Mediation is a guided negotiation process designed to help you settle a divorce or resolve other family law disagreements. Like a collaborative divorce, its main objective is to empower you to control the outcome by working together with your spouse rather than leaving the decisions to a judge.
Mediation adds a neutral facilitator to help guide your discussions, reframe negotiations and work to prevent negative emotions from taking over. The family courts often ask litigants to try mediation. You can also enter into a private mediation on your own before going to court. The mediator may not draft final court documents but will draft a memorandum of understanding summarizing the agreement of the parties and forward the same onto their counsel to prepare final documents.
When To Consider Mediation
The main advantage of mediation is having a neutral third party who facilitates the parties’ conversation and acts as a voice of reason without judging the case. If emotional disagreements have prevented negotiating in earnest or you don’t know where to begin negotiations, a mediator can help you get started. A mediator can also help keep emotions from boiling over to maintain a positive environment for children and other family members.
How Mediation Works
Mediation takes place over one or more negotiation sessions at the convenience of the parties. Both sides get a chance to explain their story, and the mediator’s job is to facilitate positive back-and-forth conversation. The mediator does not judge the case, but they can suggest alternative ways of looking at the situation based on past experience. The goal is to get both parties to understand the other’s point of view so they can find win-win solutions.
It’s important to know that the mediator is not allowed to give legal advice even if they’re a licensed attorney. The mediator may provide general legal information to both parties but NOT legal advice. Both parties should have their own attorney whose job it is to explain the applicable law to protect their legal interests and help them decide if the proposed resolution is reasonable.
To get legal guidance in mediation in Cleveland, Ohio, and the surrounding areas, contact Jonetta J. Kapusta-Dorogi, LLC today.