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Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator in Pasadena

LISTEN WITH CURIOSITY

Above all, LISTEN WITH CURIOSITY to LEARN SOMETHING NEW.

It’s listening to understand rather than listening to win.

For MEDIATION, LISTEN with CURIOSITY and LISTEN to UNDERSTAND:

USE “I-STATEMENTS” to SPEAK FROM YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE.              “I-statements” reveal our individual perspectives. Speaking clearly for and about yourself makes your message easier for others to hear.

SHOW RESPECT by taking turns, avoiding visible or audible signs of disrespect, such as eye rolls or sighs. Try using “OUCH” rather than interrupting the speaker.  Take notes as needed to capture ideas as they emerge.  To say “OUCH” means that something strikes you as hurtful or needing a response.  You will get your turn to speak and share your perspective.

SHARE THE AIRTIME – Step in / step out as needed so everyone has a voice.

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE YOU WOULD LIKE TO CREATE.  Ask questions respectfully and listen carefully to the answers.

AVOID BLAME OR ACCUSATIONS ABOUT PAST CONDUCT.  Once we are in an angry, defensive mode, thinking stops and emotional reactivity kicks in.  We may need to take a break before we can make any further progress toward our mutual goals.

 MEDIATION MINDSET.  Use a “MEDIATION MINDSET” to listen with curiosity and approach problem-solving with a desire to create WIN – WIN situations wherever possible.

IN MEDIATION, YOU HAVE THE POWER:

1. To make the decisions about what is best for you and your children or family. 2. To decide how much attorney time you need, (if any).                                                 3. To manage the financial and personal costs of divorce or other family conflict.

AS NEEDED:

Use calming techniques, such as pauses / silence, deep breaths, or breaks.           Use “ouch” as needed – an “ouch” is not an interruption.

www.GeorgiaDaniels.com

CONVERSATIONS in ONLINE MEDIATION

CONVERSATIONS in ONLINE MEDIATION                                                              Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator

Each Family Is Different

For Online Mediation, each family is different. Each party brings different gifts to a marriage or family relationship.   If you are divorcing, you will be unique in what you hope for as you move toward a separate life.  For elder/adult family mediations, your goal may be restoration of family harmony.  I work differently with each family, according to your stated needs and the issues that must be resolved. Over the past 20 years, I have learned (and I keep learning) techniques and processes to improve your experience with online divorce mediation and family mediation online.

Choosing Mutual Respect

I believe that what we say matters. What we do matters. How we treat each other matters. Respect is the cornerstone of this process: respect for yourself and respect for the processes we will follow together. I hope that you will join me in choosing to respect our common humanity, even when it is not easy.

Joint Sessions and Individual Sessions

For divorce mediation, most sessions are joint sessions. However, it is immensely helpful to have individual sessions with each spouse at or near the beginning. This is a time to learn more about your individual perspectives, your values, and your hopes. Toward the end of the mediation process, individual sessions will confirm that we are really done and that your agreement is truly complete.

For online family mediation with two or more participants, the processes are similar. The goals may be different: restoring family harmony, or resolving a specific family issue.

The Conversational Dance

Sometimes, potential clients ask me to describe the process that I would use for a specific issue. Since each family is different, the sessions build on each other. There is no one-size-fits-all process.  Our work together will inform my preparations for each conversation as we Continue reading “CONVERSATIONS in ONLINE MEDIATION”

CO-PARENTING APPS for GOOD COMMUNICATION

In mediation, we focus on solving the real-world problems of your divorce.  For most families, this means learning to co-parent.  Because co-parenting is a learned skill that requires good communication, it makes sense to use all of the available tools.      https://www.georgiadaniels.com/divorce-services/

Divorce can be a stressful time.  It is easy to make mistakes when speaking or texting with your co-parent.  There are apps that can help you to communicate well.  These apps will help you to be brief and be clear.  In other words, these apps support good co-parenting.

These are three apps that my mediation clients mention most frequently:

TalkingParents.com – Talking Parents is free to sign up. Upgrades add features, including a calendar, child-related expense records, and other communication tools.  http://TalkingParents.com

2Houses.com – 2Houses offers a 14-day free trial and tons of features. One annual subscription covers the entire family, including grandparents.  http://2houses.com

OurFamilyWizard.com – OurFamilyWizard is a comprehensive system for divorcing parents.  It provides a variety of options. There’s a 30-day money-back guarantee. The “Tone Meter” helps you avoid texts likely to cause mis-communications.  http://ourfamilywizard.com

In conclusion, these apps can help you to communicate well with your soon-to-be ex.  Better communication will make your divorce mediation go more smoothly.  There may be other apps that also work well. Therefore, why don’t you experiment and find out for yourselves which app works best for you? Let me know if you have a favorite that is not on this list!

 

 

 

USE A LEGAL DOCUMENT ASSISTANT TO SAVE MONEY IN DIVORCE MEDIATION

USE A LEGAL DOCUMENT ASSISTANT TO SAVE MONEY IN DIVORCE MEDIATION – Los Angeles County

What is an LDA?

Using a Legal Document Assistant (LDA) for your mediated divorce can save you money. An LDA registers with the county clerk to provide self-help documents at the client’s request.  I am  a mediator and an LDA, registered in Los Angeles County.  When you hire me as your LDA, you don’t have to go to court. You pay less for uncontested divorce documents than you would pay for a paralegal in typical law office to prepare, file, and serve the same papers.

What if You Need Legal Advice?

Please note that I am not a California attorney.  I cannot provide legal advice.  What can I do?  I can save you from one of the less-pleasant parts of a divorce:  completing and filing the divorce paperwork.  This saves you from many kinds of pesky details.  If needed, I can point you toward a vast amount of public information relevant to your situation.  You can use this information for problem-solving in direct negotiations or in mediation.  Upon request, I will refer you to family law attorneys for advice on specific legal issues.  Then, you can return and continue your self-representation.

How Does It Work for an Uncontested Divorce?

When you engage me to prepare your divorce documents, you provide the necessary information and I take care of the drudgery.  The end goal is usually an “uncontested” divorce, based on mediation and/or negotiation.  I prepare the necessary documents for your signature (“In Pro Per”) to open your court file and, eventually, to obtain your divorce judgment.  You avoid hours of waiting in court lines, and the heartbreak of finding out, months later, that documents you prepared on your own, without assistance, were deficient and must be re-done.

How Much Does It Cost?

How much will you save?  Paralegals in law offices often charge $1,500 or more for an uncontested “In Pro Per” divorce.  I charge $900 if there are no minor children and $1,050 if there are minor children.  My clients are individuals or couples who intend to work things out, either by mediating with a spouse or negotiating directly with a spouse.  If this sounds like you, please give me a call.  626-441-1900 or 909-414-2721.

PLEASE NOTE:  I am a Legal Document Assistant;  I am not a California lawyer.  If you need legal advice, go to a California attorney.  Legal information is available here, but not legal advice.  I prepare documents at your direction.  Georgia L. Daniels, L.D.A. registered with the Los Angeles County Clerk, #2019060255.  272 South Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101. 626-441-1900 or 909-414-2721.

Mediating Family – Owned Business Issues

Running a family-owned small business can be stressful.  You want to resolve the problem, nor waste money on litigation.  Do you want to part as amicably as possible with a “business divorce”?  Do you want to revive the business relationship?  Either way, mediation is by far the better way to resolve business conflicts where personal relationships matter.

Mediation offers a way forward to settle business issues with dignity. Mediation is confidential, convenient, and compassionate.  Evening and Saturday appointments minimize distractions that interfere with your workday. Mediation saves you time and money while reducing the stress that accompanies major business conflicts.

The magic of mediation, the time when “shift happens,” occurs when people who have been hurt, angry, defensive, etc., suddenly stop “talking at” each other because you shift into really listening.  From this listening, solutions can emerge.

Since 2006, I have been offering mediation services to family-owned small businesses in the Pasadena area. Other small businesses with a “family” feel are also good candidates for mediation. It has been my privilege to provide mediation for people who want to figure out what is fair and right for their unique situation.  For more information, please give me a call at 626-441-1900 or contact me at https://www.georgiadaniels.com/contact/

 

Mediation as Family Peace-Making

Elder care mediation and pre-nuptial / post-nuptial mediation provide peacemaking opportunities within the family when divorce is not the desired outcome.  When divorce is on the horizon, choose the service that best meets your needs:  comprehensive divorce mediation; limited scope (unbundled) mediation of one or two topics only, such as a parenting plan or spousal support; distance mediation by video or telephone.

Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator
272 S Los Robles Ave 203
Pasadena, CA 91101
626-441-1900
www.GeorgiaDaniels.com

Elder Mediation as Music-Making

Elder mediation focuses on communication and problem-solving within a family or circle of friends who are concerned about the well-being of an elder.  Conflicts may arise between generations, such as between aging parents and their children, or between adult siblings if they slip back into their childhood roles and conflicts.

Typical issues may include parents’ driving habits, whether more in-home care or assisted living is needed, or which sibling is responsible for what aspects of the parent’s care. Mediation can also address more complex issues such as estate planning and inheritance concerns, family business succession, and health care choices.

Usually, the elder’s adult children or friends are quite clear that “something needs to be done” but how this “something” can be accomplished is less clear and can generate heated disagreement among those concerned.  Family members who are locked in ongoing conflicts may be unaware of elder mediation and its benefits. In addition, the spouse of the elder may be committed to maintaining the appearance that nothing is wrong.

The mediator is like an impartial musical conductor who sets up conversations, outlines some options, encourages creativity, and cues the participants when it is time to chime in.  The elder’s voice carries the melody.  Other parties support the melody by exploring options and adapting possibilities to fit their situation.  Together, everyone arrives at a final chord: a plan that describes what best meets the elder’s needs and satisfies concerned family and friends.

Divorce Mediation – Free Consultation

Free Phone Call: I offer a free 15-minute phone call to each potential party.  Please call (626) 441-1900 to schedule your call.

Free Mediation Consultation:  This free 30-minute information session provides general mediation information to both parties at the same time.  We can meet in person (preferred) or by phone/ video.

Introduction to Mediation:  This introductory session provides more specific information about how we would work together to address your unique circumstances; the fee is $100.  For convenience, if you wish to get started right away, this session may follow directly after the free consultation.

Additional Information:  Additional information about fees, fee estimates, written agreements, referrals and other costs is available in another post.  I have a library of resources available to you in my Pasadena office.

Resources for Families Experiencing Conflict

Family conflicts are unique to each family, but some patterns may be consistent across time and culture.  You might find one or more of these resources to be helpful. 

FILM:

BRUNO, Ellen.  SPLIT: A DVD and Viewer’s Guide for Parents and Professionals.  (2016)

PARENTING BOOKS:

Bonnell, Karen.  The Co-Parent’s Handbook.  (2014)

Drutman, Howard.  Divorce: The Art of Screwing Up Your Children.  (2016)

Kossen, Jeremy, et al.  Putting Kids First In Divorce. (2016)

Philips, Susan.  Stepchildren Speak:  10 Grown-Up Stepchildren Teach Us How to Build

                        Healthy Families.

Ricci, Isolina.  Mom’s House / Dad’s House and Mom’s House / Dad’s House For Children.                   (1980).

Ross, Julie.  Joint Custody With a Jerk:  Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex.  (2011).

Wallerstein, Judith, Ph.D., and Sandra Blakeslee.  What About the Kids?  Raising Your                             Children Before, During, and After Divorce.  (2003)

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Ahrons, Constance, Ph.D.  The Good Divorce:  Keeping Your Family Together When Your

                        Marriage Comes Apart.  (1994)

Green, Janice.  Divorce After 50.  (2013)

Sherman, Ed.  How To Do Your Own Divorce in California.  (several editions)

Stoner, Katherine.   Divorce Without Court.  (several editions)

Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator

272 South Los Robles Avenue

Pasadena, CA 91101

626-441-1900

www.GeorgiaDaniels.com

DIVORCE MEDIATION or LITIGATION: COMPARING COST and CONVENIENCE

 COMPARING MEDIATION to LITIGATION

 

When couples are separating, money is usually tight for a while until the “new normal” kicks in.  You want the best possible process for all aspects of your divorce, but most likely, you don’t have a small fortune spend.  For most people, a mediated divorce is more likely to be satisfactory to the parties than a litigated divorce, in terms of convenience, speed of resolution, control, and cost.
This chart compares the cost and convenience of divorce mediation  and divorce litigation in the Pasadena, CA area, as of Summer 2016.  Think about this:  when there are decisions at stake that may affect you for the rest of your life, do you really want low cost to be the primary focus of your mediation?  Experience, compassion, and convenience are important, too.  As your mediator, my goal is to provide excellent, personalized service at convenient times, while being mindful of your desire for a reasonable price.  The mediation fees indicated are in the range typical for Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator.  Other mediators’ fees may be higher or lower.
MEDIATION LITIGATION
DAY or EVENING Flexible; most weekday appointments start at 5:00 PM, 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM; Saturdays, 9:00 AM through 1:00 PM. Court’s work-day is – 8 AM to 5 PM;  attorneys generally don’t make appointments for 6:00 PM or Saturday morning
TIME TO RESOLVE YOUR CASE Usually a few weeks to a few months; within your control It can take months to get a court date for temporary orders; even longer for a full trial date
APPROACH Respectful and collaborative, striving for win/win solutions Adversarial;  winner / loser likely
DECISION MAKER You (the parties) The judge
CONTROL You (the parties); mediator as moderator The judge; lawyers
PROCESS Informal and private Formal and public
COST Reasonable – the mediation fee depends upon the amount of mediator preparation required, the number of meetings required, the complexity of issues, and level of conflict between the parties.  See chart in following post.

Reasonable is likely to be between $2,750 to $4,000 for the mediator’s fee in most cases for a comprehensive divorce mediation, and somewhat more for the mediator’s fee in complex cases.  Please call 626-441-1900 for more detailed information on fees.

Limited scope divorcemediation fees can be significantly less.  Please inquire.

Other Family Mediation Fees
Fees for pre-marital mediation, post-marital mediation, limited scope divorce mediation, and elder / adult sibling mediation are each different from the others.  Please call 626-441-1900 for more information.

Enormously expensive –

Attorney fees can range from $15,000 to $75,000, or even more, depending upon the number of court appearances, amount of preparation, complexity, etc.

Please note that this chart addresses the fee for mediation or litigation only.  Other fees may include court filing fees, party response fees, experts such as appraisers or financial advisers, consulting attorneys for mediation, and document preparation fees for paralegals or legal document assistants.

Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator
725 Plymouth Rd, Claremont, CA 91711 | 909-414-2721

Los Angeles Mediator and Pasadena Mediator disclaimer: The California divorce mediation, estate planning mediation, family business mediation, or other family mediation information presented in this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a mediator/client relationship. Please contact Georgia Daniels for a consultation on your particular situation.

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