We continue our series of posts introducing FamilyKind Consultants. Our consultants are experienced and accomplished professionals providing education and support services to empower children, parents and couples before, during and after separation or divorce.
FK: Describe the focus of your practice and the services you provide.
Jennifer Safian: My mediation practice focused primarily on helping couples who are going through a separation or divorce. I also mediate prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, post-divorce conflicts between parents regarding their children, and other conflicts that may arise between different members of a family. I conduct mediations in English, French and Spanish.
FK: What other related work experience have you had?
JS: I have mediated many divorces and parenting conflicts in the family courts of New York City and Westchester.
FK: What has been the most satisfying FamilyKind case that you handled and why?
JS: I worked with one separating couple over two years. When I first met with them, the wife was extremely reluctant to a divorce, not only because she was emotionally devastated but because she felt that they could not financially afford to live in two separate homes. We took the process very slowly with many breaks between meetings, some meetings were even many months apart. Small steps, one step at a time, allowed the parties to adjust to each other’s needs. At the time of the signing of their divorce, they wrote me a very nice note to express their appreciation for my understanding and patience in their particular situation. I was happy that I was able to accompany them and support them through this very difficult time in their lives.
FK: What are some new areas of challenge that parents today may face when they separate?
JS: In my practice, I see many situations where one parent moves to a different state or even a different country for a variety of reasons. Keeping in touch and involved with one’s children when living apart requires much more effort on the part of the parents. I work with these parents to help them set up a structure which will allow them to be in touch with their children more consistently. I also have to help them be very creative so they can both spend real time with their children.
FK: How do you see children benefiting from services that you provide to their parents?
JS: When working with divorcing parents, my focus is directed mostly on the best interest of their children. It is of utmost importance to me to help parents with their communication and to help them create a structure where they will both continue to co-parent so that their children can flourish as best as possible despite their parents separation.
FK: Did you have a career prior to becoming a mediator?
JS: Yes. I was an art dealer for many years, serving clients who were looking to put together art collections that reflected best their needs and their own personal taste.
FK: Are you involved in any volunteer pursuits that you are passionate about?
JS: My volunteer work reflects very closely that of my practice. Helping families through conflict. My life as a mother and grandmother is also a big part of my life and daily concerns.
Link to view Jennifer’s video What is Divorce Mediation.