Mediation is a problem-solving, voluntary process that supports you and your spouse as you file for divorce, talk about the needs of your children, (if any), exchange financial information, and work out the terms of your divorce agreement. When I act as a mediator, I am a neutral facilitator. That means I don’t take sides. I don’t make decisions for you. I don’t tell you what to do. I don’t represent either of you. Instead, my job as a mediator is to provide a safe, productive space where you will gather and review financial information, identify questions that will need to be answered, and negotiate a complete settlement directly with one another.
As a mediator, I am allowed by law to provide legal information, but I am not allowed to provide legal advice. If in the course of negotiation you believe you need legal advice, you will have the opportunity to consult with a lawyer you hire to give you legal advice. Whether or not to hire a lawyer is ultimately each spouse’s individual choice. However, I urge mediating spouses to remember that divorce is an important legal proceeding, and getting legal advice if you need it is wise.
The goal of mediation is to reach agreements that are acceptable to both spouses. Mediation is intended to limit the emotional and financial costs of divorce. I have years of experience assisting divorcing spouses in mediation.
For families with minor children, we work to fashion an agreement that meets the interests of both spouses and the best interests of the children. If you have minor children, in Wisconsin, the Court will require a parenting plan. Mediation with me offers you the benefit of working with an attorney who has practiced family law for more than 30 years. I skillfully walk you through the decisions you need to make now as well as support you as you think about how your children’s needs may change in the future.
Wisconsin law requires that full financial disclosure is made by each spouse in mediation. When we negotiate financial issues, we talk about interests, needs, and goals as we look for ways to expand and assign the available resources. Mediation is a future-focused planning process. We don’t seek to assign blame. We work to create a sustainable future for the entire family.
Mediation can be used by divorcing spouses who are represented by attorneys but nevertheless want to negotiate directly with each other, rather than through their attorneys. Mediation can also be used by divorcing spouses who are in the collaborative divorce process.
Mediation can be used by spouses who are not represented by attorneys. Mediation is a flexible process intended to be client-centered. I am committed to working with you in the way that best meets your needs.
As your attorney mediator, I am authorized to draft the required documents for you to process your divorce in Wisconsin. This includes, at a minimum, a Petition for Divorce, a Marital Settlement Agreement, and Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Judgment of Divorce. I cannot go to Court with you for your final hearing, but I can prepare all of the necessary documents in advance of your final hearing, if you want me to do so.
After you are divorced, issues may arise concerning co-parenting, support, or placement. You can use mediation as a way to resolve post-divorce issues, rather than filing a Court action, if you want to do so.
The heart of my mediation and divorce practice is helping people resolve disputes respectfully and without litigation. My clients tell me they appreciate looking at divorce as a future-focused planning process, rather than as a court battle. I had a Judge tell me once that he respected me as a problem-solver, rather than the more typical trouble-maker. It felt great to have my entire practice philosophy summed up so concisely.
Divorce is a difficult life circumstance. How you respond to divorce is tremendously important. You can have a terrible divorce or you can have a not so terrible divorce. The choice is yours.