Family Law Mediation
Family law or divorce mediation is a useful tool when used properly. It can be used to resolve every issue in your case or only a few limited issues.
What Is Mediation?
When Is Mediation Used?
What does it include?
The mediation will address:
- the distribution of property,
- including debts and assets,
- visitation and parenting time,
- spousal and child support,
- and any other issues that need to be resolved in the process of ending your marriage.
Mediation can be an effective tool for divorce or custody cases, but parties considering mediation should be well-informed prior to beginning the process. Contentious or high-conflict divorces are often not well suited for mediation— couples that are amicable, willing to compromise, and communicate openly tend to have the most success.
Related Reading: Mediation Versus Arbitration
Types Of Mediation
The goal is to obtain a legally binding, stipulated Judgment of Dissolution. You will make your decisions in a private setting. Unlike a judicial officer, the mediator does not make decisions for you. Instead, he or she will help you explore alternatives.
This type of mediation usually results in the counselor drafting a recommendation to the Judge as to how he or she should rule on the issues of custody and visitation. Obviously, you want to be well prepared for such a meeting.
What's The Purpose Of Mediation In Divorce?
The aim is for you and your spouse to reach solutions tailored to the specific needs and wishes of you and your family. You may choose to have an attorney accompany you to your mediation sessions.
Or, if your spouse appears to be hiding important information, you may need an attorney to conduct formal discovery (to request information or take a deposition, for example). This is unusual in mediation but can be done with an agreement from you and your spouse.
Working through divorce issues with a trained mediator may help you and your spouse better handle family and parenting issues in the years to come.
In addition, you may prefer hammering out your own solutions in private mediation rather than going to court. Your attorney will make sure you do not sacrifice in terms of results and ensure that you fully understand your final Settlement.