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Mediation is a form of alternate dispute resolution, where instead of litigating in court in front of a judge, the parties meet to resolve their case with a trained mediator in a neutral setting. The role of the mediator is to not take sides, but to help the parties move towards a settlement agreement. This allows the parties to maintain control over issues like the division of their property or child custody, while being guided and helped by a trained professional. One of our attorneys, Jessica Smith, has been trained as a divorce mediator. Both Attorney Smith and Attorney Alexis Miloszewski are experienced in representing clients who choose to work with a mediator to resolve their divorce.
How is a Mediated divorce different than Collaborative divorce?
Much like Collaborative Divorce, a mediated divorce keeps the decision-making out of court. Unlike collaborative divorce, a mediated divorce provides an environment where a neutral party — typically an attorney trained in divorce mediation — works with both parties to find common ground and compromise. This gives the parties even more power over their decisions. While the Collaborative method is not meant to be adversarial, it still requires attorneys on both sides to advocate their clients’ interests. The mediation process requires the parties to work together rather than having their attorneys advocate. Spouses who elect mediation to resolve their divorce are advised to obtain independent legal counsel, but they are not required to do so. The divorce mediator should not be giving legal advice to either party.
Benefits of Divorce Mediation
The first and foremost benefit to mediating your divorce is that by keeping your case out of the courtroom, you retain a large amount of control over your divorce. When you litigate a case, you or your attorney must advocate for you in front of a judge who is the ultimate decision maker; with mediation, you and your spouse are the decision makers. The second benefit of mediation is that, due to the lack of formalized court paperwork that is necessary at different stages of the divorce, you can typically work through a mediated divorce much faster than a litigated divorce. This can save you not only time and emotional stress, but also money. A third benefit is being able to work with a trained mediator, someone who knows how to ask thoughtful questions to the parties and foster strong conservation. Last, especially for parties with children, working together on tough divorce issues now may lead to better dispute resolution in the future.