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Family Mediation

How Mediation Works

Mediation is a way to resolve your family dispute with the help of an impartial third party, the mediator.  Through the process of mediation, you have the opportunity to negotiate your own settlement rather than having a decision imposed on you by a judge.  The goal of mediation is to help the parties to reach an agreement without involving a third-party decision-maker, like a judge..

 Usually the mediator gets the parties together and helps them discuss the problems and helping the parties to express their needs, desires and objectives

 Mediation is an entirely voluntary process, and can continue as long as each person is willing to participate. Conversations and settlement discussion in mediation cannot be used as evidence in court.  The confidential nature of mediation enable parties to use their best efforts to reach agreements, without the fear that something said in the mediation would be used against them if the issue must be resolved by the court.

Successful mediation requires recognition by all parties that there are multiple ways to solve a dispute, and that a willingness to consider differing ideas and being willing to compromise lead to more long-lasting agreements.

One of the primary advantages of mediation is that you have an opportunity to choose the outcome of your family law issue. You maintain the ability to create successful plans for your family going forward, without relinquishing control to someone outside your family. Unlike family court where the judge finally issues an order that may not be what anybody actually wanted, mediation allows you to craft a legally enforceable agreement that everyone can live with.

Interdisciplinary Options

Family disputes often involve emotional and financial issues in addition to legal ones.  In some cases, anger, hurt and distrust can make it more difficult to engage with the other parties in a constructive way.  Using a “team” of neutral mediators can be an effective way to handle the different parts of the dispute. 

Co-mediation or Integrative Mediation involves multiple mediators with different areas of expertise.  For example, an attorney and a mental health professional can mediate together, or in separate sessions, to resolve property and children’s issues that arise in divorce.  It can also be helpful to include a neutral financial professional to gather and organize financial information that is accurate and unbiased. 

David is experienced in multiple mediation models and with working together with other professionals as part of mediation.  Where appropriate, referrals to other neutral professionals can be provided. 

 

Using Attorneys in Mediation

Mediation in family matters does not require that you be represented by an attorney or that your attorney be present for the mediation sessions.  Nevertheless,  it is highly recommended that participants in mediation have a consultation with an attorney before signing any binding agreements.  Where it would be helpful to the process, mediation sessions can include the parties’ attorneys and consultants.