If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage or just are considering parting, you may be well-served by seeking mediation before making any final decisions or filing any official paperwork.

“Family mediation” refers to the mediation of disputes in actions for divorce, annulment, establishment of paternity, child custody or visitation, child or spousal support. Among the benefits of using a mediator to resolve conflicts is that he or she can save you a great deal of time, aggravation, and attorney fees.

Mediation programs can be beneficial to couples who are beginning divorce proceedings as well as to those who have long been divorced. These programs have been proven to save money by avoiding or ending court battles that cause attorney’s fees to pile up and may take years to conclude. They also promote positive dispute resolution rather than adversarial procedures. Protracted court proceedings can leave families split apart by hard feelings and recriminations. It can also make any ongoing co-parenting more difficult than is beneficial to either you or your children.

If a couple enters into a mediation program, they still need legal representation to advocate for their interests and ensure that the mediation resolves the issues that are in dispute. An attorney who understands and is experienced in mediation is important in these circumstances.

Mediation and Arbitration Questions

What is Mediation?
A Mediation is a voluntary process which allows both of you to maintain control over your destiny and the terms of your divorce settlement. Both parties and attorneys attend either a four-hour or eight-hour mediation, depending on the complexity of your case.
Is the Mediator a Lawyer?
A Although some mediators are social workers, most commonly the mediator is a lawyer who acts as a neutral person to help you settle your case.
How is the Mediator Chosen?
A The mediator is chosen and agreed upon by the attorneys. Every Family Law attorney has a “short list” of competent mediators who specialize in family law with whom we are familiar, whose style we are comfortable with, and who we have found to be effective, particularly considering the individual aspects of your specific case.
What is the Role of the Mediator?
A The role of the mediator is to facilitate an agreement between the parties to prevent the necessity for a trial.
Can What I Say Be Used Against Me Later?
A Everything said during mediation is confidential. The mediator cannot be made to testify in court if a settlement is not reached. The mediator will only report one of two things: “settlement”: or “no settlement”.

Further, you and I will advise the mediator what we do or do not want shared with your spouse and your spouse’s attorney!

How Does This Work Exactly?
A Procedurally, you and I will remain in one room, while your spouse and his or her attorney stays in a separate room. The mediator travels from room to room conveying each side’s offer and/or counteroffer.
Sometimes, the parties mediate by all being in the same room together. This is common if your mediation is taking place at a county dispute resolution center.