Palm Springs Divorce Mediation Attorney
Family Law Lawyer Mediators Peasemaking Blog Frequently Asked Questions
Resources Contact a Family Law Mediator
DFMS Mission Statement
Welcome and Introduction!
California Mediation Statutes
How Mediation Is Structured
Integrative and Collaborative Mediation
Mediation and Parenting Form Library
Mediating Premarital Agreements
Same-Sex Mediations
Therapeutic Co-Mediation


In the typical experience of divorce or partnership dissolution, parties may or may not make use of legal professionals. Estimates are that over 60% of people don't hire lawyers or even consult with them to address the legal aspects of their family law matter, and in some populations that percentage is much higher.  Yet, divorce is exceedingly complicated even for "experts".

Similarly, many people do not seek assistance from mental health professionals when they are ending relationships. Those that do rarely learn about parenting, co-parenting, child development, or peaceful ways to unwind interpersonal entanglements. Yet, we have little innate knowledge about such matters. 

In court proceedings over-busy judges make decisions, usually without explanation. As a practical matter, those rulings are not open to question or challenge - in a way that is reminiscent of the power imbalance between parents and very young children. Unlike adult/child relationships, however, judges don't instruct the litigant about anything. There is very little about the Court experience that allows for feedback in ways that might help the parties to understand what is occurring or how to deal or cope with it. Even when parties have attorneys they rarely explain the reasoning underlying the court's decisions to their clients or the basis for their recommendations.

Where the parties have children and cannot come to custody and visitation agreements forensic therapists and psychologists may be appointed who have differing levels of training and mastery, and little time or resources, to make custody recommendations. 

The ironic truth is that in family court litigation clients are always the least important and empowered persons in the proceedings. This means that for some people the experience becomes a lonely, clumsy, uninformed struggle that frequently leads to further unsatisfactory consequences.  

Mediation and co-mediation offer major benefits and advantages above the customary paradigm. Mediation is first and foremost a forum for educating the parties about all relevant circumstances.  It functions to provide a discussion and an exchange of information that is required to make informed decisions possible for each participant. For a person's consent to a settlement to be voluntary and intelligent, they must first be provided all relevant legal, financial, child-specific, and sometimes psychological information. 

At DFMS we believe that the mediator's role includes educating parties about the legal principles that affect their dispute, without becoming fixated or stuck on projected courtroom outcomes. People can be way more creative in achieving mutually sustainable resolutions when they also consider areas of common interest, rather than merely applying legalistic formulas. We have found that people can also benefit from understanding emotional reactivity from the perspective of mental health professionals.

Our lawyer mediator Thurman W. Arnold is a Certified Family Law Specialist, a designation and achievement that required a great commitment and investment of time as well as supportive judicial and peer reviews. He has 30 years' experience.

Our retired judge Mediator Gretchen W. Taylor is not only a Certified Family Law Specialist but was a Family Court Commissioner for eleven years, first at the Indio courthouse and then at the downtown Los Angeles Family Court. She has 35 years' experience. 

Our psychologist mediator Dr. Jane E. Shatz has decades of professional experience working with children in and outside of the southern California court system.  She is an expert in all manner of parenting disputes and issues, and she will make the best family science wisdom, particularly as it pertains to parenting and children, comprehensible.

Our marriage and family therapist co-mediators Karen Horwitz and David Hayes are exceptionally trained and experienced counselors, and each has the ability to explain complex issues relating to family dynamics and interactions, and to suggest concrete ways of how to modify them and so move on.

Whether you choose one mediator or a team of two interdisciplinary mediators, the most important benefit that you will derive from the mediation process, aside from resolving your dispute respectfully, efficiently and economically, is that of having been the central figures within the process. We will explain the law to you, we will ensure that the process between you and your former spouse or partner is thoroughly transparent and fair, and we will give you the tools to successfully complete mediation and to address future disputes more positively and effectively than if you continued the old patterns.

Mediation is all and only about you and your family. It educates and empowers and so leaves nothing to chance or misinformation. It only requires two willing participants to explore and engage the process.

Desert Family Mediation Services


No Comments Posted
Palm Springs Family Law Palm Desert Family Law
Desert Family Mediation Services
Attorney Web Design The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.