Maryland Courts

Tim Stranges Success Stories

A couple who had been divorced several years agreed to try mediation to settle their small claims case. The ex-wife had sued her ex-husband for attorney's fees she incurred in trying to get him to abide by their divorce settlement which required him to sign over the deed of the house to her. In the course of the mediation, she mentioned that once she and her ex were able to reach agreement on the attorney's fees she could then start the process of re-financing the house in her name only. She said that she hoped her ex would abide by the divorce agreement and pay the closing costs he had agreed to (about $4,000). The mediator asked the couple if they wanted to mediate the closing costs issue as well, but initially they both said no. After two hours of negotiating over the attorney's fees, the ex-husband said that he was tired of fighting and wanted to do what was right. Because the mediated conversation helped the ex-husband better understand his ex-wife's point of view, he decided to offer $5,000 towards closing costs and $500 towards the attorney's fees. The ex-wife was shocked by the change in his attitude and immediately accepted. Both participants went away happy.

*Tim Stranges has been mediating for 9 years and is a board member for the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC).