Divorce Mediation Lawyers and Mediation Attorneys
Divorces are expensive and stressful proceedings that can cost families time , money and emotional health. Fortunately, for those wishing to end their marriages but who do not want to deal with divorce litigation, there exists an alternative – mediation. Mediation revolves around the concept of ex-couples working together to settle the practical matters that accompany a divorce or separation. A mediator is present to facilitate more effective communication between the two individuals and to make sure that all pertinent issues are covered.
Mediation is a great option for parties who are willing to cooperate, and compromise and want to take control of how they part ways. rather than having a judge making decisions for them or their family. If you want an affordable and (relatively) easy way to settle issues that arise during a divorce, you should consider mediation. Contact the Oceanside mediation attorneys of Fischer & Van Thiel LLP to discuss if mediation is right for you.
What Is Mediation?
Mediation is the process in which parties who are divorcing work together, outside of court and in a regulated setting, to resolve their marital issues by way of written agreement. Mediation helps ensure that the parties will never have to be present in court or rely on a judge to resolve their issues. Mediation is a collaborative process in which both parties will have the ability to state their “side” and discuss their case issues in detail to come up with the best outcome for their family.
During mediation, parties utilize a neutral, third party, known as a mediator to assist in the process. The mediator does not represent either party, but rather works with the parties to identify the issues in the case and help work through them. The mediator helps guarantee that both parties understand the issues in the case and their options regarding settlement. The mediator does not act as a judge and will not force either party to come to any agreement that they are not 100% comfortable with.
In the beginning of mediation, the mediator will explain what the law states regarding the matters that are at issue, the factors the court would look at when evaluating the case and possible ways to resolve each issue. After an agreement is reached, your mediator can even draft all necessary documents for you.
Each party is still able to have their own legal representation to assist with the mediation or even with the document preparation or final review of the agreement reached. An independent attorney can explain the specific benefits or consequences of a decision and provide individual advice on how to proceed.
Mediation can also occur when neither party wishes to retain their own attorney and instead just want to utilize one neutral individual to help them achieve resolution. Again, the mediator will not provide individualized advice to either party, but rather will remain completely unbiased and work together with the parties to reach a mutually beneficial outcome.
You may consider mediation at any stage, whether you are just thinking of filing for divorce or are in the middle of the process. Mediation can commence before or after the initial dissolution documents have been filed. If you try the mediation process but find that it does not work for your case, you can always stop and continue litigating through the courts.
If your matter reaches a full resolution during mediation, all that will be left to do is finalize the agreement in a written judgment and have it filed with the court. You may never even have to set foot in a courthouse!
In some cases, many agreements will be reached during mediation with a few matters that just cannot be resolved through the process. If that is the case, both parties will still have the ability to litigate specific issues in the court while honoring the agreements reached in mediation.
Benefits of Mediation
Mediation can have a number of benefits over divorce litigation:
YOU ARE IN CHARGE…
and therefore have more control over, your situation. Both parties have a say in the ultimate outcome, instead of leaving it up to a judge who often does not know the specifics of your case or what is really best for your family. An additional benefit of the less adversarial and more cooperative nature of mediation is a relative reduction of the stress felt by the parties during this very emotional time.
CHEAPER THAN LITIGATION
While nothing in the Court system seems cheap, Mediation is often found to be a bargain. Sharing the expense of the neutral mediator to facilitate agreements rather than hiring two separate attorneys to litigate, sharing of documents and information rather than expensive discovery and depositions and finding agreement at meeting scheduled at your convenience rather than appearing in court with your expensive attorney and waiting, often for hours, for the Judge to “call” your case are all examples of savings that can be achieved through mediation.
Privacy is an additional benefit of choosing mediation. When you utilize mediation, the only documents subject to public record are your initial filing documents and your final agreement. Your private information remains confidential as well as your discussions during mediation. Further, because you do not have to set foot in a courthouse, your matter will remain within the mediation room and will not be heard in a public courtroom. This is especially beneficial in cases where there are significant assets or many personal issues that you wish to keep confidential.
GREATER OPPORTUNIT FOR CREATIVE, FLEXIBLE AGREEMENTS
Because Mediation is a cooperative process facilitated by the mediator there is greater opportunity to find creative solutions to individual issues in ways that the court may not consider. The process allows you to control the pace at which your divorce comes to resolution without having to work around the court’s schedule. Additionally, it is found that agreements reached through mediation are more likely to be honored by the parties both immediately and long-term. This is due to the fact that people are more prone to follow agreements that they had a direct hand in making. When you participate in the mediation process, you have a say in the ultimate outcome and are therefore more likely to follow through with the agreements they had a hand in making.
LESS IMPACT ON CHILDREN
Children who see their parents working together to resolve issues are more likely to not have as many emotional issues related to the breakup and separation of the parents they love. Studies have shown that when issues are resolved without hostilities often associated with normal litigation, the parties are likely to have a much better relationship with each other which allows them to effectively co-parent and truly cater to the best interest of their children. It is shown that when the parties can get through the initial divorce and custody issues amicably they are likely to have a much more peaceful and cooperative relationship with each other on future issues which allows them to more effectively co-parent and continue honoring their agreements made in mediation.
How To Find A Good Mediator
Both parties will want to meet with and ensure they are comfortable with the mediator that they are going to select to help them through the process.
A good mediator will be an individual who has experience handling family law issues and knows the court system. Your mediator should be open minded, able to listen to both sides and efficient when conveying relevant information.
Mediation can be a much less expensive and more personal, amicable process than divorce litigation. While it isn’t the right method for some, for others it can prove to be the best option. To learn more about mediation, contact the Oceanside mediation lawyers of Fischer & Van Thiel LLP today at 760-722-7646.