If you are struggling in your marriage and have read through any of my previous posts looking for answers, you have likely realized by now that there are several options available to you. Perhaps you have asked yourself (I hope!) how, in your particular case, you can best reduce animosity and eliminate an unnecessary loss of time and money.
If you are wondering how to learn more about these processes so that you can better determine your future, here are some places to start.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Professional who practices mediation or Collaborative Law
The first and best source would be to consult with a knowledgeable professional who practices mediation and/or Collaborative Law Practice. S/he can explain these processes in more detail. After finding out more about your individual situation, s/he can answer your specific questions. This will help you to make an informed decision about which process would work best for you. Your spouse should be doing similar exploration, because the process choice affects you both.
Use the Easiest Resource: The Internet
The Internet is a fantastic source of information on every topic imaginable. In fact, so much material is readily available that the challenge quickly becomes sorting through pages of search results to determine what the most reliable resources are.
To be better prepared when you meet with your professional consultant, it is best to do some preliminary online exploring. If you are researching Collaborative Practice and mediation, start with the following websites:
- Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation—www.mcfm.org
- Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council—www.massclc.org
- International Academy of Collaborative Professionals—www.collaborativepractice.com
On the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation site you will find articles about various applications of mediation to family disputes ranging from divorces to custody, support, elder mediation, and family business disputes. The site will answer your most common questions and includes profiles of members that provide more information about their backgrounds. It also allows you to find mediators by location and specialty.
The Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council website explains Collaborative Practice and its use in family and other legal disputes. You can learn all about the Collaborative team and understand the unique way it can help clients solve their disagreements by using reliable guidance and trustworthy resources. The site also includes a professional member directory based on location that provides detailed information about each practitioner.
For additional information about Collaborative Practice, go to the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals website. There you will find videos of actual clients sharing their story, a list of books about Collaborative Practice, and other helpful resources. There is a Q & A page, guides for evaluating whether Collaborative Practice is the right choice for you, and overviews of how the process can be used. You’ll see a list of practitioners from your local area, as well as from around the world.
Decide Where to Go from Here
You may realize you have a marital problem and want to keep it from escalating. But you may also be overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin.
If so, the above resources are a great place to start. First, make a list of your questions and gather as much information as you can. Then schedule an appointment with a knowledgeable professional. Start resolving the situation in the best way possible for you and your family, using either mediation or Collaborative Practice.
If you are looking for a trained professional you can trust to guide you through this delicate process, I would be happy to help. I have been a mediator for over 30 years and a Collaborative Practitioner for almost 15 years. Allow me to put my experience and expertise to work on your behalf!