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  When family members reach a breaking point, they may no longer have the ability to see a way to reach an agreement with the other person. Family Court may be seen as the only option. When a family relies on the court to resolve a parenting dispute, the parties hand over their parental decision-making power to others. Essentially, they ask a judge to make a family decision for them because for whatever reason they are unable to do so.

The risk . . . the judge may not perceive the problem, or the proposed solution, in the same manner as the disputing parties.  After hearing each parties' side, the judge may agree only in part, or perhaps not at all with either party, and may issue a decision that affects both the parties and children in a way the family had neither expected or asked.

It is extremely common for both parties to report feeling disappointed, frustrated and even angry at some aspect of a judge's decision or the recommendations that were made by a counselor or the attorney for the child. It is extremely rare for an individual to walk out of family court feeling like they obtained everything they wanted in the exact way they asked for it.

Why Mediation?

Mediation allows parents to retain the power to make decisions for their own families. Disputes are discussed privatelyconfidentially and through a quicker, less expensive and more carefully considered process. 

Mediation allows parents to create agreements with terms that are specific and unique to each family. Agreements made in court typically use the same generic language for all families with only minor adjustments. A solution that works for one family, may not work for another. Mediated agreements can include terms that offer a higher degree of detail and flexibility, which in turn increases the parents' ability to create agreements that work best for their family. As a result, the parties tend to have far less difficulty following the agreements, follow them for a much longer period of time without the need to return to court and typically report having far fewer incidents of future conflict.

Mediation often produces better communication between parties and an increased ability to resolve future problems easier. While the parties may have participated in mediation to solve an issue quickly or avoid a large legal bill, they are usually surprised when they realize the process has resulted in improving co-parent communication. 

Why Family Priorities Mediated Solutions?

Family Priorities Mediation uses a "child focused" approach to mediation. When mediating custody/visitation or divorce/separation agreements, the mediator will insure that the interests of the parties' children remain a primary focus of the parents' discussions. The mediator will also help the parents to: (1) weigh both the positive and negative consequences of all decisions they consider; and (2) examine how those decisions will: (a) affect the parents individually; (b) impact the children;  and        (3) influence each parent's relationship with the children.

Family Priorities Mediation realizes that for an agreement to be successful it must be realistic, plan for the unexpected and be negotiated in good faith. The mediator will help families consider all the provisions in their proposed agreement before finalizing it, help the parties plan for the unexpected and assist the parties with creating a "back-up" plan in the event they are unable to agree on a decision in the future.
Its Never Too Late to Try Mediation

Family Priorities Mediation works with families located in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and Saratoga County Family and/or Supreme Court. We work with individuals with and without attorneys. Even if you have already filed a petition and are scheduled for an upcoming appearance - you can still mediate your dispute. We can help you resolve one problem, or help you create an entire agreement. You do not lose any of your legal rights by trying mediation, nor are you negatively impacted. In the event that you are unable to reach a mediated solution, the option to return to Court is still there.  
Family Priorities Mediation was created to provide families a less expensive and more productive alternative to family court.