Mediation, which precedes the final divorce, is a process whereby a couple meet with a mediator who represents neither one but helps the two of them to reach agreements that can be as limited as one issue or as far-reaching as the complete divorce settlement. We will attempt to answer some of the most common questions people seem to have about mediation, however, if your question is not answered please " ASK KATHY."
- What is mediation?
In mediation, there is one "neutral" who helps the disputing parties try to settle their case. The mediator cannot give either party legal advice, and cannot help either side advocate its position. If one side or the other becomes unreasonable or stubborn, or lacks negotiating skill, or is emotionally distraught, the mediation can become unbalanced. A skilled mediator will make sure this does not happen.
Normally, each party will have his or her own attorney present. In this case, each side has quality legal advice and advocacy built in at all times during the process. Even if one side or the other lacks negotiating skill or financial understanding, or is emotionally upset or angry, the playing field is leveled by the presence of the skilled advocates. It is the job of the lawyers to work with their own clients if the clients are being unreasonable; to make sure that the process stays positive and productive.
- I might consider mediation, but will I have to waive my ability to use a lawyer?
Absolutely not! Good mediators encourage clients to have independent counsel review divorce agreements, if an agreement was reached without the assistance of a lawyer.
- But if lawyers get involved, why bother with mediation?
In some situations, the lawyers play only a limited role in mediation. They just help you make sure the agreement is fair and reasonable, the legal standard by which agreements are judged by the court. In other situations, lawyers are involved long before the case is ready and developed sufficiently for it to be mediated. Each party will decide how much attorney involvement is needed for his or her situation.
Contact Krieger & Ongert, Attorneys at Law
To discuss your collaborative law and mediation options with an experienced divorce lawyer from Krieger & Ongert, Attorneys at Law, call 281-486-8125 or contact us online.