Gabel, Gudmundsen & Gabel, PC

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General Information

We are devoted to helping parties heal conflict and move forward in their lives by providing caring, cost-effective, thorough and creative mediation services.  We strive to treat our clients with dignity and respect while fostering cooperation between the parties.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party (a mediator) facilitates the resolution of a dispute by promoting voluntary agreement (“self-determination”) by the parties to the dispute.  A mediator facilitates communication, promotes understanding, focuses the parties on their interests, and seeks creative problem-solving to enable the parties to reach their own agreement.

Mediation Goals

  • Create an equitable, legally sound, and mutually acceptable agreement.

  • Avoid the expense and trauma that is inherent in litigation.

  • Minimize post-divorce hostility and controversy.

Benefits of Mediation

  • Clients retain control over the process and their lives

  • Clients save money by avoiding protracted litigation

  • The process is generally faster and less time-consuming

  • Clients maintain their privacy.  A court case is public; mediation is confidential

  • Conflict is reduced, benefiting everyone, especially children. (Research shows that parents who mediate have a better long-term relationship with their children)

  • Clients customize solutions to fit their unique lives

  • A foundation is established for future communication and future co-parenting.  Mediation is a lot less damaging to long-term and on-going relationships than a court case with a judge.

  • Stress is greatly reduced through the informal process

  • Client needs, emotionally and financially, are better met

  • Post-judgment disputes are less likely

Types of Mediation

Divorce Mediation

Most domestic relations judges in Southeastern Michigan require that litigants attempt mediation before they proceed to trial.  As a result, 95-98% of all divorce cases settle before trial. Nationwide, mediation, either voluntary or court-mandated, is the predominant form of dispute resolution for divorcing couples.

Mediation is a way for parties to work together to find mutually agreeable solutions to the new issues of separation, divorce, and other family disputes. The mediator is a neutral third party whose goal is to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties. The mediator, along with the parties, can create a document outlining the parties’ agreements and help work out the details of concerns such as custody, property settlement, and other financial issues.

Elder Mediation

Many times older adults and their families are faced with making decisions relating to health issues and medical decisions, long-term care, living arrangements, financial and estate planning and sometimes guardianship.  These issues are very personal and sometimes, because of different opinions and misunderstandings, lead to conflict.  Elder mediation counseling can help the families to communicate and make effective, informed and mutually agreeable decisions now and in the future.

Mediation is held in a comfortable and confidential atmosphere where families can relax and work together toward making informed decisions and plans for the future.  The mediator is a well-trained facilitator who is neutral and does not “take sides” in these discussions.  It is a cooperative rather than adversarial process.

Some of the topics which can be addressed are:

  • Concerns regarding the current living arrangements and the care and safety involved for the loved one.  For many seniors, the decision to leave their home is traumatic.  As a family, the move to an assisted living or a long term care facility has to be discussed and a successful plan put in place.

  • Problems living with family members: sons, daughters, grandchildren.

  • Disagreements over medical care and making sure that the elder has estate and financial documents prepared.

  • When and if necessary, arrangements for guardianship or conservatorship of the elder.

  • Disputes among siblings regarding the care of an elder.

Now that we are living longer and government resources are diminishing, more and more responsibilities of caring for the elderly will fall upon families. Most families will be facing these challenges which can lead to conflict. It would be wise to discuss these matters before the family is in crisis.

Mediation Links