Mediation: Divorce in a Better Way with Susan Guthrie
This week’s episode is a companion episode to my last episode with Rebecca Zung (which you can find here). This week Rebecca’s partner, Susan Guthrie, is my guest. Susan is the Chair of the American Bar Association's Mediation Committee and founded, along with Rebecca Zung, Breaking Free Mediation which provides mediation services across the country through an online platform. If you’ve listened to their podcast, Breaking Free: A Modern Divorce Podcast, then you know that Susan and Rebecca are a super badass team of divorce legal professionals. I’m honored to be collaborating with them on our podcasts—and beyond.
In this episode, Susan and I dig into mediation and divorce. While we’ve said it before, it’s worth mentioning again: divorce is a time when you are making emotional, financial, family, parenting and other important decisions for your future. You should not be making them in a turmoil of negative emotion, which litigation often brings. With their online mediation platform, Susan and Rebecca bring mindfulness components to the mediation process so that you can think responsibly when making these tough life-impacting decisions.
We also discuss the difference between litigation and mediation, what to do if your partner isn’t on board with mediation, and more. While mediation isn’t the only way to do divorce, it can definitely be a better way.
Susan’s experience being a litigator, litigation as the institutional conflict cycle and and why she made the switch to mediation practice (4:11)
How mediation differs from litigation and understanding that both parties need to agree to the mediation process (10:49)
Why most people avoid mediation and the benefits of virtual mediation (13:00)
The importance of going through a cooling off period before deciding between mediation or litigation, plus combining a mindfulness practice with the practice of mediation (19:00)
What to do if you really want to mediate, but your partner won’t agree to it, and how understanding the benefits of mediation may help motivate them (28:30)
Walking through the “I want a divorce,” conversation and allowing the other party time to process everything before moving forward (36:00)
The mindfulness component of Susan and Rebecca’s Breaking Free Mediation platform (40:29)
Susan’s legal coaching practice, what it is and how she helps clients (43:24)
Learn More About Susan:
Susan Guthrie, honored as one of the top family law and mediation attorneys in the country, has been helping families to navigate the process of divorce for 30 years. She is the current Chair of the American Bar Association's Mediation Committee and founded, along with her business partner and fellow top attorney, Rebecca Zung, Breaking Free Mediation which provides mediation services across the country through an online platform. They are the first mediation service to offer a mindfulness track for their clients to help them to manage the difficult emotions of divorce. Susan and Rebecca are also the co-hosts of the iTunes Top 10 podcast, Breaking Free: A Modern Divorce Podcast which recently surpassed 1.3 million listens in less than a year and is one of the top divorce podcasts in the world.