Mediation of Family Law Matters

Reaching mutual decisions without court intervention

Mediation is a voluntary process through which you make decisions together with your spouse based on an understanding of your views, your spouse’s views, and the reality you face. A professional mediator facilitates your discussions but does not give advice or make decisions.  The mediator may, however, make suggestions as to how the various disputed issues can be resolved and what the process would be if the matter were litigated.

If the dispute is over custody or placement with the children, parties must attempt mediation before proceeding further into litigation.

Parties can agree to retain a private mediator to assist them in trying to resolve some or all of the issues that arise in family law cases.

How Mediation works:

The mediation process is similar whether court mandated or because the parties choose to try mediation to resolve their difference. The parties meet with the mediator to identify issues, complete exchanges of information, and use non-coercive problem-solving techniques to come to an agreement.

The parties can be supported in their decision making, by their own lawyer and other professionals such as, valuation experts, financial and estate planners, accountants, insurance advisors, and mental health professionals.  In the case of private mediation, it is not unusual for each party to have her or her attorney at the mediation session.  Sometimes those sessions may also involve other advisors as well.

Mediation can be used to deal with the issues that arise in the context of:

  • Divorce & legal separation
  • Custody & placement
  • Valuation & division of property
  • Spousal & child support
  • Pre-nuptial & post-nuptial agreements

Benefits of Mediation

  • You set your own pace. The process can move as fast or as slow as the parties choose and you are not restricted by the availability of a court calendar.
  • You stay out of court. Everyone agrees to reach agreement outside of a courtroom while the mediation process proceeds.
  • You create solutions that work for your family. The process gives you the freedom and opportunity to craft more creative solutions than are available through courts.
  • You enjoy confidentiality. Mediation sessions remain private.

Types of Mediation

  • Facilitative– The mediator acts as a neutral voice on all ideas presented.
  • Evaluative– The mediator brings their experience to the issues and may voice their opinions and suggest alternatives