The Family Law attorneys of Divorce Solutions are trained mediators and offer mediation services for all types of disputed issues, including parenting time (formerly custody and visitation), parenting decision making, and property division disputes.
Mediation is a process that divorcing spouses often utilize to assist them in remaining amicable while negotiating the division of marital property or in addressing children’s issues like parenting time (formerly custody and visitation) and parenting decision making. Mediators are often, but not always attorneys however, anyone offering mediation services should have received specialized mediation training by a reputable organization.
Mediation can be an effective process for many couples going through a divorce. Mediation can either be court ordered or voluntary.
- Court ordered mediation occurs after a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has been filed with the Court and the parties are already in the court system. The Court will order mediation for the parties when they are unable to reach an agreement on parenting time and parenting responsibilities. The Court does not generally order the parties to attend mediation for property division disputes.
- Private mediation services are provided outside of the court system and can be engaged in either prior to the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or after. Private mediation allows the parties to address financial and property division issues as well as parenting disputes. Private mediation is entered into by agreement of the parties and the parties’ priorities set the mediation agenda.
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The mediation process, whether it be court ordered or private and voluntary, is a confidential process. The mediator’s role is to facilitate an ongoing conversation between the parties with the goal of reaching an agreement. The mediator’s role is not to counsel either participant on the law, what either participant is entitled to under the law, or what decision a judge might make regarding the issue.
If an agreement is reached, the mediator will write up the agreement, which is called a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU. The mediator will provide the MOU to the parties, who should then hire an attorney to draft a Marital Settlement Agreement and/or Allocation Judgment, the documents necessary to complete the divorce process with the Court. A mediator is prohibited from drafting an MSA and/or Allocation Judgment for the parties.
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