Family Mediation – A Collaborative Approach to Resolving Family Law Disputes

Family mediation allows for a more collaborative approach to resolving family law disputes. Mediators are neutral third parties that help both sides come to a settlement without having a decision imposed on them by a judge. It is often less expensive, faster and less stressful than going to court.

When parents go to family mediation, they are encouraged to focus on their futures and find solutions that work for them and their children. Unlike a court hearing, where each party is represented by an attorney, during family mediation both parties are allowed to speak in their own words and present their own arguments on how they would like their case to be resolved.

Mediation sessions are conducted by a professional mediator who is trained to help the parties reach their own agreement. It is important that both parties have an open mind during the session and listen to their spouse’s point of view. It may be helpful to prepare a list of questions or areas of conflict for the mediator in advance.

During mediation, the parties can discuss their concerns about parenting schedules, child support, alimony, property division, and estate planning issues. It is common to be able to come to an agreement on most, if not all, of these issues during the first session. If additional information is required to resolve a specific issue, the participants may request another session. Each person is also free to have their own legal counsel present during the mediation session if they so choose.

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