Mediation Program

Stacy Hoag Licensed Psychotherapist

Stacy Hoag
Licensed Psychotherapist

Beth Paras Licensed Psychotherapist

Beth Paras
Licensed Psychotherapist

What is Mediation?

Sometimes a couple can talk for hours but little gets resolved, or resolutions dissolve within days or weeks. Mediation helps. With the guidance of a neutral third party, mediation is an alternative way for separating spouses and couples in transition to develop agreements for their particular needs. Mediation is for couples and families who have important differences but don’t want to go to war! You will be asked to compromise and you will be asked to listen.

Why Mediate a Family Law Dispute?
Going through divorce is stressful enough. Many couples feel that to hire an attorney for divorce with an attorney sets them up for an adversarial process. It is no secret that an attorney works for the benefit of the client that hired them and the individual perspective of the attorney can greatly influence the divorce process both positively and negatively. An aggressive attorney can deepen the emotional scars of divorce, not to mention the financial burden that might accumulate as two attorneys duke it out to get the most they can out of the opposing spouse.

Many couples have been successful teammates in many areas of their life and the divorce does not mean they cannot communicate or solve problems together. Many couples do not wish to add to their conflict or deepen resentment as they try to settle finances and placement/custody issues. Some couples believe they can continue to work with their partner for a mutual agreement around their divorce. This can happen with guidance and an objective facilitator. Mediation allows you to address both legal and emotional issues without breaking the bank. Mediation Services at Lakefront Wellness Center does exclude high-conflict couples. We are here for couples who can currently communicate in a rational and reasonable fashion if given guidance. Please consider whether your situation matches our services in this regard. Other mediators will take on high conflict partnerships.

How Can Mediation Help You?
Not only does Lakefront Wellness Center have staff certified to provide mediation services, we have the added benefit of providing licensed therapists as our mediators. The environment is safe and therapeutic. The Mediators are also therapists working in the center and are skilled in conflict resolution and have years of training intervening in family and marital problems. You may find the least stressful and most economical way to reach your marital settlement agreement and placement issues is through a mediator. Your mediator may also help you identify family needs in the area of mental health following your mediation process.

What Is Our Role as a Mediator?
Our role as the family mediator is to help settle financial assets, spousal supports, placement in shared custody situations, placement schedules, and other concerns that relate to your future as you divorce. We will guide the process towards resolution in a supportive environment. We will not provide legal advice, but we will act as a guide throughout the process, to help you reach agreement without expensive attorney fees. Because mediation is voluntary, you remain in control of the outcome. If the couple cannot reach an agreement with the mediator’s help, they may follow the usual process of legal representation to reach agreement.

What Happens at Lakefront Wellness Mediation:

  1. Once you reach out to Lakefront Wellness Center for Mediation Services, you and your spouse/partner will be sent a packet of information to fill out. The information gathered will help your mediator address your areas of concern and it will also help you understand the role of the mediator and the process of mediation somewhat better.
  2. Your mediator will contact you to set up individual appointments before meeting with you jointly. This allows the mediators to follow the ethical guidelines and best practice.
  3. In the joint meeting, expectations are compared and areas of difference are identified. Each member of the couple is allowed to express their individual points of view with the mediator facilitating a safe atmosphere for communication. The mediator will not tolerate yelling, name calling, or fighting. If the process breaks down, the mediator will be an active director in facilitating productive communication.
  4. The mediator works with both party’s concerns and proposals, helps each party hear the other, narrows the field of alternatives, proposes new options. The mediator cannot force any suggestions.
  5. Mediator facilitates your negotiations, adding options for your consideration.
  6. You should take ample time to review your agreement. You may ask an attorney for a review or to draft the final agreement in a legal format.
  7. The plan is formalized either as a private contract or as a memorandum of understanding. Later it can be made part of a legally binding formal decree by referral or inclusion or become part of your Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA).

Paper family in hands“Research and experience all say the same things. Children who do best are those whose parents make them feel loved and wanted in each home, whose parents have a way to relate to one another that keeps the children out of their disagreements and bad feelings, whose parents eventually learn to manage their major disputes with one another, who can support the other parent’s relationship with their children, and who allow the children independent relationships with each of them. When children are free to love both their parents without conflict of loyalty, to have access to them both without fear of losing either, they can get on with the totally absorbing business of growing up, on schedule. They can learn to master the tasks that life places before them with confidence and a sense of security. And both parents and children can learn that something as hurtful and as earthshaking as a separation or divorce can eventually be handled constructively.” (Ricci)

Disclaimer: Mediation is not therapy or counseling. Therapy is a very private, on-going process that explores feelings, emotions and behaviors. Mediation is focused on solving specific problems. The goal is to resolve a dispute while managing the emotions surrounding the conflict.

Contact Us

Lakefront Wellness Center, S.C.

Phone: 262-695-8857
Fax: 262-695-8879


Monday through Thursday
9am to 5pm

Evenings, Friday and Saturday:
Limited availability of some Therapists, call for more information
All rights reserved.