Let us help you reach an agreement in family legal matters
Mediation is an informal conflict resolution process that allows the parties to have more input and control over the outcome. Areas of family law which can benefit from mediation include: domestic relations, access and visitation, and probate.
Mediation can occur prior to filing a lawsuit or after the filing of a lawsuit. Parties can directly participate in the process and have the ability to craft a solution that is acceptable to both sides. The process also allows the parties to make a decision to settle the dispute and on what terms they settle the dispute, achieving a better win/win scenario.
Often times, mediation is a faster and less expensive method of resolving a dispute as opposed to going to Court. Mediation allows parties to be able to customize asset division, child custody, visitation, and child support issues.
Both parties must agree to participate when mediation is part of divorce. Because it is a voluntary process, either party may stop the mediation at any time if it becomes apparent that continuing is not in that party’s best interest.
A mediator is a neutral, impartial third party and does not take sides or favor one side over the other. Mediators are there to assist the parties in reaching an agreement by identifying the following:
Mediation also aids in helping the parties weigh their options. A mediator may suggest alternatives, but a mediator does not have decision-making authority. Mediators are there to help the parties reach a desirable outcome.
Because it is confidential, what is said in mediation cannot be used against you in Court. It is designed so that parties can speak freely, discuss, negotiate, and listen to resolve any dispute. Parties are not bound to any settlement unless both sides agree to the terms. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the parties may proceed to Court.
The Court and Judge are not given any details of what occurred in mediation. The only information the Court receives is that the process occurred and whether or not an agreement was reached. If an agreement was reached, it will be reduced to writing and signed by the parties. That written agreement may be provided to the Court. All other details remain confidential and cannot be used in Court.
Mediation can often be a low risk, high reward alternative to litigation. It helps identify important issues, as well as weakness and strengths, in the case and helps to better prepare clients and their cases for Court.
• Identify issues
• Identify helpful documents
• Block off time
• Know the cost
• Know who is responsible for paying for mediation
• Decide whether or not it is important to continue the relationship with the opposing party
• Identify strengths and weaknesses of the case
• Consider how comfortable you are proceeding in Court (Consult your attorney)
The parties, the mediator, and possibly the parties’ attorneys attend mediation. Other people who may be involved in the process include family members and experts.
The length of any mediation varies depending on the case. Some cases may last only a few hours or one day and others may occur over several sessions.
The cost can vary depending on the mediator. However, the Court offers Mediation through its Access & Visitation Program, which can provide the service at little to no expense for qualified participants. See if you qualify today.
The team of attorneys at Destiny Law Firm are to answer any additional questions you may have. Call us today or schedule an appointment through our online form to set up a consultation!
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