Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party, the “mediator”, helps the parties try to reach a settlement—and it can even take place virtually. The mediator cannot represent either of the parties involved in the mediation. If the parties are represented, the attorneys will generally attend the mediation as well.
The mediator will go back and forth between the parties in an effort to resolve all pending issues. The parties may be in the same room or may each have their own rooms. Mediation gives the parties an opportunity to customize solutions that work best for their family. If a full settlement is reached, the parties are less likely to go to court. If the mediation reaches an impasse and a settlement cannot be reached, then a judge will generally determine the disposition of the case.
All family law related issues can be addressed in a family law mediation, such as:
- Paternity, legal custody, and physical care. The parties address legal custody and physical care of the minor children. The mediator may assist in determining the children’s visitation schedules including a weekly schedule, holiday schedule, and summer schedule.
- Child support. If child support is to be paid, the parties will address which party is to pay the child support and the amount of monthly support.
- Miscellaneous child provisions. The parties might discuss other child-related provisions to include in the agreement such as transportation, school related expenses, daycare expenses, health insurance coverage, payment of uncovered medical expenses, and tax-related provisions.
- Asset and debt division (divorces only). The parties will address the division of their marital assets and debts, including but not limited to the marital home, vehicles, retirement accounts and bank accounts, personal property, and outstanding debts.
- Spousal support (divorces only). If spousal support is requested by one of the parties, the parties will address the amount and duration of support to be paid.
- Attorney fees and court costs. The parties may address payment of attorney fees and court costs and whether either party is going to pay a portion of the other party’s attorney fees.
Joslyn offers virtual family law mediation, which is just as effective as in-person mediation. Virtual mediation offers a whole host of benefits, including:
- Break out rooms. During the mediation, each party is in his/her own virtual Zoom room with his/her own attorney. The mediator goes back and forth between the virtual Zoom rooms. The virtual aspect eliminates any chance of encountering the other party at the mediator’s physical office.
- Flexibility and comfort. The parties and attorneys can attend the mediation from any location, including the comfort of your own home. The virtual aspect eliminates travel time, as the parties and attorneys do not have to travel to the mediator’s office. If a party feels more comfortable at his/her attorney’s office, the party and attorney can enter the virtual mediation call together from the attorney’s office.
- Screen sharing. Zoom allows the mediator, attorneys, and parties to share their desktop screens. This is especially helpful if the mediator is going back and forth with a settlement spreadsheet and the mediator wants to share it with the parties.
- Finalize your divorce or family law agreement. If the parties reach an agreement, Joslyn strives to provide a draft agreement so that the parties can easily sign and file the agreement.
Contact us today to schedule your mediation. If you are represented by an attorney, you should discuss mediation with him/her prior to contacting our office.
How to Schedule Mediation