• Divorce mediation, like collaborative divorce, allows couples facing divorce or other post-divorce conflict to reach their own private resolution without going to court. Mediation can also be used to resolve issues which are in litigation prior to a final trial.
• The parties may or may not be represented by lawyers, although most of the cases which Marshall mediates are in litigation, and both parties are represented by counsel at the mediated settlement conference. Marshall does mediate cases between parties who have not retained counsel but recommends that each party have at least a conference with an independent attorney prior to attending a conference in which he serves as the mediator.
• The goal of divorce mediation is to reach a thoughtful and lasting agreement that resolves all the issues, outlining them in a separation agreement or another appropriate settlement document such as a Consent Order or Consent Judgment.
What is a Mediator?
• A mediator is a “neutral” whose role is not to advocate a particular position, but to conduct negotiations between two parties who have opposing positions and present each side’s point of view in the most effective and persuasive manner.
• The mediator has no vested interest in the outcome, but is committed to ensuring that the needs and interests of both parties are addressed.
• The mediator can help you consider options not previously explored and offer advice you may find helpful in determining what is best for you.
• Participating in divorce mediation does not mean forsaking the counsel of other professional individuals. Many divorcing couples choose to confer with divorce coaches, financial consultants and frequently are represented by attorneys at the mediated settlement conference.
Who Can Benefit from Divorce Mediation?
• People who realize that confrontational, accusatory and combative approaches to resolving personal conflict will only escalate such conflict and provide toxicity to family relationships which have already been eroded.
• People who recognize that children need role models who are problem-solvers and parents who can be a part of events in their lives in ways which create positive memories of such events.
• People who are frustrated with the litigation process, and with the emotional and financial toll which is taken as a result of being enmeshed in that process.
• People who realize that there is value in peace of mind and closure of personal conflict issues.
• People who are capable of recognizing a point of view other than his or her own.
• People who want to retain control of the outcome of their case as opposed to handing off this role to someone wearing a black robe who is a complete stranger.
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