The 2000 American Bar Association Model Standards for Mediation, and indeed the standards for all family law mediation, are based upon the principle of "informed consent." While once known as a medical term, the concept of "informed consent" in the context of emotional lives expresses that choices that are made in family law matters be made voluntarily, with knowledge of all facts important to the decision-making process, including but not limited to the law on marital and partnership dissolution. 

DFMS offers mediators with extraordinary expertise and vision in the law of relationships and in the mental health sciences.

We want you to be fully informed about the nature of the mediation process, sufficient to enable you to meaningfully consent to engaging the process. This requires that we be able to "facilitate the participants' understanding of what mediation is and assess their capacity to mediate before the participants reach an agreement to mediate." 

If we can't make mediation sensible to you, we cannot obtain your "informed consent" to the process and your jointly derived solutions with your "ex" are unlikely to work. This includes that we be able to explain mediation is and how it differs from other dispute resolution processes, like adversary court judgments and non-adversary processes including collaborative law. 

At all times you are invited and encouraged to seek outside and independent legal and other professional advice before, during, and upon completion of mediation as seems appropriate to your comfort.

Always ask us to elaborate on anything that does not feel clear!