We have very few conflicts in the Western World that affect people more than divorce, directly or indirectly. My name is Beverly Tarr and I am a specialist divorce mediator. I have been in Chicago now for ten years and I believe that I've created a model that works very well for people going through a traumatic and difficult time for them. There has to be some closure and certainty for these couples in a very uncertain world for them. This model - and this has been honed over time over several years - is the Two Day Attorney Assisted Mediation Model. In order to mediate with me you need to have attorneys, which is a prerequisite.
A number of reasons why people choose mediation are the following. One- they want to be the decision makers. They do not want to hand over the decision making to a judge, a third party who doesn't know their children, who doesn't know them. When a decision is imposed upon someone they are much less likely to follow through with it. Mediated agreements stand the test of time. They have longevity because the parties themselves came up with the resolutions. Most of the people in my room don't get on. I'm dealing with the perfect storm - two people who don't communicate well, throw in the mix children and finances. I'm used to dealing with that dynamic. The other reason you come to mediation is that children should not be dragged into this process.
What you have in mediation and my particular model is a Two Day Attorney Assisted Mediation Model. The emphasis here is on two day. The first day we deal with the parenting issues and the second day, usually four, five weeks later, we deal with the financial issues. Now that might seem somewhat overwhelming for some people but in fact if you have done the requisite preparation with the attorney and with me you will be able to be in a position to make those informed decisions. Ninety-eight percent of my cases are resolved within two days. Another important part of this process is confidentiality. Whatever is said in the room stays in the room. Before the parties come into the room they are asked to do what is called disclosure. The notion that you come into a mediation and the parties don't know what their financial positions are is simply not the case in my process.
I move people from wants and positions to needs and interests. My job and the lawyers' job is to make sure that whatever the parties are agreeing to they understand. When the parties leave the room, I want them to be able to follow through on that agreement. Follow through is all important. I've conducted over 1,100 mediations and of that over 99% have reached a resolution and I believe that speaks volumes as to how this process can work for all.