Mediation is the process where a disinterested third party attempts to bring about an agreement on the contested issues in the case. During a mediation session, a mediator can help each party increase their focus on issues and goals most important to them and decrease their focus on the irrelevant facts and issues. The mediator can help parties can reach settlements using creative methods not available to a judge on issues such as:
- Property division;
- Spousal maintenance;
- Child support;
- Legal decision making; and
- Parenting time.
During negotiations, parties are free to settle on as few or as many issues as they wish. Once the parties have reached an agreement on all or at least some of the issues, the terms of the agreement are drafted in a settlement agreement and signed by both parties. Once the parties sign the agreement, it is binding and cannot be changed.
Benefits of Mediation:
- The mediation process is often less confrontational and stressful than participating in a trial. This helps both parties maintain a civil relationship after the divorce is final.
- Mediation is flexible and confidential. This allows parties to freely communicate with the mediator and come up with the best possible result for both parties.
- Mediation facilitates healthy and productive communication between the parties.
- Mediation is generally less expensive than trial.
- Medication is a voluntary process. This gives the parties the freedom to abandon the process if they feel it is not appropriate for their situation.
- Medication allows the divorcing couple to make the decisions in their case, as opposed to leaving it in the hands of a judge.
- Mediation is a much faster process. The parties do not have to wait for court dates in order to move their case along. They can choose to settle as quickly or as slowly as they feel comfortable doing.
- Mediation is a collaborative process. The parties have the ability to reach an agreement that is focused more on win-win verses win-lose. This means that, with the help of a mediator, the parties can find common solutions that can be a benefit for both of them.
- In high-conflict cases, mediation can help to reduce anger by helping the parties focus on the relevant issues.
- Mediation has positive effects on children. Mediation is generally less stressful than litigation. This helps parents to provide a more peaceful home during the divorce process.
The Berkshire Law Office has extensive experience in mediation, and can help you achieve the best possible outcome in a meditation. In addition, Keith is a highly effective mediator and can successfully help parties, whether or not they are represented by an attorney, reach settlement agreements prior to trial. Keith’s primary goal is to help couples dealing with divorce come up with a solution that each party views as fair.