Family Tree Mediation





Displaying items by tag: values

Thursday, 13 August 2015 16:49

Contact Us



Hank Edson Family Tree Mediation 72dpiHank Edson, J.D.                CALL: (650) 762-8733

Proprietor of Family Tree Mediation
Serving Redwood City, Atherton,
Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Mountain View,
Los Altos and the wider Peninsula &
San Francisco Bay Area. 

Published in Contact Us
Friday, 07 December 2012 20:41

Grow Your Life Group Workshop

Grow Your Life Content Title for Webpage flat 1


What is the Grow Your Life Group Workshop?

Part workshop, part master-mind support group  the Grow Your Life workshop is my effort to create a proactive vehicle for personal growth:

  • Through sharing and discussion of personal goals, values and challenges, and
  • Through structured exercises and activities inspired from my own pursuit of personal development as a communications specialist, an attorney, a teacher, a writer and poet, an environmental, political and human rights activist, a long-time student of spirituality, and a permaculturist.

The Grow Your Life Workshop is also a deliberate attempt to apply to the social dynamics of our personal lives the ecological wisdom of permaculture, which works with natural forces to weave a diverse web of resilient relationships in the environment to produce healthy, abundant, and richly satisfying homesteads and harvests. 

Above all, the Grow Your Life Workshop is a dedicated dynamic space for you to get organized, inspired, creative and connected with the things that matter most to you in life.  

This space is “dedicated” because by signing up, you are setting aside two hours a week to tend to your own growth and wellbeing. This space is “dynamic” because it offers a rich social and collaborative small group context in which your voiced intentions, concerns, challenges, experiences and inspirations interact with those of up to eight other group members, including a skilled facilitator.  The Grow Your Life Workshop thus offers the opportunity to step your personal goals and pursuit of wellbeing out of the isolation of private thought and into a shared interactive enterprise.  At the same time that the Grow Your Life Workshop offers structure, sophistication and nurturance to your efforts to grow at your leading edges, the workshop does so in an informal, organic manner that imposes no institutional group think, expectations or standards.  It is simply smart time devoted to living the adventure of your life ever more fully.

Published in Grow Your Life
Friday, 06 July 2012 23:08



Mediation: My hourly rate is $250 per hour for mediation services related to divorce, post-nuptial agreements, estate disputes, and elder care.   

Corporate Trainings: My fee for corporate training, speaking engagements, business mediation and coaching is $300 per hour.  

Coaching: My fee for couples work, individual communication coaching, family meeting facilitation among adult and minor members of the same household and work with families supporting young adults in their transition to independence is $250 per hour.

For mediation, there is no charge for first session if you decide not to engage Family Tree Mediation.  This way there is no risk.  Even if you decide not to continue, you get the free benefit of gaining further understanding about the options available to you for resolving the dispute you are experiencing. To schedule an appointment, you can call me at (650) 762-TREE [762-8733] or email me using the email form on our Contact Us page.

More On Divorce Mediation

In a standard divorce mediation, the costs of obtaining your final Dissolution of Marriage Judgment fall into five parts: (1) pay-as-you-go session fees, (2) fees for work outside of session, generally (3) the 5-hour advance required prior to settlement drafting, (4) other costs, such as postage and printing, and (5) filing fees required by the court.  A sixth type of cost is sometimes required: the fees charged by experts required to appraise property, prepare and file more complex orders requiring attorney assistance, provide forensic accounting appraisals, or other provide any other type of service beyond the scope of mediation. 

1. Session Fees:  My business model is largely "pay-as-you-go." I generally work in 2-hour sessions. My fee for mediation is $250 per hour, payable at the end of each session, with a 1-hour minimum per session, but after an hour, I only charge for the time of the actual session.  Thus, if we come to a good stopping point after an hour and forty minutes, I charge you my rate for the one hour and forty minutes. I try not to schedule sessions back-to-back because often we will have momentum and will want to go beyond two-hours.  In such cases, the same principle applies. I charge my rate for the time of the actual session.

2. Fees for Work Outside of Session: I charge the same $250 per hour rate for all work outside of session. This includes assistance with the court process, which involves preparation of the petition and response documents, proofs of service, preliminary and final disclosures and forms related to the filing of the final judgment. When clients work with me, I handle all the court paper work and you never have to deal directly with the court yourself. Other work outside of session includes, but is not limited to, occassional legal research, document review, answering emails from clients, preparing analyses or written memorandas helpful to resolving conflicts over the division of property or discussed support levels, communications with other professionals occassionally involved with your mediation process, such as accountants, consulting attorneys and others, and drafting the final settlement agreement. When work has been performed outside of session, I will generally provide a billing summary at the next session and ask for payment for the billed work along with the session fee. If there is a gap between sessions of more than three weeks, as often happens, I may at my discretion send out a month's end billing summary requesting payment for all time as yet unpaid. This pay-as-you-go model means you don't have to pay an expensive advance up front, but only pay for work after it has been performed.

3. 5-Hour Advance on Settlement Draft:  As noted, my fee for drafting the marital settlement agreement negotiated in the mediation is also $250 per hour, but I do require payment up-front for 5 hours' work ($1,250) to ensure that before I invest a lot of time drafting the final product of the mediation process, my clients are invested in my work as well.  After the initial 5-hour advance, I will provide a final billing summary that deducts the 5-hour advance from my time drafting the agreement and facilitating any final negotiations and revisions. If the process has not concluded thirty days after payment of the advance, I will send out each month a monthly bill for any unpaid time owing until the process is complete.

4. Other Charged Costs:  I also pass on the cost of postage to my clients and charge a 4 cent per page printing fee when I print out disclosure documents required by the process. If travel to court is requested to expedite the process, I charge my hourly rate for travel time as well as my time filing papers at court.

5. Court Filing Fees Not Included.  Filing and other fees charged by the court are not covered by either the flat fees or hourly fees charged by Family Tree Mediation.  The mediating spouses will write checks covering such fees to be included with the documents to be filed by the mediator on behalf of the divorcing couple.

6.  Fees for Expert Services Beyond the Scope of Mediation Not Included.  Where the divorcing spouses choose to seek a QDRO or various other orders warranting legal help or where they seek the services of experts in valuing property or providing services beyond the scope of mediation, they will be responsible to pay the fees charged by the experts used.

Risk Free! There is no Charge for first session if you decide not to contract with Family Tree Mediation.  This way there is no risk.  Even if you decide not to continue, you get the free benefit of gaining further understanding about the divorce process and the options available to you. To schedule an appointment, you can call me at (650) 762-TREE [762-8733] or email me using the email form on our Contact Us page.

Published in Fees
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 03:29

Conflict Coaching for Individuals

Conflict Coaching for Individuals: The Initiative of a Single Person Can Make the Difference!

conflict coaching at family tree mediation

Are you looking for a way to better handle conflict with your spouse, a close friend or a colleague at work? Do you have an issue with your spouse that you would like to mediate, but your spouse refuses to participate? Would you simply like to strengthen your ability to stand up for yourself while still respecting and caring for others?

If so, Family Tree Mediation’s conflict coaching service may be right for you. While it is always a great opportunity when two parties in conflict are willing to work on improving the way they communicate, especially with the assistance of a mediator, a relationship can be greatly improved on the initiative of just one person.

In the past four decades, a great deal has been learned about the nature of conflict, the communication patterns that help individuals navigate such conflict, and those that don’t. We have greatly increased our awareness of the way that culture, emotion, information, past experience, worldviews, and communication models complicate our participation in conflict. In the heat of the moment, however, we rarely have the capacity to make effective use of this understanding, if we are fortunate enough to have obtained it. We find ourselves reacting according to the models for dealing with conflict we learned long ago and now apply unconsciously.

Thursday, 12 April 2012 17:31

Why the Name: Family Tree Mediation?

Today, I am celebrating the first post on this blog and I thought a good first topic to discuss is the name I have given my mediation practice. I call my practice Family Tree Mediation because, to me, the metaphor of the Family Tree expresses many values and beliefs that I think make mediation an extremely valuable tool for getting the most out of our lives:

Striving for Organic Self-Development

First, the Family Tree image reflects the positive growth of each of our lives through all of life’s changing seasons. As we grow older, the strength, peace and grace we embody are a reflection of our authenticity, integrity, and self-awareness. Mediation is a process that provides the opportunity for navigating deeply painful conflicts with all of these desirable qualities so that you feel yourself growing stronger, more peaceful and more graceful no matter what challenges you face.

Managing Essential Relationships

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 23:19

Couples Work

Couples Work

Couples Mediation and Communication at Family Tree Mediation

Communication Coaching and Mediation 
Can Help Both to Improve Your Communication Process and 
to Develop a Mutually Agreeable, Practical Vision for the Future

Day in day out, we spend our lives navigating and negotiating a wide variety of relationships. The work of being a good steward of our own welfare while also being a creative collaborator skilled in sharing life with others is a huge part of what life is about for social beings like ourselves.

This work is hugely rewarding, but can also be hugely challenging. And nowhere are the rewards and challenges greater than in the intimate partnership we share with our spouse or significant other.

Challenges come in all kinds, too. Some are unique events that require hard work, a clear sense of priorities, mutually devoted commitment, and some big decisions. Other challenges come in the form of ongoing relationship patterns that leave both parties feeling that there must be a better way to relate to each other. Still other challenges are a combination of stresses, unproductive communication reflexes, frustration and exhaustion that together threaten the admiration, passion, and joy shared between two lovers.