This month, we are highlighting The Women’s Center’s Mediation Services with subject-matter-expert and friend of The Women’s Center, Patti J. Philipse. Patti is an attorney and mediator whose practice has focused exclusively on family law for over 35 years. Patti has also served as a volunteer at The Women’s Center for 35 years.
The Women’s Center believes in a holistic approach to mental health and overall well-being. The wide variety of services offered by The Center allows us to address the person, and family, as a whole. From our mental health counseling to financial and career educational workshops to domestic violence advocacy services, we work to address all the challenges someone is facing that interfere with their ability to feel empowered and in control of choices and responses in all areas of life.
One such service offered by The Women’s Center is Mediation Services. Although The Women’s Center does not provide legal counseling or advice directly, The Center can connect clients with the help they need. Mediation offers a possible way for individuals going through divorce to reach an agreement on difficult issues in a controlled and confidential environment.
What is mediation?
It is a process that aids parties in reaching an out-of-court settlement so that participants can avoid the financial and emotional drain, and the uncertainty, of seeking a divorce through the courts. Since mediation does not take place in a courtroom, it is possible to save a lot of the time, money, and frustration that comes with a court case. Although Patti’s firm provides a full range of family law services, Patti advises anyone going through a separation or divorce, including anyone needing to resolve custody and child support with a co-parent, to always consider mediation first.
Did you know?
Mediation can be successful whether the marriage/relationship is short or long, whether the situation is straightforward or complex, and whether the participants are amicable towards each other.
- Whenever both participants agree to engage in mediation, it is the right time to mediate.
- Participants can enter mediation whether or not they agree on everything, or whether they agree on some things but not everything.
- Mediation can be conducted with both parties in the same room, or even in different rooms, or over video conference (such as Zoom).
What a mediator does:
- Facilitates the discussion, guiding participants through the issues they need to resolve.
- Keeps participants focused and engaged in the process so that each meeting is as efficient and productive as possible.
- Provides legal information and explains how the law applies to the specific situation so that participants have context and perspective and can make informed decisions.
- Corrects any misinformation and misconceptions that participants may be operating under.
- Evaluates a participant’s position on an issue, if requested, pointing out the strength or weakness of the position based on the reality of statutes and case law.
- Offers creative options and alternative solutions.
- Facilitates asset and debt disclosure.
- Drafts the Agreement.
Patti provides free 20-minute phone consultations as part of The Center’s Lawyer Referral Service; offers monthly online classes on separation, divorce, custody, support, property division, and mediation; and can be engaged as a Mediator to mediate Separation, Custody, and Property Settlement Agreements or as an Attorney to negotiate Separation, Custody, and Property Settlement Agreements. Mediating when referred through The Women’s Center is unique in that a retainer is not required for mediation sessions.
If you have specific questions about Mediation Services, you can contact Patti directly at 703-691-3264 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
For more information on the full breadth of services and resources addressed by The Women’s Center, please visit this page on our website and check the events calendar for Patti’s classes: Divorce 101 and Mediation.