Mompreneur Monday: Family Focused Mediation

Mompreneur: n. defined as a female business owner who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur.

Happy Monday Modern Boca Moms!  Welcome to our next installment of Mompreneur Monday on MBMom, highlighting Florida businesses and brands that were founded by female entrepreneurs and fellow Mommas.
We’re working to bring busi-moms across the state of Florida together to start a Mompreneur Movement!  Why don’t you join us?
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Today’s South Florida Mompreneur is Jenny Shane, founder of Family Focused Mediation, Inc., which helps families in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.

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If you’ve ever seen Wedding Crashers with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, you might be more clued in than you think about what a family mediator does. In the opening scene of the movie, the comedy duo is actually mediating a divorce.
Family mediation is a confidential process whereby a neutral facilitator (the mediator) works with a couple, who is experiencing a family conflict, such as divorce, and assists that couple in coming to a resolution.  The mediator does not make any decisions for the couple. Once the couple is able to reach an agreement on the contested issues, such as child support, alimony, etc., the mediator drafts a settlement agreement for the parties to file in court along with the other necessary court documents.
Even though it’s not funny or most comfortable of topics, that’s what we’re going to talk about today and the NEW mommy-launched company that handles it: Family Focused Mediation, Inc. in Coral Springs.

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Tell us a little bit about your path to get here, Jenny…

I have a Bachelors of Science degree in psychology from the University of Florida and a law degree from Stetson University College of Law.  After law school, my husband and I (we met at UF, he too is an attorney) moved to South Beach and we both practiced law in South Miami. I practiced insurance defense for many years even after my first daughter was born.

Soon after becoming a mom, going back to work full time as an attorney was difficult. The required 9-5 (or more) hours per week was draining on my ability to be a fully present mom. More so after having a child, it was difficult for me to focus on defending the large insurance companies, instead of helping the everyday individual.

The new mom in me was yearning to be more nurturing and to actually make a difference in someone’s life. I had done an internship while in law school and got certified as a county mediator. I remembered how much I enjoyed working one on one with someone in a legal arena, but not actually being an attorney or fighting for just one side.

What did you do next?

I stopped practicing as an attorney in the fall of 2010 and immediately decided to become a Florida Supreme Court certified family mediator.  As soon as my training period was completed, I founded my own mediation company, Family Focused Mediation, Inc.

As my company’s name implies, my sole intention as a family mediator is to focus on the family’s well-being and bring the harmony back to a broken family. 

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What makes your firm different from other mediation firms?

Unlike the typical family mediator, I focus 100% of my time doing family mediation.  Other mediators practice law a majority of the time and work as a mediator less often. 

However, being a mother to two girls now (ages 5 and 2.5) has taught me that family comes first no matter what! I am extremely fortunate to have an intact and happy family. Yet, many families are not like mine. And I try to make it my mission as a family mediator to bring as much happiness and harmony back into a broken family.

I also make myself very accessible to my clients. Unlike many mediators, I am available by phone, email or text even late into the evening. Family drama tends to occur at night and that’s when my clients need to speak with me. As a mom to young children, I understand that sometimes the best time to talk is after the kids go to sleep.

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What do you like most about what you’re doing now? In what ways do you think you are you helping families the most?

I enjoy working with families who are navigating their divorce or separation pro se, which means without attorneys.

These couples truly need my guidance through this process and don’t rely on their attorneys to do the heavy lifting. This allows me to really get my hands dirty by using all my legal experience and my psychology background to assist the family through this difficult time.

Additionally, I aim to reach these pro se parties before they file their divorce, paternity issue, or modification at the courthouse. This is called pre-suit. By attending family mediation before filing at the courthouse, a couple can save a tremendous amount of time, money and heartache. 

  • They save time because the entire divorce or family issue can be determined in one day with a mediator. All that is left would be to file at the courthouse and attend a quick hearing in front of a judge to have the matter approved.
  • They save money because they do not have to pay for attorneys, who can charge upwards of thousands of dollars for the case, which can linger for up to a year or more.
  • Lastly, the amount of stress and heartache is much less because the process is accomplished in a matter of hours not months or years while the couple battles back and forth over the matter.
What’s new at your business?

I recently launched a brand new website – www.familyfocusedmediation.com and my social media is full of interesting and insightful tidbits about recent happenings in family law or just anything family-related.

Additionally, I post a weekly Friday-ism where I provide my followers with an uplifting quote or thought to help keep reality in perspective, especially when dealing with a family drama. 

What do you love most about living and working in South Florida?

I am a native Floridian, so needless to say, I love it here in South Florida! I am originally from West Palm Beach, but I have lived all over Florida. My home base is now in Parkland/Coral Springs and I have no plans to ever leave.

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Connect with Family Focused Mediation, Inc. on Facebook and Twitter!
Learn more at: www.familyfocusedmediation.com.