CENTRE FOR MEDIATION & DISPUTE RESOLUTION ONLINE

Knowledge Base

What is a Mediation Strategist

February 2004
Written by CMDR Staff

What is a Mediation Strategist

Frequently in divorce cases, one spouse wants an attorney and the other prefers a mediator. However, mediation cannot take place unless both parties are willing to mediate. For those individuals who want to mediate, but whose spouse refuses to participate in the process, the Centre for Mediation & Dispute Resolution offers an innovative solution—a mediation strategist.

It is not uncommon for people to have personal trainers, personal life coaches, personal assistants, personal shoppers, personal beauty consultants, and so on. When facing a divorce, one of the most critical, life-changing events in a person’s life, the advantages of having a mediation strategist to help guide you through the process are innumerable.

Dr. Lynne Halem, the Centre’s director, has been serving as a mediation strategist for individuals who are reluctant to surrender their case and its direction to respective attorneys. With more than 22 years of mediation experience, Dr. Halem helps clients to view the big picture and design creative settlements that are geared towards a win-win situation rather than “May the spouse with the most aggressive divorce attorney win.” The objective is to use creative problem solving for generating proposals and responses to proposals that not only focus on a settlement that is fair to both parties but also are financially and emotionally workable.


A Case Study
Tom and Joanne were getting divorced. Joanne wanted to use a mediator and Tom wanted to get the most aggressive attorney he could find to avoid paying alimony. Joanne thought she had no choice but to find an equally aggressive attorney. She met with an attorney known for her no nonsense “tough gal” approach. After the initial meeting, and receipt of Joanne’s hefty retainer fee, the “tough gal” stance appeared to vanish. Her attorney became reactive, waiting for Tom’s lawyer’s approach. Joanne became frustrated with her attorney’s lack of initiative.

Sensing her frustration, Joanne’s friend recommended the Centre for Mediation. Joanne spoke with Dr. Halem. She discovered that with the guidance of a mediation strategist, she felt more empowered. Not only could she respond to Tom’s attorney’s one-sided proposals, she could also initiate proposals that would be beneficial to both parties, and most importantly, beneficial to her children. The end result was a divorce agreement that both spouses were able to live with, not to mention the savings in mental anguish and finances.


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