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Mediate (verb)
1. to intervene in order to bring about agreement
2. to bring about (an agreement)
3. to bring about (an agreement) between parties in a dispute
4. to resolve (differences) by mediation

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


Mediation is not for every situation, yet in most situations mediation offers a less adversarial, less expensive way to resolve difficult and highly emotional matters.  Mediation helps protect the individuals involved and their relationships by reducing conflict.  Divorce mediation helps protect family privacy, and benefits children by reducing conflict.


Our mediation service involves sitting down to identify the issues that need resolving, brainstorming solutions, then problem solving, issue by issue. Avoid the expense and pain of taking your divorce or custody/parenting time dispute to trial. 

Julie Oster is an experienced family law mediator who interned at Erickson Mediation Institute in Minneapolis. Julie is also a member of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators. Her mediation experience combined with her family law background permits her to do more than non-lawyer mediators. 


Separation and divorce may be the most painful, the most disruptive, and the most emotional event an individual or family may experience during their lifetime.  Mediation is often an excellent option which decreases, rather than increases, the family tensions.  Mediation is often the best choice for parents who do not wish to see their children caught in the middle and for parents who wish to retain some control over the decisions which will affect their family.  As a result of mediation, parents often learn techniques which help them resolve future differences more easily.

  • Mediation enables individuals to emerge from the dispute with self-respect intact. 

  • Mediation takes less time, permitting family members to move forward with their lives.

  • Mediation protects family relationships.

  • Mediation benefits children, by reducing conflict.

  • Mediation is less expensive and often much less emotional than a court battle.

  • Mediation may help lay a solid foundation for continued co-parenting.

  • Mediation focuses on the present and future -- not the past.

  • Mediation is less formal than a court battle.

  • Mediation avoids public disclosure of personal matters,  because it is confidential.

  • Mediation respects self-determination.

  • Parties retain control over process, and the the decisions which affect their lives.


Transformative Mediation:

  1. takes an essentially social/communicative view of human conflict

  2. a conflict represents first and foremost a crisis in some human interaction

  3. the conflict tends to destabilize the parties' experience of both self and other, so that the parties interact in ways that are both more vulnerable and more self-absorbed than they did before the conflict

  4. As a result, the interaction between the parties quickly degenerates and assumes a mutually destructive, alienating, and dehumanizing character

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