Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Mediation can have two meanings in a family law proceeding, and if so each will affect your case in a different way.

The first meaning refers to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process, where both you and your spouse meet with a single attorney who serves as a mediator. The mediator's job is to assist both parties in reaching a mutual agreement on all issues. The mediator cannot provide legal advice for either party and cannot draft the paperwork you will need once you have an agreement. This process works well when you have little or no conflict and a high level of trust. It is also a process you will be required to try before proceeding to have a court litigate the issues in your divorce. I have a great deal of experience in providing this service, and would be happy to discuss whether this type of resolution process may be right for you and your spouse. However, a mediator cannot represent either party so you will need to either do your own paperwork or seek the services of independent counsel for that purpose. I can provide either the mediation services or draft the paperwork for you; not both.

The second meaning refers to a process ordered by the court to help you come to a mutual decision on conflicting parenting issues. In this instance, the court refers you to a therapist or parenting professional who is experienced in family therapy, and who serves as an advocate for the child(ren). This type of mediator's job is to help you and your spouse resolve your parenting conflicts by helping you to focus on what is best for your children.

To discuss whether mediation may be right for you, contact me today.

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