Mediator Standard of Conduct Five: Confidentiality.

Mediator Standard of Conduct Five: Confidentiality.

Confidentiality is not just for the mediation practitioner, it is for all parties at the table and your attorney that might be unbundled representation away from the mediation table.

We all have our circle of trust. Family, BFF’s, friends, Rabbi’s, Clergy etc. We all need some support at times. We totally understand. I have been there too. I had my circle of trust through my divorce.

They are your champion for your cause! Rightfully so. They are your people. They are definitely not going to cheer for the other party in your conflict. It is unnatural to do so, right?

Divorce is fairly common out there. Everyone knows someone that had a sister, best friends’ cousin that had a similar divorce. “You should get this outcome in court, mediation etc.” You start to believe them. All of a sudden the below situation happens.

Or at home you enter in the gross incomes for the both of you and the other items that you think are needed for the Spousal Maintenance Worksheet and it says you are entitled to 6K a month support, dammit you want that 6K for support because you earned it! This is how unrealistic expectations begin.


You consult with your circle they are pleased with that outcome, you see the finish line for this part of the negotiation, however the other side doesn’t see it your way. At all. Now you are mad and not going to settle in mediation, going to trial is the only way you are going to get your 6K a month.

Your neutral cannot prevent you from speaking to others about your mediation process and the details of negotiation. However it is tough to negotiate without your circle of trust not participating in mediation. If you want your circle of trust at mediation see if your mediator will allow it.

It is not that your mediator doesn’t want you to talk to be mean, it can cloud the process for the parties. Leading to unrealistic expectations and outcomes. If you need to consult with an attorney, CPA, Realtor, Mental Health Clinician, etc. with a completed separation agreement, parenting plan or etc. the mediator should encourage you to seek that additional wisdom.  That way the person that you trust sees the entire picture of the agreement(s) and is not biased in their assessment of your mediation.

However, having your circle of trust at the mediation table so you can settle and move on from the conflict or with the rest of your life.

Competent, Creative and Caring, call us now.



SBMediationLLC, Divorce Mediation, ADR Notes and ReCap.

Sorry we have not been around to post any information as of late, been in many mediations helping conflicted parties come to resolution. And to be candid some not.

What we have learned as a competent mediator in the last several months? Many things. We are not the deciders in anything, period. We like that role, I can decide as an Arbitrator or Parenting Coordinator/Domestic Relations Decision Maker, PC/DM for short however I much rather facilitate an agreement for you to embrace to follow through with in the best interests of your family.

We are an options generator not too many parties know about, how to talk to each other (unfortunately), (generally the conflict diminishes every year after the dissolution is final) how to divide assets, what to do with the biggest asset generally the martial home and just about anything else you’d like to discuss that is important to you and the both of you.

We are poised and ready to assist you with all of your most difficult situations. Luckily, we have been leading the pack for resolutions and we are very thankful for this. The hard work is paying off. 

I am introducing Marta Cary Skovrinski to the team. Marta has been in the ADR field as a mediator for 6 years, has a Masters in Dispute Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from Creighton University in Omaha. Might I add highly regarded in Alternative Dispute Resolution. Additionally, she does a fantastic job listening to the parties at the table and feels her career path is a calling as well. Lastly, she has been awarded the Domestic Relations Mediator for Jefferson County Mediation Services in 2016 and 2017.

We are planning offering soon a co-mediation option that is gender balanced. This makes both parties comfortable, no perceived gender bias, leading to more parties focused on resolution. Not worrying about if they are being heard, etc. The cost is definitely not as much as you would expect for two excellent mediators. 

Call on us for all of your Domestic Relations situations: divorce, post-decree, child support, spousal maintenance (alimony), allocation of parental rights (custody).

We have moved to the Tech Center! Right on I25 and Bellview.



              What Have We Been Cooking Up?

             What Have We Been Cooking Up?

How Much Spousal Maintenance Will There Be In My Case?

Money, money, money. For most people in the world, money is something to protect and the desire is strong to have more than enough of it. The discussion of money is nearly always a big deal during marriage, and during dissolution of the marriage.

Any marriage over 36 months in length in the state of Colorado requires a document called a Spousal Maintenance Guideline to be completed and acknowledged by both parties. The antiquated term for this type of document is alimony. The thing I want to make sure you hear is this: the document is a guideline and is not a definite sentence of what must be done in every case. The document is meant to be a starting point for both parties to talk about Maintenance.

In many families with children, one of the parents likely made a sacrifice in their income earning to be more available to the family. Unfortunately, the marriage did not work out. To the spouse that would pay Spousal Maintenance I am sure it feels like punishment. It is not meant to be punishing. Maintenance is meant for the lesser wage earner to get back on his/her feet as soon as humanly possible. The statute calls it rehabilitation.

The basic calculation for spousal maintenance is this: whatever the length of marriage over 36 months is divided into half and that is the amount of time the maintenance should be (paid). The maximum maintenance guideline term would be 10 years from a 20 year marriage. Again, this is not required to be followed exactly as calculated in every case, it is negotiable between the parties and can be variations in duration and monthly amount. Some people choose to structure maintenance to reduce gradually year after year until there is not a need for the receiving spouse to receive the Maintenance. Other parties may agree to an offset in the Maintenance somewhere in the assets including 401K, pension, home equity or many other options.

Regarding taxes, there is a “credit” issued for the payer with Spousal Maintenance. The payer shall reduce his or her adjusted gross income, potentially reducing his/her tax liability. The recipient is required to pay taxes on the income of Spousal Maintenance.

Regardless of any agreement is reached, if the recipient passes on or remarries, the Spousal Maintenance is terminated.

Your case does not have to go to a judge, which in many cases leaves you both with no power in the process and both being disappointed with the outcome. At SBMediationLLC we use the same state Spousal Maintenance calculator that judges, magistrates and attorneys use. There are many ways to come up with the Maintenance and Child Support calculation by inputting different scenarios into the calculator. If you are both willing to take an active role in your dissolution your chances of leaving the marriage in an acceptable place for both of you increases 100 fold.


Twelve locations on the Front Range

720 295 8224

Help "The Kids" Stay "The Kids" During Divorce

Since being in the mediation field for some time now, the number of ‘firsts’ have begun to dwindle. We recently received a first that is a solid reminder of who we are mediating for and why. We were sent a picture of one of my parties’ children, for the first time ever. The situation involves a lot of conflict and has been at an impasse for years, but this image illustrates her passionate fight for their child. 

This little reminder is huge affirmation why I am here helping families mend and repair during divorce or post decree when it seemed impossible to do so. You are likely hurt, scared, wounded and anxious about the process and what your future holds. I have been there, I fully understand and empathize with the both of you. I am in the business of helping families repair and do what is right and in the best interest of the children.

Here are some things to remember regarding your children’s involvement during and after a dissolution:

1.    Do not communicate with your children about anything going on in or around your divorce. I have met some great parents and well-meaning parents who are guilty of this simply because they didn’t know this was an issue. Your children should never be a gateway to the other parent.

2.    If you are having adult conversations with your friends and family about the divorce you are going through, please make sure the children are not in the home or anywhere they could overhear the content of your conversation. We all need sounding boards in our lives, and it’s healthy and normal to talk about it, just make sure your children are nowhere near. 

3.    Do not ask or encourage your children to choose which parent they would like to live with. It is unnatural, unhealthy and painful for a child to choose one parent over the other. Children need both parents equally unless it is dangerous for the child(ren) to be around a parent. From our many years of experience as professional peacemakers, it is rare to have dangerous parents, although sadly it does happen.

4.    Judges will not talk to your children about living with one parent or the other. This is a very common misconception but it just doesn’t happen. There are other ways for that information to be gathered from the children. The job titles of those professionals are Parental Responsibilities Evaluator (PRE) and Child Family Investigator (CFI).

5.    Get EVERYONE into family therapy, individual therapy and/or counseling. This process does not elicit the most logical sides of our beings and brings out some very painful emotions. Mend, heal and repair with the help of professionals who have the tools to help. 

6.    It’s normal for children, even those who have been a part of divorce over the age of 21 years old, to yearn their divorcing parents were still together for even several years after the decree has been ordered. Please understand this is normal and healthy and means they love the both of you unconditionally.

Parenting Plan and Intolerable Parents

Parenting Plan and Intolerable Parents

When it comes to the divorce parenting plan, some parents can be real intolerable. What is an intolerable parent in this situation? He or she is someone who belittles and demeans the other parent and is selfish about achieving their own objectives at the expense of the children….

Why Use SBMediationLLC Divorce Mediation

Why Use SBMediationLLC Divorce Mediation

Most divorce cases are heated and contentious.  By the time the decision to divorce has been made both parties are exhausted and depleted.  Filling out paperwork, hiring lawyers, and trying to keep it peaceful can be very stressful.  If you have kids then you can add their stress and wellbeing to your growing list of things to worry about.