Lori Frank was working in the conflict resolution field when she sat in on a mediation session with a client. Immediately taken with the co-operative, forward-thinking process, she approached the mediator after the session to learn more about the career.
Today, as the owner of Lori Frank Mediation & Consulting, she embraces the opportunity to help clients find meaningful resolution, particularly couples exploring separation and divorce.
“I have a lot of empathy, and a lot of patience to give both parties the time and space to tell me what they need to tell me individually, and then to work together to come to a resolution,” Frank explains.
Yet despite the growth of mediation in recent years, some people still don’t realize it’s an option for couples working through separation and divorce.
Mediation puts you in a powerful position of collaborating to determine your own outcome.
An alternative to an adversarial legal system, mediation offers a variety of benefits when both clients are open to its possibilities. “I’m there to facilitate discussion – not convince the other person of a particular way of thinking,” Frank notes.
Typically mediation is not only quicker and less adversarial, but also less expensive.
“I tell people to expect a minimum of about five hours over a series of sessions, but on average about seven hours,” she says.
After initially meeting with each party individually, she’ll then meet both together, working toward a memorandum of understanding that clients can take to their lawyers for review and signing.
“It’s about collaborating, even if you have different ideas. In the case of families, it’s about what’s in the best interests of the kids,” explains Frank, who also specializes in working with separating parents where the best interests of a child with special needs is being considered.
Looking forward to the next phase of life
“With mediation, there’s a lot of forward focus. It helps people move on more quickly and they can start adjusting to what life will look like next,” Frank says.
“What do you want your life to look like six months from now, a year from now, even five years now?” she asks. “As you’re making decisions, you have that goal in mind, and you start to build a foundation for the future.”
In addition to her work with separating parents, Lori Frank Mediation & Consulting also offers mediation for issues involving aging parents, workplace mediation and conflict resolution services. Learn more at lorifrankmediation.com