When parents are contemplating separation, they are faced with two core issues: assets and children. "Family Mediation" is advocating for the parenting relationship the parents have created with their child, since his or her birth.
I work with parents who are thinking about separation and divorce and are seeking a forum where they can explore the future of their parenting, and consequently, the potentials of co-parenting. In my experience, while they explore voluntarily the possibility of joint custody, parents feel a sense of empowerment that eventually facilitates the divorce proceedings while enhancing a form of respect for each other's relationship to their children.
I work with divorced parents who consult with me when something serious and specific is challenging their custody agreement. This includes disease, death, unemployment, and relocation. By listening to the trauma that is affecting their child, I can help them figure out how to implement their agreement under those altered circumstances.
Finally, I work with divorced parents who wish to revisit their custody agreement when their children become teenagers. As you know, the teenage years are a challenging time for parents, a time that cannot always be anticipated in the custody settlement. In my office, both parents can talk to each other about their experience raising their teenager. Once they are able to tailor their custody plan agreement to their child's new developmental stage, parents will decide which modalities of the new plan they want to implement in the two homes.
With my dual cultural and linguistic background, I offer mediation in French and in English.
Dominique Stassart received her training in mediation from John A. Fiske and Diane Neumann, Divorce Mediation Training Associates, in November 2011. She is a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation.