Mediation: A Step by Step Approach to Finding Solutions

Resolving Conflict & Fostering Cooperation

One of the reasons I became a mediator is because I saw first-hand how destructive litigation is to families. I wanted to work with individuals/parents to help them restructure their lives/families in a way in which everyone could grow and thrive. I will be there every step of the way to help you make the decisions that will allow each of you to create a strong foundation for your future. As your mediator it is my job to be a neutral third party and help you communicate more effectively, stay focused on the issues at hand, and assist in generating new ideas for resolving disputes. I will help you each identify your needs, encourage brainstorming, and facilitate discussions around possible compromises or trade-offs that you may not have considered. I believe that you are the experts in your lives’, and you know better than a judge, or anyone else, how to make decisions about your future. Unlike a court proceeding, where a judge imposes a decision that impacts your future, mediation provides you with the opportunity for a more flexible and collaborative approach. A hallmark of mediation is the ability for you to discuss your concerns and interests, explore potential options and find creative solutions that meet everyone’s needs. Because mediation allows you to be more involved in the decision-making process, you are also more likely to feel invested in the outcome and committed to complying with the terms of the agreement that you created. Studies suggest that there is about an 80% success rate with mediation.

My Promise to You

  • I am here to ensure you have all the information necessary to make informed decisions.
  • I will provide you with information and additional professional resources to help you with your decision making.
  • I will help you manage your communication during the Divorce Mediation process so you can minimize the conflict.
  • I will provide expertise on co-parenting and divorce financial issues that you would otherwise have to seek elsewhere.

Why First Steps Divorce for Your MEDIATION

Having personally experienced a disastrous mediation for my divorce, I’m deeply committed to having the knowledge and skills necessary to provide my clients with a mediation experience that will allow them to make informed decisions which will serve them well into the future. So, to make sure I can do that, I keep learning and training. I’ve already spent hundreds of hours on mediation and advanced mediation training. I received my paralegal certificate from an ABA approved paralegal program. I’ve engaged in several high-conflict training programs to have the skills to assist when emotions take over the room. And I’ve committed myself to understanding the needs of children in the divorce process to help parents be the best co-parents they can be and continue to provide their children with the support they need. These are the skills I wish my mediator had and I believe they allow me to give my clients the assistance they need to have not only a successful mediation, but to be able to thrive post-divorce.



Mediation is a process that involves both parties working with a neutral third party (the mediator) to come to a mutually agreeable settlement for their divorce. Here are some things to know about mediation:
Voluntary Process Mediation is a voluntary process, which means that both parties must agree to participate in the mediation process.

All communications that occur during mediation are confidential and cannot be used against either party in court.

Neutral Third Party:
The mediator is a neutral third party who does not take sides in the divorce.  They are there to facilitate discussion and help the parties come to an agreement.

Cost Effective:
Mediation is typically less expensive than going through a traditional divorce process with attorneys.

Mediation allows for greater flexibility in terms of scheduling and the ability to come up with a customized agreement that works for both parties.


In my divorce mediation practice, I employ a co-mediation approach to provide families with comprehensive support and guidance during the challenging process of divorce. Partnering with Tanya Aure, a highly skilled Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) allows us to combine our respective expertise to offer clients the knowledge they need to make informed decisions. While I bring conflict resolution and co-parenting skills to the table, Tanya’s financial expertise ensures that all financial aspects of the divorce are thoroughly considered. I strongly believe in a collaborative approach to mediation, as it provides the best opportunity for success and long-term satisfaction. As part of this approach, I encourage our clients to engage with consulting attorneys, divorce mortgage and real estate specialists, other financial professionals, and any other experts necessary to guide them in making decisions they won’t regret. By integrating various perspectives and specialized knowledge, I strive to empower families and facilitate a smoother transition through this challenging time.

Benefits of Divorce Mediation

Cost Effective

Divorce Mediation is a more efficient and less costly process than litigation (the traditional method of getting divorced).

Better Outcomes

Mediation typically results in better, more creative solutions and allows both parties to have greater control over the outcome.


Unlike litigation, mediation is a private process that prevents your records from being available to the public or accessible to your children.

More Successful

Mediation has a higher success rate because both parties are invested in the process and in finding a resolution that meets the needs of both.


Best of all? Divorce Mediation is the most flexible divorce method available, one that can preserve goodwill, even amicable friendships (I know, right?), between former partners, which is especially important if children are involved.

Parenting Plan Mediation

Now that you and your spouse have decided to separate or divorce, your relationship has changed from that of a married couple to that of partners in the business of raising your children. As with any successful business, it’s critical to develop a plan that provides details around how the business will operate. A failure to plan is a plan to fail!

I can work with you, in a mediation setting, to create a detailed, child-centered parenting plan that outlines the responsibilities and expectations for both parents. This plan will provide a roadmap for raising your children in a healthy and supportive environment. Remember, your children need the same thing from you whether you are parenting under one roof or two.

When going through a separation or divorce there are a lot of decisions that need to be made, some of which you may disagree on. The one thing most parents can agree on is the love they have for their children and that they want them to grow up happy and healthy. Crafting a detailed parenting plan will help you avoid the unnecessary conflict that can arise when co-parenting. It will also address how you will resolve issues when you’re not in agreement so you can prevent any future litigation. It is not the divorce that negatively impacts children, it is the conflict that they experience between their parents.

Benefits of Using a Mediator to Help Create Your Parenting Plan

Facilitates Effective Communication
A mediator acts as a neutral third party who helps parents communicate constructively and effectively. They create a safe environment where both parents can express their concerns and preferences while keeping the focus on the best interests of the child. Using a mediator to help you create your parenting plan promotes better understanding and can reduce on-going conflict between parents, fostering a cooperative co-parenting relationship.
Promotes Child-Centered Decision-Making

A mediator guides parents in developing a parenting plan that prioritizes the needs and well-being of the child. They help parents consider factors such as the child’s age, developmental stage, and individual needs when making decisions about custody, visitation schedules, education, healthcare, and other relevant aspects. Working with a mediator to help you create a child centered parenting plan helps both parents stay focused on the needs of the child and how they can continue to provide the necessary support for their children while living in two homes.

Customized and Flexible Solutions
Mediation allows parents to create a parenting plan that is tailored to their unique circumstances and the specific needs of their child. Unlike a court-imposed decision, which may be more rigid, mediation provides the flexibility to address individual concerns and find creative solutions that work best for the family. Parents have the opportunity to design a plan that considers their schedules, work commitments, and other practical considerations, while still prioritizing the child’s welfare.
Reduces Conflict and Stress

Mediation will help de-escalate conflict between parents, reducing the stress and emotional toll on everyone involved, especially the child. By fostering open dialogue and collaborative problem-solving, a mediator helps parents find common ground and resolve disputes in a more peaceful and respectful manner. This process often leads to more amicable co-parenting relationships, which contributes to a healthier and more stable environment for the child.

Cost-Effective and Efficient
Compared to the traditional litigation process, mediation tends to be more cost-effective and time-efficient. Resolving parenting disputes through mediation will save parents significant legal fees and lengthy court proceedings. Mediation sessions are typically scheduled at mutually convenient times, and the process itself is often faster than going through the court system, allowing parents to reach agreements more promptly.
Promotes Long-Term Cooperation

A mediated parenting plan encourages parents to work together and develop effective communication strategies. By focusing on the child’s best interests and fostering cooperation, mediation sets the stage for a healthier co-parenting relationship in the long run. This collaborative approach helps parents adapt to changing circumstances, make adjustments to the plan as needed, and maintain a positive and supportive environment for their child.


The investment for mediation services varies depending on your goals and needs. Please contact me for a consultation and a custom quote for your situation.

Other First Steps Divorce Services


Overwhelmed? Uncertain? Let me guide you in your divorce journey.


You are now in the “business” of raising your children together as co-parents. Let’s make a plan.