Mediation of Family Law Matters is something we love to do! A skilled mediator needs to have knowledge of what happens in the Courts, but also what works for families. After 25 years in family law, our Mediator has great insight which will help provide suggestions to the Parties on solutions to their parenting plan roadblocks. Our mediator is trained in both Traditional and Transformative Mediation. 

Ms. Doxsee has real life experience of her own as she has been through divorce and step-parent issues so she can relate to the issues which the Parties are facing. The best part about Mediation is that you have the opportunity to find your own solutions to your legal matters and are not at the mercy of the Court and their somewhat cookie cutter resolution of your case. We can think outside the box and find what works for you and your family.  

We specialize on Maintenance Issues, creative Division of Assets and Debts including possible bankruptcy of one or both Parties, and High Conflict Parenting cases. If you have been the victim of domestic violence, we will make sure you feel safe while you are in our office. We have room to "shuttle" (this means having the Parties in different rooms and the Mediator going back and forth) if you do not feel comfortable being in the same room. We also can do a Skype or Facetime if a Party is out of the area. Mediation can include attorneys; however, if one attorney attends then they both need to attend.  

Find Out The Secrets to a Success Mediation...

  • What Documents to Bring: Failing to have the up to date documentation and numbers needed to finalize a settlement will only delay an agreement and cause the Parties to have to come back for another appointment, or worse yet, rely on the attorneys to try to finalize the agreement.
  • Watching What You Say: Learn the tips and tricks to communicating in a way that gives you a better chance at coming up with an agreement.  
  • Finding Magic in the Middle: There is a definite strategy on finding what people "want" verses what they "need" and balancing those things each Party needs to feel comfortable with a settlement.  

What is the difference between Transformative and 
Traditional Mediation?

The main difference is that with Transformative Mediation, the Mediator will meet with each Party individually prior to the joint session. If the Parties are far apart on their expectations of settlement or if there is a lot of conflict between the Parties, individual session are great to help set the Parties up for success in a joint session. Sometimes it helps to find out the roadblocks, landmines, talk about emotions that are blocking settlement, and other things that a Party wants the Mediator to know, but won't feel comfortable revealing in front of the other Party. If the Parties cannot communicate without yelling on a consistent basis, having the extra step of individual sessions can help the Mediator know how to structure the joint session and where the Parties need to focus before they can even trust each other enough to talk about an agreement. Our Mediator has been studying High Conflict People and techniques to deal with this unique part of family law cases. There are ways to handle High Conflict People and we are as well prepared as possible to help navigate a difficult session. When we have Parents who communicate well and know what they want, it is a joy to participate in these sessions as well. If the Parties do come up with an agreement and do not have an attorney, we do provide settlement drafting services. The Parties are then welcome to hire an attorney with Limited Scope Representation to review the document and provide them with legal advice on if it is in the Party's best interest to sign and submit to the Court.

Traditional Style

In Traditional Style Mediation, the focus is on helping the Parties come to a full and final settlement of their issues.  Sometimes the Parties can only agree on certain items.  Anything that can limit the issues at trial is a win in mediation.  The Mediator is a neutral Third-Party who can provide ideas on solutions the Parties may not have previously explored.  Further, the mediator can assist the Parties in finding ways to compromise so that the final outcome is something everyone can live with (even if it is not everything they wanted). This strategy will utilize the "Yes, No, Maybe" technique which will be explained to the Parties as part of their introduction materials.  These sessions can be with our without attorneys.  

The most common issues in traditional style mediation are:  
  • Dividing Martial Assets:  The Parties will focus on the specific items each one will receive as their sole property.  We will also focus on any strategy which might help the Parties divided the assets (especially retirement accounts) to minimize marital assets lost to taxes.  The Parties can also explore if there are reasons the division should not be equal.  
  • Determining What Assets Are Non-Marital But May Have a Marital Interest: Each Party comes into the marriage with some property.  If this is more than just person items, often the Parties need to determine if a Spouse has any marital interest in the non-marital property.  The most common issue is real estate. 
  • Parenting Schedules:  Each Parent wants to maximize the amount of time they have with their children.  The old fashioned every other weekend is just not used that much anymore unless this has to do with a Parent's work schedule.  The Parties also need to focus on what will work for the child, not just how much time they can have in the Parenting Plan.
  • Issues Parties Face in Co-Parenting:  These issues can range from discussion things that could happen in the future (child getting a job, piercing, tatoos, dating, etc.) to difficulties facing the Parents right now (special needs, extra-curriculars, a child struggling to deal with the divorce, etc.).  
  • Attorney Fees:  Often one Party has a better ability to pay for attorney fees.  This is always a point of negotiation.  
Normally these are set for a 2 hour session. The Parties can choose to come back for additional time if they feel the session was productive and they need a bit more time. 

Transformative Style

In Transformative Style Mediation, the focus is on clearing the roadblocks that keep the Parties from being able to communicate with each other.  The Parties will work on learning and implementing new tools to improve the positive communication and minimize negative talk.  Without having the tools to have a business-like atmosphere in dealing with the other Party, the Parties are doomed to continue in conflict during the case and after it is over.  In Transformative mediation, the Parties are usually in separate rooms.  Attorneys often do not attend until later in the process. If there is a Guardian Ad Litem appointed, they often will be part of the process once the Parties get to Joint mediation.  

This type of session is helpful in the following types of cases:
  • Domestic Violence: This can be either physical or emotional abuse issues.  Even if the Parties disagree on whether domestic violence has occurred, using this style is helpful to facilitate communication between the Parties.
  • Extra-Marital Relationship:  While it may feel like the Court does not put a great deal of weight on the impact of a cheating Partner, this 100% does impact the ability of the Parties to move forward.  While mediation is not counseling, it can help to clear the air so the Parties can move forward.
  • ​Third Party Involvement:  More and more 3rd-Parties are involved in legal proceedings.  This could involve the Co-Parenting of a child such as a step-parent or grandparent(s).  There could be issues with guardianship or someone who needs a bit more help in their case.  
  • High Conflict Co-Parenting:  If one Parent says the color is black which means the other will say it is purple, then the Parties need to learn tools to communicate better with each other.  This type of mediation requires special training by the Mediator to allow for a productive session.
  • Family Issue:  If there problems that have historically popped up in a family over the years, they are magnified in probate cases.  Therefore, it might be necessary to deal with this issues in order to finish a probate case.
  • ​Bankruptcy:  If the Parties are in bankruptcy and they are also divorcing, this type of mediation can allow the Parties to explore what their bankruptcy case will be without each having to hire separate bankruptcy attorneys. 
These sessions traditional have a 1 hour session with each Party.  This will be followed up with a 2 hour joint session.  It is likely the Parties, if the sessions are productive, will need additional sessions to really help move forward.

What Does Mediation Cost?

 Mediation is billed on an hourly basis. The first session for a traditional mediation is booked for two hours. Each Party will pre-pay for 1/2 of the cost of the initial session If they want to run a bit longer or they want to book another session, we can add in additional time. For Transformative mediation, the individual sessions are one hour. Each Party pre-pays for their individual session and then a two hour session is scheduled. The Parties will split the cost of the session. We are affiliated with the MARCH and OFFICE OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION programs which offer payment or assistance of your mediation costs. If you have been approved for payment of your mediation costs, please let us know.

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Why Choose Us?
Law in Kansas City provides experience and value to our clients. Having been in family law for 25 years and having gone through divorce and step-parent issues, our Mediator is prepared to help Parties tackle the emotions of coming up with a settlement and the practical obstacles to finding solutions.  Our attorney practices not only in family law, but does bankruptcy and probate cases.  Often there are specific issues that arise in mediation that require this additional knowledge to help the Parties avoid the pitfalls involved in these multi-practice issues.

Our clients get more than the traditional services offered in mediation.  We have lots of materials to help you through this process.  You will also have access to our Facebook Group, our Members Area, and other FREE resources. Plus, we do give discounts to our former clients for other legal services we provide. Our staff will provide you with a friendly experience with our firm. We understand that this is not an easy process for you and we will do all we can to make you feel comfortable and treat you with respect. Hopefully, we can help the Parties find a solution to their legal issues.
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