Mediation House Calls For Divorcing Couples

Although I hate to admit it, I’m actually old enough to remember the days when the family doctor made house calls.

Childhood ailments brought visits from our kindly, joke-cracking pediatrician who would arrive with his black bag, his stethoscope slung around his neck, as if he’d stepped straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting. How I longed for those days when my own kids got sick, as has anyone else who has waited endless hours in a cramped waiting room with a screaming toddler with an ear infection and a raging fever.

Now a group of mediators stands ready to revive a dying tradition. A press release that made its way into the stack of Google alerts in my inbox this morning announces that a mediation practice in New Jersey is now providing at-home mediation services to divorcing couples.

More power to them for coming up with an innovative way to attract and serve clients.  Personally, though, I’m not sure that this is such a great idea. I think there’s a lot to be said for mediating on more neutral territory. The marital home is all too often both battlefield and asset in contention.

Perhaps these mediators have some ambivalence themselves about these new services. In its last paragraph, the press release declares that the mediation practice offers “a free consultation … in the martial home” (emphasis added).

Typo? Or Freudian slip?

                        author

Diane J. Levin

Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property… MORE >

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