Mediation is when the parties use the services of a neutral third party to help them resolve disputes. The advantage of mediation is that Court can be avoided and a better agreement can be reached. The disadvantage of mediation is that the mediator is not giving advice or protecting one party, but is only assisting in reaching an agreement.
In divorce mediation, both parties should be fully aware of all of the assets and debts that exist, all of the incomes of each of the parties, and the legal rights of each of the parties to these assets. In order for this to be assured, both parties should have legal advice before or during mediation.
In cases involving children, parents are required to use the mediation services of Conciliation Court before going to trial. Conciliation Court mediation only covers custody and parenting time, not any financial issues. Conciliation Court does not include the attorneys. Therefore it is very important that parents know their legal rights regarding children before they go to mediation. There are often many options for parenting time, so these should be fully explored before mediation. If mediation in Conciliation Court is not successful, the parents then will have the option of having a Judge make the decisions on the issues that the parents could not resolve.
I offer both services: serving as a mediator OR providing legal advice while participating in mediation.
For more information or to make an initial appointment, call our office: (520) 885-9301.