Mediation is a process for resolving disputes. The parties retain the assistance of a neutral mediator to assist them in resolving their dispute. Mediation is often used when parties do not want to go to court, or to return to court, to resolve an issue that has arisen between them.
How Is Mediation Different?
The mediator does not act as an attorney for either party, but acts to identify the issues and work with the couple to develop reasonable, viable solutions. The focus is on reaching a resolution. The agreement reached in mediation is not binding on the parties until the agreement is written, signed by both parties and usually, entered as an order of the court.
A mediator does not make the decisions for you
Mediation sessions are structured so that the participants successfully negotiate their own settlement. Depending on the complexity of the issues being mediated, the mediator will often recommend that the parties each have their own attorney to provide additional legal support in between mediation sessions and also to draft final agreements that may be entered by the court.
What The Mediation Process Involves
The mediation will consist of an exchange of information requested by the mediator, a discussion of the issues and several meetings to reach resolution. When the participants feel that an agreement has been reached, the mediator will memorialize the agreement in writing.
If the agreement needs to be entered in court as an order, the mediator will help the parties prepare the final documents, often by referring one or both parties to an attorney to complete the final drafting process.
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