Divorce and Marital Mediation

Denise CoggiolaDenise Coggiola is a Degreed and Certified Court-Appointed Mediator serving the Dallas area.

A professional mediator focuses on conflict resolution, so the job demands a person with excellent reasoning, problem-solving, and peace-making abilities. When a couple wishes to avoid the legal intricacies of litigation in order to reduce time, expense and confrontation, they may utilize a mediator to facilitate an equitable solution. Many people are suspicious of lawyers and attorneys, mediators are more often attributed with qualities of trustworthiness, neutrality, and empathy.

Traditional Divorce

Traditional divorce is the legal separation of two married individuals. Through the court process, often judges will order the parties to work out an agreement through court-ordered mediation. Denise is a Certified Mediator for a Court-Ordered DivorceDivorce Decree ModificationChild Custody BattleAdoption, and other family legal issues.

Collaborative Divorce

divorce mediationIn a collaborative divorce, the couple strives to reach a fair settlement through a series of meetings between the couple and a mediator. The primary focus is to identify the priorities, goals, needs and interests of the parties, and help them progress towards and create a settlement that is consistent with their priorities, goals, needs, and interests. The parties make their own decisions based on their own standards and accomplish all the necessary documentation for a legal divorce.

Too often the traditional system of divorce unnecessarily damages already fragile relationships. Collaborative divorce is an alternative divorce process through which the parties commit themselves to resolving all issues of the divorce by negotiated agreement without resorting, or threatening to resort, to costly legal proceedings. Collaborative divorce resolves the legal, financial and emotional aspects of divorce allowing the individuals to properly address their areas of concern.

As a collaborative divorce mediator, Denise is a neutral mediator to help both sides. Denise will help both parties:

  • Understand the different paths to achieve a divorce
  • Consider what divorce will mean for you and your children
  • Identify and express what both parties want
  • Communicate clearly about issues that matter most
  • Manage your emotions and express them clearly
  • Draw on your strengths
  • Work with each other to develop a plan for shared parenting
  • Achieve your goals in the divorce process
  • Consider and achieve your goals for the future

Collaborative divorce uses informal methods, such as voluntary production of financial documents, phone conferences, negotiation, and where needed, outside professionals, such as accountants, financial planners, and family counselors.

Even though we often think of divorce as a couple’s event, it is really a family event. When there are children involved — no matter what their age — divorce has a profound affect on them.

The collaborative process is designed to be less time consuming, less expensive, and less confrontational than traditional adversarial divorce. Parties in a collaborative divorce must commit to a peaceful approach. It can be a rough, emotional road, but you will emerge from it a more peaceful and healthy person.

Why choose a Degreed Mediator?

Divorce Mediation is a field that is not yet regulated and therefore the standard of expertise and training for mediators is often hard to judge. Many mediators have had only a minimum amount (usually 40 hours) of “seminar” training. Others tack mediation onto another related practice as a sideline. A degreed mediator has the education, skill, experience, and training to realize that the mediation setting is neither a courtroom, nor a counselor’s office. It is unique, and when managed well, very effective.

If I already have a lawyer, why do I need a Mediator?

Mediators and attorneys are partners in the legal process. Regardless of the stage of a dispute–whether it’s already in litigation or not there yet–mediation can make a difference. Mediation provides:

1. A framework to negotiate. Most attorneys don’t have any real training in negotiation. Mediators are negotiation experts who understand how to turn the parties into more effective negotiators. They define your interests, aim to meet them, and maximize your gain–yours and the other side’s.

2. Focus and structure. Good mediators are skilled facilitators who run a mediation like an efficient business meeting. They have the ability to cut through the sparring, posturing, and argumentativeness to help parties get down to business. They push parties to develop an agenda, identify key interests, and create a realistic action plan which both can commit to and implement.

3. A dose of reality. One of the challenges attorneys can face is the client with unrealistic expectations about the value of their cases or the likelihood of success at trial. Mediation allows clients a first-hand glimpse into the strengths of the case of the opposing side or gives a preview of how sympathetic a plaintiff will be in court. The mediator brings to the negotiating table skill in reality testing along with the ability to guide parties through risk analysis–which can make settlement seem far more attractive than the alternatives away from the table.

4. Reality for the other side. Mediators of course will be asking the hard questions of all sides in a dispute, not just the one you happen to be on.

5. Overcoming barriers to agreement. Mediators are proactive in seeking out and addressing issues that are preventing the parties from reaching resolution.

6. Greater satisfaction. What’s not to like about a process that can save you time and money and enable you to walk away with a solution tailor-made to meet your interests?