Mediation and Family Law / by Cassandra Hearn


The legal process is infamous for being long and expensive. Divorce and child custody carry the additional burden of involving high emotions and the upheaval of a family dissolving. Although family law can involve long and contentious court room battles, this is not necessary in every case. Mediation is an excellent tool to help family law litigants settle their differences outside of the courtroom. Reaching a settlement can mean not only that your case is over faster, but also that you can spend much less on court costs and attorney's fees.


In mediation, you and your spouse (or the other parent, if you are not married to the other party) will sit down with a neutral third-party. This will typically occur at a place that is neutral for both you and your spouse, such as the mediator's office or a conference room inside a court house. Your attorney and your spouse's attorney will also typically be present. The mediator's job is not to force you or your spouse to settle. It is also not the mediator's job to decide who is "right" or "wrong" on any given issue, or to make a final judgment. The mediator is present to help facilitate a settlement agreement.


Mediation has many advantages. Not least among them is reducing your ultimate cost by eliminating the requirement for a long final hearing. It is also possible to settle some of the issues in your case at mediation, reserving others for court. This is a benefit because it would reduce the number of issues to be decided by a judge, thereby reducing the length of the trial and maybe the amount of time it will take to schedule such a hearing. More importantly, mediation allows you and your spouse to maintain a degree of control over the case. In mediation, it is possible to carefully tailor an agreement to your family's particular needs. No one understands your case and the issues involved better than you and your spouse, so it makes sense to work together to create solutions that are customized to your children, your finances, and your concerns


Mediation can be beneficial, but the decision to choose when to mediate is an important one. We would value the chance to talk about your mediation and the process. We can help guide you through mediation and achieve a tailored agreement for your case. Contact us at 619-800-0384.