We are committed to mediation as a financially and emotionally cost-effective alternative to litigation.

About the Mediators

We believe in the benefits of helping individuals and families resolve their differences, make decisions about the best interests of their children, and reach equitable compromises. We have worked together as co-mediators for several years, respect each other's expertise and skills, and enjoy collaborating on cases.

Some find it difficult to locate us because we do not advertise nor are we listed in the Yellow Pages. Our practice has been limited to referrals from judges, attorneys, physicians, therapists and former clients.

Susan Kraus has a B.A. (Montclair State, N.J., '71), M.A. (California State University at Chico, '72) and M.S.W. (University of Texas, Austin, '78). She did post-graduate training in marriage and family therapy at the Menninger Clinic. She was with Washburn University, Topeka, ('78 to '86) and adjunct graduate faculty at K.U. ('86 to '99.) Susan has maintained a private practice in individual, marital and family therapy for over thirty years, and is an approved insurance provider. She completed mediation training with the Kansas Bar Association in 1994, and has since been involved in a variety of mediation venues: divorce (custody and property), custody with LGBT and never married parents, military families, custody with special needs children, reintegration plans for previously disengaged parents, long-distance plans, elder care & multi-generational issues, adoption, home studies, family business disputes and struggles, court appointed conciliation and co-parenting counseling. Susan is a Kansas Supreme Court Approved Mediator, often serves as a supervising mediator and mentor, and served two three-year appointments on the Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee to the Kansas Supreme Court. She is a member if Heartland Mediators and has taught continuing education programs for mediators, such as “Mediation With Military Families.” Susan has been married for 36 years and has two kids (one with autism).

Frank Barthell has a B.A. (Union College, N.Y. '73) and an M.S. (University of Kansas, '81), where he also taught for 3 years. He has worked at K.U. for 30+ years in the Office of Public Affairs, Division of Marketing and Communication, as media coordinator and a radio/TV/web writer-producer-director. He trained as a mediator with the Kansas Bar Association in ‘2000 and has been a Kansas Supreme Court Approved Mediator since ‘01. Frank's primary focus in mediation has been divorce (custody and property), Aspergers and autism spectrum disorders and the impact on parenting plans (i.e. any special needs kids and their “special needs plans”), long-distance Dads, elder care & multi-generational issues. Frank has been married “for decades” and has raised two children, now ages 33 and 28.

Directions to our Office

2603 Orchard Lane is located on the southwest corner of Orchard Lane and Crestline Drive in Lawrence. It is 4 blocks north of 15th (Bob Billings Pkwy) and Crestline and 5 blocks South of 9th and Crestline. Crestline is parallel to Iowa, just a few blocks west of Iowa.

2603 Orchard is a home office, a gray raised-ranch with a bright red front door. Please park on the street in front of the house and come to the RED door. (Please do not park in driveway as you could get blocked in.) Ring the bell or knock and someone will respond and show you to the waiting room.

contact us

The easiest way to contact us is by email. We will try to return email and phone messages within 24 hours.