When disputed issues arise between parties in a domestic relations matter the initial impulse often is to rush into court or go directly to a hearing or trial. This is particularly true when the disputed issues involve minor children and finances. Rushing into court, without at least attempting to open dialogue with the other party, can not only prove costly to both sides from a financial standpoint, but more importantly, from an emotional one. The parties themselves who are involved in the dispute are often in the best position to settle the dispute.
Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that, if successful, allows parties to stay out of court and solve their problems by themselves. Mediation typically involves the parties coming to the table to discuss the disputed issues and to try to figure out a mutually desirable solution. Some of the benefits of mediation include (1) the parties don’t have to turn over control of the outcome to the judge, (2) it can be cheaper than prolonged litigation, (3) it can be a much faster and simpler way of resolving the dispute, and (4) it can preserve crucial interpersonal relationship that might otherwise be damaged during emotionally-charged litigation.
Mediation can be done privately or with the supervision of a court of conciliation in some jurisdictions. Mediation is unlike a court proceeding in that mediation does not require evidence to be presented. It should be viewed as more of a discussion and collaborative process than an adversarial trial. When a mediation is done privately, it is important to have a professional with domestic-relations experience guide the mediation process. If there has been a history of domestic violence, issues involving victims and protective orders must be appropriately handled. If a case has been filed in court, the court can order that the parties attend mediation, or one of the parties can request that the court order mediation.
Giordano Spanier & Heckele, PLLC offers a variety of mediation services. The attorneys at our firm can act as mediators to facilitate a private mediation. We also guide individual clients through private and court-supervised mediation. CALL TODAY for a consultation: (520) 433-9031. Or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.