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Expanding Our Mediation Toolbox

At Trinity Family Law, our mission is “To provide mediation and legal services that empower people to build healthy lives, prosper financially, and co-parent children effectively.” This reflects our holistic approach to family law. As mediators assisting couples through divorce, we customize our approach to each situation. We support the parties in achieving their short-term goals and also help them consider the long-term health and well-being of their families.

Adding to Our Skills to Support Our Clients

In order to provide the best possible resources for our clients, we continue to learn and grow. Patti Brooks, mediator and paralegal, recently participated in a two-day course on Conscious Contracts® in Family Law to expand her toolbox and add skills in the integrative realm. Here is what she has to say about her experience:

When Theresa first introduced the idea that I learn about Conscious Contracts®, I was a bit hesitant. She has been using the principles for years and felt it would bring another dimension to my work. Having completed the training, I am glad that I did.

The two weeks of reading and curriculum were very thought provoking. In learning about the Conscious Contracts® process of values and relationship-focused, common language agreements, it quickly became clear how it can enhance the mediation process. This is the case whether the parties are beginning their lives together and need a pre-nuptial agreement or are concluding their relationship via divorce or separation. The Conscious Contracts® process provides a valuable framework for creating healthier, ongoing relationships.

Patti Brooks

The core components of Conscious Contracts® are to help:

  • Guide the parties in identifying what they each want from the relationship going forward and what will make each party satisfied.
  • Support the parties in identifying how they are most productive as individuals.
  • Provide the parties with a framework for Addressing Change & Engaging Disagreement (“ACED”) going forward. This final component of the Conscious Contracts® process summarizes how the parties agree to communicate about everyday matters, as well as when emergencies arise. Having a communication strategy in place that helps them to address change and engage in productive conversation when there is disagreement will also help the parties identify how to be a good partner and co-parent. The ACED is a living document that can evolve over time as the family matures and changes. Using this framework, the parties craft agreements grounded in their core values. The process allows them to design their interactions going forward – in co-parenting children, for example – in a manner that is authentic and effective. For parties who are open to doing the work – the self-reflection and self-evaluation used in this process can enable them to better understand themselves and each other in order to create and navigate a healthy relationship going forward.

Another tool we are using at Trinity Family Law is from Our Family in Two Homes. Using a workbook format, parties reflect on their core values and conflict-resolution styles. Working through the exercises helps clients gain insight into their own – and their partner’s – values, communication and conflict styles. During meetings, this helps us to better facilitate discussions and assist the parties in coming to agreement as they move forward with establishing goals for their family.

We are always on the lookout for new ideas and methodologies that can be used to enhance the mediation process for our clients. Ideally, these new approaches have practical applications for our clients as they move into the future.

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