Mediation is a process where two or more parties, come before a neutral third-party (the mediator) in order to resolve a dispute. The mediator is the “manager” of the process and does not make decisions. Instead, the mediator guides the parties through the mediation meetings or sessions by helping them to create options that will resolve the conflict. Mediation is only successful if the parties are openly and honestly willing to give the process a chance to work. Mediation ca be used to settle almost any type of dispute.
If the mediation is successful, the mediation session(s) will be culminated with the parties signing a binding agreement that resolves the dispute.
Characteristics of Mediation
Minimizes Damage to the Relationship
Parties Decide the Outcome; Not the Judge
Disputes Can Be Resolved in Days vs. Months or Years
Characteristics of Litigation
Judge Decides Outcome
Must Hire Attorney Or Represent Yourself In Court
Litigation Can Last For Months Or Years
Issues to Mediate:
Breach of Contract
Family Disputes / Divorce
Labor Relations Negotiations
Wage & Hour Disputes
Marriage not working?
Can't afford a divorce?
Want to end the marriage without destroying each other or the chilidren?
Not married but having custody or child support issues?
Choose Divorce Mediation instead of the traditional litigation route! You and your spouse can work out the terms of the dissolution of your marriage in a private and peaceful manner in divorce mediation sessions. Family court judges and attorneys agree that using a cooperative process to end a marriage is preferable to legal warfare. Read the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce Mediation below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When should we contact the mediator? A: Once you have decided that you no longer want to be married. Contact the mediator to schedule an introductory session.
Q: What happens during mediation? A: Husband and wife meet in an office setting with the mediator to work out a marital settlement agreement. The mediator helps the parties generate a settlement agreement that each party is in agreement with.
Q: What does the agreement cover? A: Division of assets and debt; child support and visitation (if applicable); spousal maintenance (if applicable); and more.
Q: My spouse and I can't agree on anything. How do I get my spouse to agree to participate? A: It is difficult for a person to agree to something they don't understand. You should help educate your spouse about this process by sharing written information on the topic such as this e-brochure or other materials.
Q: Who does the mediator represent? A: The mediator does not represent either party. The mediator will not give legal advice.
Q: Do I need to hire an attorney before we begin? A: No. You may and are encouraged to have an attorney review the agreement before you sign it.
Q: Does the mediation legally end the marriage? A: No. The settlement agreement is one essential element of the dissolution process. A petition must be filed with the county court. Once the petition and settlement agreement have been filed, a judge must enter an order adopting the settlement agreement. This final order dissolves the marriage.
Q: Can we mediate an agreement without getting a divorce? A: Yes. On occasion, a couple may want to have an agreement as to how to settle the marriage terms like custody, property division and support but not go forward with a divorce. This agreement can be a working guideline for the marriage and subsequently used if the husband and wife should ever decide to go forward with the divorce.
Q: Is it really less expensive to mediate instead of litigating? A: Yes. Mediators, on average, charge between $200 and $300 per hour. The average mediation takes from 4-20 hours (typically divided into 2-hour sessions) depending on the issues. The cost is divided between the parties. Litigation will require that each party pay their own attorney at least $1500 just to take the case. Costs increase thereafter due to the amount of time required by court appearances, document preparation, responses to opposing attorneys, and filing of motions and numerous legal documents between the attorneys and the courts.
MEDIATE DON'T LITIGATE!
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