What Is Mediation?
In divorce mediation, a neutral conflict resolution professional helps spouses come to an agreement about their divorce or other family law dispute. Once an agreement is reached, the agreement is memorialized into a formal agreement.
Family law disputes may be resolved via mediation, collaboration, or litigation when necessary. I am frequently appointed by judges and attorneys to act as a mediator or arbitrator in family law matters.
An attorney-mediator meets with the spouses together and addresses with them all issues that need to be resolved to finalize their divorce. The attorney-mediator helps the parties reach an agreement on all issues. The attorney mediator does not represent either party in the litigation.
Is Mediation a Good Idea?
Mediation usually works best when the spouses are committed to resolving their divorce without a contentious court proceeding. In some instances they may have already agreed on many issues; in others, they simply need to be committed to work together to reach an agreement the parties believe is best for their family. Even if the lines of communication have broken down, a trained mediator may be able to help the parties come to a resolution.
Mediation is cost-efficient: The result may be the avoidance of costly litigation, saving marital assets for the spouses and the children, rather than spending all the assets on protracted litigation.
Mediation also helps with "non-standard" agreements: It allows for the opportunity to craft an agreement that is unique and that meets your own individual needs. If you and your spouse want to structure your divorce agreement in a non-standard way - whether it involves child custody, division of the marital assets, parenting time, or support - a trained mediator can provide options that are not commonly thought of in the divorce process.
Are Attorneys Present?
Depending on the type of case, attorneys may or may not be present during mediation. As an attorney-mediator, I am hired by the parties to assist in resolving their disputes and do not represent any individual party. Although I am attorney, during mediation I do not act in my capacity as an attorney. In other words, while I do not give specific legal advice to the mediating parties, I can recommend a certain course of action that may assist the parties in coming to a mutually agreeable resolution.
If you want to try mediation, I invite you to contact my office at (248) 830-7634.