Mediating Divorce And Other Family Matters
At DeVoss, Baker, Ainsworth & Razo, A Professional Corporation, we approach family law matters with our clients’ best interests in mind. We strive to offer a variety of services and resources to effectively meet individual’s needs.
Mediation can be a beneficial tool for resolving disputes of all kinds, especially in Indiana family law matters. Parties can agree to mediate issues or may be directed by a Court to participate in mediation. Count on attorney Anne M. Razo, a Registered Domestic Relations Mediator, to guide you through the process with compassion, skill and attention to your needs.
Below are a few questions you may have about domestic relations mediation.
What Issues Can Mediation Address?
Mediation can help you resolve all types of family law concerns, including marital dissolution, child custody, parenting time, child support, spousal support, property division and much more.
What Are Some Of The Advantages Of Mediation?
One significant advantage is that mediation allows participants to remain in control of the outcome instead of leaving it up to the Court. Parties work together utilizing the neutral mediator to identify issues, negotiate settlement terms and come to an agreement. You know your family best, and mediation provides an opportunity for participants to remain the decision-maker for their families.
Mediation can be much less stressful than litigation. Litigation is an adversarial process that tends to increase negative feelings between the parties. Mediation emphasizes cooperation. The mediator will assist parties in finding common ground and feel comfortable with the mediation process. Mediation can reduce the emotional strain associated with litigation.
The mediation process is confidential. Ideas, thoughts, settlement proposals expressed in mediation are confidential and cannot be used in Court if the parties do not reach an agreement through mediation. The confidentiality of mediation allows participants to expand and explore different ways to address and settle issues without the fear of having that information used against them in later proceedings.
Last but not least, mediation can reduce parties’ legal fees. Litigation is expensive. Costs associated with mediation are typically less than litigation, making this the more affordable route for many people.
What Does The Process Involve?
The mediation process is designed to be flexible and accommodate differing needs. There are different options for how to proceed. If both parties agree to mediation, each party (or their attorneys) should contact our office for more information on how to get started. A Court may order parties to mediation as well. If this is the case, after appointment as mediator, Ms. Razo will send information to the parties on how to move forward with scheduling an initial interview, scheduling mediation, as well as a request for information needed to effectively assist the parties with their particular case.
During the initial interview, we will help you decide whether you would be more comfortable meeting together or separately and whether you are more comfortable trying to resolve issues in one session or prefer shorter multiple sessions. Before mediation, each party will sign an Agreement to Mediate and will have an opportunity to provide written confidential information to Ms. Razo about their side of the case. Both parties and your attorneys, if you have hired one, will attend mediation. If you choose to meet separately, the mediator will travel back and forth to talk with each party in turn. Otherwise, the parties will meet together with the mediator.
At mediation, Ms. Razo will work with the participants to listen to their perspectives, identify issues, assist parties in identifying areas of concern, help resolve areas of conflict and assist parties with drafting agreements. All agreements will be reviewed by participants and signed by the parties before submitting an agreement to the Court for approval.
Can You Act As Both My Attorney And Mediator?
No. A mediator is required to act as a neutral third party, which means the same person can’t act as both your lawyer and your mediator. As a mediator, you can count on Anne M. Razo to help you:
- Identify the legal issues you are facing
- Find common ground
- Negotiate with the other party
- Reach a satisfactory agreement
- Correctly draft any agreement reached