Meet Liz Merrill, owner of Open Space Mediation
Hello! I’m Liz.
Fort Collins Mediator
Hello! I’m Liz, a mother, musician, mediator, and divorce coach. I have a specialization in High Conflict and Narcissistic relationships. I lecture regularly on high conflict divorce strategies, and am a sought-after speaker and podcast guest.
As a passionate advocate for community engagement and support, I engage in regular pro bono work for families who are experiencing financial hardship and offer pro bono services through various nonprofits and the Colorado Court system. My understanding of psychological and physiological reactions to trauma, conflict, and anxiety brings a holistic approach to my work with families caught in the High Conflict cycle.
Read more about me in this Shoutout Colorado article
After my own litigious high-conflict divorce, I saw the need for a holistic approach to divorce mediation, which included non-violent communication skills, managing trauma, and an understanding of how personality traits and personality disorders create high conflict in a divorce. When I started working as a mediator for the courts, I discovered how badly equipped most divorce professionals are to manage the specific needs of people in high conflict relationships and how damaging it can be to the individuals and, most importantly, the children and family systems. Now I help hundreds of people in crisis find workable solutions so they can reduce anxiety, save money, and move on with their lives.
I am available to conduct virtual mediations and other ADR proceedings on Zoom and other online platforms. I’m available for speaking engagements and individual, online support, and divorce coaching. You can find me on OSM Facebook, OSM Instagram, and LinkedIn.
My Approach & Values
As a mediator, I bring compassion, intelligence, and humor to my work. I am unbiased, help couples see the “big picture,” and guide them through the divorce process from beginning to end. I believe in the importance of maintaining or even strengthening relationships throughout the divorce process. I know that even though marriages end, relationships generally don’t, especially when there are children involved. I also recognize the emotional strain that conflict can bring to families, coworkers, and neighbors. Let’s face it: conflict sucks. But that doesn’t mean empowering solutions aren’t waiting for you at the other end of it. I’ll help you get there with minimum drama and maximum communication.
My approach has been partially informed by my background in nonprofits, as well as my own personal experiences. No, I’m not an attorney, but I am a natural divorce mediator. I speak human. I can help you see the big picture and help both parties move through the process humanely.
Look, a good divorce mediation is more likely to strengthen rather than damage relationships, and that really is my ultimate goal: to make the community a more peaceful place.
Open Space Mediation serves Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and beyond.
- Member of Colorado Bar Association, the Larimer County Bar Association, The Colorado Women’s Bar Association
- Member of the Mediation Association of Colorado, The Colorado Collaborative Divorce Professionals, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts
- Mediator for Larimer County Small Claims Courts, Court Mediation Services, Oval Options, The Turelli Foundation
- Boulder, Larimer, Denver, Jefferson, and Arapoahoe Courts
- Bachelor’s Degree: UNC-Chapel Hill
- Master’s Degree: San Francisco Conservatory of Music
- Basic and Family Law Mediation Certificates, Genesis Mediation
- Advanced Mediation Certificate, Colorado Bar Association
I Work With Individuals, Couples, &
Colorado Divorce Forms
Many people are overwhelmed by all of the forms involved in a divorce process. In Colorado, divorces begin with filing of a petition and a Case Information Sheet. All divorces end with the Court’s signing a decree, and if needed, a support order. In between, there are many other forms you may need to complete. Talk to me to learn more!
The average cost of litigating a divorce is about $15,000. Mediation is more affordable, quicker, and less stressful.
As a collaboratively trained mediator with a specialization in high conflict divorces, Liz helps couples and individuals communicate better, manage conflict, navigate strong emotions, and manage expectations. She also helps you learn how to negotiate, how to support your children, how to prepare for life post-divorce, and fill in the gaps that an attorney cannot support you with.
“Liz generates participant buy-in by cultivating a sense of safety and comfort to deescalate conflict and move the parties towards resolution. She is able to bring parties to the table to create the space they need to design creative, flexible and ultimately sustainable solutions. Liz understands that scheduling should be easy and driven by the participant’s needs.”
Senior VP, Land Use Entitlements and Strategic
Planning at Wireless Policy Group, LLC,
"Living in community, I know how important it is to have clear communication and Liz is fantastic at holding the space necessary and guiding and supporting those hard-to-have conversations. It is a win-win-win for everyone!."
Lara Miller- mother, owner of North Field Farmacy
"Liz is such a thoughtful and professional mediator - Her compassion and ability to really listen helped everyone feel that their voices were heard."
Jennifer – Mother, dietician
"Elizabeth is a master of maintaining a pragmatic attitude and focus in the midst of tough situations. This is also aided by just the right touch of humor where and when needed."
ERIC: FATHER, MUSIC PRODUCER
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