Family mediation provides a more cost effective and less stressful alternative to going to court to resolve issues in a divorce, separation or custody dispute. We work with people who want to reduce the level of conflict in their lives following a separation or divorce and who are struggling to agree on key areas such as parenting plans, property division, and child support.
During a mediation session, parties meet with a neutral mediator to identify their individual needs and interests and to discuss options and alternatives for settlement of the issues. During the mediation, it is common to have discussions and negotiations regarding various aspects of the dispute such as:
At times, a resolution may not be reached in one session and it may be necessary for the mediator to prepare a memorandum or mediation agreement based on what has been discussed. Once a settlement has been reached, it is reduced to writing by the mediator and signed by the parties. The mediator then prepares a legal review for the attorneys and the agreement is filed with the Court.
Often, mediation sessions are scheduled for several hours and the participants may need to meet outside of the session to gather or complete information. In these situations, it is sometimes useful to mediate with co-mediators who are experts in their fields (e.g., lawyers and mental health professionals). This is called “co-mediation” or “integrative mediation.” It is a useful tool to consider in cases where the financial and emotional components of a dispute intersect and require expertise from more than one professional.