How D-I-V Design Does It
YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW...
HOW DO WE DECIDE ON A MEDIATOR?
By doing exactly what you're doing: research mediators and suggest two or three to your partner or co-parent or ex. Both parties need to agree to one mediator.
ARE MEDIATORS ATTORNEYS?
They can be, but the role of a mediator is to help you determine the outcome to this case that you can live with, not to give legal advice. Attorneys who are mediators should never give legal advice when acting as a mediator, and are prohibited from doing so. If need for legal advice arises during a session, we will make a plan for parties to seek out information. For divorce agreements that involve property and parenting plans, we recommend that you always have an attorney review it before submitting to the court file. Quite often mediators who come from backgrounds other than the law charge less per hour, though the training criteria for joining mediation associations is the same certification process for every mediator.
WHO IS ALLOWED IN A MEDIATION SESSION?
We will help parties decide who should be present. Depending on the issues, group size varies, but typically, Divorce and Parenting Plan mediation sessions are conducted with only the couple or parents present. References and resources can be included, if necessary, by conference call.
Family mediations would include the family members needed to resolve a conflict or dispute.
WHAT DO WE DO IF I DON’T WANT TO BE IN THE SAME ROOM WITH THE OTHER PERSON?
We can make two separate rooms available.
50% of the mediation fee is collected one week before the session; the other 50% is paid upon arrival at the mediation session. Unless other arrangements have been made by the parties or the court, the fee is split 50-50 between the parties.
WHY A NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT?
We have found over the years that people become more invested when they have literally invested half a session up front. It is a great motivator to be well and to show up, especially when the content of sessions may be difficult, or when there's a new baby in the house and the schedule is already topsy-turvy. It necessarily creates a two-way avenue of respect.
DO YOU EVER DO PRO BONO (FREE) WORK?
In spite of my best desire to refute my fourth-grade teacher's plaque on the wall, "There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch," I've got to say that the economics of investing something by all parties is a motivator. However, I do believe that parity is not equity, and to that end, we offer a sliding fee scale for those who demonstrate financial need. And unfortunately, there's a form for that. The upside is you can get services for a lot cheaper, and we use the national index on poverty to determine that, with the added understanding that Seattle is expensive and the index is grossly underestimated for our fare city.
WHY SELF-SELECT A PARENT EVALUATOR OR GAL?
Because it's better for parents and it's better for their offspring. It bodes well for future interaction. It shows the court that parents are actually able to put aside a giant share of their differences in the best interest of their child. It shows they have wrested their fear in giving someone power to make recommendations based on first-person observations, and STILL have decided to take this one action that enables them to self-select, that gives them voice and determination in one area of their family life when everything else may be falling apart. It is a move toward choice in the face of the court selecting someone for you.
GROUP PARENTING CLASSES?
We operate similarly to other parent organizations, except that we are available for more individualized care and consultation, and we encourage parents to start from family planning to awaiting baby's arrival, baby's first year, advent of a sibling, and adolescent support. We are there for the entire journey.