Mediation

Mediation is a voluntary Alternate Dispute Resolution process that is facilitated by a neutral third party, the Mediator. The meetings are between the couple and the Mediator, and they are usually face-to face. The Mediator does not make decisions. The Mediator is not a Judge. The Mediator assists in facilitating an agreement. The decisions are made by the couple. The Mediator may guide the couple; however, he or she cannot advise either party or act as an attorney for either party. 

Mediation, given that it is non-adversarial, sets the stage for creative problem-solving thereby creating an agreement that is lasting and durable and more likely to be honored.

The drawback to mediation is that the Mediator cannot draft the final paperwork that is necessary to be filed with the Court. One of the parties must obtain an attorney to draft the documents which will be filed with the Court.

Some of the possible benefits of Mediation are as follows:


  • A third-party neutral facilitates resolution by direct, face-to-face negotiations between the parties.
  • Parties retain control over decision making so that each party’s needs and interests, along with a wider variety of options, are generally given consideration, not just the evidence and the law as in adversarial processes such as litigation or arbitration.
  • As opposed to litigation or arbitration, it is a process that can more effectively address the interpersonal issues that can obstruct resolution.

 

Some of the possible drawbacks of Mediation are as follows:


  • The neutral mediator cannot individually counsel either party or do much to level unequal bargaining positions between parties.
  • The neutral mediator is limited in his/her ability to facilitate the discovery of necessary information in the face of one party’s obstructive behavior and is ethically prohibited from preparing the final agreements and other legal paperwork.
  • Since the parties’ lawyers generally do not participate directly in the negotiations, the lawyers remain unaligned with the process, resulting in a greater risk that the mediated agreement may be scuttled when each party receives her or his lawyer’s critique.

 

The attorneys at Zoller|Biacsi are both trained Mediators and have successfully handled a variety of mediation cases including highly complex financial marital estates. If you are interested in more information about the Mediation Process, please contact our office to inquire about an initial consultation with one of our attorneys.

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