Family law mediation has been an alternative way of solving family disputes outside court for many years. As stated in an article in Forbes, mediation is one of the processes divorcing couples can use.
It involves a third party tasked with ensuring parties involved reach a mutual agreement. Mediators do not give legal advice or make decisions on behalf of the parties; neither do they take sides.
The mediation process can take place in the presence of attorneys. According to the Pennsylvania Council of Mediators, a mediator can be any professional from a lawyer, a trained expert, to a social worker. There are many things to expect during family law mediation. These include;
- Drafting and signing mediation agreement: This addresses the issues that the parties will mediate. It will also state the role of the mediator and the importance of frank disclosure during the process.
- A mediation brief: it is the work of a lawyer to prepare a brief that states the issues in dispute, and all the relevant statements and documents. The lawyer will send the brief to the mediator before the first meeting.
- Bring all the documents necessary for the mediation and prepare to be in the meeting all-day.
- The mediation may take place in the same room, or the parties may split.
- The lawyers will draft a separate legally binding agreement.
The mediation process should be fair and open. Parties should have the freedom to withdraw if they are unsatisfied or displeased with the process. They may opt to try a different method of resolving their disputes.