test3Mediation is the process by which the parents negotiate legal issues facilitated by a neutral third party (the mediator). The goal in mediation is to create a fair, realistic resolution for both parties in a separation/divorce situation, designed to meet the specific needs of their family. The parties make the ultimate decisions, assisted by counsel. A neutral mediator facilitates communication between the parties. There are two scenarios in which our firm participates in mediation. mediation

Attorney Meredith McGill provides mediation in her office. In this role she represents neither spouse but is committed to a fair resolution for both parties. Serving as mediator, Ms. McGill remains neutral throughout the process. She meets with both individuals together and their legal representatives if the parties so desire. All discussions and correspondence with either party are shared with the other person. The conversations are open, constructive and civil. Mediation is not counseling nor an opportunity to assign blame. The mediator keeps the process productive and facilitates communication between the parties so that they can reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Both parties are encouraged to have attorneys provide advice throughout the process and review the final agreement.

In the second scenario, our firm works as an advocate for our clients in the mediation setting. For example, if a client seeks our representation and we determine that mediation would be an appropriate method for resolving the dispute, then Ms. McGill or Ms. Hampson, along with the opposing party’s counsel, would select an experienced family law mediator to assist in the resolution. Our attorneys then represent our client during the mediation process, working with our client to gather all relevant information, to prepare a settlement proposal, and to negotiate during mediation. At the close of the mediation, the parties have a written and binding agreement.

Mediation Basics

Mediator representing neither spouse. Each party may have attorney.
No Courtroom; Sessions held in attorneys’ offices.
Approximately 2-3 months from beginning of process to signed agreement, depending on issues involved.
Avoid litigation and create a fair resolution for both parties.