can be quicker and cost less than going to court where a judge determines the outcome,
promotes creative solutions specific to your family’s needs, and
considers challenges conflict partners face and works to find solutions everyone can live with.
Mediation is a way for people who disagree to discuss their problems with the help of a third party who will not take sides. The participants, and not the mediator, make the decisions about workable outcomes to their dispute. The mediator assists the parents by helping define the issues, clarify difficult communications, and helps the parties develop possible alternatives or solutions. Mediation...
Each participant will meet with the mediator for one hour to define the issues, and then both parties together will meet with the mediator for a two-hour session to address their concerns. Additional sessions may be scheduled as needed to create a final or complete agreement.
During mediation, the mediator guides communication and ensures everyone is heard. Issues are discussed one at a time, solutions explored, and negotiated. The mediator controls the process, but the parties control the content. At the end of a successful mediation, parties will have a written agreement on how they will go about resolving their issues. Once the Memorandum of Understanding is signed by both parents (and approved by the judge if part of court case) it becomes binding. Parties are encouraged to submit the agreements to their attorneys for review. If the parties do not have attorneys, the mediator will explain how to submit the agreement to the court if required.
The cost of mediation services is determined on an hourly, sliding-fee scale based on household income (this payment schedule stands, regardless of prior court orders to equally share costs.). Annual income is determined by either a recent tax return, pay stub, or your most recent child support worksheet. You must pay for services prior to the start of each session.
Conflict coaching is a second-generation alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approach that is moving toward maturity. It is close to 25 years old and its practice has intensified. Although conflict coaching started as an offshoot of mediation, it has emerged as an intervention in its own right – some refer to it as “ADR for One.” The development and application of conflict coaching has taken place with interdisciplinary contributions, which most notably include works from scholars and practitioners in the conflict resolution and executive coaching communities. Conflict coaching is not only a fallback option when one or more parties opt out of the mediation process, it is now commonly regarded as a full-fledged first option for an individual facing conflict in various forms and stages. Conflict coaching may be used proactively in advance of conflict interaction (on the verge of conflict), concurrent to conflict interaction (in conflict), and/or retrospectively to make sense of and learn from conflict interaction (out of conflict). It can also be used in connection with other alternative dispute resolution processes. Finally, conflict coaching offers the possibility of more broadly assessing and developing an individual’s conflict understanding, strategies, and skills apart from involvement in a particular conflict (empowers and increases individual competencies).
Conciliation is a non-confidential process in which a neutral person (the conciliator) assists parties in conflict by improving communication; reconciling differences; helping the parties develop solutions to a dispute, complaint or conflict; and by making reports, and if ordered by the court, recommendations. Judges or attorneys can elect to refer a case to conciliation if they believe the case has domestic violence concerns, has returned to court multiple times, where there are diminished capacity concerns, or where the parties or their attorneys have a reluctant to mediate. If an agreement is reached in conciliation, it will be considered a mediated agreement and subject to the confidentiality provisions of state statute K.S.A. 5-512. If an agreement is not reached, the conciliator may make suggestions about what other resources might be beneficial to the parties (and their children if applicable). The parties are to understand that conciliators do not have a confidential relationship with all parties at the end of an unsuccessful negotiation. Conciliators do not act as attorneys and will not, under any circumstances, give legal advice to either party. Participants may choose to seek the advice of independent legal counsel at any time during the process.