I am going through a bitter divorce.  Are we candidates for mediation?

Absolutely.  Some people believe only low-conflict situations are appropriate for
mediation.  This is not true.  In fact it is high-conflict disputes that truly need
mediation.  Good mediators are experts in and comfortable around conflict and
emotion.  We are able to help people get through the difficulties to be able to make better decisions and lastingagreements.  Attorneys are experts in legal matters.
Accountants are experts in financial matters.  Going to an expert in dispute resolution really makes sense for people needing help with difficult matters and/or relationships.

Can I bring my lawyer to mediation?

Yes, of course.  You are welcome to bring any expert or support person you wish to
mediation.  There are many people who may be of great help.  Attorneys, accountants,
realtors, etc. may all bring useful information to help you make informed decisions. Both/all parties should agree ahead of time who will be present. Sometimes it helps to have the first mediation sessioninclude only the parties directly involved in the
situation. Experts can always be called on for information or to be included in a later session.

I am feeling very hopeless about my situation.  Why would mediation help?

While open communication guarantees that people may say what they want to say, it does not ensure that all points of view will be heard nor that they will be listened to in ways that promote deeper understanding and moving forward.  Mediation will help in a variety of ways, but its biggest influence may truly be that participants have an
opportunity to experience not just open, but also effective communication.

Do I need a lawyer to get divorced?

Getting divorced is a legal process with certain requirements set up by each county government.  You may certainly hire an attorney to do this for you (as well as to give you legal advice) however there are other options for filling out the divorce forms.  There is an online service supplied by the Minnesota Judicial Branch called “ICAN!”.  You can easily find this online to begin filling out the forms online.  Once you give this a try you will find out whether or not you have some hurdles with which you could use help.  Then you can call a mediator, attorney, or other expert depending on your needs.  Also, some counties, such as Hennepin County, have excellent self-help desks with an amazing amount of good and free help from a county employee.

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© Janet W. Collins / Mediation Unlimited LLC
Mediation Unlimited LLC
7101 York Ave. So. #157
Minneapolis, MN 55435