Getting Started

Should I Choose Mediation, Integrative Mediation, or Collaborative Process for my Divorce?

Mediation, Integrative Mediation and Collaborative Process all support you in formulating your own settlement agreement tailored to meet your particular needs and interests.

All of these out-of-court approaches to restructuring relationships assist people in taking responsibility for creating their own fair and workable settlement without having the Court dictate the terms.

The approach you choose will depend on the level of professional support you and your spouse or partner need to be successful in reaching a peaceful resolution of your issues out of court.

Choosing Martie as Your Mediator

Mediation is a voluntary out-of-court process leading to an amicable dissolution of your marriage or domestic partnership. In order to work effectively, both parties must intend to be honest, fair and cooperative in working with Martie as their mediator to resolve outstanding matters. While serving as your Mediator, Martie facilitates both parties in maintaining a level playing field. In Mediation you and your partner raise concerns, share openly and fully all information, and come to a mutually agreeable resolution of all outstanding issues. As your Mediator, Martie works to bring you and your spouse or partner to a mutually acceptable settlement agreement. Martie does not represent either individual party nor does she represent both of you. However, Martie does draft your Marital Settlement Agreement and prepares and submits all necessary filings with the Court. Call Martie to set up an appointment with both you and your spouse or partner to begin the Mediation Process.

Choosing Martie as Your Integrative Mediator Attorney

Integrative Mediation combines the intimacy and lower cost advantages of Mediation with the interdisciplinary benefits of Collaborative Process. If there are emotional issues that threaten to disrupt a smooth negotiation and transition, or if there are children, this interdisciplinary mediation approach may work well for you.

How Do I Get Started With Integrative Mediation?

  1. You talk with your spouse or partner about exploring the Integrative Mediation option as presented here.
  2. If both of you agree, you schedule an appointment to meet with Martie and her co-mediator, mental health colleague, Kathleen Adams.
  3. After this initial appointment, if you both wish to proceed with Integrative Mediation we set a second appointment to begin the work of the divorce, beginning with identifying your respective Needs, Goals and Interests and addressing any immediate needs with temporary agreements.

Choosing Martie as Your Collaborative Attorney

Collaborative Process is appropriate when you know you do not want to go to Court, and you feel the need for individual support before and during settlement negotiations with your spouse or partner. You are empowered by specially trained professionals who inform and guide you in creating new workable options, and who assure equal understanding of complex information and complex issues.

Collaborative Team Members include Martie, you and your partner or spouse, their collaborative attorney, and other skilled specialists, as needed, working together to build an effective settlement. For example: you each may have a divorce coach to process emotional issues and help you communicate in an effective and constructive manner; a neutral child specialist can assist in formulating an effective co-parenting plan; a neutral financial specialist can help develop and explore financial options for life and financial health beyond the dissolution of your relationship and divorce. The Collaborative Team can be tailored in size and composition to meet your specific needs; the Team will always include two collaboratively trained attorneys, one for each of you.

How Do I Get Started on a Collaborative Process Divorce?

  1. You schedule an appointment with Martie to discuss your case and the details of your collaborative process.
  2. You talk with your spouse or partner about Collaborative Process and share Martie’s brochure.
  3. Your spouse or partner chooses an attorney committed to keeping the collaborative process on track. Your spouse can find their Collaborative Attorney using the Collaborative Council of the Redwood Empire (CCRE) website for a list of collaborative attorneys and where you can read about other specially-trained prospective collaborative team members. The International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP) is another source of Collaborative Professionals.
  4. You and your spouse or partner and both attorneys sign a collaborative agreement agreeing not to go to court.
  5. All attend the first informal four-way collaborative meeting to create short-term agreements for present needs and plan the next steps in your collaborative process.