Portola Valley, California
Before we consulted with John’s mediation service, our divorce had dragged on for more than a decade. We tried a “collaborative” divorce program thinking that it would be better for all. Part of the problem with a “collaborative” divorce is there is no leadership and thus we spent years with her attorney(s), my attorney(s), our divorce counselors, our financial counselors, our appraisers, etc. and never really got anywhere substantive.
A friend suggested John Butler’s mediation service. When we retained John, things changed almost immediately. I already trusted John’s guidance and my ex trusted him almost immediately (he does have that innate ability).
John kept us focused and the focus was on understanding our needs and resolving them sequentially. John is an expert mediator, so when my ex would start meandering off course (a very expensive tactic when there are two or sometimes four other professionals in the room), John would call her on it and she would come back to the key point. Conversely, when I would get exasperated, John would call me on it, as in, “… I don’t think you understand just how important this is to her. Stop arguing and pay attention!”
In short John kept us on track and we made steady progress. It took us over a dozen mediation sessions (we had many complex details to sort out including one home with a lot of equity and significant deferred maintenance and another that was “under water”), but both of us knew John was forwarding our process.
When we finally had a finished draft of our MSA, we had a five-way session to review the last set of workups, (John, my ex, her attorney, me and my attorney) which was expertly led by John. Both attorneys commended him on his abilities.
“Harmony with Integrity” pretty well describes the divorce process with John and also our result. And so now we are divorced. And still friends.
I would definitely recommend you to anyone going through a divorce. You made the transition of the end of our long term marriage go smoothly….you were very helpful in all our questions and issues we couldn’t deal with on our own.
You stayed very neutral, which I’m sure was hard sometimes.
So thank you for helping our divorce go so easily and for helping us when it got really hard there for a moment. Thank you very much.
Menlo Park, California
John Butler is a professional mediator who I trust completely. Two women in my life who are very dear personal friends were attempting to negotiate divorce settlements with their spouses. Each situation included a great deal of emotional turmoil, the litigation costs were staggering and the situation had reached an ugly stalemate.
John was able to establish trust with each of my friends and their spouses, provide an objective understanding of the legal parameters, and then enable communications that in both situations led to fair and dignified settlements.
Each of my friends has been able to rebuild her life free from the ongoing strife that I have seen accompany one-sided or bitterly contested settlements, and at much more reasonable cost. Each of these friends expressed a great deal of gratitude to me for introducing them to John and at least one has referred others to him.
Contra Costa County, California
In my divorce, my ex had moved out of state and we used John as our mediator via phone and email. He did a very good job at helping us maintain progress on a number of complex issues that needed to be resolved so that we ended things amicably and fairly.
Then, a few years later, I had an occasion to recommend John for a consultation with a non profit organization. I am please to say that I was astounded at his pro-activity, facilitation skills and ability to make an immediate impact on a group of people. He took the time to call and interview a number of key stakeholders before he arrived on site which helped him get solid back ground information on the difficulties as well as establish credibility with those involved. The meeting he ran was stunning in how fluidly he is able to get input and consensus on the core issues and galvanize a solution then move to the next point of order, while seamlessly and simultaneously hearing from all without getting bogged down. After our meeting, he summarized the key points of resolution and e mailed them to the follow up team so that nothing was lost. I cannot recommend him highly enough.
San Mateo County, California
My ex-spouse and I had reached an impasse in our divorce proceedings when a friend suggested I reach out to John to mediate between us. While every divorce is painful and difficult, mine was compounded by my ex-spouse’s anger towards me for divorcing him.
With John’s skillful mediation and diligence, we quickly moved through the final stages of our divorce process; support, house buyout, visitation and so forth, We had a final agreement reviewed and signed within 3 weeks of retaining John’s services.
We needed a mediator who had the patience and relational skills necessary to engage with my ex-spouse, who could retain his trust, and who could remain neutral throughout the mediation. John was able to do this with a high degree of professionalism. I am especially grateful for how prompt he was and that he kept the process moving swiftly.
Our entire mediation process took place over the phone. This was very helpful as it allowed each of us to freely express our emotions and our interests to John, and in my case shielded me from verbal attacks from my ex-spouse. I am certain that had we met in person, the process would have taken much longer, been much more costly and emotionally painful.
All in all, it was a pleasure working with John even though it was clearly a very difficult period in my life.