouse have a history of violence between you, you probably should use more traditional methods for negotiating your divorce. It is difficult to speak freely and express what you want if you fear that you will pay for your words later.

Good mediation practice includes initial and ongoing screening for intimate partner violence. However, studies show that it is the victim herself who is the best judge of what is needed to keep her safe. If you have a clear belief that mediation is your best option, you may be able to find a mediator who is trained specifically in mediation for families who have experienced intimate partner violence, such as:
  • Written guidelines of behavior which, if violated, will trigger immediate termination;
  • Presence of your advocate, relative or friend during mediation;
  • Separate mediation appointments for you and your ex;
  • Telephone/conference call mediation appointments, with no face-to-face meetings

Rachel Fishman Green, Esq. is a divorce mediator and attorney, and the director of ReSolutions in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She began her practice as a divorce and family mediator in 1995. She graduated cum laude from Boston University School of Law in 1990. Rachel is a certified mediator by "Safe Horizon's" Brooklyn Mediation Center, and a certified Arbitrator of Matrimonial Fee Disputes for the Second Judicial District serving Kings County. Ms. Rachel Green has helped thousands of divorcing and separating couples resolve conflicts concerning all aspects of divorce, including division of homes, time with the children, dividing small businesses, fair distribution of pension assets, child support, division of health and child care expenses for children, tax aspects of divorce, how to bring new girlfriends/boyfriends into children's lives.

Call her at 718-965-9236 or
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