The Benefits of Family Mediation

Family mediation allows parties to resolve issues such as separation, divorce, custody of children, visitation schedules and property division. It is a cost-effective alternative to traditional litigation.

Mediation can help parties preserve their relationships and friendships, while creating a plan that is right for them. It is different than a settlement meeting, where the focus is solely on legal rights.
Child Custody and Visitation

When parents disagree about custody or visitation arrangements, mediation is often the preferred method of resolving these disputes. Mediation focuses on the best interests of the children, which can help parents develop a custody arrangement that is a good fit for everyone involved.

Courts will consider factors such as the stability of the child’s environment, school and neighborhood, the ability of each parent to provide a stable home life and support the child’s relationship with other siblings, the quality of each parent’s living conditions and whether either parent poses a threat to the child’s well-being.

Mediation can be less costly and time-consuming than a trial, which can take months or even years to complete. To prepare for your mediation sessions, it is helpful to identify your top priorities and be open to compromise. It also helps to have an experienced family law lawyer by your side to guide you through the process and advocate for your interests.

Divorce mediation is an excellent way to identify the issues and discuss them without having a decision imposed on you by a judge. It can also reduce the cost and time of divorce by allowing spouses to resolve their own disputes without having to hire expensive attorneys.

Mediation sessions are conducted by a neutral third party, called a mediator, who aids discussions between the parties with the goal of helping them reach a mutually acceptable settlement. Family mediators can assist with a variety of issues, including child custody and visitation, property division, spousal support and child/elder care.

Even if the agreement reached in mediation is not final, it can often clarify what issues remain and provide a framework for proceeding to trial. This saves on the costs associated with filing declarations and motions, countless back-and-forth communications between lawyers, depositions and other discovery. It also helps to limit the number of issues that need to be resolved at trial, which can result in a speedier trial.

If you are separating from your spouse or partner, family mediation can help you to resolve disputes about parenting, property and money. Family mediation is a quicker, less stressful and much cheaper option than going straight to court. It also gives you the opportunity to shape long-term agreements that are more suitable for your circumstances than those decided on by a judge.

In mediation, you and your partner will meet with a trained, impartial mediator who will assist you in discussing possible solutions to the problems you have. This process can take place in a single session or over a series of sessions. The mediator will focus on identifying the issues, facilitating discussions, and exploring settlement alternatives. Sometimes, the solution to your dispute may involve non-legal matters that are often overlooked in court. These are things such as: preserving or improving your relationship, reducing conflict with other family members, and providing stability to your children.
Property Division

When a marriage ends, property issues must be resolved. These issues can be highly contentious, leading to prolonged legal battles and significant costs. Family mediation offers a less adversarial approach to marital property division, and it can be quicker and cheaper than a court battle.

Before a couple can begin discussing property division in mediation, the mediator will request information regarding all assets and debts that have been accumulated throughout the marriage. The mediator will then determine what is considered joint property and separate property.

The couple will then negotiate a settlement that is mutually beneficial. The settlement may involve the sharing of assets, a lump sum payment, or a combination of both. The mediation will also address any financial obligations and concerns such as alimony, child support and custody. The mediation process can take several sessions and last up to three hours each. In some cases, additional sessions are required to gather information or complete other tasks.