Family Attorneys Can Help with Mediation, Too

Has your case been recommended for mediation? Sometimes a divorce, a separation, or another family law matter can be referred for mediation. Mediation is conducted by an unbiased third party for the purpose of helping couples and families make decisions regarding support payments, conservatorship, property division, or other matters that impact families after a divorce. Mediation can be performed by court-appointed mediators who are family attorneys familiar with the nuances of family law and your situation. You may also choose to hire your own mediator, such as a religious official, a family therapist with legal expertise, or an experienced family law attorney who has been involved with cases similar to yours.

 

Mediation is a good option for divorcing couples since it allows both spouses to make choices about key issues without the intervention of a judge. The mediation process can be done in a single session or several sessions over weeks or months, depending on the complexity of the case. In some situations, both spouses sit in a room with their family attorneys and/or mediator and talk through each issue. In other cases it may be more appropriate for the parties to have private sessions with the mediator before addressing details of support payments, visitation, or division of property. Both parties can hire their own attorneys to consult with. The mediator, even if he or she is a family attorney, cannot represent either party individually.

 

There are some situations for which mediation is not a good option. If domestic abuse, fraud, or illegal actions have led to the breakup of the marriage, mediation might not be a good option for resolving a couple’s issues. If you’re not sure whether mediation is appropriate for your situation, consulting with one or more family attorneys can help you decide how to proceed. A mediator should not take sides, nor should he or she attempt to pressure either party into a decision. Whether or not you decide to pursue mediation, being advised by a family attorney can give you peace of mind.

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