Family Law Mediation
Family Law litigation – whether a divorce, parenting dispute, or modification matter – is emotional, stressful, expensive, and often increases conflict between people. Mediation is an alternative to trial or contested motions where the parties work out an agreement that works for everyone involved. This often helps people recover from the trauma of the end of a marriage, relationship, or changes in parenting arrangments more quickly
What is Mediation?
Mediation is an “alternative dispute resolution” process which helps people work out agreements prior to trial. This means a divorcing couple or parents who want to change a parenting plan, have an opportunity to resolve their differences on their own terms, rather than have a judge decide what happens to them, their children, or their property.All manner of issues, such as spousal support, child support, division of assets, parenting and anything else important to the family, can be resolved in mediation. Since this is the case, many people decide to use mediation because the people involved – who know their situations and children best – create the result rather than a judge who only has brief snapshot of the family from which to make decisions. Mediation is much less expensive than contested motions and trial because the parties are not focused on proving one another wrong and are able to focus on finding solutions with a neutral third party, called a mediator.
The Benefits of Mediation
Using a mediator to help settle a family law matter has benefits for both parties. Mediation might be the right choice for the following reasons:
- It allows both parties privacy to resolve issues outside the courtroom and invisible to the public eye.
- It can save money. Going to court can be very costly because of court costs, legal fees, expert witness costs and more. While mediation is not guaranteed to produce a settlement, it does provide the opportunity to settle it before costs start to climb even higher.
- It is flexible, meaning that people have the ability to share their preferences openly and reach solutions which may not be possible through trial where a judge can be limited by case law or statutes.
- The mediator can facilitate an agreement. Although the mediator does not work for one party, cannot give advice to either one and will not decide the final agreement, he or she is trained to keep both spouses on track and aimed at settling the issues and brokering a deal.
Who Can Benefit From Mediation?
Ultimately, in order for mediation to benefit family law clients, both parties must be willing to work and consider the other person’s point of view. This means that both individuals must be ready to give and take and should be openminded about ideas from the other side. Mediation doesn’t have to be concluded in one session, but people must be committed to participating in good faith.
Want to Mediate?
Using the assistance and guidance of a trained mediator can help the parties work through family law issues as painlessly as possible. If you need a mediator, please give us a call.