FAMILY LAW AND MEDIATION
Divorce is never easy. Grief and pain to some extent will be inevitable. Financial setbacks will be unavoidable. However, the process you select for obtaining your divorce can either enhance the pain or minimize the pain and can either increase the financial setbacks or significantly reduce your overall costs. There are generally two types of divorce processes. Contested divorce and Uncontested divorce. A contested divorce is one in which the parties cannot agree on all of the terms of settlement. An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties can agree on all of the terms of settlement. An uncontested divorce is always preferable due to the fact that the process is not adversarial and therefore less stressful, and also less expensive. The challenge in an uncontested divorce is reaching an agreement with your estranged spouse. As a mediator I assist the parties in reaching their goal of a fair settlement agreement. I serve as a neutral party in the proceedings. The parties can elect to participate either with or without lawyers. We settle over 90% of the cases we mediate, and most cases are completed within 90 days.
Benefits of Mediation
1. It greatly reduces the time and expense of your case.
2. You control the process and outcome of your case by speaking for yourself.
3. Attorneys are not required.
4. It focuses on finding solutions, not fault.
5. You are able to move on with your life more quickly.
6. The process is guided by a neutral, licensed mediator.
7. Your children typically experience less stress and trauma.
John and Jane’s Story
“We’ve both fired our lawyers!” This was the greeting I received from John and Jane on the day of their first appointment. I had asked them how I could assist them through the process of divorce, and they declared in unison that they were both exhausted and financially depleted from an extremely long and contentious divorce proceeding. “Our lawyers prolonged the process and kept us at odds with one another, all while continuing to bill us at outrageous hourly rates. All we want to do is move on with our lives, we don’t want to hurt each other any longer.”
Unfortunately, their story was one I have heard many times before. Divorce is a difficult process under the best of circumstances. Through mediation, we can minimize the pain, expense and time involved and allow the parties to move forward with their lives.
John and Jane shared their stories with me in a safe and non-threatening environment. There were no lawyers or judges, no courtrooms or harsh questions. They controlled the process and they determined the outcome. I provided guidance based upon my experience as a family court judge. We prepared and filed a divorce agreement and the judge entered a divorce decree. The entire process was completed within 90 days and the total cost was a fraction of what the two of them had spent on legal fees.
The best part of the outcome was that John and Jane were able to move on with their lives without the resentment and anger that had been building against one another while they were employing separate lawyers. This amicable relationship will benefit John and Jane, but most of all it will benefit their children. They will now be able to love each of their parents without fear of offending the other parent.