Family Law Mediation
Family Law Mediation
What Is Family Mediation?
Family mediation is a process wherein an impartial third person called a mediator assists parties toward reaching an agreement between them that is mutually acceptable. Although the mediator has no authority to make decisions the mediator may present options and provide information that will assist the parties in their decision- making.
Meditation is for people who want to settle family disputes without going to court and without destroying whatever is left of their fragile relationships.
Issues mediated may include custody, visitation and child support; alimony or spousal support; division of assets and liabilities; health insurance; life insurance; and the tax impacts of various alternative decisions.
Goals of Mediation
- To help the parties reach their own acceptable agreement by fully exploring all choices.
- To avoid the need for a court-imposed decision.
- To assist the parties in understanding the terms and future impact of their agreement.
- To prepare the parties to anticipate, work through and resolve disagreements that might arise.
- To reduce anxiety and the negative effects of going to court.
How Does Mediation Work?
- The mediator helps people examine their situation in terms of their needs and interests. Relevant information is gathered which may include budgets, business records, tax returns, property valuations, and the needs of each child.
- Settlement options are developed and discussed to be sure they meet everyone’s goals fairly. Decisions are made by the parties which allows each of them to realize positive results.
- The mediator holds joint meetings with all parties and private meetings with each party. Discussions held are confidential and cannot be disclosed in any future legal proceedings. Mediation is concluded only when all parties have reached an agreement or it appears that an impasse has been reached. A mediated settlement agreement is binding in court.
Why Mediate ?
There is a better way to settle differences than a costly courtroom battle. You can control the decisions that affect your family, your finances, your business and your life through mediation.
What Are Some of The Benefits?
While the primary goal of mediation is to reach an agreement, mediation also:
- Promotes communication and cooperation.
- Benefits your children by reducing conflict.
- Allows you to control the decisions that affect your life is usually less costly than litigation.
- Is confidential, thus avoiding public disclosure of personal problems.
- Can be completed in less time than litigation.
- Allows you to more quickly move ahead with your life.
- Allows the parties to make decisions together instead of a judge.
- Provides you with the opportunity for a resolution which is less expensive and time consuming than a court trial.
Costs of Mediation
Mediation fees are quoted on an hourly basis and billed in 1/4 hour increments. Mediation hourly rates usually start at just $200.00 per hour. Both parties are encouraged to share in the expenses. Most mediation sessions last between 3-4 hours, depending upon the complexity of the issues and in most cases an agreement is reached. The minimum time charged for mediation is one hour. Payment is required at the conclusion of the mediation, regardless of whether an agreement is reached. Most mediators accept checks, cash payments, and credit cards.