Family Law Mediation
Family Law Mediation
What is Family Law Mediation?
Mediation is an emerging low-conflict, collaborative solution to many family law issues including divorce, child custody, and parenting time. We believe not every situation requires aggressive litigation, which can be costly and time consuming for the families involved. Often, matters can be resolved amicably, outside of court, through mediation. When successful, the result is a legally binding agreement that settles all pending issues that may include custody, child support, separation of property, college expenses, and more, all without the financial and emotional costs of going to court.
When is Mediation a Good Option?
Mediation is an excellent choice for anyone who wants more control over settling family law related matters. Instead of a judge deciding how issues will be resolved, the parties actively participate in resolving the pending issues. If the parties are unable to come to a mutually beneficial agreement, litigating their issues is still an option.
How is Mediation Different Than Arbitration?
During family law mediation, parties try, in good faith, to reach a mutually beneficial agreement to settle issues. Arbitration is a binding process where both parties agree prior to arbitration that the arbitrator’s decision has the same finality as a judge’s order. In mediation, if parties fail to agree, both parties can still go before a judge. Negotiations in mediation are confidential and neither party can use them as evidence against each other in court.
What Should I Expect During Mediation?
Before mediation is scheduled, our office will gather all of the necessary information and confirm that both parties agree to mediation. We will help the parties determine the necessary length of the mediation session. Parties can choose whether they wish to be in the same room during the mediation or separated. Mediations performed in the same room tend to move along more quickly but we understand that, in some cases, this is not an option.
Do I Need to Hire My Own Attorney?
While our mediators are practicing attorneys, they cannot give legal advice while acting as a mediator. They can inform the parties of the current state of the law or the factors and legal standards that would be used in a given situation, but mediators are neutral and therefore cannot give legal advice to either party. Parties can choose to obtain legal counsel and bring said counsel to mediation. However, retaining legal counsel is not required, and often prolongs the mediation.