Mediation is a process that assists the parties in resolving a dispute by working together cooperatively to reach a mutually acceptable resolution. Rather than leave the decisions to a third party, such as a judge or arbitrator, the parties themselves work to reach a solution that best works for them and for their family. The mediation process provides the parties with the structure and the tools to work through their issues in a respectful and civil manner together.
A mediator is a trained professional, often an attorney, who acts a a neutral and assists the parties in identifying the issues that they need to resolve and to come up with solutions that the parties feel are fair and equitable in their unique situation. Although the mediator may be an attorney, they do not represent either party in the case and does not make decisions for the parties. The mediator provides, guidance, assistance, possible solutions, an outline of the applicable laws and a framework for addressing the issues working directly with both of the parties. Attorney Susan Guthrie, a trained mediator, provides Divorce Mediation in San Diego.
When the parties have worked through all of the issues presented by their case, the mediator will draft a memorandum of understanding outlining the details of the settlement. This memorandum may be used by the parties to draft, or to have an attorney draft, a marital separation agreement or other relevant agreement for submission to the court in a divorce or other family law proceeding. In the alternative, the mediator may draft the final agreement at the request of the parties.
Mediation often saves the parties a considerable amount of time in the family law court process as the mediation is not limited by the time constraints of the overburdened family court system. The parties schedule their sessions with their mediator at times and as frequently as convenient for them. In addition, as the mediator is the primary professional involved, the attorney fees associated with traditional litigation are avoided. Most importantly, by working together rather than in an adversarial fashion to resolve their issues, the parties can minimize the damaging emotional costs of the process and can move forward in a more positive fashion after their mediation concludes.
For your divorce or family law legal matter to be finalized, the parties must file the appropriate documents and petitions with the court. Your mediator will be able to assist you in completing all of the appropriate forms and filings and will prepare you for any court appearances if necessary. If requested, your mediator may attend court appearances with the parties to help facilitate and help to appropriately finalize your matter.
The mediation process allows parties to work through their divorce and family law issues in a cooperative manner and enables them to make decisions that they feel will be fair and equitable in their unique circumstances. By reducing the anger and stress, the parties are able to establish a more positive framework for their future interaction which is especially important if they are co-parenting. Mediation also allows a greater sense of control and can be accomplished in a much shorter time frame than traditional litigation. Finally, and importantly for most families, mediation is generally far less expensive than traditional litigation involving attorneys and adversarial court proceedings. For a more complete list of the benefits of mediation see my article "Top 10 Reasons to Mediate Your Divorce at https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/top-ten-reasons-to-mediate-your-divorce