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What is mediation in family proceedings?

Updated: May 2, 2023

Family proceedings are complex and delicate matters, because often the feelings of those involved overshadow the reasoning of the parties. Processes such as divorces, paternity and relocation of minors, in many cases could be solved more easily, if the parties agree. That is why, in family cases, on many occasions, matters are referred to mediation. In today's post we are going to explain what mediation consists of and how to use it.

Mediation is nothing more than a process in which a third person, called a mediator, will try to facilitate the communication of the parties in dispute, so that they reach an agreement between them, without the need for judicial intervention. This means that the objective of the mediation is that the parties to the process reach an agreement between them, before a judge makes the pertinent decisions. The job of a mediator is to negotiate, facilitate and assist in communication between the parties. Mediation also aims to make the judges' job easier and try to avoid overloading their schedule. That is why, on many occasions, if your case has been transferred to mediation, it will be very difficult for the judge to excuse you from not attending. Once your case has been referred to mediation, if the parties earn more than $100,000 a year combined, they will need to enlist the services of a private mediator. For this, the parties must agree on the selection of the mediator, which could be a long process. If the parties' combined salary is less than $100,000 a year, then public mediation will be used. If the parties use a public mediator, the court will assign them one. Mediations fees should be divided equally.

As we mentioned, the objective of mediation is to reach an agreement between the parties. Mediation should not last more than 2-3 hours, unless in the first session agreements were reached on some aspects, and others could not be continued. If this is the case, it will be necessary to adjourn the mediation and continue it in another session.

The fundamental issues that are debated in a family mediation are: division of assets in the marriage community, childcare, parenting plan, amounts to pay in child support, and amounts to pay in alimony to the spouses.

Everything discussed in mediation is confidential. Generally, both parties are present in the same space throughout the mediation, but if one of the parties, or the mediator requires it, the other may be asked to leave the place where the mediation is taking place to carry out a caucus.

The mediator will not make decisions for you during this process. However, the mediator may propose solutions that you may or may not accept. Remember that at the end of the day, the decision to reach an agreement or not, is on you. It is always convenient to be prepared with various offers, knowing well the limits of what you want to obtain. In many occasions by losing, you win. Your attorney can help you make the appropriate decisions in the negotiation process.

It is important to go to the mediation prepared. Many cases can end here. If the parties manage to reach an agreement, the mediator will draft it, and this will be binding once ratified by the court. If the parties do not reach an agreement, the mediator will forward his report to the court, so that it can continue the process in a contentious manner.

Mediation is an important moment in a family process. Good preparation by your attorney before mediation will save you time and money.

If you are in need of legal help with your family process, call us today. The first consultation is free. At Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. we can help you during the mediation. Here, your problem is our problem.

Legal Disclaimer

Any information made available by the lawyer or law firm is for educational purposes only, as well as to give you general information and general understanding of the law, NOT to provide specific advice. This does NOT create a relationship attorney-client between you and Y. Morejon Attorney, P.A. This information should NOT be use as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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