When individuals are going through a divorce or legal separation, they often have different points of view regarding such things as property division, custody of the children or support. Most people believe that resolving all of these issues requires extensive time, money and someone that knows nothing about them, such as a Judge, making the decisions for them.
However, this is not always the case. Mediation is an avenue though which the parties can come to agreements without the need for litigation, saving significant time, money and more importantly, easing the emotional toll that people often suffer while going through a divorce, legal separation or parentage case. Mediation is a non-adversarial process during which, a neutral third party (the mediator) provides information and answers questions on the applicable law, ultimately helping the parties reach an agreement that they are both satisfied with. A mediator can help parties reach a full marital settlement agreement and resolve all issues including spousal support, child support, asset division, debt division, child custody and visitation. Parties can use the mediation process for any type family law case including but not limited to divorce, legal separation, child custody and visitation. Another benefit to mediation is that it typically allows the parties to keep a certain level of control in their case. In other words, the parties are reaching their own agreements and creating terms that will benefit their family, rather than having a Judge who knows nothing about the parties or their children, make decisions for them. The mediation process can also create quite a bit of trust between the parties and allow them to remain amicable well after their divorce, separation or custody case is complete. This is a very valuable aspect of mediation. It is important to note that if there is any component of domestic violence in a case, mediation is likely not the right path for the parties.
The mediation process is private and confidential and is simply a way to help the parties work through their issues together. The mediator will not make any decisions for the parties nor will the mediator force either party to agree on anything. Agreements will only be entered into if both parties are comfortable with the agreements they are making.
If you are considering mediation, it is important to initially contact our office with both you and the opposing party on the line. As stated above, the mediation process is completely neutral so neither party can speak with an attorney without the other party on the line or copied on email as well. Both parties will then set up an initial meeting with the mediator in order to determine what agreements have been reached and what aspects of the case still need information or assistance in reaching settlement. Once all agreements have been reached, we will then draft your Judgment and take all necessary steps to finalize your case.
At Argyris Mah, LLP, we can help you determine whether mediation might be right for you and can work with both parties to help foster an out-of-court settlement agreement.