Jennifer Safian
Divorce and Family Mediator

I have two paintings hanging in my office:
The first one is a confused black and white maze of crossed lines and perspectives by Madge Gill, born in England in 1882.
The other, a pastel colored botanical elements, seemingly inspired by nature, was painted by Ana Zemankova born in the Czech Republic in 1908.
Their art has no apparent similarities. These women lived in different countries, had no knowledge of each other, and no artistic training. They painted guided by their intense inner life, and today are considered “outsider” artists. A surprising element in their biographies is that they both reported a habit where they awoke daily around 4 a.m. and painted until around 7 a.m.
Pointing to the black & white painting, one of my clients said: “This is how I feel now,. . . ,“ And then pointing to the pastel botanical one, he said: “and this is how I want to feel when I am done with this process.”
Couples going through separation and divorce come into mediation often stating that they feel overwhelmed, fearful and confused about what to expect from the process, let alone the outcome. They have never done this before and though they may have some preliminary thoughts in regards to their finances and their children, they really don’t know how to deal with what feels like an insurmountable mountain ahead of them.
My role, as I see it, is to be: calming, supportive and reassuring.
I let them know that I am there for both of them, and will help them navigate all the different issues for which they will need to make decisions, together. I let them know that we will address each one of their concerns, as well as some future issues they may not have thought about.
I tell them they should not worry if they are unsure of a decision in the first meeting. They will have time to:
• Think about it;
• Get information;
• Let it sink in;
• Discuss it further; and
• Make the decision that feels right for them.
I reassure them that nothing is binding until they sign their legal settlement agreement
I am not there to push, prod, or force any outcome on them, but to actively facilitate their dialogue and hopefully bring them to feel at peace with their decisions.
Will they have to make compromises with their spouses? Certainly!
Will they have to give up on some of their initial wants? Yes!
But in the end, they will find a solution that they can both adjust to and find peace in as they begin anew.
Life is filled with twists and turns. Divorce is certainly one of them. May your road bring you to a serene place. I am here to help you reach that place.

Jennifer Safian. Divorce and Family Mediator
Divorce and Family Mediation
Upper East Side of Manhattan (NYC)
New York, NY
(212) 472-8626

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