Mediation and Collaborative Dispute Resolution

Mediation is a dispute resolution process that can be an effective alternative to courtroom litigation.  When compared to litigation, the parties to a dispute may benefit from mediation in the following ways—

Time to resolution:
Total cost:
Less expensive
Cooperative and respectful
The parties
Compromise that both parties can live with
More expensive
Combative and adversarial
The judge
One winner and one loser


A mediator’s roll is to be a neutral third party who keeps the parties focused on the issues in dispute, and skillfully keeps negotiations between the parties aimed at reducing the differences between the parties’ positions until ultimately reaching an agreement. The mediator does not render a decision concerning the outcome of the dispute. The resolution of the dispute is always left to the parties.

Mediation may be required for parenting plans

In any matter involving custody of minor children, the courts of Nebraska now require the parents to attend the District Court Conciliation and Mediation Services parent education program and present a parenting plan to the court.  If the parents cannot agree, they are required to attempt to mediate a parenting plan before going before the judge.  We regularly mediate parenting plans and can help you perfect a plan.

Your win does not have to be your opponent’s loss

A major difference between mediation and litigation is the result that can be achieved.  With litigation, generally a judge must decide in favor of one party and against the other party.  With mediation, the result is not limited to a winner and a loser.  In mediation the parties can fashion a creative resolution in which each party may achieve benefits that are important to them, effectively resulting in two winners and no losers.

Increase your chance of collecting

It comes as no surprise that in studies nationwide about 65 percent of jury verdicts and court-imposed judgments are never paid, while compliance with mediated resolutions is approximately 95 percent.  Mediated results are often fairer to both parties than judge- or jury-rendered outcomes.

If you are seeking a less hostile alternative to litigation that will likely save you time and expense, mediation may be right for you.

Omaha Mediation Center

The law firm of Marks Clare & Richards, LLC is home to the Omaha Mediation Center.  Visit the Omaha Mediation Center website.

Collaborative dispute resolution

Collaborative lawyers shift focus from advocacy to developing client interests and principled, interest based negotiation with clients and their collaborative counsel in a supportive, safe, collaborative environment.   The Nebraska Academy of Collaborative Professionals, established in 2005, offers an alternative approach to litigated divorce.

Collaborative attorneys shift their focus from the seasoned gladiator developing facts and preparing for trial to a supportive team approach to problem solving and dealing with the unavoidable emotions flowing from families in crisis.  Collaborative teams rely on collaborative professionals who function as neutral resources in roles as coaches, child specialists, and mediators when needed.  The collaborative team includes a financial professionals trained and experienced in identifying marital assets, projecting future cash flow and identifying support options are utilized as neutrals in many collaborative cases.

A careful screening of the clients for their suitability for the collaborative process and the ethical requirements of informed consent to an alternative process for divorce is emphasized.  Clients and their collaborative lawyers sign a collaborative commitment agreeing to work outside of the court process for a resolution of all dissolution issues.

The collaborative divorce concept has evolved over time, but the important goal of empowering clients experiencing the break up of their families to overcome powerful emotions and function as part of a problem solving team, including finding a voice and a vision for the future, provides a great sense of satisfaction to all team members at the conclusion of a collaborative case.

Emphasis on communication between team members, including coaches, child specialists, and counsel provides a sense of working toward a common goal—a detailed road map for the future that includes consideration of the interests and needs of all family members: the parties, their children, and future relationships.

Contact us

Elizabeth Borchers is a certified mediator by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and has extensive training in collaborative law.  Ari D. RiekesSteven J. Riekes, and Michael A. Nelsen have completed the 30 hour mediation training program sponsored by the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution and the 30 hour Family Mediation training Program sponsored by the Nebraska Office of Dispute Resolution for Parenting Act mediation.

To learn how mediation or collaborative dispute resolution can better resolve your divorce or legal disputes, call our meditation and collaborative dispute resolution attorneys at 402-492-9800 or contact us online.


 Marks Clare & Richards, LLC | 11605 Miracle Hills Dr. Suite 300 Omaha, NE 68154 | 402.492.9800