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Bettsie Wild was perfect in her handling of two people who lost sight of the bigger picture – our children. Thank you.

Don & Kim
Anchorage, Alaska

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Fighting family"Tell your father if he doesn't send the check, I can’t buy food for dinner."

"Your mother is just trying to turn you against me."

The above comments are examples of the dialogue in which children get caught in the middle during a divorce. These comments are frequently heard from one or both of their parents. Too often, children become victims in our adversarial divorce system.

This does not have to happen.

Husbands and wives who have determined, for whatever reason, to separate do not have to become mortal enemies. There is another way.

Mediation provides a confidential, non-adversarial process where divorcing spouses can negotiate their own settlement with the aid of an impartial third party mediator.

This does not mean there isn't conflict between divorcing spouses; of course there is. But in mediation, the couple works together with one mediator to create a fair and equitable settlement.

In the adversarial process, spouses are often pitted against one another, each trying to get the best possible deal for him or herself. In such a tug of war, children inevitably get caught in between and pay a very high emotional price. Furthermore, the couple's assets can be significantly diminished as the process drags on.

Mediation saves time. Both spouses are working together at the same time with one professional to establish a common goal. This also reduces the cost of divorce thus preserving assets because both spouses share the cost of that one professional.

Mediation allows the couple to retain control of the negotiation process. The mediator makes negotiations less difficult by creating a safe, confidential environment, and serving as a buffer between the couple as they work through difficult issues.

Mediation protects important relationships, including those between each parent and child. As difficult as it may seem, parents must continue to be parents together even as they separate. Creating a cooperative process through mediation makes inevitable parenting discussions down the road easier for both parents. It also enables parents to design structures for dealing with specific topics in the future like college education.

Finally, mediated divorces have a far higher compliance rate than adversarial divorces because the couple takes ownership of the agreement.