We’re divorce crazy in this country. The adversarial process often takes an already difficult situation and makes it worse. It is enormously expensive, emotionally brutalizing and in every way depleting. It is by definition a win-lose model that strives to “win” by demeaning the other parent’s competences. Since adversarial divorce almost invariably intensifies the conflict and polarizes families, it is nearly impossible for parents to shield their children from the deleterious effects of divorce. Further, adversarial divorce makes it even more difficult for the divorcing couple to successfully co-parent during and post divorce.
Divorce mediation is an alternative, non-adversarial method of divorce focused on reaching a fair and comprehensive settlement in an efficient and cost effective manner. Mediation is generally completed in a fraction of the time, is far less expensive and avoids much of the conflict and pain so common in litigated divorces.
At The Center for Divorce Mediation, couples meet together with Dr. Schrag who facilitates discussion and skillfully helps couples successfully negotiate a complete agreement. He melds his specialized training in divorce mediation with his expertise as a child and marital therapist to produce a unique and structured method of mediation that strives for an agreement that is sensitive to individual needs while simultaneously honoring the family and home the couple jointly built. When children are living at home, the agreement is generally “child centered”, guided by the current research to help parents achieve agreements that are truly in the best interests of their children.
The main topics addressed during mediation include, but are not limited to Parenting Plans, Holiday Schedules, Child Support, Maintenance (Alimony) and Equitable Distribution of Property. Couples need not be educated or have any knowledge about these topics prior to coming to mediation. Though couples are free to separately consult with whomever you wish, Dr. Schrag will recommend mediation friendly expert professionals who understand the goals of mediation and will work in concert with each person’s goals. Neutral financial and tax experts are consulted and utilized on an as needed basis.
Since Dr. Schrag is also a seasoned clinical psychologist, he will be happy to discuss your children and share his insights on such topics as the latest divorce outcome research, minimizing the negative impact of divorce on children, helping children successfully adjust to divorce, methods for effective co-parenting after divorce, etc.
A Financial Neutral can be hired when needed as an adjunct to mediation. They are generally accountants who are responsible to gather the necessary financial information and help the parties understand the family’s financial picture. Since they are hired by the couple and do not serve either party, they remain neutral and can be enormously helpful at various stages of the process. For example, they can determine what financial information is relevant to gather and can help each party to fully understand the family’s financial picture. At a later stage in the process, they might calculate and explain the tax implications of each proposed settlement or offer models to consider the short and long term financial trajectory of one settlement as compared to another.
Divorce Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that obviates the need to go to court. If you would like to discuss whether this option is right for you, please feel free to call for a consultation at 914-232-8000.