The Role of Mediation in Family Law
Mediators are professionals in the area of family law who have been trained to assist with dispute resolution faced by families going through some of the following:
- Separation by divorce
- Making arrangements for children in the event of a divorce
- Sorting out agreements during a difficult time
A mediator will typically meet with the parties together, identifying and talking through the issues that cannot be agreed upon in an effort to effectively reach a peaceful agreement. Mediators are usually helpful in particularly tense, legal situations, as they are neutral parties that do not take sides, meaning they will not push either party in a specific direction. Usually, a mediator will recommend legal advice alongside the mediation process, guiding you to what steps would be best for you to take, and when.
How does mediation work?
Typically, when it comes to obtaining help from a mediator, you will either access the assistance of a lawyer trained in resolution, who can provide general and legal information to parties at the same time, or you may be referred to a mediator. Often, the issues that are commonly associated with the divorce process can become quickly heated. This can cause some people to choose not to participate fully which can affect the outcome of the divorce. They choose to do this despite sometimes not recognizing the consequences of these actions.
Amazingly, in a world that is so focused upon communication, people in the divorce arena regularly relinquish the right to express themselves. This is because they are unable to do it in a productive, and respectful manner. A mediator is the person trained to focus on:
v Resolving disputes
v Keeping communication on track
v Helping to facilitate a peaceful resolution.
Not everyone will be ready to participate in mediation at the same stage of a divorce, so the mediator will often have to investigate whether both parties feel that the option is suitable. A mediator will then speak to both parties about the process, answering any questions that they may have about the divorce or separation or issues concerning custody or support arrangements for the children.
Further meetings may then be scheduled for the parties to work on communication issues that exist between them, as well as revising custody arrangements that have been made for children, and exchanging financial information.
A mediator may suggest that the clients they are working with should speak to someone else for further assistance, such as a financial advisor, or an attorney. It is often best to have an attorney present with you at mediation as you should have someone to consult through the process. A mediator is a neutral so they will not give legal advice, they can help you make suggestions but they cannot guide or advise you one way or another about the effect of any agreements made.
Once both parties have proposals that they feel comfortable with, the mediator will prepare a summary of these agreements, alongside a summary of any necessary financial information. This information will be supplied to both parties so they can discuss it with their lawyers.
The Final Steps
After both parties have received legal advice on what to do next, and so long as they are both happy with the proposals that have been set out, the lawyers will attempt to convert the summary given into a legally binding document. They will do this while overseeing the necessary implementation that may be required.
Minella Law Group Can Help!
It is important to hire an experienced divorce attorney such as the staff at Minella Law Group with knowledge and experience to successfully negotiate your divorce. For more information or to schedule an appointment, click the button below, or call us at (619) 289-7948. We look forward to helping you!