Mediation is a confidential, voluntary and binding dispute resolution process that seeks to find interest-based solutions to the issues that bring you to mediation. Mediators are skilled at identifying ways to help all parties get what they need, even in difficult situations like divorce or custody disputes.
When disputes go to court, at the end of the process the Judge hands down a ruling and parties are stuck with whatever decision the Judge makes.
In mediation, the parties control their own outcome and decide for themselves what is going to happen. LEARN MORE...
Why is mediation better than the court process?
Imagine this: you go hire lawyers. Each lawyer charges between $2,000 and $10,000. Maybe more. They spend months fighting over details, during which time the bills keep coming in and what used to be a pretty amicable situation gets worse and worse.
At the end, a Judge, who might not fully understand what's going on, who might not care, or might not like you or might just be having a bad day, makes a decision that will impact the rest of your life. Once that decision is made, you're stuck with it until and unless something major changes...then you've got to hire lawyers again and go through that process a second time.
With mediation, you and the other party figure things out for yourself - you custom-make your own agreement, because you know your life, your family and your situation best, and you care the most. Of course you should be in charge of making decisions about your life. Who better?
But of course, you're in a position where you have to choose between mediation and court for a reason - often communication has broken down or arguments keep circling around the same things. That's what a mediator is for. Mediators help keep the conversation positive, productive and on-track, and help make sure all parties are heard and are getting what they need.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation:
What is family mediation?
Family mediation is a voluntary, confidential and binding process used by families who want to:
1. Get divorced
2. Get separated
3. Deal with custody / parenting time issues
4. Figure out child and / or spousal support
5. Draft binding agreements that serve their needs.
In essence, mediation is a process that leads to a settlement outside of court.
What is the role of the mediator?
Mediators are strictly neutral facilitators. We are not judges, attorneys or therapists. We're there to make sure that the conversation and negotiation happens in a constructive an positive way. We help guide the session through an organized process that is designed to lead to a fair and mutually-satisfactory conclusion.
What is that process?
In brief - once we have laid out the guidelines and expectations, we get both sides of the story. We define and then get an understanding of the major issues that need resolution. From there, we work methodically with you to find ways that each major issue can be addressed in a way that is fair to everyone, while ensuring that communication is effective, focused and productive.
During this conversation, the parties it is you who make decisions - not a judge, not lawyers or even the mediator. You decide what is going to happen with the important things in your life. The mediator helps, and has the goal of working with the parties to create a custom-made, nice solution for their unique challenges.
At the end of the mediation process, the mediator will compile a document that reflects the agreement that the parties come to. This can be filed with the court by the parties or an attorney of their choice. Alternately, if the parties prefer, they can treat the mediated agreement as a contract and avoid court entirely. The emphasis, again, is that it is your choice.