Mediation for Separation, Divorce, and Modifications of Domestic Relations Orders
Mediation, like the Collaborative Process or Informal Settlement, is an alternative to litigation; it handles whatever legal matter you have OUTSIDE the Courthouse. Mediation can help you resolve issues that arise in separation, divorce or modification of child issues, such as changes to the support or parenting time. Mediation can also help you address and resolve challenges with elderly parents or estate issues.
In most mediations, the mediator is a neutral and not the lawyer for either party. In that role, the mediator works with all the parties involved in a dispute to explore the issues and find solutions to fit the needs of each person involved in the conflict. In this type of mediation, each party typically has their own attorney to help them consider their options with the mediator.
Joint mediation sessions include all the parties to the dispute meeting in the same room. At the first session, each party signs an Agreement to Mediate, which protects the privacy of information exchanged and the confidentiality of the process. Further mediation sessions are scheduled as needed.
The mediator’s job is to:
- Manage the agenda to meet the parties’ needs
- Assist the parties in expressing themselves and hearing other perspectives
- Manage stressful interactions and high emotion
- Ensure/insure (?) that each party has all the information that they need to make decisions
- Work with the parties to create a variety of options for solving the problem
- Help the parties choose the best options based on what is important to them
- Clarify and record the specific details of the agreement
- Create opportunities to obtain legal advice throughout the process (if they are not represented by counsel at the mediation).
Diana can serve as the lawyer for a party in a mediation or as the mediator. She also works as the mediator in some cases where the clients are not represented at the mediation by attorneys. When Diana serves as the mediator with clients who do not have attorneys at the mediation, Diana assists the clients to reach an agreement, then either assists them in drafting their agreement or helps the parties connect with experienced legal counsel to review and/or draft the agreement the parties have reached. In some cases, clients have attorneys previously engaged to review and/or draft the agreement after Diana has facilitated their agreement through mediation.
Mediation leads people to a better understanding of the problem and options that may solve the problem. When differences are managed effectively, people can find creative, sensible solutions that meet their interests.