Mediation is a non-adversarial, neutral, and impartial process for resolving disputes.(source)
The definition of Family Mediation, adopted by the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, is as follows: “Family Mediation offers a voluntary, non-adversarial, dispute resolution option to couples and families who are in the process of restructuring their lives. The parties are helped to reach a self-determined and reasonable agreement by a trained, neutral, third party: a mediator. The structured process is based upon a profound respect for the parties' autonomy and their ability to reach a fair and workable agreement.”
It feels better to spend money on coming to an agreement than on fighting and litigating. Mediation is much less expensive than a full litigation process. The process is value-driven and focused on successful outcomes not on seemingly endless billable hours – value, not bills.
Sometimes the court processes can feel like your feelings do not matter. During the mediation process, you are free to feel. Not only do your feelings matter, but they are also respected. Mediation is not a therapy session, but for some, it does have a cathartic effect or offer a sense of closure.
Why put your children through a long legal battle? In mediation, we can focus on the intricate details specific to your family or situation. Do(es) your child(ren) have learning differences, disAbilities, mental health concerns, or medical issues? Do(es) your parent(s) live with you or are supported by you? Is your child going to college or in college? What about visitation, custody, and support? We can discuss all of this in mediation without dragging an elderly parent or a child through confrontational and divisive legal proceedings. YES, I work with families to figure out the custody and care of pets.
Court is always an option. You can try mediation. If either party finds that they are no longer willing to take part in mediation, then the mediation process will stop and both parties can decide on the next steps. If you already started the court process, you may seek mediation and have the memorandum of understanding (agreement) approved by the judge.
Mediation allows participants to resolve the matter on their own terms. It can take as short or long of a time as they want. They can choose which matters are up for negotiation and when (guidelines may apply).
Court is very public and impersonal. Mediation allows couples to handle their very personal issues in a very private manner. All discussions are confidential (within legal limits).