Review of MediationMate

by Jim Melamed
March 2016 Jim Melamed

This is a review of MediationMate (www.MediationMate.com), a new suite of end-to-end productivity tools for divorce mediators. MediationMate assists divorce mediators to find and work with divorcing parties. In addition to acquiring and consolidating all information needed for the parties’ divorce, MediationMate assists divorce mediators and participants to develop top flight Memoranda of Understandings (MOUs) or Marital Settlement Agreements (MSAs) to resolve all divorce issues. Following this Agreement development, MediationMate makes it easy for spouses (or the divorce mediator) to finalize all needed divorce filing documents by conveniently integrating with the well-established sister company, CompleteCase.com.

In other words, MediationMate assists divorce mediators and participants to assemble and consider all of their information and to systematically resolve all of their issues, resulting in significant documentation-time savings and a comprehensive divorce settlement. With the parties’ substantive resolution complete, MediationMate seamlessly integrates with CompleteCase.com to make it easier than ever for divorcing parties to “get across the goal line” with all needed court filing documents, customized to each of the 50 states. Importantly, CompleteCase guarantees the acceptability of all court filing documents! Let’s take a closer look.

How Far We Have Come!

I began my own divorce mediation practice in 1983. How far things have come! I remember doing my first half dozen or so cases on a typewriter. It was common practice in those days to make corrections with white out. Copies were made with carbon paper. I remember feeling a coronary coming on whenever clients wanted to make substantial changes to their agreement. All of this dramatically changed with the advent of word processing. In fact, it is the author’s opinion that the development of word processing was a necessary precondition to the development and growth of the modern mediation movement.

In time, we not only got ever-improving word processing and the unlimited ability to modify Agreements, we also got the Internet. Suddenly, rather than sending draft documents through “snail mail” for delivery 3 or 4 days later, we as mediators were able to send along documents and drafts as attachments to emails, cutting out delivery delays and more actively integrating mediation participants into the drafting process.

MediationMate has now extended this evolution by making it easier for divorce mediators to find clients online, by supporting participants themselves in entering (one time) as much of their needed information as possible, conveniently consolidating and reflecting participants’ expanding information and progress, and ultimately assisting participants to comprehensively resolve all issues and easily and affordably generate their needed agreement and court filing documents. Mediation-Mate saves mediators hours of time generating agreement drafts, a final top flight agreement, and (with CompleteCase) all needed filing documents, guaranteed.

Getting More Cases Into Mediation

MediationMate has been developed by the same people who successfully offer the comprehensive divorce document services at CompleteCase.com (for the past 16 years). Over the years, the people at CompleteCase.com have come to realize that only a minority of the perusers of their divorce filing document services are actually able to fully complete the document development process for a single reason: they are not at complete agreement on the terms of their divorce.

CompleteCase.com has thus wisely concluded that the answer is to get these people needing some measure of assistance into mediation. It might be that online mediation will be sufficient, or that a measure of both online and face-to-face mediation are best. Regardless, MediationMate is there for divorcing parties and the mediator to assist in most efficiently consolidating their progress and to assist parties, with the mediator’s guidance, to “get across the goal line” with their own complete set of needed and customized divorce agreement and filing documents.

MediationMate Job Aides

MediationMate offers the following “job aides” to assist divorcing participants and mediators to best assemble and keep track of their information and Agreement. These job aides are as follow:

  • Case Creation – client contact information and case basics
  • Client Management – case stage and summary progress tracking
  • Agreement Checklist – topic status and detailed issue documentation
  • File Capture – reference document upload and retrieval
  • Agreement Summary – verbatim read-out of all issues and decisions
  • Memorandum of Understanding or Marital Settlement Agreement – automated final document creation

There is no requirement that mediators and participants use each or any of these modules. Each is an opportunity for the mediator and participants to easily assemble and better consider their information. Each module is valuable, but their use, or not, is fully up to the mediator.

The MediationMate Agreement Development Process

Among the most valuable tools available with MediationMate are the “Agreement Assessment” and “Agreement Checklist.” These tools allow a mediator to quickly develop a sense of parties’ level of agreement (or disagreement) and the issues that will need most attention. The Agreement Checklist helps both the mediator and parties understand both what they have accomplished and issues still needing resolution. As more and more issues are resolved, the mediator is also able to share successive drafts of the parties MOU or MSA, and ultimately export a finalized agreement that can be, literally with the click of a mouse, fully integrated into all needed court filing documentation (again, customized for each of the 50 states).

Conclusion

MediationMate offers an extremely valuable set of divorce mediation agreement reaching tools and technologies. Importantly, MediationMate assist divorce mediation participants to directly enter their needed information (one time only) and the organizes that information in a way that is helpful to mediation participants and mediators alike. MediationMate tools are empowering for participants, allowing them to clearly identify needed information and resolved issues, as well as issues still needing resolution.

Ultimately, MediationMate and CompleteCase.com offer divorce mediators the opportunity to offer a better process, better and more complete deliverables, and an overall more efficient, empowering and economic divorce experience. MediationMate supports divorce mediators in offering “better, faster and cheaper” services. Divorce mediators are wise to take note and give MediationMate a try (you can try for free) as part of the continuing evolution and growth of ever-better divorce mediation services.

Biography


Jim Melamed co-founded Mediate.com in 1996 and has served as CEO of Mediate.com ever since.  Mediate.com received the American Bar Association's 2010 Institutional Problem Solver Award.

Before Mediate.com, Jim founded The Mediation Center in Eugene, Oregon in 1983 and served as Executive Director of the Academy of Family Mediators (AFM) from 1987 to 1993. Jim was also the first President and Executive Director of the Oregon Mediation Association (1985-86). Jim's undergraduate degree is in in psychology from Stanford University and his law degree is from the University of Oregon.Jim has received the following awards: The Oregon Mediation Association's 2003 Award for Excellence; The Oregon State Bar's 2006 Sidney Lezak Award of Excellence; The Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) 2007 John Haynes Distinguished Mediator Award; and The 2012 Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM) "Getting To Yes" Award.



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