Skip to content

About Us

Over 16 Years
of Experience

Barb's story

Barb Donat aspires to help others navigate life’s most difficult moments. Her mission is driven through her own life’s journey. Barb, owner of Mediation Matters, is a proud Black Hills State University 2003 alumnus with a bachelors in business with minors in Computer Programming and Computer Applications. During her time in undergrad, she worked at a local law firm specializing in divorce and custody matters where the bug to help was first planted. Upon graduation, Barb moved back to her hometown area where she was married and had her first child. Tides turned, and her brief marriage ended in a tumultuous and expensive litigation. Through this traumatic life experience, Barb was determined to change her career to Family Law Mediation, helping others avoid the emotional aftermath of a messy separation.

She relocated back to Spearfish in 2005 and re-enrolled at BHSU to obtain her bachelor’s in psychology. Her second time across the BHSU stage in 2008 was a moment of pride, as she gained her degree while simultaneously working full-time as a single mom.

Barb began her mediation practice, Mediation Matters, in 2007 and married her second husband. They added a second son to the family. Their marriage ended in divorce several years later; however, the parties still remain friends and have a very successful co-parenting relationship and share an office to this day. Barb completed a second 40-hour Divorce and Mediation Training in 2012 and continues training to this day.

Through 16 years of personal and professional experiences, Barb understands the complexities of divorce and custody matters. She strives to help her clients achieve agreements that they deem fair and to help them be successful co-parents.

Barb has been a longtime advocate for those in need, especially children, elderly and underserved members worldwide. She currently serves on the BOD for Northern Hills Sources of Support and has been CASA Advocate for 11 years. Previously serving as a NHCASA Board Member, American Business Women’s Association member, a WALK MS participant and volunteer. She has also traveled internationally to Guatemala three times with Sharing the Dream sponsoring Guatemalan elders and to Nicaragua with a local church mission.

Why Barb?

16+ years of experience

Barb has both professional AND personal experience with her own divorce. No one would understand what it's like better than her.

Specializes in family mediation

Barb specializes in family mediation, where successful co-parenting is the entire goal.

Relationships with judges & attorneys

Barb has personal relationships with both judges & attorneys throughout the Black Hills.