In this type of mediation, the mediator seek to empower the parties, particularly focusing on one party for the purpose of equalizing the playing field. The mediator may work with both parties on certain power dynamics within the relationship or unhealthy communication styles. The purpose of transformative mediation is more to transform the parties’ relationship, rather than reach resolution of the issues. But by transforming the party dynamics, the parties can later reach resolution on problematic issues, particularly those dealing with child custody and child rearing.
Pros to Transformative Mediation: The parties can bring an entirely new parenting styles in co-parenting, placing co-parenting of the children before their owns wants and needs. Transformative mediation can enable both parties to feel they are equal players in the on-going mediation.
Cons to Transformative Mediation: Often, the party who needs the transforming isn’t the party who is willing to listen and change. Sometimes, therapy, or co-parenting classes may be required first, for transformative mediation to truly work.
We use a combination of all three types of mediation. When attorneys are not involved, we rely most heavily on facilitative mediation with some transformative mediation. This allows the parties to reach their own form of agreement, while also teaching and empowering the parties.
When attorneys are involved in the process, we tend to rely more heavily on the evaluative type of mediation, discussing with the parties and their attorneys the strengths and weaknesses of their respective arguments.
We encourage parties to discuss the mediation types with us when you have your initial consultation. Many people feel disadvantaged when entering mediation. Ask questions before and during the mediation. We will not advocate for either party during a mediation, but we will always answer questions.
Ask questions. If you don’t know your rights pertaining to alimony, ask questions like, “How does the court calculate alimony?” If you are unclear about your rights pertaining to child custody, you might ask “How does the court resolve child custody disputes?” If you don’t know how the courts will divide your property, ask that question. As your mediator, we do not represent you and therefore, we cannot advise you. We cannot tell you what you should do, but we can certainly tell you what the court could do under certain circumstances.
Do your research. Google searches may not provide you with information on New Mexico laws, but it will educate you. Look up New Mexico laws and statutes. Go to www.nmcourts.gov and you will find information and forms. By reviewing forms, you will begin to understand what is expected of you and what your rights may be.
Bring documents. Documents help the mediator ascertain the incomes, assets and liabilities of the parties. Even if you don’t know the other’s party’s income, bring documentation of your own income which will encourage further exchange of documents. Bring tax returns, copies of bills and bank statements.