The Dearborn Mediation Center, The Northville Mediation Center, and The Troy Mediation Center
Family Mediation Services

Family Mediation Service: Mediation for Couples and Families in the Process of Separation or Divorce

Meeting the Needs
The Dearborn Mediation Center, Northville Mediation Center, and Troy Mediation Center's Family Mediation Service exists to meet the unique needs of couples and families who are in the process of separation or divorce. Its primary purposes are to:

- Minimize the negative effects on the separation and divorce experience upon the couple and their children

- Reduce the conflict that is frequently a part of separation and divorce

- Assist each spouse to negotiate a fair and equitable settlement of property, custody, and support issues

- Promote post-divorce cooperation

The Dearborn Mediation Center, Northville Mediation Center, and Troy Mediation Center are staffed by a multi-disciplinary team of legal and mental health professionals who are experienced in family law and family therapy, and specially trained in mediation. In addition, the centers have established linkages with area attorneys, tax consultants, financial planners, and pension valuation specialists whose expertise may be called upon as needed. They support the mediation process while ensuring that each party's interests are protected.

Seizing the Opportunity
Mediation provides the opportunity for a husband and wife to work out the terms of their own separation or divorce agreement in a safe environment with the assistance of a trained neutral third person. This neutral third party does not render a decision, but helps the parties consider and/or develop alternatives to disputes regarding custody, visitation, shared parenting, support, and the equitable division of property.

The Mediation Process

- Supports non-adversarial approaches to the resolution of issues

- Assists both parties to understand all of the issues

- Works out creative solutions geared to the needs of the parties involved

- Leaves control over resolutions with the parties rather than with attorneys, judges, or court personnel

Reducing the Conflict
Mediation is often helpful in working past the anger, conflict and loss associated with separation and divorce. This process also can become the setting in which a sound foundation for the future may be established. This results in minimizing the disruption in the lives of all family members. Experience has shown that settlements reached through mediation are more likely to be accepted and honored by both parties than those reached through the traditional adversarial process. Such agreements are also likely to be worked out more quickly and at less expense.

To initiate mediation, call either center at the number listed below. A staff member will talk with you and set up an appointment with a mediator. There is no charge for the initial consultation.


Charles L. Nichols is an attorney and an experienced family mediator. He is a member of the National Academy of Family Mediators and a past president of the Michigan Counsel for Family and Divorce Mediation. He is also the founder and the executive director of the Dearborn Mediation Center, the Northville Mediation Center, and the Troy Mediation Center, as well as the president of Michigan Mediation Centers, Inc.

Charles L. Nichols
Attorney, Executive Director, Mediator

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