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A practical, solution oriented approach to conflict resolution

Divorce Mediation

What is Divorce Mediation?   Mediation is a problem solving process where an impartial third party assists you in reaching an agreement that would be the fairest to both of you. Mediation works successfully for many divorcing families. Cooperative couples more often choose this alternative while going through their divorce.   Families with high conflict need mediation even more to avoid the high costs of litigation and the deepening conflicts that result from the adversity inherent in court litigated “divorce solutions”.   How Does My NJ Divorce Process Work?   My process includes an orientation session which gives us the opportunity to get to know each other.I spend most of the first mediation meeting simply listening to a couple’s differing perspectives, gathering information, answering questions and presenting an agenda for our following meetings.   The most important goal for the first mediation meeting is to create an atmosphere where both parties will feel comfortable and secure.   During the course of the mediation process the divorcing couple will need to make many serious decisions about their assets and liabilities, parenting and child support, spousal support (if necessary) and the couple’s living arrangements.   We will focus on the future and make arrangements that take all family members into consideration. At the end of the mediation process, I prepare a Memorandum of Understanding, a detailed document outlining your divorce arrangements that will be used by one of your attorneys to create your Property Settlement Agreement.   I am a firm believer that, when people participate in creating their own voluntary agreement, it will more likely be honored by both parties.   In the mediation process, my goal is to facilitate communication, promote understanding, and assist you in reaching fully informed solutions that will work for both of you.   I realize that what seems fair to both sides is what counts and I let your creativity be a part of the divorce mediation process. Though we have to consider the legal boundaries, there is still much latitude for you to work out an agreement suitable for the entire family. Your most important goal during mediation is to prepare yourself mentally and recognize that a divorce settlement will be reached only if both parties’ major goals are met. You will also need to keep in mind that divorce mediation is a negotiation process where both sides will need to work very hard in balancing an agreement and recognize that neither of you will get your “wish list”, and both of you will need to give up on some points in order to gain on the others.   Statistics indicate that over 80% of all divorce mediations result in settlement. This is true even where all prior attempts at settlement have failed, where the parties were pessimistic about the prospects of settlement, and where the parties have spent substantial amounts of time and money preparing for trial.   With such a success rate, it is wise and relatively inexpensive to try mediation. You have little to lose and a lot to gain!

Marriage Mediation

Marriage Mediation serves couples who want to stay married, but also want to improve their relationship. As an alternative to marital counseling or therapy, Marriage Mediation is a practical approach to resolving conflict or working through impasse during which couples actively participate in conversations facilitated by a neutral third party.   The goal of Marriage Mediation is to help couples stay married and become happily married again.   After events in your lives:   Be aware that especially right after the divorce children may become moody, withdrawn, angry, or revert to immature behavior. Give your child time to adjust, be patient and try to work together to find out what is bothering your child. Also consider different ages contd.   Studies have shown that a key factor in determining whether children make a good adjustment to their new situation is how well the parents cooperate. The quantity and quality of time your children spend with each parent is important to a healthy post-separation and post-divorce adjustment. Parents should allow their children to love the other parent freely even if the relationship between the parents has ended. Effective parenting includes protecting the children from conflict between the parents.   Be aware that especially right after the divorce children may become moody, withdrawn, angry, or revert to immature behavior. Give your child time to adjust, be patient and try to work together to find out what is bothering your child. Also consider different ages contd.   Advice   Try to agree upon a plan for time sharing that is realistic and flexible. It should fit with your schedule and with that of your children, including after school activities, vacations, holidays and other significant events in your lives. Also, consider the fact that children at different ages have different needs and therefore require different parenting plans. One of the advantages of the divorce mediation process is that you can always adjust your parenting plan as your children grow.   An infant requires no more than the meeting of his/her basic needs: feeding, diapering, bathing, and bedtime rituals.   Preschoolers spend a significant part of their development during playtime with their parents. For school age children, time spent with their friends is as important as the time spent with their parents and their extra curricular activities can take a lot of your time, resources, and energy.   Finally, teenagers will require a totally different approach to parenting. Parenting time for these children as well as activities planned need to be discussed with them. The physiological and psychological changes may affect their behavior tremendously. Make yourself available to them, listen before offering your opinion or ideas and remember that it takes two people to bring a human being to this world and it also takes two people to raise a human being.   Once a parenting plan is developed, try to stick with the schedule, even if it is difficult at first. This will build trust between you and the other parent and it provides stability for the children.  

NJ Mediator

You are not another client. You are an individual who has come to me for help at a time when your level of stress and your emotions might impact your abilities to make the right choices for yourself and your family. I will help you work through your divorce and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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About Me

Maryana Kanda, LSW, APM. Accredited Professional Family and Divorce Mediator

Maryana Kanda is the owner of Family and Divorce Mediation Services of New Jersey. Mrs. Kanda was awarded a Master’s Degree in 1995 from Yeshiva University School of Social Work, and had dedicated herself exclusively to the field of helping people.She began her career advocating on behalf of special needs clients at the Mental Health Center in Englewood, New JerseySoon after, she was offered a social work position with Family Services of Bergen County, NJ.
At this time she became involved with Russian-speaking clients who were seeking psychological help. A lot of their problems were acute reactions to the process of immigration. Many families could not endure the stress of immigration and fell apart. She found herself dealing with a lot of such families, helping them through the divorce process, performing translations of various legal documents, writing letters to attorneys on their behalf, and going to court as a translator.
She was spending a lot of her own time doing this on top of her daily responsibilities as a therapist. She learned at that time that the divorce process is one of the most painful and heartless procedures, which is especially hard on children. While working at the Family Services of Bergen County, NJ Mrs. Kanda has received numerous awards in recognition of her commitment and dedication to the field of Social Work.
In April 2002, Maryana received her mediation training though the Institute for Dispute Resolution, NJ. She graduated from this Institute and enrolled in internship for mediators at the same institute. However, as this field was not completely new to her, she started doing family mediation while in training. She is now a fully Accredited Professional Mediator though the New Jersey Association for Professional Mediators (NJAPM). She continues to participate in advanced trainings and professional retreats through NJAPM and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
She has also received an extensive training as a Parenting Coordinator in April of 2009 through the Cooperative Parenting Institute, PA. She was on a roaster for a New Jersey’s Parenting Coordinator Pilot Program that has ended in 2012. As a Parent Coordinator she has successfully handled “high conflict” child custody cases in which parents were unable to work out their disagreements. She continues to relentlessly help such families through her private practice or if she is appointed by Family Judges.Mrs. Kanda was recognized as a” New Jersey’s top Mediators” by NJBIZ for three consecutive years. She is fluent in her native Russian language.
Mrs. Kanda firmly believes that as a family mediator and a parent coordinator she helps to facilitate communication between couples and resolves misunderstandings using non-adversarial methods, which promotes continuing relationships, positive growth and better understanding.


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