Divorce Mediator in the San Francisco Bay Area
Mediation for Divorce, Family Law, Probate and Business Matters
Brian is passionate about helping clients achieve a speedy and, to the extent possible, amicable resolution through mediation. For more information about divorce mediation and its benefits, or to inquire about mediation for probate or business disputes, please see our frequently asked questions and mediation process pages.
Why Mediation Works
Mediation is appropriate in disputes for several reasons. It allows each party to focus on their concerns (“interests”) and not merely their view of what is required to protect themselves (their “positions”). Mediation works because the parties can directly hear each other’s concerns and, with the neutral mediator’s assistance, clarify intentions and accommodate those concerns without unnecessarily compromising their own interest. Additionally, freed from the role of acting as an advocate for a single party (the ethical obligation of an attorney), the mediator can often envision options that neither party imagined. It may help to think outside the box for your particular circumstances.
Unlike a traditional divorce proceeding, mediation encourages each party to become self-sufficient and take responsibility for making his or her own decisions. At the same time, it ensures that both parties have the same complete and accurate information, so that they can make informed decisions and understand both the options available to them and the consequences of those options.
Other advantages of mediation include:
In mediation, both parties are present, ensuring that intent and meaning can be clarified immediately before misunderstandings compromise a party’s efforts to resolve issues.
Maximizing Efficiency and Saving Funds
Communicating through third parties not only increases the likelihood that messages will become garbled, it also expends a lot of time and effort, unnecessarily escalating costs. Brian facilitates discussion and expedites resolution, resulting in a process that can prove more cost-effective.
Mediation can also ease stress. While litigation can drag on for as long as a year, or multiple years if a case is appealed, mediation provides a timely way of resolving disputes so that each party can move forward with their lives.
Higher Rate of Compliance
Because parties are generally more satisfied with solutions that are mutually agreed upon, as opposed to solutions imposed on them by a third party decision-maker (Judge or Arbitrator), they are generally more likely to comply with the terms.
Preservation of an Ongoing Relationship or Termination of a Relationship in a More Amicable Way
Many disputes occur in the context of relationships that will continue over future years due to an ongoing business relationship, family relationship, child custody, or child or marital support arrangements. A mediated settlement can often preserve a working relationship in ways that would not be possible following contentious litigation or arbitration. Mediation can also allow for an amicable termination of a relationship, better protecting the interests of others who may be involved.
Decisions that Last
Mediated settlements tend to hold up over time, and if a later dispute arises, the parties are more likely to utilize mediation again to bring the matter to a swift conclusion.
Consult With an Experienced Mediator
If you are interested in exploring mediation to resolve your dispute, it is important to consult with an experienced mediator. To discuss your options, and whether mediation might be appropriate for your dispute, contact Brian McDonald, a Bay Area mediator with forty years of experience.