Berman, Bourns, Aaron & Dembo has two partners with extensive practice in divorce mediation, Barbara Aaron and Courtney Bourns. Attorney Aaron is a founding member of the Connecticut Council for Non-Adversarial Divorce (CCND). She has trained other professionals, including attorneys and therapists, in the use of mediation. Attorney Bourns, also a member of CCND, limits his practice to mediation, relying on more than 40 years’ experience as a divorce attorney.
Attorneys Aaron and Bourns believe that mediation is a “kinder, gentler, more creative means” of helping parties and their children through the difficulty of divorce. Unlike the traditional, adversarial process, mediation involves less expenditure of time, energy and money. In mediation, the parties work together with the mediator to reach an agreement on the various issues that must be resolved to dissolve their marriage.
Mediators do not take sides or give advice. They are partial to both parties in the sense that they want to help them (and their children) move through a difficult time in a constructive way. As mediators, Attorneys Aaron and Bourns believe their role is to help their clients reach a “fair and equitable” agreement (the legal standard) in a way that is most likely to help them begin a new chapter in their lives.
Clients who use Attorneys Aaron and Bourns as mediators are encouraged to consider retaining attorneys to give them advice during the process. This is not required, however, and some parties simply choose to take the agreement, once it is ready to be signed, to an attorney for review. Others choose not to consult an attorney at all.
While divorce mediation is not an easy or happy occasion, we believe it is far preferable to the more adversarial process. We believe clients can, with our help, find a way to reach a fair and equitable agreement. The mediation process encourages mutual respect, the preservation of dignity, and hope for a better future, as well as a heightened capacity to parent together.