Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process that takes place outside of court and allows parties to work together towards a resolution with the assistance of their respective attorneys and a skilled mediator. Many couples resolve dissolution cases by using mediation. It is a great solution for resolving issues without the need for costly and lengthy court litigation.
If you are going through a divorce in Spokane, you are invited to call David J. Crouse & Associates for a consultation. Our caring, knowledgeable attorneys and support staff can facilitate mediation, answer any questions you may have, and help you navigate this challenging process. Contact us today at 509-624-1380.
What is involved during mediation?
Mediation is an informal process where a neutral, third-party mediator helps a divorcing couple try to reach a settlement. Most family law mediators receive tens to hundreds of hours of training, learning how to help a divorcing couple negotiate.
During a mediation hearing, both parties and their attorneys will meet with a mediator whose goal is to facilitate compromise and help the couple agree upon terms. The meetings, which usually occur in an office, are much more informal than arbitration or a court hearing.
Unlike an arbitrator or judge, the mediator does not make any decisions; s/he does not decide who is right and who is wrong, and s/he cannot offer legal advice. S/he merely assists with conflict resolution and negotiating settlements.
If the parties can come to terms with the mediator’s help, the attorneys can write up the legal documents, which both parties will sign, and file it with the court for the judge’s approval.
What are some of the advantages of mediation?
There are several notable benefits of mediation:
- It is much less expensive than going to trial and it is usually a simpler, less stressful process.
- The meetings are less formal and less adversarial than a courtroom experience. It is easier to talk face-to-face with a neutral mediator in your own private room than it is to testify on the witness stand in front of a judge who will carefully scrutinize the circumstances of your case and decide what will occur.
- You do not need to meet with your spouse face-to-face. Most mediators meet with each party in separate conference rooms and will move back and forth between these rooms conveying offers and ideas for resolution. If a party so desires, the entire process can be completed without any face to face interaction.
- Mediation meetings are typically more flexible, as well. The parties can arrange the meetings to suit their schedules rather than having to attend hearings on the court’s rigid docket.
- The parties get to decide upon the terms of their divorce in way that works for them, rather than have a court that does not fully understand a couple’s dynamics and nuances decide.
In mediation, the parties collectively decide on which issues to discuss. Neither party can use anything from the mediation hearings as evidence in a court proceeding, freeing both parties to express themselves and come to an amicable resolution. This process saves money on court and attorney’s fees, and minimizes the stress of having to attend court.
If they reach a settlement, the parties will sign a written agreement. If they do not, the case will proceed on the litigation path.
Our attorneys can represent you through the mediation process.
Successful negotiation skills and strategy are the keys to obtaining a strong outcome in mediation. Our attorneys in Spokane can represent you during a mediation session and assist you in obtaining the best possible result for your case.
We can schedule mediation to resolve child custody and support issues, determine asset values and appropriate distributions, and to resolve other, highly contested issues. We invite you to contact our firm to schedule a consultation to help you understand the process of mediation, how it may be best for your unique circumstances, and your rights during the mediation process.
Call 509-624-1380 to discuss your case with our team today.