Leigh K. Barer, CPM
Empowering individuals and families in conflict through a neutral, thoughtful, and private mediation process to attain a mutually agreeable resolution.
Passionate about helping people resolve conflict, I am a certified professional mediator (CPM) with a family law focus and a deep communications background. My interest in resolving conflict is underscored by my professional training and extensive experience solving complex communication challenges. Before mediation, I spent 15+ years helping countless businesses and nonprofits communicate clearly with their audiences. As a volunteer mediator with multiple Idaho counties, I facilitate conversations between individuals, families, and businesses to most effectively resolve conflict.
CERTIFICATIONS & EDUCATION
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MEDIATOR:
Basic & Advanced Mediation
Child Custody Mediation
Domestic Violence Mediation
B.A., Journalism and Mass Communication, Seattle University
Director, Idaho Mediation Association (IMA) Board
Member, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)
Ada, Canyon, Madison and Valley counties, IMA Communications Committee
WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a private, confidential process between two or more parties in conflict, during which a mediator works with the parties to help them reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
A mediator is a neutral third party who remains objective throughout the mediation process. Trained mediators help parties share information and explore creative ways to resolve disputes in a calm, safe and thorough manner.
In mediation, parties can describe the issues, discuss their interests, understandings, and feelings; share information, and explore ideas
Family mediation focuses on dispute resolution in interpersonal relationships, marriage, separation, divorce, child custody, child support calculations, alimony, child tax credits and deductions, elder care, property division, inheritance, family business succession, and other family matters.
Learn more about what to expect in the mediation process here.
WHEN GOING TO TRIAL
Without minor children:
11 months average litigation
Disputes with minor children:
averages $17,000 on custody OR child support
16 months average litigation
averages $25,400 on BOTH custody and child support
19 months average litigation
Unlike a judgment in court, mediation allows each party to control the outcome and create a mutually beneficial agreement that meets their needs.
Mediation keeps parties in the driver’s seat when working out child custody arrangements and dividing assets and debts, instead of a third party like a judge or arbitrator deciding for you.
Mediation is design to reduce overall conflict, stress, and the emotional toll on children, who tend to be caught in the middle of a custody trial. A trial can escalate fear, distrust, resentment, and conflict for years.
Mediation is significantly more cost-effective than going to trial.
Mediation can occur multiple times throughout divorce and post divorce, helping to quickly finalize a modification, and keep parties future-focused.
Parties are likely to adhere to agreements reached in mediation 93% of the time as they have ownership and control over the outcome, versus 37% of the time with judgments (Source, Ada County).
Adept at evaluating complicated scenarios and facilitating solutions, I enjoy helping people navigate life’s winding roads. My family mediation work is inspired by my personal experience as a child of divorced parents. As a step-child, former single parent, and now as a remarried member of a blended family, I am familiar with the complexities and demands of modern family life.
When not practicing dispute resolution, I am copywriting, copyediting, and playing outside with family and friends in the mountains of Idaho.
Knowing we cannot change the past, I apply an empathetic, future-focused approach to supporting a productive mediation process. Conflict can elicit a “fight or flight” response, causing people to feel angry and overwhelmed, and to shut down. Tumultuous interpersonal relationships and family conflicts involving separation, divorce, elder care, and child custody can feel like a never-ending emotional earthquake, and in some cases, traumatize and retraumatize individuals.
Successful resolution enables each party to chart a new path forward while minimizing future conflict.
Voluntary and court-mandated mediation • Online and in-person
Gives couples that can’t reach an agreement on assets, personal property, pets, or child custody a neutral process for reaching an agreement and moving into the future.
Gives siblings in disagreement about issues related to caring for aging parents an opportunity to resolve conflict and move forward with an agreeable care plan.
CHILD CUSTODY & PARENT PLANS
Gives parents a chance to resolve parenting disagreements create a parenting plan that may become a custody and visitation order, if signed by a judge.
Provides family members with a process for settling inheritance and other estate matters. Resolving such conflicts can reduce stress and help forge a path forward post loss.
CHILD SUPPORT CALCULATIONS
The Idaho standard child
provides a baseline for
calculating basic child
support obligations and
other costs to be
considered in child
Emphasizes accountability and repairing harm. Victims, offenders and community members meet to determine steps for making amends.