SOURCE: Peace Talks Mediation Serivces

Peace Talks Mediation Serivces

February 11, 2009 17:22 ET

Los Angeles Divorce Mediators Offer Free Mediation Services

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - February 11, 2009) - "Show us your layoff slip or foreclosure judgment, and the mediation's on us," says Diana Mercer, Founder of Peace Talks Mediation Services, Inc. "Don't let the burden of a failed marriage jeopardize your chance for a fresh start."

"I've already been criticized that I'm encouraging divorce, but a free divorce doesn't entice anyone who wasn't already on that path. Nobody would accept a free funeral who didn't need one, and the same is true of divorce," says Mercer.

You've read the stories about people staying together because they can't afford to get divorced.(1) But are the short term savings worth the toll on your long term well-being?

A 2003 study led by Jacquelyn Campbell at the John Hopkins University School of Nursing found that unemployment is the single strongest predictor in cases where men murder their wives. An abuser's lack of a job increased the risk of femicide fourfold.(2)

Domestic violence programs report that victims are experiencing an increase in abuse in part because out-of-work abusers have more opportunity to batter. Rhode Island, for example, has recently seen a 25% increase in felony-level domestic violence crimes.(3)

The good news is that as soon as a year after a divorce, the couple's standard of living may actually rise as the dust settles. Graphic designer Adam Weston turned his journey into a healing blog, http://www.adamsweddingdress.com/, and sites like First Wives World http://www.firstwivesworld.com focus on the healing end rather than prolonging the grief. Most people take on some sort of self-improvement journey after a divorce.(4)

Peace Talks Mediation Services, Inc., http://www.peace-talks.com, teams attorneys and therapists as mediators to craft a divorce agreement which is fair to both parties, preserves assets, and emphasizes children's wellbeing. With the average Los Angeles divorce costing $100,000(5), Peace Talks' average divorce is $8500. Peace Talks' founder, Diana Mercer is also the co-author of "Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce" (Fireside 2001).

For more information on divorce mediation or to schedule an appointment, or for details on the free mediation program, please visit http://www.peace-talks.com or contact Linda Duarte at (310) 301-2100 or e-mail PeaceTalksLA@aol.com.

Free mediation services include up to 6 hours of [otherwise] billable time: 3 hours of mediation and 3 hours for a mediation resolution roadmap and report or deal memo. The best predictor of the total time a divorce takes is the amount of acrimony between the spouses, so 3 hours of mediation time may or may not be sufficient to complete any particular divorce. Legal paperwork and drafting not included. Peace Talks chooses the mediator(s) assigned to the case. Free services offered on the 1st Monday of each month; other days may be added depending on demand. There is no obligation to pay Peace Talks for additional services, paperwork, or drafting. For those who are non-indigent and who don't qualify for the free program, Peace Talks offers a sliding fee scale. Each appointment requires a $50 deposit to secure the appointment time. The $50 is refunded at the end of the free appointment or credited against additional services purchased.

(1) New York Times, December 30th, 2008

(2) LiveScience.com February 2, 2009

(3) Boston.Com, December 25, 2008

(4) GFK Roper Custom Research

(5) Presiding Family Judge Marjorie Steinberg as quoted in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, May 4, 2008

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