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Family Law Mediation

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Divorce has become an unfortunate fact of life for many families and the rate of divorce has grown significantly over the past 50 years.  This has created high number of caseloads,extended periods of time until final judgments, discouraging high litigation costs, dissatisfaction with the outcomes and lack of trust in the judiciary.

Family Law Mediation is a growing trend that has proven to be helpful in alleviating someof the combative nature, costs and time that come with many divorce cases.  Family law mediation is a forum in which a neutral party (the mediator) meets with parties to help facilitate a settlement of the disputed issues or define an issue that cannot be successfully mediated outside of court. 

Mediators will typically ask a lot of questions as they strive to understand a family's history. When there are children involved, Mediators will help parents to consider all options as they work through custody. They may need to discuss legal and physical custody, as well as holiday and vacation schedules. In addition they may need to work through transportation issues and other are specific to the needs of the children. The mediator has noauthority to make a decision or impose something upon one of the parties against their will; and the process is confidential.

There are three basic reasons that family law mediation is a good idea.  

  1. A successful mediation can bring about an agreeable resolution without lengthy court appearances and costs.
  2. Most family court judges will insist that there be efforts to settle the case out of court before proceeding with trial.
  3. Mediation can be a useful tool in trial preparation as it allows the courtroom disputes o be narrowed, and more sharply defined.  The confidential communications, while inadmissible in court, do provide some insight about the strengths and weaknesses of both sides of the case.

While mediation may not always help parties avoid a court case entirely, it can help expedite matters once they reach the courtroom.  If you want more information about the mediation process, please contact our offices today for more information.