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By Dorit Goikhman
Founding Attorney

Here at Off the Record Mediation, we hope to do our part in de-mystifying and popularizing the mediation process as an alternative to litigated divorce. We are true believers in mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), particularly when it comes to family matters.

Even though divorce mediation is growing rapidly as an industry, there is still a lot of variation across the country as to how its conducted. Since mediation is a confidential process, there is also a lot of mystery as to what actually goes on during mediation.

This week, our attorney mediator Dorit Goikhman hosted a Reddit AMA, where posters could feel free to ask questions about the mediation process. We also asked posters to share both positive and negative stories about their own experiences with mediation.

The end result was so much greater than we expected. We received dozens of questions, and our conversation has been viewed by over 17,000 people and counting! Our conversation will serve as a wonderful resource and repository of information for people searching about mediation for years to come.

We are still working to answer as many questions as possible, and we still have questions/comments coming in. There are so many questions that people have about the mediation process:

  • Can I mediate child support?
  • How does divorce mediation work?
  • Are mediators biased?
  • What powers do a mediator have?
  • What processes and techniques do divorce mediators use?
  • Can mediation work if I don’t trust the other party to disclose assets?
  • Can unmarried couples use mediation to divide property?
  • What are the benefits of mediation?
  • What are the costs of mediation?

Here is a link to our Reddit AMA. If you are facing the possibility of mediation in your own life, you might get some great tips from browsing the comments. And please feel free to chime in!


“Hi all,

My name is Dori Goikhman, and I’m a certified mediator and divorce attorney. I’m licensed to practice in California, New York, and New Jersey.

Divorce mediation is growing enormously as an industry, and yet I’ve noticed that people are so in the dark when it comes to the divorce mediation process. Partially, I think its because mediation is a bit of a “wild west” – there are so many mediation styles and mediators can vary enormously in how they conduct their practice.

Anyway, I’m hoping to do my part in de-mystifying mediation. I am such a true believer in the benefits of a mediated divorce. I dream of a world where people turn to mediators first rather than attorneys when it comes to family issues. I’d love to answer any questions you may have about mediation, and I’d also be curious what your biggest fears are about mediation, so I can better tailor my practice.

Edit to add: If you’ve had a bad experience in mediation, or an overwhelmingly good experience – I’d love to hear about it. I’ve represented many clients in mediation, and I’ve often found myself disappointed by the quality of the “best” and “most experienced” mediators. Other mediators have just blown me away with their skills. By doing this, I’m hoping to expand my horizons so I can understand the experiences that others have had with mediation, both good and bad.

So… ask me anything! I will try my best to answer. And feel free to ask legal questions also (keeping in mind the jurisdictional limitations of my license).”

About the Author
Dorit L. Goikhman is a licensed attorney, with years of experience representing clients throughout Central California in business, real estate, and family matters. After witnessing numerous clients spend fortunes and waste years of their lives in litigation, Dorit became interested in mediation and all that it has to offer. Dorit is committed in helping parties work together to obtain a mutually acceptable solution to their disputes at a fair price. Her approach is to keep things simple, confidential, and efficient with the goal of preserving the parties’ assets, reputations, and sanity. If you have any questions regarding this blog, you can contact Dorit here.