When is a good time to start mediation for divorce or custody?

Mediation is quite flexible, it can begin at any time. Some couples turn to mediation to resolve family issues before they get hostile, by working out a parenting schedule or division of property at the beginning of separation. Sitting with a mediator to discuss issues beforehand can help you communicate better, before the actual divorce process begins.


My recommendation is to try mediating your divorce and custody issues FIRST! Couples can mediate to divide property and create parenting plans before heading down the litigation path.  Because mediation is a cost effective and amicable process, most families will benefit from trying mediation first, before rushing to court.  You can settle all or most of your disagreements this way, rather than letting a judge decide the outcome.


If you are currently in the court system and the long and painful process is at a standstill or money is running low, you may also benefit from mediation.  Typically the arguing and fighting in court will run its course. Both of you may become tired of the fighting and desire a peaceful resolution for you and your family. The court system often fails families, but there is always time to turn towards a new peaceful direction.


After the divorce, families often turn to mediation to work out and maintain parenting, custody and child support plans peacefully. Instead of running to court to ask the judge how often you can see your children, consider sitting down with a mediator and work out a plan peacefully.  Whatever stage you are in, a trained and qualified mediator can help you work out a plan that is right for you and your family!

If you would like more information about a healthy divorce, contact Dawn Clement at Dawn@ClementMediation.com to set up a consultation.

Dawn clement
Attorney & Mediator
When is a good time to start mediation for divorce or custody?

Q: Why Choose to Mediate? A: It’s simply smarter.

My first blog post highlighted why I left litigation to become a mediator. Today, I want to share with you why I think couples should try to mediate their divorce before rushing to court.


If you were to google “How much does divorce cost?” You would probably see a range of prices from $15,000 to $50,000 or more. Divorce is expensive, but litigating a divorce will cost you big time. Lengthy court battles and attorney’s fees will affect your cash flow, which can be a burden on already financially strapped families.  Mediation can cost less than $5,000, quite a big savings for you and your family if you choose to work it out with a mediator.


Going to court takes time, scheduling court dates, attorney schedules and fighting can extend a divorce for years. A mediated divorce can be resolved in just a few sessions with a mediator, quickly and efficiently.


 Custody trials can be very hard on families, children are often used as pawns between the two fighting spouses. Courts often decide custody schedules that they feel are best for your family, leaving both parents to try to conform to a plan that just doesn’t work. Parents know what is best for your children, not a third party that has no clue what your family needs to function efficiently. Why leave such an important issue for a judge to decide? You and your spouse know your finances, work and school schedules the better than an outsider.


Mediation sessions are conducted in my private office, documents and conversations are confidential. On the other hand, if you choose to fight it out in court, your case becomes public, court employees, and other folks will hear your private family issues. No one wants to air their dirty laundry in court, where it becomes fodder for gossip and rumors. Protecting your reputation and your children’s problems from the community is a smart choice.


Couples that mediate tend to honor their agreements and end the relationship peacefully.  It’s OK if you and your spouse don’t really get along perfectly right now, you can still mediate your divorce.  Having a conversation about financial and parenting issues with your spouse and a trained mediator can help further facilitate communication now and even after the divorce is final.

Not every case can be mediated, if you are considering divorce please contact a qualified mediator for a consultation before you rush to court!

If you would like more information about a healthy divorce, contact Dawn to set up a consultation at Dawn@ClementMediation.com

Dawn Clement
Attorney and Mediator


Q: Why Choose to Mediate? A: It’s simply smarter.

Why this litigator became a mediator:

Let’s face it, I originally loved the thrill of going to court, the court staff, the judges, the stately rooms that demand decorum and respect, and most of all the coveted “win”.  However, after a while I noticed a pattern, winning was really not #winning in family court. Each side was essentially told by a judge, often just meeting the parents for the first time, what the state deemed was in their best interest.

Common phrases from clients were, “It’s not fair”, “But, I’m a good parent”, “I’m doing my best”, “Why can’t the judge see this outcome will not work for me?” Often in family court, one side or the other is unable to afford an attorney, and the scales of justice never quite balance, no matter how hard each side fought. Eventually, I would go home each night feeling empty and disenchanted with the court system.

It became clear to me that families do not belong in court! Fast forward a few years, after having a family and children of my own, I realized there must be a better way. The mediation process is a not a new concept but it is brilliant: no fighting, arguing, AND it’s affordable! Transitioning from a litigator to a mediator has been one of the most rewarding career choices I have made.  Very proud to say that I mediate 100% of my cases, and truly honored to help families divorce peacefully, amicably and with respect.

If you would like more information about whether a healthy divorce or custody would be right for you, contact me at: Dawn@ClementMediation.com .

Dawn Clement, Attorney & Mediator


Why this litigator became a mediator: