Family Mediation
& Conflict Resolution
  Family   Mediation
  Wills and   Probate
  Parenting Plan
  Parental Guide
  Gallatin County
"Thanks for your help. I am grateful we were able to negotiate things instead of litigating! I imagine it will continue to pay for itself as time goes on."  Father
Thank you for your help, Chris. It was greatly appreciated.  Mother in the same case

Mediating Disputes over Parenting, Aging Family Members,
Divorce & Separation, Wills, and Probate


People often assume that disputes over divorces, wills and probate, and other family matters must be decided in Court by a Judge, but family disputes are ideally settled between family members before they reach a courtroom. Mediated settlements are better than "going to court" because:

  • mediated settlements are likely to be more satisfactory in the long run because the solution is mutually-agreeable
  • mediation can save a lot of money
  • the mediator can model and facilitate better communication that may continue after mediation
  • mediated solutions foster better working relationships
  • Attorneys often can be very helpful in settling disputes out of court. But when they are in court, the adversarial legal system forces attorneys into adversarial roles. Mediation can help establish a working basis for long-term family and bi-nuclear family relationships.

    Mediation can be used for many kinds of family disputes including inheritance and family business conflicts, but the most common use of family mediation is in association with separation and divorce. In all cases, the preservation and restoration of working family relationships is more likely through mediation than litigation. When children are involved with divorce and separation, the stakes are even higher. Mediation allows control to remain in the hands of the parents, not the Court.

    Mediators may not dictate outcomes nor make recommendations to the Court. There is no agreement if the parties do not concur during the mediation process. Also, because of confidentiality statutes, the parties may discuss things openly and freely in front of the mediator who may not report any of the proceedings to the Court.

    The voice of the children in divorce situations may be included in some mediations, as are the voices of adult children struggling with the challenge of aging parents. Dr. Hahn, with his degree in human services that focused on marriage and family, has specialized knowledge that can help in times of family conflict.

    The end result of a successful mediation is a written and signed agreement that outlines the mutual agreement of the parties. Parenting plans, property settlements, child support agreements, inheritance settlements, and family business agreements may be worked out in mediation. If lawyers are working with the parties, the lawyers usually complete the formal documents that are filed in the Court.

    The following PDF files may be saved, forwarded, or printed. These PDF files will open in a new browser tab.

    Dr. Hahn is a full Certified Mediator and a Certified Family Mediator through the Montana Mediation Association.

    To contact Chris Hahn about mediation e-mail
    or call (406) 522-4143.

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    Copyright, 2005 - 2014, Christopher P. Hahn, PhD, Ph.D., Bozeman, MT