Mediation is a form of consensual dispute resolution allowing participants to reach their own decisions and discover a workable solution to the issues arising out of their family law matter.
BENEFITS OF MEDIATION OVER LITIGATION
For a variety of reasons, clients are increasingly rejecting traditional courtroom proceedings in favor of mediation. The substantial benefits of mediation as compared to litigation include:
- Expenses are typically a fraction of trial preparation and trial costs
- There is more flexibility in scheduling mediation sessions around the parties' prior obligations, including work schedules, child care needs, and other appointments
- Mediation is less time consuming than a court trial or arbitration proceedings
- Proceedings are less formal and more tailored to the parties' needs
- The process is voluntary and there are no judge-imposed decisions
- Mediation is private and confidential
THE MEDIATION PROCESS
In a typical mediation, parties come together voluntarily to find an effective resolution to their differences outside the courtroom. There is no judge present to impose a decision. In lieu of the judge, the parties select and agree that a skilled mediator may serve them as a neutral third party. The mediator facilitates communication between the parties and guides them to a resolution by prompting inquiry of questions, identifying the overt as well as underlying issues needed to be addressed, and probes the parties to exchange proposals.
The mediator does not make decisions for the parties nor can he or she serve as legal counsel for either party. However, a mediator can provide education to the parties. The sessions are usually conducted with the parties jointly presented. However, under certain circumstances the mediator will separate and "caucus" with each party. The goal is to reach a mutual understanding that addresses the needs and interests of each party in such a way so that a written binding agreement can be obtained.
FAMILY LAW MEDIATIONS
Opting for mediation can be especially helpful in divorces or other family law matters where children are involved. Litigation is often a minefield with combative attitudes. Parents who litigate against one another may find it difficult, if not impossible, to communicate afterwards. In mediation, the third-party neutral facilities cooperation between the parents, guiding them toward a self-determined outcome. Some parents learn not only to improve parenting skills but to communicate with one another on an ongoing basis, hopefully setting precedence for amicable resolutions of potential disputes that may arrive in the future. Likewise, mediation can be an effective alternative approach to other family law matters; and disputants are encouraged to utilize experienced and skilled services of the mediator.
SEEK EXPERIENCED MEDIATOR
The Collaborative Law and Mediation Offices of Frederick J. Glassman has the skills and experience to facilitate successful communication and achieve satisfactory resolutions for even the most complex of family law disputes Mr. Glassman serves as a volunteer mediator for the Los Angeles County Superior Court and has been selected for the Superior Court's Alternate Dispute Resolution panel of mediators. To find out how we can become your mediator, contact us today.