Overview of Mediation

Mediation is a confidential, cooperative and cost-saving approach to resolving the problems of custody, support and property division in divorce.

Through mediation, stress is reduced, costs saved and adversarial litigation avoided. Rather, issues are resolved in a focused, creative and cooperative process.

Role of Mediator

Mediation is a voluntary, private process. As a mediator, Karen Fenchel works as an impartial facilitator directly with both of you. The goal is to reach agreement on the issues presented by your divorce. Karen will guide you in identifying the issues for discussion, collecting and sharing information and documentation and negotiating the issues to resolution. At the end of the process, she will prepare a Marital Settlement Agreement which will be submitted to the court and be approved as the agreement of the parties.

Is mediation right for you? Mediation is appropriate when the parties are:

Ready: They have accepted the reality that the marriage has ended and they want to solve the issues raised by divorce;

Willing:They freely consent to mediation without fear and with a willingness to share complete and accurate information; and

Able:They can participate effectively in a rational discussion of the issues.


There are several advantages to mediation. Mediation is a desirable alternative to litigation because it gives the parties control over the process and the result. It provides a neutral setting where parties may focus on their own goals and insures that each party will hear the others concerns and proposal. Unlike litigation, mediation allows the parties to proceed at their own pace. The law may be used as a guideline. Mediation allows the parties to arrive at creative, economical and unique solutions. It is completely private and does not subject the parties affairs to the public scrutiny of the courtroom.

Why Try Mediation?

Mediation works well for many reasons. Mediated divorce settlements are typically more satisfying to the parties and more likely to result in compliance than court imposed orders. Despite the fact that the parties may consult with independent counsel during the mediation, the cost of mediation is usually a fraction of the cost of adversarial litigation. The minimization of conflict is of paramount importance to many couples that choose mediation. Mediation permits the parties to maintain a cooperative working relationship which will serve them and their children long after the divorce is over.