Resolve The Conflict
You should always try to resolve things between you and the other party. Working things out with the other party is extremely difficult at times, but always the best option because it is cost effective and increases communication. However, mediation with a 3rd party is one of the choices you have when resolving a conflict. Here are some of the reasons why you would use an unbiased 3rd party to help you through your difficult time.
- You Never Go to Court
- Less Costly than Litigation
- Control stays with you instead of with the judge, lawyer or arbitrator
- Less adversarial
- Communication increases between the 2 parties
- Resolve conflict with dignity and integrity
- Increased ability to stay friendly with other party
- You and the other party problem solve together with the mediator(s)
- Confidentiality and not public
- Usually a quicker process, but you decide how quick or how long it will take
What Can I Mediate?
You may have a conflict and dispute and wondering what you can mediate. Here is a list of some of the things you will be able to mediate if you have a conflict or disagreement and need a 3rd party to help you come to an agreement:
- Post Divorce Conflicts
- Parent and Children Conflicts
- Parent and School Disputes
- Small Business Conflicts
- Estate Disputes
- Elder Adult Decisions
Mediation vs. Litigation
When divorcing, there are only two options you have, either Mediation or Litigation. Both will usually get you to your goal, but they are completely different approaches.
ESTIMATED COST – $3,000 – $4,000
- Shortened process
- Less expensive
- You never go to court
- Clients have final say
- Less stressful
- Mediators represent the family
- Increased Communications during sessions and outside of sessions
- All discussions are private
- Problem solving with everyone
ESTIMATED COST – $40,000
- Lengthy process
- Battling Lawyers in Courts
- Judge has final say
- Stressful experience
- Lawyers represent each client
- Increases conflict between you and your spouse causing decreased communication
- Any problem solving is one-sided or just with attorneys
- Courtroom is public
Uncontested vs. Contested
You may have hear the terms Contested and Uncontested. When a divorce is contested, that means the parties cannot agree and have chosen to litigate the divorce. When a divorce is uncontested, that means the parties have agreed to divorce and have agreed to all the terms of the divorce. When processing an uncontested divorce, the parties do not need to go to court. When using a mediator, the mediator will help you resolve all your conflicts and then submit paperwork as an uncontested divorce. A divorce is considered a lawsuit, which defines breaking a contract. The less conflict the better.
What is the Process?
The process of mediation is structured with a goal. Our mediation sessions include a divorce coach, managing emotions. Here are the steps you would take to resolve a conflict through mediation:
- Contact us and give us your name and other details
- We send out an intake form for you to fill out and send back to us. This saves us time and you money.
- Schedule an appointment to meet with us. We have flexible times and dates and work nights and weekends as well as days, so that we can provide a time that is convenient to you and you don’t have to take time away from work.
- Mediation Session. We meet together with you and the other party and the first thing we discuss are the major issues. We continue to discuss the issues and work to find common ground and creatively work to solve the problems with multiple different solutions. At the end of the session if everything is resolved, great. Sometimes we hand out homework for each of you to do that would include checking values of assets or getting more detailed information, etc. At this point we can setup another session with you or take a break and you contact us when you are ready again to meet and discuss things. There are no court calendars, it’s when you are ready to return.
- Legal Work. After all of the conflicts have been resolved, then we can prepare an MOU (Memo Of Understanding) or we can go straight to a stipulation agreement. A stipulation agreement is the document that describes in legal ease all of the agreements made between the 2 parties. This document needs to be signed and notarized by both parties. Once this document is signed, we can file with the county clerk’s office if you wish, however some people hold an original each and do not file anything with the courts.
- Divorce Papers. If the goal you have is a divorce, then divorce papers would have to be created and then signed and notarized by both parties. These are formalized documents specific to each state. We prepare those documents and attach the stipulation agreement with the divorce papers when we file with the courts
A parenting plan is a written agreement that has all the information and details about the living arrangements for the child/parent time with the children Family time can also be discussed, such as Friday night pizza.
The parenting plan helps avoid future conflicts because the responsibilities for the children are clearly written, so there are no questions. Parent plan is part of the agreement. Consider holidays, weekdays, vacation.
Plans are designed as either Split time, Shared time, or alternate days.
A Parenting Plan can contain the following information:
- Parenting Time
- Decision Making
- Transportation and Exchanges
- Annual Vacations and School Breaks
- A Dispute Resolution Process
- Schools Attended and Access to Records
- Contact Information, Relocation and Foreign Travel
- Social Activities and School Functions
- Significant Others Introduced