Divorce Mediation


The Credentials, Experience and Commitment You Deserve

At our firm, we understand that no two divorces are alike. Just as the relationship you have with your spouse or children is unique, so too are your goals and needs as you move toward a solution. Instead of putting the outcome of your divorce and your future in the hands of the courts, why not explore opportunities to retain control, reach a solution that benefits all parties and ultimately spares you many of the headaches that come with going to trial? Attorneys DeAnn Pladson and Kristen Hushka are trained and certified family law mediators and parenting investigators. In addition to her private practice, Attorney Pladson works with the state of North Dakota's Family Mediation Program and has helped numerous people resolve their disputes through negotiations. Whether you are looking for an experienced and skilled lawyer to represent you during mediation proceedings or wish to hire our firm as a mediator for your family law dispute, we can explain the potential benefits of mediation or other alternative dispute resolution strategies.

Dispute Resolution: Helping Couples Find Timely, Cost-Effective and Creative Solutions

When people think of divorce, they often picture couples arguing, each spouse's attorney battling for the marital home and other property, and the kids getting caught up in the middle. Although divorce proceedings are considered adversarial, the truth is that they don't have to be. At Pladson Law Office, we help our clients in the Fargo-Moorhead area and throughout North Dakota and Minnesota explore alternative methods for resolving disputes — such as mediation or collaborative divorce. These alternatives to litigation offer couples opportunities to reach agreements, retain control over the outcome of their negotiations, compromise and complete their divorce as quickly as possible, quietly and cost-effectively.

Mediation: Resolving Disputes While Saving Time, Money and Keeping You In Control

Traditional court litigation requires a level of formality that can burden a divorcing couple with great expense and delay. A trial can often become highly adversarial and combative, often exposing young children to disputes between parents. Instead of going through the rigors of traditional litigation, a mediator — a trained neutral person — will walk you through the process of your dispute to help you reach a mutually satisfying outcome.

You Determine the Outcome of Your Divorce or Other Family Law Dispute 

At Pladson Law Office, our attorneys, DeAnn Pladson and Kristen Hushka, look to help clients understand the values of mediation. In short, mediation is a process in which you and your spouse self-determine the future. Some of the primary benefits mediation offers include:

  • The ability to resolve some or nearly all of your divorce-related matters
  • The chance to stay in control rather than letting the courts decide for you
  • Keeping your affairs private
  • A chance to reach mutually beneficial solutions as opposed to "winning" and "losing"
  • Sparing your kids the trauma of going through contentious litigation
  • Getting creative with your solutions so the outcome works for you, your former spouse and your kids
  • Maintaining a better relationship with your former spouse
  • Saving time by working through matters quickly rather than waiting for the backlogged courts

Attorney Pladson is a trained mediator in both Minnesota and North Dakota and has a long history of mediating family law cases. Her goal is to promote outcomes for the family built on a foundation of communication, selflessness, and care for the entire family. From there, parenting plans are developed to promote the mutual goals and produce positive outcomes. We can help you identify the issues, sort through the options, consider alternatives, and arrive at settlements that will meet the needs of the family. Mediation can allow you and your spouse to maintain a good working relationship, which is so important for years to come and long after an amicable divorce agreement is reached.  In mediation, you have control over the process and over the outcome. You have the opportunity to gain clarity about your situation, to hear new information, and to make decisions for yourself as opposed to having decisions imposed upon you. As your representatives, we provide an open and transparent atmosphere for parties to talk freely and to be heard. 

Estate Planning Mediation


You never thought you would be here—in a dispute with your brothers and sisters about how your mom and dad’s estate will be divided.  You want to keep the peace and try to get along, but emotions run high and there is too much at stake.  Often with probate cases, disputes arise between family members.  It is also common that these disputes involve parties with a continuing relationship, meaning the parties will continue to be in contact and have an on-going relationship for many years.  Imagine holidays, reunions, and other special family events clouded with bad feelings of turmoil and dispute. 

Now more than ever, families are turning to the assistance of mediators to help them through these times. Mediation involves using a neutral third party (mediator) to assist with resolving disputes between parties. The mediator has no decision-making power and relies on facilitating communication and identifying issues to resolve conflict in a more productive way. At mediation you get to participate in the decisions after receiving full information about your options to resolve your disputes outside of the courtroom.

Mediation is ideal for these emotional family disputes because it can help to save these relationships when the court cannot.  Trying to resolve these conflicts in an open, productive way can eliminate fall-outs and preserve those important relationships in your life.  This can make solving disputes in the future possible and much more manageable.

Benefits of Mediation in Probate and Estate Disputes


Probate disputes have the potential to be some of the most prolonged legal processes.  The court process can be extremely slow sometimes and it can be difficult to resolve disputes quickly.  Mediation is beneficial because it works to resolve disputes without the courts.  This means that disputes can be settled much more quickly. 


Since mediation aims to generally keep the courts out of the dispute, and the dispute can be resolved faster, this saves both sides money.  The less time it takes, the more cost effective it will be for everyone. 


As mentioned above, the mediation process takes much more into consideration such as family dynamics, preserving relationships, and identifying methods for communicating in the future.  Since mediation focuses so heavily on communication, it is also a good way for family members or parties to voice their concerns and feel as though their voices are being heard. 


Unlike most court proceedings, the mediation process is completely confidential. The mediator will not reveal anything and no record of the mediation is made.  The parties must also keep information obtained at mediation and any conversations confidential. 


Mediation has the benefit of being able to provide unique solutions.  There are only so many remedies a court can use to resolve probate disputes, and most of these remedies leave most people unhappy.  In mediation, parties have many options to reach a solution. When communication is open and productive, the possibility for an agreement that satisfies most people is possible.


In contested guardianship and conservatorship cases, mediation can help parties collectively determine what may be the best process or who the family wants to be guardian or conservator of the person or estate. 

Probate and estate disputes that involve parties who are willing to openly communicate in an attempt to resolve issues should try the mediation process.