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Minnesota conflict resolution group discusses mediation

Filing for divorce is usually not an easy decision. But the filing process may pale in comparison to the complexity of the divorce settlement process, especially if one or more of the parties do not handle the situation amicably. In those cases, a property settlement discussion can wind up in court with a judge presiding over the discussions, as well as the final settlement order.

In Minnesota, most couples who get divorced are required to start with mediation, rather than jumping straight into to the courtroom. Mediation has numerous benefits for cases involving simple property division to more complex asset division, and even child support and alimony can be addressed.

The beauty of mediation is that is allows both sides to be heard and to get their points across loud and clear. Parties should not walk away from the mediation discussion with a feeling that no one listened to them. This goal is more important the ultimate goal of coming to a resolution or agreement.

The Mediation Center is well-known in the Minnesota conflict resolution field and was established over 40 years ago by the Hennepin County Bar Association. The Mediation Center worked with Hamline University's Dispute Resolution Institute for the past eight years, but has recently ended its affiliation with the school in order to operate as a solo entity. These two organizations both focused on conflict resolution for various types of disputes, including family law disputes.

One of the mediators at the Mediation Center says that transparency is a crucial part of the process. Participants should not only understand exactly what is going on, but they should feel involved and know that they have the potential to influence the outcome of the discussion. That knowledge can be very powerful and helpful to reaching a decision that works for both sides.

Source: Pioneer Press, "Seasoned Minnesota mediator finds joy in finding the common ground," David Fondler, June 7, 2014

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