Melissa Mondschain Co-Mediation Partners

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Why Mediation?



An opportunity to participate in the process….

In contrast to court, where you won’t get to talk to each other, the mediation process offers both the setting and the support you may need to solve the dispute together.  This is critical because this is the time when parties often are avoiding each other, have stopped talking or may not want to share information. Unlike a judge or an arbitrator whose decisions subject one party to win and the other party to lose, mediation is about finding a solution that works for both parties. There are no winners or losers in mediation because we don’t view it as a game or a fight. It is a conversation.

You are more likely to keep your agreement.

Since it’s the solution you both have come up with, you each have ownership of it. People are more invested in keeping and honoring an agreement that they created.

You are setting the precedent for the future.

The way in which the parties respect this current process will hopefully set the precedent for any potential future interactions that may arise.

You save time, money and emotional strain.

When both parties agree to work together, the costs including time, money and emotions are considerably less than a typical contested divorce. Many divorces can go on for years. Prolonged divorces deplete assets, entail expensive professional services, interrupt business and families, interfere with opportunities for personal growth and the desire for everyone to move on with life. Divorce mediation by contrast helps people move towards closure.

People like that the process is…..

  • Voluntary — participation is freely chosen and can be terminated at any time by any participant.
  • Self-determined — decision-making authority always rests with the individuals.
  • Impartially led — mediators are neutral in facilitating conversation; any mediators’ prior personal or professional relationship with either party must be specifically disclosed and accepted.
  • Confidential — information related to the content and process of mediation is kept confidential, except as required by law.
  • Based on Informed Consent – both parties understand the nature of the process and the implications of their decisions.


Mediation and dispute resolution works in many areas of family conflict and has proven effective in all the following areas;

  • divorce
  • parent/child
  • parent/adolescent conflict
  • parent/adult-child conflicts
  • Civil Unions
  • pre-marital
  • marital
  • post-marital conflicts, including re-marriage and step-family conflicts
  • sibling conflicts


Mediation is most successful when our clients are encouraged to communicate directly, honestly and transparently about each of their respective goals and interests, rather than their positions.

  • Each party speaks for his or herself in a manner that is respectful of the other.
  • The parties participate and negotiate in a way that is representative of what their future working relationship will be like once their divorce is finalized.

During the course of the co-mediation process, the co-mediators have three kinds of responsibilities:

  • Procedural – We keep track of the process and content of decision-making, the goals and objectives of the parties, and maintain notes that become the foundation of a written agreement.
  • Facilitative – We keep the process moving by opening channels of communication and keeping them open. We help you steer clear of relational triggers and productivity derailers and help to maintain your focus on your interests and options.
  • Substantive – We can offer information, suggestions and brainstorming ideas, working with you to construct solutions based on your needs. Mediators do not give advice, therapy or counseling.

When clients are engaged in the process, they find that with our support, assistance and facilitation skills, most often clients are able to navigate the process to a successful resolution.


Contrary to a court proceeding, mediation can happen in any available office space. Melissa Mondschain Mediation Partners has office space in Northbrook and Lakeview and will meet with their clients in comfortable space at locations that are convenient to all involved. 


Contrary to a litigated divorce, the clients determine the time table in mediation. The more willing the parties are to move the process along and reach resolution, the faster the process happens. Without the inherent obstacles, mediation cases often proceed and are resolved in a shorter amount of time and with fewer road blocks.


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