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626-441-1900 or 909-414-2721

272 South Los Robles Avenue #203, Pasadena, CA 91101

Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator in Pasadena

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


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

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. 


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


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)


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





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.
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.

CONSTRUCTIVE CONFLICT – Part 4 – Handling Disagreement

Part of the mediator’s job is to coach the parties on how to disagree without being disagreeable.  By observing ground rules based on mutual respect, mediation participants are more likely to stay in the realm of positive problem-solving.
Adherence to these three ground rules typically leads to positive problem-solving:
1.  Avoid interrupting.  (The other party can take notes of points he or she wishes to emphasize when it is his or her turn.)
2.  Speak from your own experience.  (“I-statements” convey your own feelings; the other party will have a turn to share his or her perspective later.)
3.  Avoid showing signs of disrespect.
Positive, forward-looking problem-solving tends to lead to mutually agreeable solutions.  For more information, call 626-441-1900 or visit


Breaking the Cycle of Blame


Mediation ground rules that emphasize respect for each participant’s humanity tend to promote development of a positive, problem-solving lens for the mediation.  To break out of a cycle of unproductive conflict that focuses on history and blame, a divorcing couple may use a forward-looking lens to generate movement towards settlement.  This positive outlook is based on using the lens of respect – respect for self, for the other, for the mediator and for the process of mediation.
When a person feels disrespected or blamed, he or she is more likely to respond emotionally. When feelings run high, thoughtful, problem-solving becomes less likely for the rest of the mediation session.  It may be time to take a break, or adjourn for the day.
For more information, call 626-441-1900 or visit


Conflicting Information; Conflicting Feelings 
There are at least two types of conflict that can crop up in mediation: conflict over data or information, which is also known as cognitive conflict, and conflict over feelings, or  affective conflict.  Divorce mediation tends to focus on facts or information.  But before people can resolve their differences regarding facts or information, they may need to air their feelings.
Conflict over feelings has a greater potential to derail a productive mediation if it is not skillfully managed.  Sometimes, one party may seek to review relationship history and to assign blame for a particular outcome.  The blaming perspective is rarely productive.  This does not mean that feelings have no value in mediation; they do.  Often, it is impossible to move forward until each party has had the opportunity to state his or her truth about a matter, and to feel heard.  Then, when the parties feel truly heard, they can move on to reviewing their situation, to seeing it again with a new focus on current and future actions rather than past history.
For more information, call 626-441-1900 or visit


Divorce mediation and differences of opinion go hand-in-hand.  How these differences are handled is what really counts.  Divorce mediation is an agreement-reaching process that typically goes through several stages on the way to reaching a fair and lasting agreement.   Along the way, reliance on constructive conflict, or using the lens of respect, is an effective strategy for managing conflict in divorce mediation.  Even when feelings are high, forward movement toward a mutually agreeable solution is possible when all parties abide by process guidelines or ground rules that focus on mutual respect.
For more information, call 626-441-1900 or visit

Georgia Daniels, J.D., Mediator | 272 S Los Robles Avenue #203, Pasadena, CA 91101 | 626-441-1900 or 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 a Pasadena Mediator for a consultation on your particular situation.