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Desert Family Mediation Servicesâ„  - DFMS

Serving the Southern California Inland Empire

From Offices in Palm Springs


Divorce and Family Law Mediation and Co-Mediation

Mediation can be a cost-effective and potentially transformative way of resolving marital and family law disputes. It is an alternative for resolving conflicts when relationships end that promotes reaching agreements that may make sense for you. Mediation is not, however, the answer for every couple.

Conflicts and disputes are common to every relationship transition. Family Court and the lawyers who practice within it play an honorable and crucial role in protecting the interests of people where severe power imbalances or hostilities exist between them. But for many litigation is truly not the only choice, and possibly for your family it should not be your first. It is always available if all else fails.

Family Court tends to assume that disagreement must be resolved through an adversary legal system that determines truth in the midst of strife, and it offers a 'zero sum' paradigm that holds that if someone wins (presumably you), someone loses (presumably 'them'). It is amazing how tightly we hold onto the cultural myth that government sponsored solutions are best for us. It just isn't necessarily so. Perhaps it has served some well whom you've known. Even so we suspect that over the course of your life you've noticed how unsatisfactory court determined outcomes, and their aftermath, can become for many.

How relationships end affects the functioning and wellbeing of individuals, families and children with significant downstream consequences. It may interest you to consider that it is entirely possible to have a respectful divorce, legal separation, or domestic partnership dissolution. At Desert Family Mediation Services our goal is to aid and facilitate holistic decision-making without sacrificing the parties' emotional and economic needs. We wish to help you and your former partner to uncover common ground and to make your own best decisions, an alternative you may find more satisfying and less destructive than having outcomes imposed upon you by outside forces. There are always considerations that offer win-win possibilities, even when people feel or become stuck. These just may not be readily apparent.

Mediation can work for you. It requires one thing to begin: A willingness by you and your former partner to sit with us, and each other, in a safe environment and together to undertake some practical and guided exploration of options that are available but may be as yet unseen.

DFMS offers Mediation (one neutral professional) and Co-Mediation (two neutral professionals) options. Our co-mediations combine a lawyer or retired judge and one mental health expert, often matched in gender to the parties we work with, who apply complementary skill-sets to help solve the broad range of legal and emotional challenges that relationship transition frequently include. The professionals who make up DFMS have teamed and trained together to most productively assist you. Our Palm Springs center address is exclusively used for mediation and is the only family law mediation center east of Riverside and San Bernardino.

The Role of Lawyers

We encourage you to consult with legal counsel independently, or to bring your attorney into the mediation with you as you choose. We in no way discourage the involvement of attorneys because successful mediation requires above all else that you feel and be fully informed about your rights. Family law attorneys and other professionals (like accountants) can contribute important perspectives, and in high conflict cases you may strongly believe you need their protection and indeed this is what family lawyers do best. It is not our goal to separate you from your legal advocate.

At the same time, we do not believe that what a judge might do in your case on any given question (something that lawyers can disagree about endlessly) is necessarily how you should resolve your issues if you wish to consider other interests beyond what is believed "the law" might say. Lawyers are optional in mediation.

Whether you choose to have your own counsel or not, our Attorney Mediators include neutral family law experts who educate you about relevant aspects of the law as it impacts you as an individual as well as your family.

Benefits of Mediation Processes

Here are some reasons why your choice to mediate your family crisis may improve your circumstances:


mediation palm springs

Consider the Benefits of a Mediated Dissolution


Each partner in relationship breakup holds the key to unlocking what the other partner needs to move forward, safely and with grace. Please contact DFMS for a free mediation evaluation.


Our Mediation Services assist parties in the desert cities of the Coachella Valley, and in San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange Counties.


Contact DFMS for a Free Orientation Session

760-323-7455 (Palm Springs Mediation Center)

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