What Is Mediation?
Mediation is an alternative method of resolving family law matters. Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that, in many cases, is a faster, less expensive, and more effective method of resolving a dispute. In mediation, the parties have the opportunity to make choices together that make sense for them, instead of having a judge, who is a stranger to them and their problems, decide their fate. It is a method of resolving disputes in which neutral third persons (mediators), who have no decision-making powers, assist parties in seeking their own settlement of issues in dispute. In difficult situations like divorce, mediation is often a better option for children because it allows the parties to reach an agreement on child custody and child support without the stress and drama of a divorce trial. By making these key decisions together, both parents are more likely to be supportive of their parenting arrangements and often are more willing to communicate for the benefit of their children.
However, mediation isn’t just for settling divorce disputes. It can also be used as a preventative tool to avoid future conflicts. Mediation can be used in crafting a prenuptial agreement, resolving a landlord tenant dispute, a contract dispute or a whole host of other types of conflicts.
Do Any of these Situations Apply to You?
- No matter how you’ve tried, you and the other opposing party cannot settle a dispute on their own.
- You want to have some say in the outcome of the dispute.
- You really want to solve the problem, but need help.
- You want to maintain a working relationship with the other person.
- Both you and the opposing party are willing to use the assistance of a mediator.
- You and the opposting party want a private, voluntary, convenient, empowering way to solve the problem.
What happens during the mediation?
Mediators meet with all parties to discuss the nature of the dispute. The mediators may then hold private sessions with each party to hear a personal perspective. Coming together again, the mediators help the parties to identify the issues in the case, and move to areas of common interest where problem-solving can occur. When a mutually acceptable agreement is reached, the parties may choose to write it up.
What happens when an agreement is reached?
The agreement is signed by the parties and by the mediators. A copy is given to each party and a copy is kept on file by the program. If a copy of the agreement is required by the Company, that information must be shared before the mediation is held. If the agreement is not honored, parties may request a second mediation session.
What happens when an agreement is not reached or fulfilled?
The parties retain their rights to pursue the matter through the usual company procedures, through legal channels or non-legal channels. Upon request, the Program Coordinator will help the parties to identify other appropriate community resources.
Who Will Mediate My Case?
Family law and divorce attorney Ellen Anna Wright is a strong proponent of mediation in the family law context. At her Tewksbury, Massachusetts, practice, clients utilize mediation to settle disputes involving everything from divorce to custody matters. As a mediator, Attorney Wright serves as a neutral, non-judgmental third party to all sides of a dispute.
Legal matters that affect your home and family are extremely personal. When you seek legal help with a family law issue, you need personalized service and one-on-one attention. In addition to personal and confidential communication, cost-effective legal services are also important — especially in today’s turbulent economy.
If you live in Tewksbury or anywhere in Massachusetts and are experiencing family law issues, call on our office.. By offering the services of an experienced family law mediator and attorney, we can help you choose the method of conflict resolution that best fits your specific circumstances.