Mediation

Since 2009, we have offered mediation services to families in transition. A mediator listens carefully to both viewpoints, encourages problem solving and may suggest things to think about or potential solutions. Mediation can occur with or without attorneys present, and may take one or more sessions. Many people find this to be a comfortable and cost-effective way to reach a resolution.  Below we describe three types of mediation.

Mediation:
Mediation is conducted in a neutral setting that helps open lines of communication between parties to enable them to effectively solve difficult issues related to children and families.  Mediation is used to resolve disputes during and after divorce, legal separation, parenting and decision making changes for your family.  Mediation is a cost effective way to ensure a fair division of finances and parenting time.

As a mediator Mr. James serves as an impartial third party, helping to resolve disputes and to overcome difficult issues amicably between the parties.  The mediator listens carefully to both viewpoints, encourages problem solving and may suggest things to think about or potential solutions. Mediation can occur with or without attorneys present, and may take one or more sessions. Many people find this to be a comfortable and cost-effective way to reach a resolution.

Parties can participate in mediation whether it is court-ordered or voluntary.  The mediation process is always confidential unless the parties and the mediator agree otherwise.  Mediation can result in binding, written agreement(s), reached and signed by the parties.  These agreements can be enforced by the courts or adopted as orders of the court.

Mediation/Arbitration:
This process is similar to mediation and helps resolve difficult issues and disputes, but differs in that, if parties are unable to reach an agreement during mediation, the mediator/arbitrator will make a binding decision.  An advantage of this process is that it results in a timely decision if the parties are unable to come to agreement.  A written award is submitted by the mediator/arbitrator to the court, and when adopted by the judge becomes an order of court.

Parenting Coordinator-Decision-Maker:
As a parenting coordinator and/or decision-maker (PC-DM) Mr. James serves as an impartial third-party.  A parenting coordinator assists in the resolution of disputes between the parties concerning parental responsibilities, including but not limited to implementation of the court-ordered parenting plan.  A decision maker has binding authority to resolve disputes between the parties as to implementation or clarification of existing orders.  Decision-making is similar to the mediator/arbitrator role, but is more limited with respect to the kinds of decisions that can be made.  As PC-DM, Mr. James first works with the parties to try to help them reach agreement; if no agreement is forthcoming, then he makes a decision which is then filed with the court.  Once the court adopts the decision, it is an order of court.

To learn more about these kinds of services, contact our office.