Alternative Dispute Resolution

Divorce often carries a forest of emotional conflict and trauma that grows from the seeds of sadness and bitterness. You can clear a path of anger and resentment through the complexities of divorce to create a peaceful and cooperative resolution.

Divorce is a problem to be solved, not a battle to be fought.

Custody mediation involves both parents with Dr. Peterson in the process of determining what is the best personal plan for the children of the divorcing couple. A series of couple sessions results in completing a negotiated custody plan. Additional assistance is given for the use of self-prepared divorce papers either on-line or directly filed with the court. An attorney is engaged at the end of the process to review the papers for legal correctness, and a financial advisor is involved for one session for any financial disputes. These services cost far less than the litigation process. Mediation is primarily designed for couples who put the best interest of their children above the level of their own dispute, and are capable of resolving their issues cooperatively.

Collaborative Divorce involves an interdisciplinary group process in which each party has an attorney and a mental health worker. The entire goal is cooperation and open discovery leading to a mutually agreed upon marital settlement agreement. In the process, interpersonal communication between the parents about the interests of the children is a priority. Linda works with a team of attorneys, one for each of the martial parties; a financial advisor and a child specialist if needed, to discover new options in divorce resolution.

Collaborative Divorce enhances the art and practice of resolving the dissolution of a marriage without litigation or court intervention. It is substantially less expensive and less time consuming than court involved litigation because it achieves divorce by cooperative negotiation and mutual respect. This reduces emotional distress culminating in resolutions created by you and your spouse, rather than by court order imposed by a stranger (the judge, who has limited time to hear and understand your case). Rather than the court telling you what you must do, you work out agreements that are in your family's best interest. Using mental health and financial counselors, you address co-parenting, timesharing, and income, asset and debt allocation.

Every effort is made to answer the question: How do we find resolution? Every attempt is to equalize power imbalances through the individualized support of your team members.

Finally, all are committed to eliminate the win-lose tactics of typical custody battles, and to promote an understanding of the children developmentally and individually to assure the process provides care, love and involvement by both parents. A free 30 minute consultation is offered to parties who are seeking an alternative to litigation.

Dr. Peterson is certified in Collaborative Divorce and Mediation and was a co-director bringing the first national Collaborative Divorce workshop to Reno, Nevada in 2005. She is a member of the International Association of Collaborative Professionals and is on the board of the Nevada State Collaborative Board.

To read Dr. Peterson's paper Divorce: Mental Health Approaches to Collaboration, click here.

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