When a person decides it is time to begin the divorce process, it often becomes one of the most difficult and emotional times of that person’s life. It is not necessary to compound it with the added stress and expense found within the traditional legal process.
My divorce mediation practice offers an alternative approach to judges, opposing lawyers or other third parties who will decide the fate of your life and the future of your family. I am not an online do-it-yourself website, nor am I a high priced law firm. I complete the entire divorce process from beginning to end at a very reasonable cost and within the least amount of time possible. And my first consultation is free.
I am a divorce survivor myself. After witnessing first-hand the emotional and wasteful process within the traditional legal system, ultimately, after three long years, a mediator was able to finalize our divorce in a matter of hours. It provided great relief in terms of eliminating the ongoing emotional stress and economic waste. Most importantly it was in the best interest of our children. They no longer had to witness the strife and divisiveness created by the traditional-adversarial legal process. At that moment I realized I wanted to dedicate my life to providing mediation services to other families.
What is Mediation? Although I am a lawyer, when serving as a mediator, I am permitted to facilitate agreements between both parties. In mediation, it is not necessary nor is it required to have two lawyers representing each party. This is accomplished all within the scope of the law and the rules of the courts. In arbitration, or in a court setting, with a judge, that third party decides the outcome of your case. In mediation, on the other hand, all the decisions are made by the parties themselves. This is extremely empowering. I always explain to my clients that attorneys, courts and judges exist when parties do not agree. In mediation, the parties reach agreements and subsequently file the agreement with the court. Not the other way around.
What If We Can’t Agree On Anything? In mediation, when parties “hit a wall” and find it difficult or near impossible to agree, we call it an “impasse”. This can happen before, during or after the mediation process. Bu there is always an answer, always a solution and always an outcome. I, along with the assistance of both parties, will create alternatives and options for each issue we cover. It will be thorough, balanced and fair. The parties must keep in mind outside of mediation the court will ultimately make the decision for you. And remember, there is always one issue everyone agrees on: the love one feels for his or her child. Therefore, to state “We can’t agree on anything” this fact is not taken into account. The best interests of a child, is the centerpiece and catalyst for reaching solutions and results. Even when couples do not have children, the respect toward one’s family is paramount.
What is the process and how long does mediation take: I like to tell my clients we will begin with the basics and keep the process simple. It is extremely important all facts and issues are discussed and presented and there is trust built between the parties and myself. This point is strongly emphasized.
A divorce has three basic components: finances (assets and liabilities), support (child and spousal) and custody/visitation. A typical mediation requires approximately three or four, two hour sessions. There will also be work completed by myself, outside the sessions and this tends to be another three to four hours. This entire process can be completed within a few weeks assuming the clients’ schedules permit.
When all issues are resolved, the agreement is formalized in a document that will be filed at the courthouse. The court will then issue a final divorce decree and the process will be completed. Depending on the county, the time between the filing and final court order, may vary; but usually no more than 60-90 days.
Why Mediation? Most people do not realize, but at one time lawyers were referred to as “peacemakers”. A lawyer represented both parties in front of the court and the goal was to reach an agreement in the most amicable and cost efficient way possible. As time progressed in our country, legal disputes slowly began to have two lawyers representing either party. And rather than start with what the parties agree to, it is apparent in today’s courts a great deal of time and expense is exerted fighting over what the parties do not agree to; in a very illogical manner. Mediation examines what is possible rather than what is not possible; a clear benefit to all involved.
If you have questions, you can get in touch and request your free consultation.