Lawyer assisted negotiation is the traditional approach to settlement. Lawyers may discuss the parties’ concerns and terms of settlement during a telephone meeting, written proposal, or face to face meeting to review information and settlement options.
Clients will usually directly be involved in these settlement meetings, so that the information can be reviewed and discussed together. The interests of each party are explained, and settlement options laid out, and there is no miscommunication.
The goal is to ensure that each party has all the information they require to make decisions about their parenting and financial issues with their lawyer’s advice and advocacy.
Mediation is a process in which a couple meets with a neutral third party, who is a trained Family Lawyer Mediator, for the purpose of negotiating and resolving their issues. The cost of the Mediator is often shared between the two parties.
A benefit of a Family Lawyer Mediator is that they are familiar with all of the legal and practical issues to be addressed. They also have the benefit of having experience and witnessing other couples addressing and resolving their issues allowing them to propose options that may not occur to most clients.
The involvement of each party’s lawyers is often beneficial since legal advice during the negotiation process can avoid time and money spent on resolutions that, without legal advice, may be problematic in the future.
The Mediator is independent and impartial. Their role is to facilitate constructive communication aimed at resolving the issues. They are not like a judge or an Arbitrator who makes decisions for the parties. Rather, they support and facilitate the parties through direct negotiations.
Mediators at Wells Family Law help the parties understand the issues, options, and implications of their dispute as well as find resolutions for their specific circumstance. Wells Family Law can help you identify creative options in the mediation process that may not have been considered.
Advantages of Mediation
Mediation generally takes less time than resolution or litigating through court.
Discussions and negotiations held in mediation are confidential and private. Your settlement proposals and compromises within the mediation process cannot be used against you later in court.
Mediation is always less expensive than litigation due to the fact that parties can create their own rules, timing, and level of formality.
Resolutions by mediation are generally more amicable than court-imposed resolutions. Children tend to benefit from their parents’ ability to resolve issues outside of an adversarial process. This advantage can have long-term effects on the children and parties, as well as their ability to work together constructively in the future.