What is mediation?
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. Through mediation, parties can work through the particular concerns of their case towards eventual resolution, without the need to go to Court. The process involves the use of a trained mediator to move the parties and the process along towards settlement of the issues.
Why choose mediation?
Mediation is a particularly effective way of resolving family law matters, whether it be child custody and visitation issues, support or the division of community assets and debts because:
• Mediation can save time and money
• 95% of cases settle at some point between filing an action and trial. Why not settle it earlier?
• Mediation gives the parties control over the process and the outcome
• The process itself is confidential and can help preserve the parties future relationship, which is particularly helpful when the parties have children together
• Parties can be creative and reach agreements that a Court would never order
How does mediation work?
You might believe that mediation would not work for you and your former partner, because any time the two of you are together all you do is argue or you feel that the other side refuses to listen to you or even that the two of you are too set in what you want and are unwilling to budge. These are not impediments to resolution in mediation. If the two of you did not have some communication problems or differences in opinion, you would not need help to resolve the issues at all. Mediators are trained to address these sorts of problems.
The mediation process itself, typically involves a series of meetings as a group with the mediator and/or meetings between each side and the mediator, with the mediator going back and forth between the two sets of litigants. Mediation of simple issues can usually be completed in a day, however, there may be the need to schedule additional mediation sessions to allow the parties to gather essential financial information or to allow for reflection. Parties can mediate cases with or without a lawyer representing them.
Kimberly Henderson is a trained and experienced mediator. Her training was received through Pepperdine University School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. Kim is firmly committed to alternative dispute resolution as a means of resolving family law matters, as well as, select civil issues. Should you wish to inquire about mediation services offered, please call to schedule an appointment.
Another form of alternative dispute resolution is Collaborative Law. Should you wish to find out more about this process, please click here.