As an active mediator, all mediations begin with me introducing myself to respective parties in separate rooms about the process and the reasons why mediation should take place. I am obviously passionate about the mediation process. So often during custody and divorce proceedings emotions come into play. When emotions are involved, it often inhibits people from making the most rational decisions.

Mediation attempts to take emotion out of the dynamic when parents try to make decisions regarding dividing their marital assets or determining parenting time. Here, at May Oberfell Lorber, parents will be in separate conference rooms, with beverages and snacks to feel comfortable while they are able to alone or with their attorney. As your mediator, I will go from conference room to the other conference room to discuss ideas, possible settlements, and provide facts to help guide both parties toward coming to an agreement together.

As a mediator, I do not provide legal advice to either side, but I am able to assist couples in coming to what would ultimately be an “equitable resolution” for both parties. Sometimes a firm hand at mediation is needed and sometimes a compassionate ear at mediation is needed. Regardless, you will be in a comfortable environment, outside of a Courtroom, with all of the realities of the case laid out before you.

Mediation is often the second step in a three step process. The first step would be resolving the dispute with your spouse prior to mediation, but that did not happen. At mediation, we do not have rules of evidence or time constraints limiting what we hear. We have free-flowing dialogue in comfortable surroundings, away from the anxiety of Court.

If mediation is unsuccessful, the final step is usually where parties do not want to be – going to trial where a Judge will consider the evidence that is allowed before him or her pursuant to our Evidentiary Rules. A judge will make a decision, having not really spoken directly to either party, but only hearing them through the testimony they provide their attorneys. It is the last resort.

Avoid this last resort if at all possible, and let me and the comfort of our law firm assist in resolving your disputes.

This article is for information purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.