Shari M. Capra, P.C.


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Shari M. Capra Mediation

Family, Mental Health, Elder, and Probate Matters


SHARI M. CAPRA, Esq. has over thirty years of professional experience in the areas of family, mental health, elder, & probate law. Ms. Capra now concentrates her energies in the field of private mediation. She also serves as a legal consultant for clients who are participating in mediation. On a regular basis Ms. Capra assists couples going through the marital dissolution process, parents wishing to develop effective parenting arrangements, business associates seeking to redefine their goals and operations, families seeking assistance with placement & healthcare arrangements for an elderly or incapacitated family member and people addressing the details of estate planning and end of life care plans for themselves and loved ones.  Ms. Capra meets with clients in person, by telephone and via electronic mail.



Areas of Practice


  •   Family / Divorce / Custody and Support Mediation

  •   Elder Care Mediation

  •   Probate and End of Life Planning Mediation

  •   Special Needs Mediation

  •   Family Law Consultation and Coaching


Why Choose Mediation

Mediation encourages all parties to communicate their wishes to one another in a calm and peaceful environment.  The mediation process helps to preserve family members’ relationships so that they can continue to care and plan for their loved one or make reasonable decisions about their loved one’s property and debts after death.  The mediation process occurs in a safe and private environment.  It is a confidential process whereas most court proceedings are open to the public.  The mediator assists people in clarifying what they want to discuss, helps them to come up with various options and then aids them in choosing a course of action to resolve the matter. 


The Mediator’s Role

Shari M. Capra has had over thirty years of experience helping family members as they grapple with some of life’s most important and difficult decisions.  Here are the key components of her role as mediator:

  •   Assisting family members in a respectful, professional and encouraging manner.

  •   Accepting family members as they are without attempting to judge or control them.

  •   Encouraging a spirit of candor and cooperation among family members.

  •   Helping everyone to focus on future opportunities rather than unwanted past events.

  •   Acknowledging each person’s hopes, needs and concerns.

  •   Clarifying issues and their possible solutions with the assistance of family members. 

  •   Emphasizing that she is present to assist all family members and not as a legal advocate for any individual person. 

  •   Reminding everyone that mediation is a confidential process and that anything brought up during mediation cannot be used in court.


The Participants’ Roles

In her experience Ms. Capra has found the three most important qualities of mediation participants to be: 

  •   Respect for each other, the mediator and the process.

  •   Willingness to be open and honest with the mediator and each other.

  •   Active participation in the mediation process. 


How to Set-up Mediation

Ms. Capra invites people to contact her via email or telephone to set-up a 30 minute courtesy consultation.  She also will send out written materials explaining the process to anyone who is considering mediation.  Those written materials outline such things as when and where the mediation will take place, mediation fees and costs and what information the mediator will need in order to work with everyone.  Once all family members or parties decide to undertake mediation, they will be asked to sign an Agreement to Mediate.  She then will schedule a mediation session with all participants. 

The Outcome of Mediation

Generally Ms. Capra meets with all family members or participants together.  Sometimes she will meet separately with individuals as long as everyone is in agreement with that process and understands its purpose which usually is to minimize volatile emotions and to maximize creative solutions.   Participants may come to mediation alone or accompanied by an attorney.  When a participant plans to have his or her attorney join the mediation Ms. Capra asks that person to notify her and the other participants before the mediation session. 

Most family members desire to reach an agreement regarding how to care for their loved one or how to handle any issues which may have arisen after his or her death.  The agreement most likely be a written document which the mediator prepares for everyone’s review and signature and, if requested, that of their attorneys.  If there is no pending court proceeding, then there will be no need to present the agreement to a judge for approval.  The participants will implement the agreement’s terms as written.  Ms. Capra also includes a dispute resolution clause in most agreements so that family members agree in advance as to what steps they will take to resolve any future issues that arise. 



Shari Capra, P.C.