Mediation is a forum in which a neutral mediator facilitates communication between parties to promote reconciliation, understanding, and settlement.
In mediation, while the neutral mediator will not make decisions for the parties, he or she will work with the parties to reach the resolution of disputes by a voluntary agreement. The mediator facilitates communications, promotes understanding, focuses the parties on their interests, and assists with problem solving to allow the parties to reach their own agreement. Some mediators will also discuss with the parties their thoughts on how the parties’ positions may be viewed by the Court.
Parties may agree to attend mediation or the Court may order the parties to attend mediation.
The ultimate goal of mediation is to allow the parties to reach an agreement between themselves regarding the division of the parties’ property, maintenance, child support and parenting time outside of the courtroom. Given the cost of litigation, both financial and emotional, as wells as the unpredictability of going to Court and having a judge make decisions, families may do better to resolve their conflict by a mediated, rather than a litigated, process.