A New Collaborative Divorce Service in the Rogue Valley

January 2020

Countryside Village RetirementFor couples contemplating a divorce or separation, the greatest fear is an unknown future and animosity, which is often heightened by individual attorneys complicating the process. There is a better path forward, one grounded in respect, fairness, and guided discussions about family needs.
Based in Ashland, professionals from three disciplines have joined forces to provide divorce mediation services. The new group is known as “The Divorce Mediation Collaborators” (or “TDMC”). This new and different approach is the brainchild of Fenella Das Gupta, a licensed clinician who worked in the Bay Area and now calls Ashland home. Fenella approached CPA Thom Hepford of Nagel & Padilla about providing these needed services in Southern Oregon.

Basically, the collaborators guide both parties to creatively customize their future as they would want to see it. Many find that the process of mediation has helped them develop better listening and communication skills, as well as problem solving skills, setting a good foundation for resolving future conflicts.

The heart of the collaboration is overseen by Fenella, who is an experienced Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in both California and Oregon. She has helped numerous families through the reorganization of their family life. As a mediator, she is particularly skillful at remaining neutral while having compassion for both parties involved. The collaborators conduct meetings over the course of months to assist with a framework to resolve issues through discussion and mediation sessions.

Along with Thom, Cassandra Dexter will provide the accounting analysis piece of the puzzle, offering insight and alternatives for property divisions. Susan Bradley Krant as the attorney will assist the parties in obtaining separation, support, custody orders, and final divorce decrees based upon mutually agreed settlements the parties craft themselves with the assistance of the collaborators.

One enticing fact about collaborative mediation is the cost. Overall, the cost is far less in legal fees, counseling and accounting fees than traditional divorces before a Judge. Each of the professionals in TDMC has committed to charging a lower rate for our mediation clients in order to promote the collaboration process.

“We do not work for one party, we work with both parties and would be happy to meet with both of you to explore if collaborative divorce mediation would be beneficial to you and your family,” Susan Krant said. “Our first meeting of up to one hour, which is free of charge, explains the process and explores your specific needs during the separation and divorce pendency. You can call 541.488.1225 to schedule a return phone call from the mediator. Once you speak with Fenella, we can set up a consultation with the team if you are ready to explore the process face to face.”

For more information, see their ad on page 22 of this issue.